Riding high on the speculator market soon to go bust – the company would file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy a year later – Marvel released its 1995 Holiday Special trade paperback.
Flagship character Spider-Man carried the book with three stories beginning with “A Spider-Man Christmas Carol.” The Web Head saves a hospital ward full of sick children with a little help from Daily Bugle Publisher J. Jonah Jameson.
“A Miracle a Few Blocks down from 34th Street” showcases the X-Men in the oft reprinted Christmas tale outing Santa as the world’s most powerful mutant.
Spider-Man returns in another seasonal fan favorite, “Down and Out in Forest Hills.” The story is miss-billed as “Star Of the Show” that appears later in the book.
“Down and Out” features Peter and Mary Jane as they are ousted from their condominium on Christmas Eve. Uncle Ben is the Ghost of Christmas Past who provides wisdom in Peter’s decision to return to his roots. The story originally appeared in Amazing Spider-Man 314.
“Zounds of Silence” is a textless tale featuring Wolverine – of sorts – in an imaginative dream of consumerism during the holidays.
“Hopes and Fears” sees the return of Spider-Man in a test of faith against Mephisto.
“Free Will” is lifted from Peter David’s run on The Incredible Hulk. Banner Hulk questions the holidays and choices.
“Star of the Show” finally appears as a one-page, textless story with the jolly, fat one making a guest appearance.
The Punisher is shoehorned into the book with customary bullets flying and body count in “The Spirit of the Season.”
Finally, “The Big X-Mas Black Out” brings Spidey back for an encore appearance as he dukes it out with Electro using Rockefeller Square as a backdrop.
Slap an $8.95 price tag on the title and Marvel made itself and readers a little merrier in ’95.Read More