GLX-Mas Special #1: Review

Dec 2005
Dan Slott, ?

Story Name:


Review & Comments

4 stars

GLX-Mas Special #1 Review by (December 30, 2023)
Squirrel Girl and her squirrels did defeat Dr Doom in her debut in Marvel Super-Heroes #8, but her meetings with Mandarin and Giganto are unrecorded (except by SHIELD).

Deadpool's presence at the 1st Xmas party panel is anomalous because the presence of Hawkeye and Mockingbird indicates that it's at least before the end of the Avengers West Coast series, but they don't meet DP until they have changed their names to the Lightning Rods after the Onslaught event.

The 1st Grasshopper, Doug Taggert in GLA#2, fancied Cindy Shelton but she was fixated on his alter-ego. Now she doesn't know he's been replaced by her brother Neil. But here it says that she fancies the new GH but gave the old 1 a hard time.
Both men worked for Roxxon. It's pretty clear that Neil worked for them in Security as GH. But in GLA#2 it seemed to me that Doug worked for them as himself as a scientist, being GH in his spare time.
There will be more Grasshoppers, starting with the Deadpool/GLI Summer Fun Spectacular.

This issue continues the GLA tradition of somebody dying each time, but whether it's Grasshopper II or Doorman's dad that counts here I don't know.

What happens to our team next?
Squirrel Girl has a solo tale (with cameos by Tippy-Toe, Flatman and Mr Immortal, written by Fabian Nicieza) in I (Heart) Marvel: Masked Intentions where she has a crush on Speedball (while he's part of the version of New Warriors who have a TV Show, and obviously before the NW cause villain Nitro to explode and ignite the superhero Civil War) and she 'saves' him from his foe the Bug-Eyed Voice.
Then the whole team have a small part in Thing v2#8 (written by our and GLA's  Dan Slott) where Flatman wins the Superhero Poker Tournament but they get forbidden to call themselves Great Lakes X-Men or GL Defenders and instead settle on GL Champions. (They were only welcome to the party because SG had helped Thing fight the Bi-Beast earlier that day.)
Then the GLC meet Deadpool again in the 1st half of Cable & DP #30 (by Fabian Nicieza again) during Civil War. 'Pool wants to become a bounty hunter for the Superhero Registration and tries to impress them by capturing the GLC, ignoring their claims to have already registered. Anyway *they* defeat *him* and deliver him to the authorities, who offer him the job he wanted and give him a list of *real* resisters to hunt.
And that leads us to the post-Civil War Deadpool/GLI Summer Fun Spectacular (co-written by Slott & Nicieza) where the team have changed their name again to the GL Initiative.

This is Deathurge's last known app.

Dr Tannenbaum will be back for a cameo in the DGSFS.

Dum Dum Dugan was last in the Wolverine: Origins series and will next show up in Black Panther v4#16 before also cameoing in Thing #8.

Killer Shrike is here between Nick Fury's Secret War and Thunderbolts #107-108.

MODOK is here between apps in Fall Of The Hulks: Alpha.

Oblivion will surface on Guardians Of The Galaxy v2#11 alongside Maelstrom from the GLA series.

Thanos is here between the end of his 1st solo series and Annihilation: Prologue.

Watcher is here between Fantastic Four #531 and a cameo in Thing v2#4.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

GLX-Mas Special #1 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This special contains 6 interlinked tales all written by Dan Slott plus an extra 1-page 'gift'. The stories all take place on the same Christmas Eve (and a few minutes into the next morning).

Story 1:- Eggnog, toilet paper, and peace on Earth
Artist Matt Haley.

Squirrel Girl opens the story as in the issues of the preceding Great Lakes Avengers mini-series by addressing the 'audience' on a stage in front of a curtain with her new she-squirrel pal Tippy-Toe. She gives the usual warning about unsettling content. And she also explains that the Great Lakes Avengers, now-renamed Great Lakes X-Men, won't be wearing the X-parody costumes they had on the last page of GLA#4 because they discovered they were all designed by their nemesis/would-be member Leather Boy.

Doorman pops his head *through* the curtain to ask her go to the store for eggnog and toilet paper before their Xmas Eve party. Donning flying goggles (Tippy-Toe too) and a scarf Flatman knitted for her (which looks like him in his elongated form) they dash out to the Squirrel-A-Gig autogyro which Big Bertha bought SG as a Secret Santa present (with money from her modelling career). It seems Tippy-Toe is Bertha's SS but she's not saying what she got for her.

But on the way they spot SHIELD battling AIM on the shore of Lake Michigan and they drop down to help. The SHIELD team leader is glad to see them, and Doreen Green recognises him as Dum Dum Dugan from her Iron Man Vs battle cards. He tells her that the bad guys are raiding a secret base in the lake which SG realises is that of Maelstrom (who the GLA fought in their mini-series), and she tells *him* that the base contains stuff that could destroy the universe. But DDD is more worried about AIM's boss MODOK who at this moment rises from the water.

SHIELD provide covering fire while the squirrelly duo go into action. Squirrel Girl throws Tippy-Toe in a fuzzball special (so-named to avoid infringing on Colossus and Wolverine's fastball special) which results in TT clamping teeth on MODOK's nose. The giant-headed villain's arms and guns can't get at the attacker, and SG uses her squirrel-agility to avoid gun blasts and join in. Tippy finds a way in to Modok's hovering battle-chair and gnaws at wiring while Doreen mashes nuts into exposed circuits. The final result is Big M powerless on his back, and SHIELD take him away.

Dum Dum shows SG SHIELD recording of her taking down threats like Mandarin, Dr Doom and Giganto and offers her a job as a SHIELD Agent. But she politely declines because she's with the GLA/X. She returns to HQ with the eggnog but forgot the toilet paper so she has to go out again. This time she and Tippy see a crashing spaceship from which emerges Thanos with a device he calls the pyramatrix. He proclaims that he'll use it to absorb the life-force of the global population, and then use *that* to take over the universe. Our duo spring forward to stop him ...

Story 2:- Days of X-Mas past
Pencils Georges Jeanty. Inks Drew Geraci. Colours Larry Molinar.

While Squirrel Girl and Tippy-Toe  are out the 2nd time the rest of GLX are decorating the HQ and preparing for the Christmas Eve party. Mr Immortal is still grieving for Dinah Soar (killed in GLA#1) and has even hung up an Xmas stocking for her. Suddenly a voice comes from the trophy head of the Giant Robot Snowman, and it's Dr Tannenbaum threatening to destroy Xmas for the city of Muskego again, and he tells them where he is. Leaving a not for Doreen they head for the Topps X-Mas tree grotto where they find him holding the owner Sarah Topps prisoner while evil sentient christmas trees rampage. Ms Topps warns them that he's lured them into a trap while other trees menace the rest of Muskego. Even holly, mistletoe and wreaths are alive, and a wreath strangles Mr I. As he falls unconscious he remembers past Xmas's.

4 years ago Craig Hollis was visiting the grave of his wife Terri O'Doughan when Dinah Soar joined him. Like everyone else he couldn't understand what she was saying but tried to politely tell her to leave him with his grief. But then he relents and admits that having her and the rest of the GLA around will help him get through Christmas and he hands he his Secret Santa gift, a penny-whistle that might help her communicate. But then she actually says "Thank you". She explains that her kind are almost immortal but they can only bond with 1 mortal in their lifetime, and she has now chosen him which is why he can understand her.

3 years ago they're having an Xmas party including their GLA's mentors Hawkeye and Mockingbird (from the days when the team were appearing in the Avengers West Coast series). Leather Boy (from a GLA#1 flashback to the team's formation) is there too but Flatman asks him to leave. Deadpool is also there (for some inexplicable reason). Craig is explaining to Dinah that the other reindeer didn't like Rudolph because his red nose made him different.

2 years ago there's another party where Dinah is explaining that her kind ignore dreams while Craig says humans think they're messages from the subconscious. Doreen Green appears to be there (for some other inexplicable reason, but then 2 other people at the party appear to be Princess Leia and the Tom Baker Dr Who).

1 year ago Dinah asks Craig to explain mistletoe. The explanation leads Flatman finding them in a compromising state when he calls the team together to deal with the 1st attack by Dr Tannenbaum in Muskego. The Dr isn't actually there but his Giant Robot Snowman fires candycane missiles, some of which (temporarily) kill Mr I (but no-one else of course).

In the present Mr I recovers from the wreath strangling only for a tree to send him flying into someone's apartment. Where he notices that they have a Topps tree which is sitting quietly and he deduces that it's because of the weight of decorations. Armed with loads of the stuff he gets his team to drape rampant trees until they too fall still. Tannenbaum gloats that they haven't got enough for all the trees in the grotto. But Ms Topps directs Mr I to a flocking machine (for spraying artificial snow?) and he starts spraying the trees and also DrT saying "Flock you!" (which inappropriate language Squirrel Girl warned us about on p1).

That threat is over so we nip over to check that SG and Tippy-Toe have dealt with Thanos (from story #1). Uatu the Watcher is there to congratulate them on saving the multiverse, and confirm that it *is* the real Thanos.

Back in Muskego Mr Immortal talks to a TV reporter and warns people to keep all their Xmas trees heavily loaded until say March to be safe. Sarah Topps congratulates him with a kiss on the cheek and asks for a date but he puts her off (and we never see her again). Then we see the reason for his action as he visits Dinah's grave and plays the penny-whistle to her.

Story 3:- Getting off on the right foot
Pencils & inks Ty Templeton. Colours Wil Quintana.

Killer Shrike used to work for Roxxon so he knows they let their own security guards have Christmas off. So (still on Xmas Eve) he tries to steal Project Z, expecting to face easier rent-a-cops, but he's stopped by Grasshopper who doesn't celebrate Christmas because he's Jewish. The rent-a-cops take the villain away and GH is  congratulated by scientist Cindy Shelton who knows the hero from before but senses something different about him now. We learn from his thoughts that he's not the original wearer of the suit, Doug Taggert who died in GLA#2, but Neil Shelton her long-lost brother. When she asks him for a date he rapidly jets away on maximum thrust.

Neil is happy with his life, and an editorial comment suggests we'll see much more of the ever-gregarious Grasshopper ...

Story 4:- Working holiday
Pencils & inks Paul Grist. Colours Laura Allred.

The GLX are exchanging Secret Santa gifts. Flatman gives Mr Immortal a Star Trek Red Shirt (alluding to the idea that the redshirt crew members only exist to get killed) and we discover that Tippy-Toe's present to Big Bertha is a necklace of acorns. Squirrel Girl asks Doorman if he's doing anything for Christmas Eve and DeMarr says he's going to see his dad. The others look concerned and Bertha offers to turn back into super-model Ashley Crawford who would impress his dad if he took *her* home. Doorman reverts to DeMarr Davis and says it's something he has to handle himself.

At his father's house he sees it festooned with Xmas lights and stuff, but inside there's no sign of decoration. He finds his dad sitting alone watching TV, who confirms that he just did the outside stuff to outdo his neighbour. He also admits that he saw the GLX fighting evil christmas trees on the news, but still wishes his son would get a *real* job. DeMarr says he helped save the universe in the summer (GLA#4) but that wasn't on TV. He also blurts out that he died then but his dad doesn't register it and just complains that Doorman's super-power is rubbish compared to all the other superdoers.

DeMarr goes to the bathroom and thinks about telling his father that he *did* die then and is now an angel of death. And as he does so his costume reappears and he knows he's needed elsewhere. Zooming out with the white cloak and flying skis he 'inherited' (from Deathurge) with the job, he makes 3 soul collection stops:- 1st to a depressed man who's hung himself. 2nd to a man who 'only had 1 drink' at a party and fatally crashed his car. 3rd to the 2nd Grasshopper who didn't realise that maximum thrust would take him into space and hadn't known how to get back to Earth. On the way back home he meets Santa Claus who says he hasn't got anything that would cheer his father up.

Back on the ground Mr Davis has followed his son to the bathroom and found him gone. He sees him outside at the back and goes there to continue harassing him about his life choices. DeMarr finally does tell him about his new job as an angel of death, but says he's here to collect *his* soul. He points to dad's body at the bottom of a ladder, his feet tangled up in christmas lights. He says he's been putting it off hoping that they could reconcile before he went. And his father is at last impressed at his current job and intends to boast about it to his dead relatives, but as they go he asks how much the job pays.

Story 5:- Squirrel-on-squirrel action
Pencils & inks Mike Kazaleh. Colours Bill Crabtree.

Squirrel Girl's previous squirrel sidekick Monkey Joe died in GLA#3 and Oblivion sent Deathurge in squirrel form in GLA#4 to collect his soul. But Mr Immortal captured him to learn why D'urge has been 'tormenting' him since birth, and DU has been stuck like that since.

Now he calls on Oblivion for an explanation. The abstract entity grumpily responds that it's a punishment for failing to get MJ's soul and allowing him to find his own way into the afterlife. (He doesn't mention that he's since replaced him with Doorman.) Deathurge offers to get Tippy-Toe's soul instead, and because it's Christmas Oblivion agrees, but he only has the last 8 minutes of Christmas Eve to do it in.

Meanwhile SG gets a call from Dum Dum Dugan of SHIELD to help defeat Terrax. She and TT have already beaten MODOK and Thanos today she lets Tippy have a rest and goes alone, asking Mr Immortal to keep an eye on her.

Tippy-Toe finds a plug out of its socket and follows the lead to a room full of deadly traps, but she's mostly interested in the blender (connected to the plug) full of what a sign declares are free acorns. Deathurge plugs the plug in but Mr I rushes into the room and scolds TT for trying to make an acorn smoothie again because it's not good for the machine. However the blender's already in action and attacks his hand. D'urge (but not we) sees the man lurch from the blender into a bear trap and set off a cannon, a chainsaw, hissing beetles, land piranha and an angry ferret. Mr I comes running out (and his hair's on fire and he's got a spear though his chest and a snake round his neck). He seems to have set off every trap, but DU doesn't know where the snake came from.

Then Deathurge hears a tugging  and sees Tippy-Toe pulling a suspended acorn attached to a crossbow. As the seconds tick down to midnight TT finally unleashes the crossbow bolt. But a cuckoo clock (an SS present from SG to Mr I) starts to chime and the wooden cuckoo springs out to get pierced by the bolt. Oblivion turns up again and doesn't accept a 'dead' wooden cuckoo. He ignores DU's pleas and leaves him stuck as a squirrel. But Tippy offers him the acorn as a christmas present. D'Urge takes it and thinks this life may not be so bad. However we see Tippy light the string trailing from the gift like a fuse, with a "Tee-hee".

Story 6:- Seasons greetings from the GLX
Pencils & inks Ty Templeton. Colours Wil Quintana.

In the early minutes of Christmas Day Squirrel Girl returns from her SHIELD mission and is reunited with Tippy-Toe (who for some reason is portrayed a featureless jet black like Deathurge but without the white cape, gloves and boots). Doorman gives her a present. It's a Doorman cap which she gratefully adds to her Flatman scarf. Mr Immortal spots a shooting star, but angel of death Doorman doesn't tell them he can sense it's the corpse of Grasshopper II burning up as it falls to Earth.

The team wave goodbye to us as the squirrel-Deathurge makes another (now futile) attempt on TT's life. And in the background are guest-stars Dum Dum Dugan (in a SHIELD flying car), Santa Claus and the Watcher.

Bonus page:- Flatman's special gift to you
Pencils Mike Wieringo. Inks Karl Kessel. Colours Wil Quintana.

Front and back views of the 2D Flatman which can be cut out and glued together to form  an action figure with infinite points of articulation. It come with 3 action phrases that *you* can say:- "Let's go team", "That's Flat-tacular" and "I'm not Mr Fantastic".

In an editorial 'caption' Tippy-Toe reminds you to get your parents' permission before using scissors, while in the background Mr I has their giant scissors trophy (see GLA#1) stuck through his body *again* (see GLA#3).

Paul Pelletier (Cover Penciler)
Rick Magyar (Cover Inker)
Wil Quintana (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Dave Lanphear.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: Joe Quesada.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.



Plus: Big Bertha, Deathurge, Doorman, Dr Tannenbaum, Flatman, Great Lakes Avengers, Killer Shrike, Mr Immortal, Oblivion, Squirrel Girl.

> GLX-Mas Special: Book info and issue index

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