Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Naughty Avengers!

One Christmas, a young and gifted engineer named Virgie Hanlon was spending the holidays in her lab, putting the final touches on a project that was more than likely inspired by an incident that occurred when she was just eight years old. Virgie has grown to be capable and reasonably stable, yet also alone and isolated; and as the narrative of her story suggests, she might succeed one day in shaking off her doldrums on her own and moving on with her life. But for now, as we'll see, her talents will inadvertently unleash a very great danger in the midst of a season of joy.

Yikes! It looks like the Avengers are about to get their stockings stuffed!

Unaware of what's scouring the chimneys for them, the naughty mighty Avengers are celebrating Christmas at the sanctum sanctorum of Dr. Strange--not what you would normally call a festive environment for a holiday party, but decorations work wonders, and the sorcerer remains a gracious host though obviously mindful of certain artifacts remaining as they are.

It's 2005, and Christmas happens to be the calm before the storm for these revelers, with the events of Civil War waiting in the wings to rip these friends apart and throw a dark cloud over Marvel stories for the next few years. Maybe our deranged Santa should be looking to put the hurt on Mark Millar, instead. For now, though, we find the Avengers celebrating not only the holidays but also their new lineups--and in their current state, full of possibilities, their assembly makes for a happy and hopeful Christmas story for any year.

Thanks to some strategically placed mistletoe, we see there are a few guests who are happier than others, at least until their little scheme is busted.

But while Iron Man and Yellowjacket lick their well-deserved wounds, who's been giving that doorbell a workout? That would be poor Greg Willis--a/k/a the new hero known as Gravity, whose attendance at the get-together was apparently not made known to either the host or to most of the guests.

And though Dr. Strange does his best, sometimes his desire to be accommodating to all beliefs doesn't quite take everything into account. For instance, even the most learned sorcerer can still take a wrong turn on a few traditions.

As for our metallic Santa, he's methodically eliminating the possible locations of the Avengers this evening and getting closer to his targets. Unfortunately, that's not all he's been eliminating.

It's around this time that Gravity catches a lucky break--and he's finally warmly greeted inside and gets to rub elbows with those who have inspired his way of life.

Which brings us to around the same time that Jessica Drew has taught a lesson to her mistletoe nemeses, as everyone turns to find a new guest in their midst.  Gravity's arrival is fortuitous, indeed--because Virgie has proven to have a knack for scavenging spare parts, since her "Santa Claus" will reveal itself to be one of the Avengers' deadliest enemies.

Good grief! "Santron" definitely has its own ideas on how St. Nick's protocols should be interpreted. But will this offshoot of Ultron-6 wreck the Christmas spirit for the assembled guests and their families? Thanks to Virgie, whose programming has obviously set the tone (if not the intent) for Santron's modus operandi, there's one way to halt this murderer's rampage--and Spider-Man, reasoning from the hip, has correctly guessed what it is.

The only loose end in this story is Virgie, who in her current state of mind is no doubt devastated to see her efforts end in failure and perhaps even the death of the Avengers. It seems that, for her, the door has shut forever on the possibility of moving on in her life; but there are miracles to be found in this season, as well as those who simply reach out to help those in need.

And we couldn't have said it better!

Happy Holidays


Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas, Comicsfan :)

Jman said...

Merry Christmas! Just curious what comic was this story from? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Ah, the exploding cookie maneuver.
See, this is why I would have made a lousy super-villain. They would have gotten me right away with a booby-trapped pastry.

By Odin's beard, let the clarion call ring forth! May a happy holiday season be had by all my fellow Marvel Maniacs at PPoC! I have spoken!


Comicsfan said...

Thanks for the nice wishes, guys! Jman, this story is from the 2005 Marvel Holiday Special.