Review: X-Men #94

X-Men #94 cover
Cover by Gil Kane and Dave Cockrum

X-Men #94
Published and © by Marvel, August 1975

Title: “The Doomsmith Scenario!”
Synopsis: When Count Nefaria and his Ani-Men take over NORAD, Cyclops and the new X-Men race to save the day.

Writer (plot): Len Wein
Writer (script): Chris Claremont
Penciler: Dave Cockrum
Inker: Bob McLeod

Review: For their first monthly adventure, Marvel’s “all-new, all-different” mutants welcome Chris Claremont to the creative team. The legendary X-scribe would quickly settle into his 17-year run but this initial effort is a bit strained. The characters’ banter often reads mean and Professor X regularly undercuts Cyclops ability to lead. Add in subpar foes (yes, the frog-themed villain is really named Croaker) and this story falls short of the team’s strong debut in Giant-Size X-Men #1 (see review). Dave Cockrum’s art remains strong, though inker Bob McLeod’s softer line isn’t ideal here. Still, an above average superhero book for its time.

Grade: B

Second opinion: “Cockrum’s unassuming art style … gave a veneer of excitement to the X-series and was in no small part the reason for the book’s eventual success.” – Pierre Comtois, “Marvel Comics in the 1970s: An Issue By Issue Field Guide to a Pop Culture Phenomenon,” 2011

Cool factor: With few exceptions, X-Men had rarely matched the energy or excitement of this new lineup. This series bristles with potential
Not-so-cool factor: Did you read that part about Croaker?

Notable: According to Chris Claremont, X-Men #94 and #95 were originally intended to be Giant-Size X-Men #2.
Collector’s note: According to MyComicShop.com, there is a Mark Jewelers variant of this issue.

Character quotable: “Just do us all a favor, and spare us the soap opera, huh?” – Wolverine, clearly not aware of what he was getting himself into

A word from the writer: “How did I feel at the assignment? Excited. Happy. Eager. I was working on characters that looked intensely cool, with an artist whose work I’d admired ever since his stint on DC’s Legion of Super-Heroes. It was my first legitimate superhero series.” – Chris Claremont, talking about taking over the X-Men, on “Simple Survival,” a 1993 essay published in “Uncanny X-Men Omnibus Vol. 1,” 2006

Editor’s note: This review was written Dec. 28, 2020.

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