Review: X-Men Annual #5

X-Men Annual #5 cover
Cover by Brent Anderson

X-Men Annual #5
Published and © by Marvel, 1981

Title: “Ou, La La – Badoon!”
Synopsis: When the Badoon subjugate Arkon’s world and kidnap three-fourths of the Fantastic Four, it’s the X-Men to the rescue.

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Brent Anderson
Inker: Bob McLeod

Review: X-Men Annual #3 (see review) set the bar high for subsequent annual outings, and this one – a direct sequel of sorts – falls a bit short. Once again, writer Chris Claremont’s greatest strength is his intricate, serial plotting, which doesn’t always serve the done-in-one nature of the annual format. Plot lines and characterization from the main series do spill over, offering a familiar tone. But Claremont’s handling of guest stars Akron and, particularly, the Invisible Girl fall flat. Then-relative-newcomer Brent Anderson provides some nice art, though his storytelling isn’t quite on par with his rendering. On whole, a solid issue.

Grade: B

Second opinion: “An outstanding comic.” –  Michael E. Krupp, Comic Effect #24, Fall 1999

Cool factor: As is often the case with Chris Claremont’s work, the quiet, character-driven scenes offer some of this issue’s best moments.
Not-so-cool factor: Seriously, what’s up with Claremont’s treatment of the Invisible Girl here? For a writer known for his strong female characters, it’s pretty atrocious.

Character quotable: “This is war, pal, an’ I’m a soldier. The Badoon are the enemy. I’m gonna show them the same mercy they’d show me.” – Wolverine, clear with his intentions

Editor’s note: This review was written April 10, 2023.

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