Review: X-Men Annual #6

X-Men Annual #6 cover
Cover by Bill Sienkiewicz

X-Men Annual #6
Published and © by Marvel, 1982

Title: “Blood Feud”
Synopsis: Storm falls under Dracula’s thrall once again, but what’s going on with a distraught – and seemingly murderous – Kitty Pryde?

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Bill Sienkiewicz
Inker: Bob Wiacek

Review: This sequel to Uncanny X-Men #159 (see review) suffers from the same fundamental problem that undermined the earlier story: The X-Men’s superhero-and-sci-fi world doesn’t mesh easily with Dracula’s classic brand of horror. Writer Chris Claremont still manages to get some nice character moments from this largely throw-away story; Kitty’s reaction to her parents divorce cuts hard, as does the final scene with Tomb of Dracula’s Rachel van Helsing. On the art side, Bill Sienkiewicz continues to grow more experimental, playing with xerography and color overlays. There are striking images and pages, but he’s still growing into a consistent style.

Grade: B

Second opinion: “The story is very threadbare, and the art is patchy, but the most objectionable thing about this annual is the cavalier way in which Rachel van Helsing is turned into a vampire.” – Frank Plowright, Chain Reaction #1, Winter 1982-83 … “If you’re looking for an illogical premise that reaches an absurd conclusion, look no further.” – Scott Semet, The Comics Buyer’s Guide to the X-Men (Comics Buyer’s Guide Presents), 2003 … “Above the level of Marvel’s other punch-’em-up annuals. … 3 1/2 out of 5 stars.” – Comics Coast to Coast #3, 1982

Cool factor: There are flashes of cool throughout this annual …
Not-so-cool factor: … but it doesn’t quite add up to the sum of its parts.

Notable: Death of Rachel van Helsing.
Collector’s note: According to MyComicShop.com, there is a $1.25 Canadian variant of this issue.

Character quotable: “Your will, your body, your soul, wind rider – are mine!” – Dracula, possessive sort

Editor’s note: This review was written Feb. 5, 2024.

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