X-Men Annual #1 Radiant

X-Men Annual #1 Review – Firestar Spotlight Shines

The X-Men series never got a chance to build up the chemistry of the new X-Men roster post-Hellfire Gala because of the franchise’s involvement in the AXE: Judgment Day event directly after. Finally now that the latest Marvel event is over we’ve seen Gerry Duggan have time to develop the chemistry between the new X-Men roster. But one character that hasn’t gotten a chance to be developed yet is Firestar. While being a mutant Firestar has been more tied to the Avengers and Spider-Man than she has the X-Men throughout her career. And we see that even though she has now joined the X-Men she is still not all in on being part of Krakoa because of her past experience as part of Emma Frost’s original Hellions. Now with the latest X-Men Annual by Steve Fox and Andrea Di Vito we are going to see a bit more of a spotlight on Firestar. Will this story be what the character has needed to be all in on being an X-Men and part of Krakoa? Let’s find out with X-Men Annual #1.


Writer: Steve Foxe

Artist: Andrea Di Vito

Colorist: Sebastian Cheng

Letterer: Clayton Cowles


After a rough run-in at the bar with the Hellions, Firestar goes with Iceman to meet the rest of the X-Men for the latest team debriefing.

At The Treehouse, Forge goes over all of the reported villain attacks. One of them includes a problem with the Krakoan drug shipments at a cancer ward in Florida. Firestar says they should not leave that up to Hellfire Trading and handle it themselves. Cyclops agrees and says he will go with her while the rest of the team deals with the other villain attacks.

Before going on their missions Cyclops talks with Jean Grey about how he wants to see what Firestar finally taking the initiative for the first time since joining the X-Men means.

Scott Summers & Jean Grey Discuss Firestar Status
Scott Summers tells Jean Grey why he chooses to partner on a mission with Firestar in X-Men Annual #1. Credit: Marvel Comics

Magik drops Cyclops and Firestar off in Kissimmee, Florida, which is in the middle of a tropical storm. When going to the cancer ward Cyclops and Firestar learn that there was no issue with the shipment of Krakoan drugs but rather someone attacked a staff member in order to steal the drugs meant for patients.

While Cyclops and Firestar investigate what happens we see the X-Men taking on the Harrower villain group in Manila, Bi-Beast in Vancouver, Mojo’s latest scheme in the Mojoverse, and teaming up with Spider-Man (Miles Morales) to stop Brainchild’s attack on New York.

Back in Kissimmee, Firestar spots Whirlwind and takes him on knowing he is the one that stole the Krakoan drugs while Cyclops gets people to shelter. Once the people in the hospital are safe Cyclops helps Firestar defeat Whirlwind.

Whirlwind then reveals he already started a timer to a bomb inside the hospital. Acting quickly Firestar uses her powers to find the bomb and disarm it.

After then stopping a militia group using Sentinels in Plainfield, Michigan the X-Men go to the bar on Krakoa to get drinks. There Firestar makes peace with the Hellions and they all drink and have fun together. End of issue.


The 2022 X-Men Annual #1 is not necessarily Angelica Jones being all-in on being an X-Men or a resident of Krakoa. This is more about Angelica making steps to get to that point as even when this is over there are signs of hesitation. But with how Angelica became part of the X-Men these steps are huge as she arguably made the most important ones now that she is a full-time member of the team.

Bringing in the Hellions to represent how there are mutants that don’t buy Angelica wants to be on Krakoa was a smart way to work into why Angelica is so hesitant being a full-time X-Men. There are scars from what Emma Frost did during her original training to control her powers that have not gone away. Andrea Di Vito’s artwork throughout X-Men Annual #1 does a great job at showing how this still weighs heavily on Angelica. Even when she is fighting villains as Firestar there is this history in the back of Angelica’s mind that keeps her from being fully bought into being an X-Men.

That history along with how even though her cancer went into remission the pain of that is also not out of her mind. Steve Foxe does a good job at using all this history to show why Firestar would take the initiative in making sure the team did not ignore the hospital for more traditional superhero missions. This led more into how she is starting to open herself up to her X-Men teammates as she talks openly about her cancer to Cyclops. It wasn’t a long conversation, but it was definitely more than what we’ve seen from Angelica in her time with the X-Men.

Cyclops being the one that went on this mission with Firestar was also a smart move. We see that Cyclops is well aware that Firestar is still not all in on being a member of the X-Men. It’s a good sign as a leader that Cyclops would want to support Firestar the first time she shows initiative rather than just going with whatever orders she is given. As he tells Jean Grey, he doesn’t want Firestar or the others to just view him like the X-Men’s Captain America. While he and Captain America are equals as leaders in the Marvel Universe the way they go about their relationships with their teammates is what sets them apart from one another.

The one missed opportunity when it came to Firestar’s arc in X-Men Annual #1 is following up on Tony Stark telling Angelica to report anything she thinks should be looked at after the Hellfire Gala ended. That was a major moment that does play into how Firestar has always been more aligned with the Avengers than the X-Men. Tony saying this to her, in particular, would likely be something that would add to how she has been acting since becoming an X-Men. Showing hints of that would’ve added to how she felt with knowing that the X-Men leader is the one that went on this mission rather than Iceman.

X-Men vs Baby Zombie X-Men
Mojo unleashes his Baby Zombie X-Men to take on the X-Men in the Mojoverse in X-Men Annual #1. Credit: Marvel Comics

At the same time, it was good that through this mission with Cyclops and the fight against Whirlwind that we are seeing Firestar come around. That growth shows with what is an in-your-face ending of Firestar making up with the Hellions. While an obvious full-circle development what made it work is that Firestar is showing more honesty with others on Krakoa. That honesty is shown to be what touched the Hellions more as she had been so standoffish up to this point.

Mixing in the more traditional superhero adventures the rest of the X-Men dealt with was well done to keep the story moving forward. Foxe and Vito handled the transitions between Cyclops and Firestar’s mission with the other X-Men. And really it is just fun seeing a superhero team on these adventures where they are simply saving the day from the latest villain plots. It further emphasizes how the X-Men are not just concerned about Krakoa matters and are a superhero team like the Avengers and Justice League.

The addition of a random Miles Morales Spider-Man team-up was also a nice surprise. Even though it was quick Miles showed he had good chemistry with the X-Men that you are left hoping they team up again. Even the slight dig at Peter Parker’s Spider-Man was handled well to be funny rather than mean-spirited.

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Firestar finally gets much-needed development with X-Men Annual #1. Given Firestar’s history with the X-Men her addition to the core team was questionable from the moment it was announced. More character development like she received in X-Men Annual #1 will go a long way in making Firestar not be an outsider as an X-Men or resident of Krakoa. Mixing in some good superhero action further helped make the story of Steve Foxe and Andrea Di Vito something all X-Men fans should check out.

Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10