20th Feb2018

‘X-Men: Red #1’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Written by Tom Taylor | Art by Mahmud A. Asrar


Marvel has been chipping away at their X-Men titles hoping something will stick. Every time there seems to be some progress there will be a stumble and we will be back to where we started. Both X-Men: Blue and Gold have had their moments but neither felt like a major move forward for the X-Men brand. Gold lacks an identity of its own and Blue keeps getting stymied with major crossovers. Oddly enough the book that almost came out of no where may end up being the best of the bunch.

X-Men: Red picks up right after the events of Phoenix Resurrection. Adult Jean Grey is back alive and free of the powerful force known as the phoenix. She has awoken to a world that is more torn apart than the one she left. Where mutants are as feared as ever and without a leader to show them the way. This propels her to develop a plan and seek assistance from many others in order to continue the dream her mentor Charles Xavier started.

Tom Taylor is not reinventing the wheel here. He is just replacing a tire than has long been flat and worn down. Others have come along and set a patch or two as of late,. Taylor though is not content with just fixing another hole. He is making Jean Grey into the figure she needs to be if she is going to lead this book.

First issues of team books tend to bring us all those band getting together moments. When characters find themselves in unexpected encounters leading to a new team forming. Here every encounter is purposeful. Jean is on a mission and watching that missing unfold was quite enthralling. We see her reach out to some unexpected individuals including the king of Wakanda and Namor the ruler of Atlantis. When it is revealed why she did what she did it shows she has a better understanding on how to get things done than most who were in her position prior. In true X-Men fashion it will not work out as planned, but at least an effort was made.

Taylor takes time to have some key character moments as well. Seeing Jean and Nightcrawler converse was probably the best part of the issue. There was a level of beauty watching two longtime friends come togther to share a moment of hope in a world absent of it. Moments like that are what make X-Men who they are.

When X-Men: Red was announced it seemed like an afterthought. An odd name for random group of characters that do not automatically go together. If this is any indication this could end up being the best series of the current X-Men line. For the first time in a while the future is bright for the children of the atom.

**** 4/5


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