The Creators – Tom Taylor – Writer, Mahmud Asrar – Artist, Ive Svorcina – Colours, VC’s Cory Petit – Letters
The Players – Jean Grey, Nightcrawler, Namor, Wolverine (X-23), Honey Badger, Black Panther, Gentle, Trinary
The Story – Jean Grey is back from the dead and wants to heal the world of all that ails it. Easier said than done.
The Take – Spinning out of Phoenix Resurrection is the third colour-coded X-Men title and with one issue, it is already better than Gold and Blue. It is not just the writing by Tom Taylor that makes it so or the artwork by Mahmud Asrar that puts it on top, but a combination of both coupled with a unique team and an even more intriguing mission. Despite being fresh from the grave and forgoing a little time off to get her bearings so to speak, Jean has decided that there is no rest for the weary and she is eager to jump back into the fight for mutant equality. She discovers that mutants have it worse than ever before, that there has been no progress on Xavier’s dream and so sets about at coming to a solution, albeit with a little help. Nice to see is Taylor bringing Namor back into the X-Men fold, for as much as he is the quintessential loner much like Logan, he always brings a something to the table when he is forced to work with others and it always makes for a good read. Also having a small cameo in the book is the Black Panther and a dastardly villain from the past which is sure to cause Jean and the rest of the team no small amount of grief and hardship. While this book does seem to push the X-Men forward more so than its counterparts, at least for the moment, it still manages to feature some of those classic aspects which grounds it in that X-Men mythology – persecution, mistrust, teamwork and family just to name a few. It looks and feels like an X-book, but it also feels fresh and with so many other mutant books on the stands, it does set itself apart, if only slightly. Asrar turns out to be the perfect fit for the book as well, the man’s artistic style making the book feel current instead of a throwback to titles gone by. With all of this, X-Men: Red is off to a strong start as it sets up a direction for our heroine and her new teammates, introduces conflict and brings in that aforementioned villain which is sure to please readers – especially once good guys and bad come into contact. There are some questions that will eventually need to be answered, if at all, like Jean’s mental state now that she is back among the living, will Cyclops stay dead or could he return and just how will she gel with the rest of the mutants when she finally gets a chance to get together with them. There is definitely a lot to look forward to.
Worth It? – Yes