Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Mahmud Asrar
Jean Grey is back, and she has a plan.
Jean has been gone for a long time, and although she doesn’t recognize the world that she has returned to, she isn’t wasting time trying to make it better for everyone. She has a plan, but of course, it wouldn’t be an X-Men book without a long thought dead villain pulling some strings in the background. The surprise twist at the end was shocking and well deserved. Taylor seems to have a very good grasp on the voices of each of these characters. There is a moving scene between Jean and Nightcrawler, and Taylor nails Honey Badger’s sense of youthful exuberance. It was a little bit frustrating having the team lineup shown in one panel only to have Gentle and Trinary play absolutely no part in this book. It is a continuing series though, and there is plenty of time to work them into the story.
I do like Mahmud Asrar’s art in this, I feel like it is very acceptable and look forward to seeing what he has for us down the line as well. His art evokes a sense of urgency, that we get most of all from Jean. An urgency to help where she can and Asrar is very capable of conveying this in the entire issue.
X-Men Red #1 takes the same old mutant metaphor, and “protecting those that hate and fear them” and breathes some new life into both ideas. I love the compassion and urgency I feel out of this book. With characters like Jean Grey, Nightcrawler, and Honey Badger, it’s hard not to emote conviction and compassion, Taylor and Asrar are able to do it masterfully.
All in all, I believe this was a great start to what I hope will be a great X-Men series. I was very intrigued by the line-up of the team when it was announced, and look forward to where Taylor will take each one of them. If you are a fan of X-Men like I am, this is probably already on your pull list. If not, I’d recommend picking it up. It fits into this groove that is different than the other X-team books out right now.