Marring The Name: X-Men Red # 1 (Review)

Apr 4, 2022


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X-Men Red # 1 Cover

Who do you think you are and how do you feel others see you? What are you doing with your life? These are some questions each member of the soon-to-be-named team have to confront before the end of X-Men Red # 1. This first issue establishes the characters and conflicts well, which are numerous and only grow by the issues conclusion. Ewing does a fantastic job giving each team member a healthy amount of pages in this issue, which can be hard with so many “healthy” egos. But it’s the cover and the three(?) individuals featured, representing only a fraction of this title’s cast, that may indicate the more important matter to sort out first? Not just who leads Mars, but how and to where?

X-Men Red # 1
“The Broken Land”

Marvel Comics

Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Stefano Caselli
Color Artist: Federico Blee
Letterer & Production: VC’s Ariana Maher

This issue opens with a scene that takes place before the Hellfire Gala/X of Swords tournament. It amazes me how so much still ties back to that event. And with only weeks before it happens again, what can we expect this year I wonder? For now we get to see the battle between Storm and Nameless for a seat on the Great Ring. Stefano Casselli really emphasizes this “face-off”, as Ororo battles herself, with small variations pointing out Storm from Nameless. The emotions on both faces reminds me of Ro’s first battle against Callisto. Adding to this scene is Federico Blee’s coloring ability which shows up as the battle changes from storm to blizzard until eventually Ororo claims her seat. Now it is a matter of reining in the impulses of her fellow council members. And a few of her own?

Readers get to witness changes to Magneto’s wardrobe, white/grey would not work on Mars, and self worth. While on Krakoa and serving on the Quiet Council there was a hint of the old monarch. But now he is almost “frozen”, even acting in line with the film by seeking to isolate himself from failure. This is not the first time round for Magneto in terms of redemption. I wonder though if this time will break the cycle.

Did You See That Hit

When they announced his return, my question was why? I mean don’t get me wrong bring every mutant back but talk about redundancy. His kid brother was upholding the family name, even opting to use the same code name for a while. Still, all it took was this standout scene to establish his presence. Since the last appearances of him were as a former servant of Apocalypse and a zombie slave to Selene, it’s nice to see some life in him. Oh and Cable, you got jokes? You just got back. Mind your tongue and pick your uncle up off the floor. Or pull out that fast pass.

Rounding out the roster was the mouth that started the fight. After the initial issues of New Mutants, Roberto hasn’t looked back to Earth. That doesn’t mean he isn’t looking for a purpose, though his focus seems more on his savings and less on doing the saving. But being a landlord and disco owner on Mars seems like a waste for this former leader. And while I hate that the buddy show has ended, I was beginning to wonder if we would ever see Bobby without Sam. I felt there was a missed opportunity for a seat on the Quiet Council (I feel the other Bobby deserved a shot as well). If ever there is a chance to see Bobby grow up, at least as an X-Man, it may occur in the pages of this comic.

By the issues end a new hero team has been created. The name chosen isn’t a bad name, even though it is a bad name (X-Offices are you sparing Stacy and Stifler’s moms the reminder?). This team will need to exhibit the definition of it’s name if they hope to overcome their challenges and challengers. Those that live by the sword (the Arakki) and it appears even members of S.W.O.R.D are looking to take control of a new world. A world which like Earth fears and hates their presence.

New team, same mission.

Score: 9.2