Storm before the backdrop of Arakko, the setting of X-Men Red.

X-Men Red #1 Review

Written by: Al Ewing

Art by: Stefano Caselli

Coloring by: Federico Blee

Lettering by: VC’s Ariana Maher

Magneto, Storm, and Sunspot stand together as they start the new Brotherhood on Arakko in X-Men Red.
Meet the new Brotherhood.

I spent the whole day waiting to read X-Men Red, checking Twitter. What I found on Twitter were people ranting and raving about how good this issue was. They weren’t kidding. X-Men Red positions itself as a series that will rival the main X-Men book in importance. It’s the X-team that tackles equally important problems as the main team. This harkens back to the days of Chris Claremont’s X-Men Blue and X-Men Gold. Funnily enough, both have Cyclops and Storm leading the two teams. This feels intentional which cements how much the X-office respects X-Men legacy.

If you want a book that has a roster of X-Men unlike any other, this is it. If you want a book that pushes the story forward, without a questionable main character, this is it. Most importantly, if you want a book that will remind you just why Storm is badest X-Man to ever live, the last page will remind you why.

There’s so much going on with this book’s plot. It’s capitalizing on things built up with Vulcan from Hickman’s X-Men, Abigail Brand from S.W.O.R.D., Sunspot from New Mutants, and even Thunderbird from Uncanny X-Men #95 from decades before I was born. As I read it, all I could think was how this book wields continuity like a weapon. It feels very Arakkii like that. Like Immortal X-Men from last week, this series feels like its going to tread new ground that X-Men hasn’t before.

Storm is rocking the mohawk again in new duds for X-Men Red.
Storm has some awesome new duds.

Again, this is not to say that the recent X-books haven’t been my favorite of all time, but some of them have felt very slice of life. Slice of life is good, but they’re only great when you have books where shenanigans, melodrama, and big-brain mutant politics are also going on. Abigail Brand, who feels set to be the villain, is perfect for setting up a conflict beyond punching and mutant vs human conflict. Mutants have to contend with each other outside of world-ending threats, and it feels more personal.

This is one of those issues that has so much going underneath the surface, that it would be cruel to spoil it. It would also be incredibly difficult for someone who can’t think very deeply after the 9-5 workday. Just consider this, this is the second X-Men book to come out in two weeks that feels like it could be the only book you read all year, and leave you satisfied. It’s that good. What do you think of the X-Books that have launched with Destiny of X? With X-Men Red, the relaunch is two for two for me.

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