Comic Book Review: X-Men: Red #5
The pieces have been put into play, but not soon enough when neither the enemy at hand or plot set into motion has been figured out by the X-Men: Red team. This truly has been a gem in the line-up of X-books when we have needed a creative team willing to remind us of what it means to fight a world full of hate, and that there is still more ways to combat a world where this exists. When what we have seen so far is only a taste, we brace ourselves each month for how the problem will escalate.
How Jean continues her crusade to fight for humans and mutants seen in this issue has been uplifting. Its not enough to say that you’re looking for equality if you don’t actually show it. That means compassion shown across the board which Tom Taylor so far understands better than most handling X-Books currently. Sure, this team for the most part is playing catch-up to whatever Cassandra Nova is doing around the world, but they are also dealing with problems that would normally be overlooked by other X-Men teams. When there is no lack of mutant problems, we need actual ears on the ground to remind readers that there is still a purpose to the X-Men’s existence, which isn’t to always fight the next sole extinction event or save a thankless world. Every life matters, which is the message I feel they are sending out through the right means as well. Jean and company are actually reaching people, and that is empowering rather than beating reason into them.
Some of the examples of mutants uprooted from their lives over the mutant hate was heartbreaking. One day where you think you might be making it, turns into the last day of that former life. Jean’s approach to helping these people was nothing short of admirable. How she matured after her revival really has made all the difference in changing what we call the mutant solution without stepping on the wrong feet.
Cassandra Nova is one heck of a X-Men villain to bring back. Most people who hate mutants and try to create more fear do so by more trivial means. Throwing money at people, hiring people to stir trouble, twisting media perception. Yet here you have Cassandra Nova who only has to get inside their heads and that’s that. Every minute that they weren’t aware of her presence or what she’s doing, that’s another mind she has already reached and preparing for something big.This of course is not ignoring the minds she has already affected to make regular people insanely hateful to the point of killing. The suspense on that end is quite killer knowing that the worst is right around the corner.
Artistically I am loving the new costumes for the team. I enjoy how unique this art team has been with a style that didn’t strip these characters of what makes them stand out. What really caught my attention this time around was what they did with the Sentinel, now called Sentinel-X. Credit where it is due that this is the first time someone has taken a sentinel and actually made it their own rather than just talk to it and make it constantly look the same. The paint job was a good touch, and how they modified the inside even better.That aside, I there has been no lack of love for the way that Jean’s powers have been used as well. They have not squandered this opportunity to show just what she is now capable of with a clear mind and nothing like the Phoenix holding her back from her true potential. The way they depict her reaching out to multiple minds as well really sells those bigger moments.
X-Men: Red is not the X-Book to sleep on if you are looking for a story that changes the game. This is a team that has learned from experience, and working towards peace without falling to what would be predictable for those who don’t know HOW to take action.