Comic Book Review: X-Men: Red #6
X-Men: Red over the past few issue has truly evolved into the X-Men team that the world truly needs. Not the team who stirs the pot, the one that fights the same problems without an actual solution, the one that fights amongst one another, or the one that worries more about problems outside of their world. X-Men: Red keeps one foot to the ground and never lets us forget that they are there to make peace and do so without the hypocrisy or instigation.
With the start of this issue I’m glad that the questions of Cassandra Nova’s intentions were put to rest. For as complex or intricate as her motivations could be to wage a war of this scale against mutants, Tom Taylor knew exactly how to keep it simple and straight to the point. It was all as simple as understanding the circumstances of her origins. After that, there was nothing more that could confuse you about her hate for mutants. With that said, Nova is more dangerous than any other villain to mutantkind because she has slaughtered 16 million and still doesn’t find that enough. Her true plans are extreme, surgical, and quite terrifying in contrast. I mean, a world where you can look at someone and instantly tell if they’re a mutant? That is scary, and unfortunately only the start of her mass extinction plan. Her next phase came unexpected and even brought back a familiar face from another series altogether.
This next chapter again proves many readers wrong who didn’t approve of Jean Grey coming back. This maturity of hers is a lost trait with superheroes these days. They let the world change them, but Jean sees the world and becomes more empowered in her cause to “heal” it. The power of telepathy up till now has been just a tool for teams to share a unique connection, but Taylor here shakes up the norm where now a telepath is capable of so much more. Connecting on a more personal level, sharing perspective, and giving it where needed. There’s a big picture and Jean has thought of every way to tackle it within her power. Her confrontation with the enemy came with perfect execution. Now it felt like the overall tone for this story was set now that both sides know what they are dealing with.
That said, Jean’s next phase was as daring as it gets to have any chance at fighting back. I enjoyed the team they put together for what they needed to retrieve. They were a team that could have fun with their job yet take it seriously at the same time.
Seeing how Nezhno, or Gentle, is on the cover of this issue, it only made sense that there would be space allocated to exploring this character and how he fits into this story. For as much as I admire Nezhno, I also admit that there was much I didn’t know about him either. It was a good refresher to see where he came from and what makes him so timid compared to most other mutants. Personally I felt crushed to understand what he experienced as an outsider and someone called an abomination. Taylor had me going through the motions when seeing that experience, and then feeling overcome by the heartwarming nature of Jean Grey once more at working showing how she now understands how her powers should have been used.
Carmen Carnero taking over was not a bad choice at all. Carnero comes in with a sharper point to his pencils, and that allows for greater detail in the interior work. I felt better engaged through what he had to offer bringing out more in what was already creative and unique about this team in contrast to the rest. The rough shadows and shadows in general also helped nail down the tone of this story being more serious. I don’t want to use the word dark since this one has hope, but you could feel more seriousness taken towards this mission. This I felt was best expressed through the scenes giving for Cassandra Nova to do her villainous monologue, and for Nezhno and Jean to properly address his heartbreaking past which affects his present. This issue is also some of the best work that Rain Beredo has done so far as well. Given more detail to work with between characters and settings, Beredo added so much more color to this world between the range, gradients, and strength of it. I was more than impressed with the colors used to create some of the more natural settings.
X-Men: Red #6 did not disappoint one bit. X-Men are supposed to fix problems, not slap a banda-aid on it and move to the next one. This team is what you get when the dream is fought for correctly.