Comic Book Review: X-Men: Red #7
As I said last month, this team is what you get when the dream is fought for correctly. It’s not just “Us vs. Them”, or hit your enemy harder than they hit you. Jean Grey fell back to the principle core values of this team and she took the execution of that dream to new heights. Words matter, the truth matters, and caring about everyone matters.
This issue right here had me on the edge of my seat. So many things going on at the same time between finding out that Cassandra Nova is their big bad, finding out pretty quickly what happens when this big bad is ready to make her attacks more direct, and then there was the mission in the sky that you knew was going to be easier said than done. Lets start with the attack under the sea. That was an intense scene because crap hit the fan almost immediately after the big discovery to Jean. It was inevitable that Atlantis would find itself caught in this war, but you never would have thought in such a way. It was a wake-up call to everyone, and just the kind of danger needed to test Jean’s ability to think on her feet and guide this new version of Gentle who is able to tap into his power without hurting himself anymore.
Then there was the infiltration of the plane in the sky. For how things turned south there was shocking both for the execution, and for how you may have forgotten the new threat that Nova has instilled into political leaders. That entire scene was also a thrill because this went from retrieving a single phone, to having to save a lot of lives from a power gone wrong that they only now truly understood. How this team handled themselves in the moment was impressive since this is the first time they were working together in this capacity.
Now the most powerful moment from this issue was what Jean and this team were able to do with this new information they have gained. That alone is what separates them from the other X-Men teams. The others will spring into action, but this was where Jean stuck to her mission statement about weaponizing the truth. Not always a statement these days that will mean good things, but in the case of the war that the X-Men need to fight, the truth is their greatest ally.
Carmen Carnero and Rain Beredo knocked it out of the park this month. Carnero in particular who had some shoes to fill taking over for the previous artist. Instantly what you loved about Carnero was the sharp pencils, the strong attention to details, and the willingness to go that extra mile to truly render a setting. I felt blown away the minute I turned to that first scene with a view of Atlantis which captured the vast cityscape. I even loved the way things and people moved underwater as well. It makes a big difference to have that bubble effect, or resistance from the water when something is moving at high speeds. It also brought everything together having a color artist like Beredo who knows how to apply natural lighting. It matters when you are underwater or in space, to know that there can be that lack of light, and it added to the atmosphere the depth that came from the heavy inks in certain places. In contrast, It goes without saying that the scene on the plane had a little more energy to it with brighter and bold colors. There was no overlooking either how exciting it was to see that action on a plane can happen the way it did without losing quality to shifting perspectives. Carnero was clearly very comfortable with every action, pose, and flow that even came to the clothing of these characters.
Time and time again, X-Men: Red proves to be the star of the X-Books ongoing currently. This story has all the heart of the mutants who are truly trying to fight against hate in the most ingenious ways. It’s never going to be easy, and there will always be obstacles, but this is what it means to look for peace without falling to violent tactics. I haven’t felt this uplifted by an X-Men story in a long time, and that is a crime honestly.