X-Men: Red #1-11
Welcome to your Monday edition of The Review Station, fellow imaginers! It’s been a while since I’ve done a review and that has been because I’ve spent the last month reading X-men: Red, #’s 1-11. The comic series is an 11 book run and finished toward the end of last year to amazing reviews. A commercial and critical success, the series is being considered one of the greatest X-men arcs of all time and a powerful piece of storytelling. Today, I will be summing up the series as a whole and my impressions on its place in Marvel canon. As for today’s review, here are my thoughts:
Cover– If I were forced to choose cover #10 (Jenny Frison)would be my top pick for best cover of the series, followed closely by #11 (also Jenny Frison). In general, this was a very strong showing, and I can’t say there was one which didn’t immediately catch my eye. The worst of the bunch was probably, #9 (Frison), displaying a profile of Nightcrawler staring off into the distance enveloped in his trademark purple smoke. While somewhat uninspiring, it was still a beautifully drawn rendition of the elder statesman. # 10, on the other hand, blew me away, the image of Jean Grey placing her hands out toward the reader while her pink, telepathic energy emanates from her body is simply breathtaking. As you all know by now, I love me a well-drawn team profile, and the cover for #11 doesn’t disappoint. The full squad for the Red Team is present, and uses some impressive coloring and sketch work to give them an old-school epic feel. Overall, I was impressed by the lot,and they helped to elevate the series.
Artwork– Yes to all! X-Men Red pulled no expense here and brought out the big guns with these issues.This is one on my favorite series in terms of consistent, exquisite artwork throughout. The standout issues, in my opinion, were #s 1, 2, 5, 7, 10, and 11. Mahmud Asrar, Carmen Carnero, Roge Antonio were all brilliant in these issues, the action popping out from each individual page. The level of detail while maintaining a colorful, cartoonish feel was greatly appreciated on my end and helped to bring back some early-day nostalgia I once had for the X-men series. I loved this style of imagery and hope to see more of it in future story arcs they are involved in.
Story– This is where X-men: Red shines. I must admit, when I first picked up the series and learned that Jean-Grey had returned and was taking over her own X-men group, I was a little apprehensive. I hate it whenever they bring back characters from the dead, and the motley crew she was inheriting seemed odd, at best. Seriously, Honey Badger, Gentle, and Trinary are not what I think of when I’m imagining a mutant super-team. Also, the return of Cassandra Nova sans Charles Xavier did not seem appealing to me. Yet, somehow it all worked. Jean Grey is the leader the X-men have needed for so long. While I love Professor X, her Phoenix-free view of the world is absolutely inspiring, and she truly epitomizes Charles’ dream better than Cyclops ever could. The cast behind her also gives a modern day flavor to the team and provides a well balanced dose of levity, bravery, and vulnerability. The story itself is nothing short of brilliant, mirroring our current social and political climate to perfection in a way no other comic can. The showdowns against Cassandra Nova were fantastic, and the final conclusion is absolutely touching. This is exactly the story we needed at a time like this, and history will ensure this comic series is cemented as one of the best.
Overall- (Classic) If I could rank it higher than 10/10 I would, which is why I gave it the first “Classic” designation in my ranking system. Bravo to the people who helped bring this series to our hands. Thank you for reminding us the power behind this wonderful art form.
0: STAY AWAY! Life is too short to be wasting it on this trash!
1-5: This is not worth your time. Disappointing or offensive on many levels, this should be avoided.
6-8: Good to great. Worth taking a look at, and may very well have the potential for so much more.
9-10: This is a must. Excellent across the board with few if any flaws. Well worth the time and money!
Classic: Need I say more? This is essential to both fans and spectators. Add to your collection immediately.