By Tom Taylor, Roge Antonio and Rain Beredo
There are a bunch of new and exciting things coming up for the X-Men at Marvel, but for the moment, two of the three monthly titles have been cancelled. The only remaining one for now is Tom Taylor’s X-Men Red. This has been the series that focuses on the return of Jean Grey, who will also be filling a major role in the upcoming Uncanny X-Men book. As the team battles the villainous Cassandra Nova, we start to see what they’ll give up to save one of their own.
Tom Taylor has done some justice to the return of Jean Grey. He’s allowed her to feel like the Jean we all know and love, but she also has a little more edge. This issue we see Jean make a decision that could have had a huge impact across the Marvel universe. Taylor writes Jean more tactical as well, so her sacrifice wasn’t as black and white when dealing with Cassandra Nova. Taylor has also done a good job developing some of the lesser known characters in the book, namely Gentle and Trinary. They have a few pages together where they attempt to flirt that are entertaining. It’s easy to forget that mutants with these awesome powers can be socially awkward and afraid to ask a girl out, but Taylor makes sure to throw these common human elements into the story. As usual, Gabby is the comic relief here too. Her talking to X-23 about how painful it is to watch the exchange between Gentle and Trinary is funny. Taylor crafts a good issue that has a few tricks up it’s sleeve. X-Men Red has been one of the most consistent X-books on the market and is always worth a read.
The pencils this issue are handled by Roge Antonio with colors by Rain Beredo. Antonio does a great job on the pencils this month. One thing that should stand out about his work are his facial expressions. As Gabby toots her own horn to Jean about how she can handle mind control, her face as she shrugs is just perfect. Later in the issue, as Rachel tries to break free from Cassandra Nova’s mind manipulation, she decks Cassandra. Antonio in a powerfully drawn panel where it looks like Cassandra’s jaw becomes dislocated. The colors by Rain Beredo are excellent, as usual. There is a lot of light red and pink in this book, which is fitting for a book called X-Men Red. There is an amazing panel where Cassandra Nova destroys someone and Beredo uses a bright green as Nova unleashes her powerful blast. Panels like that show why Beredo is one of the best colorists in the business.
X-Men Red is so successful because it has people working on it who care about putting out a good product. Tom Taylor has penned a very good storyline for Jean and her team. The art by Antonio and Beredo is amazing this issue. If you’re an X-fan and you’re not reading this title, you’re missing out on a great story.