X-Men Red #1 Review

Jason O’Toole

Credit: Marvel Comics

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Professor Charles Xavier, the fearless and pacifistic leader of the X-Men, was last seen in the pages of Avengers Vs. X-Men #11, where he was murdered by Cyclops, who had become the Dark Phoenix. Since that tragic moment something big has been missing from the pages of the various X-books, the dream that humans and mutants could live together in peace. While the books still have hope, Charles Xavier’s vision for the world seems to have taken a backseat. That was true until the release of X-Men Red #1, the new team book led by a recently resurrected Jean Grey. For the first time since Xavier’s tragic death, an X-men book has come along that once again embraces the belief in his dream. Jean has a plan to make the world a better place for humans and mutants alike. Very quickly, Jean and her team set to work gathering people to their side, ultimately addressing the United Nations. While the pages of this first issue don’t make the full details of this plan clear, it does lay the groundwork for a series that is sure to excite new and old fans alike.

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In the early pages of this first issue, Jean’s new team, comprised of Nightcrawler, Namor, Wolverine, Honey Badger, Trinary and Gentle, save a little mutant girl from of mob of angry racists, led by the girl’s own mother, who want to see her dead. This also hearkens back to more classic X-Men comics, where the ideas of racism and violence were front and center within the pages. As Jean’s plan begins to take shape and make her a target, the team is assembled to keep her safe while she tries to change the world. Jean is glad to have Nightcrawler by her side, whom she calls the soul of the X-Men. In order to gain support in the United Nations, she begins sharing the details of her plan with those that have a seat. She turns to Black Panther and Namor to get their powerful nations to support her. The stage is set for Jean to make her move and hope that the support of Wakanda and Atlantis is enough to sway others.

In classic X-Men fashion, Jean is met with resistance when she speaks to the human delegation of representatives. An ambassador from the United Kingdom points out that while mutants are a species, they are not a nation. Jean is quick to point out the fact that every time the mutants have tried to declare themselves a nation and live as one species they make themselves a target. The argument that was always made about Xavier tampering with the humans minds comes up again from the UK ambassador. This is where the book definitely resurrects Xavier’s dream. Jean makes a powerful argument:

“Charles Xavier had a dream. A simple dream. Humans and mutants at peace. Charles believed we could win you over by being heroes when needed, and being invisible when not. But mutants shouldn’t need to be heroes for acceptance. Some see us as an evolution. I am inviting you, all of you, to evolve with us.”

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All good heroes are defined by the villains that defy them, and X-Men Red #1 doesn’t disappoint. Jean’s plan hits an immediate snag when she is speaking with the ambassador who was just opposing her. Something seems off about their conversation, and just when Jean realizes this the woman’s head explodes. Obviously, Jean is blamed for this, but it is clear that the ambassador was being mind controlled by someone. The final pages of the book reveal the return of a villain we have not seen for some time, Cassandra Nova Xavier, the twin sister of Charles. It is amazing to see her return and I’m sure this marks the beginning of what will surely be a great read. Leave us a comment about what you thought of this new book from Marvel Comics.

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