X-Men Red #1
Written by: Tom Taylor
Art by: Mahmud Asrar and Ive Svorcina

X-Men Gold #21
Written by: Marc Guggenheim
Art by: Diego Bernard, JP Mayer, and Arif Prianto
Published by: Marvel Comics

Reviewed by: Ryan McLelland

I thought X-Men Red #1 looked promising – a new team led by Jean Grey which also includes Nightcrawler, Wolverine, Honey Badger, and….Namor?!?! Bringing the world’s “first” mutant in? That’s some good thinking right there. Writer Tom Taylor opens ups the issue to show that people in 2018 still hate mutants and will go from door to door with shotguns and torches ready to “kill ’em sum muties.” I was honestly surprised artist Mahmud Asrar didn’t draw in some pitchforks.

There’s a point to it all. People hate mutants. But mutants are people too, aren’t they? So Jean Grey has a dream. That mutants and humans can be equals. I mean except for those bombarded by galactic waves in space or bitten by spiders or learning how to be a wizard or something. Beyond those people everyone can be equal.

Sounds quite Xavier, right? Except that Jean Grey is thinking bigger. Much bigger. She rallies some allies to her plan and then goes off to the United Nations. Her pitch? I already said it – have the United Nations recognize a new sovereign nation where mutants can live and ALSO be a part of the United Nations. Because equality and stuff. Of course everything goes to crap and that is because of the baddie behind the scenes. Oh yes that reveal is glorious and I squealed a bit at “their” appearance (I’m playing the pronoun game).

Honestly Red #1 was a bit all over the place and trying to do too much with one single issue. It was decent overall but didn’t quite blow me away. It’s a shame that it came out the same day as X-Men Gold #21 because that issue was just so much better than Red #1.

The thing is Gold #21 features Mesmero as the bad guy. MESMERO!?!?!? That two-bit X-Men villian who has gotten his ass whooped since the sixties? Yup that’s the guy. Except here in Gold #21 you really get to know this guy. I really latched onto writer Marc Guggenheim’s portrayal of Mesmero and the plan he gets ready to enact. It comes together wonderfully.

But at the same time there’s several different storylines going on with Kitty Pryde’s X-Men team. These two tales are woven together beautifully. I really love Kitty’s team as it seems so Chris Claremont Excaliburesque – probably because of the members in Kitty’s team. But I love all of these characters and love the way they are written here.

It all comes to a head at the end of the book but as the cover states this is Brotherhood Part 1, we (hopefully) have a lot more of the story to go. I also liked the artwork much more in Gold #21 though looking at Mike Deodato’s cover it really made me wish that powerhouse was drawing this book.

Red #1 is off to a decent start but has a lot of catching up to do when compared to the Gold team. I’m really excited to see both of these X-Men titles and glad to see them back at the forefront of Marvel’s publishing. Now if we can just get some Fantastic Four…


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