[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
Cassandra Nova overwhelmed and took control of Prestige, aka Rachel Grey–the daughter of Jean Grey from a possible future. Jean Grey knows that she is the only one who can bring Rachel without hurting her or being taken over by Cassandra Nova. Jean prepares her X-Men for what to do next before going to confront Cassandra and Rachel on Genosha alone.
We finally have a showdown between Jean Grey and Cassandra Nova with X-Men: Red #9. Jean does try to get through to Cassandra, but she seems to be a creature of pure hatred at this point.
While it is a climactic battle nine issues in the making, the problem with X-Men: Red #9 is how frustratingly low-stakes it feels. This will spoil the comic somewhat, but you never feel like Jean Grey is in any true danger. She handles the situation with seeming ease and always has the leg up on Cassandra Nova, even with Rachel under her thrall.
There is also a budding relationship between two of the X-Men, and there was no setup for it up until this point–yet most of the characters act like it’s obvious that this was building. It’s an adorable coupling, don’t get me wrong, but there wasn’t really a build-up to it.
Roge Antonio joins up with X-Men: Red in this issue. The art style fits in with the line of previous artists, Mahmud Asrar and Carmen Carnero, remarkably well. The art not only looks great, but it has some stylistic similarities to those two other artists. Character expression and body language is especially well-represented under Antonio’s artwork. Rain Beredo is the color artist on the issue, and the color palette is well-balanced, deep, and dynamic.
X-Men: Red #9 is a weaker issue when considered next to previous installments of this title, but it is a solid read nonetheless. This story has been well-built up until this point, and Tom Taylor’s rendition of Jean Grey is fantastic. This one still gets a recommendation. Feel free to check it out.
X-Men: Red #9 comes to us from writer Tom Taylor, artist Roge Antonio, color artist Rain Beredo, letterer VC’s Cory Petit, cover artist Jenny Frisson, and variant cover artist Maxx Lim.