Review: It All Goes Down In ‘X-Men Red’ #8
by Tony Thornley
X-Men Red has built one of the most complex and layered narratives in comics right now. Now after nearly two years of stories over two volumes, all the pieces that falling down, and we’re here for it.
Al Ewing, Madibek Musibekov, Federico Blee, and Ariana Maher begin the great war of the series.
The Shi’ar have come under fire for actions during the Kree/Skrull War. Cable is making his move. Storm is missing. Everything is coming together for Abigail Brand’s master plan, and soon she’ll spring her trap.
X-Men Red is the best book in the X-line right now, hands down, and this issue is a perfect example of why. It gradually builds several narratives, which are all connected but seem to be disparate. Then, the climax hits a stunning page turn, and Ewing lays all his cars on the table. He shows Brand for what she really is, while setting up the rest of the story.
Musibekov steps in with guest art for this issue, and does some really great stuff. For example, his Cable has a certain degree of nobility that reminds me of his more noble phase through Cable & Deadpool. There’s still the battle-hardened warrior, but he’s carrying himself like a leader and figurehead, not a grizzled veteran. He lays out the story really well too, setting a strong pace for Ewing’s script and leading the reader through everything happening up to the stunning revelation of her endgame. Blee uses colors to gradually build that tension up until the stunning splash of red at the climax, then dark and cool colors of the final page.
Maher has grown into one of the better letters working today. She makes exposition stand out rather than drag on, and is great at drawing the eye to important pages of what’s being said. It creates a cadence in the reading that mimics spoken language, giving it more depth as you read.
I loved this issue, and it truly reminds me why I enjoy this line so much lately. It’s great, and I’m on the edge of my seat coming out of it.
X-Men Red #8 is available now from Marvel Comics.
X-Men Red continues to be the most complex and engaging serialized stories in comics. The pieces all fall into place for a great payoff that will lead into some fantastic stories in the near future.