Tuesday, June 12, 2018

X-Men: Red #5 Review - Marvel Monday

Writer: Tom TaylorArtist: Mahmud A. AsrarPublisher: Marvel ComicsRelease Date: June 6, 2018Cover Price: $3.99

After a fun side story in last week’s annual, Tom Taylor takes us back to the main story this week. At the end of issue #4 Storm and Gentle officially joined Jean Grey’s team, and Cassandra Nova put her plot in motion as she began using her sentinite technology to “influence” world leaders to pursue aggressive anti-mutant policies. How and when are these storylines going to intersect? Let’s find out.

We open our issue with Cassandra convincing the President of Poland to sign a law to begin rounding up mutants for internment. We get a quick flash to a Polish cop giving a heads-up to his mutant friend named Antoni that the law goes into effect at midnight, and warning him to get his family out while he still can. 

Then we move on to a hospital in Louisiana where David Bushell, the guy from the anti-mutant riot in issue #3, is being restrained to his bed shouting out about abominations all around him. He is clearly infected with Nova’s sentinites, but Gambit is unaware of this when he sneaks into the guy’s room. Jean, Nightcrawler, and Trinary are already on the scene and convince Gambit that David was not been in control of himself when he shot Gambit’s friend. We get a good set of pages when Jean helps David through realizing what he had done while also letting the boy’s father come visit him.

    After that, Nightcrawler takes everyone back to meet the rest of the team. Gambit does a quick meet and greet with everyone before they’re all off to help rescue the Polish mutants we saw earlier. We see these folks are at the shores of the Baltic Sea where the Polish army is hot on their tails. Our heroes arrive on their reprogrammed Sentinel just in the nick of time. We get some truly beautiful art when hostilities break out, and when things go from bad to worse Jean makes a bold choice to turn the tides.

She merges the minds of the Polish soldiers with those of the mutant refugees so that they can understand the plights of one another, and it works! Most of the Polish soldiers drop their weapons and quickly scurry away from the beach as Namor arrives to warn off whoever was left. There is some beautiful political symbolism here when Jean chastises the Polish General for following his orders without question – just the Nazis did when they invaded Poland in World War Two. We close our issue with Jean and co realizing how they’ll combat this threat – by weaponizing the truth! 

Bits and Pieces:

    Art was fantastic in this issue as it has been through most of this series, and Tom Taylor is always careful to give readers something in every issue. Even when you want more to happen in an issue, he makes, sure enough, happens to satisfy people. The pacing did feel like an issue here because I thought we might finally see Jean and her team discover Cassandra Nova to be their adversary, but again enough happened for that to be ok. But I would really like to see everything come together in the next issue or two. 


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