Monday, September 10, 2018

X-Men Red #7 Review - Marvel Monday

Seeing Red

Writer: Tom Taylor
Art team: Carmen Carnero, Rain Beredo, VC’s Cory Petit
Cover: Jenny Frison
Release Date: 8/22/18
Cover Price: $3.99
Reviewed by: Jon Wayne

While I’ve generally been a fan of this run, I’ve been getting antsy a bit as it drags on. Last issue picked up the pace a bit, we got to finally see some level of confrontation between Jean and Cassandra Nova and I enjoyed it. While I didn’t mention it in my review last time, I am uneasy that we just met our antagonist in the 6th issue, generally how long the first trade is. Now I’m concerned that we’ve got another 6 issues of this story to go because it’s been fun but not that fun. I complained about pacing issues earlier in the run that may yet come to fruition. Will this issue prove me wrong?

First off, let me just say that Carmen Carnero’s art is stunning and she is one of the best in the business. No joke. Her work is sharp and clean, and she conveys the urgency of each scene incredibly well. The colors from Rain Beredo are also on point and play well with Carnero’s lines. Regardless of what I thought of the plot, the art shined throughout. Carnero did Green Arrow Annual #2 recently over at DC and she was just as outstanding, so I was upset when it turned out she wasn’t on that book moving forward! I’d still love to see her do that, but getting her on X-Men Red the past few issues have been a great consolation. 

As for the story? Meh. We pick up with Teen Abomination attacking Atlantis with a beautiful set of action filled spread pages between this Beast Boy copycat and Namor, Gentle, and later Storm, while Jean saves the city. Up in the skies, our other team of mutants continues searching the plane for the phone of a dead ambassador (from issue #1). We always get solid Laura and Gabby back and forth which feels like a staple of Tom Taylor’s work at this point. I love it, some may not, but it does provide some levity to the situation. 

Long story short, the new British ambassador is infected with Nova’s mini-sentinel technology and he detects the mutants and ends up shooting Trinary, who loses control of the team’s sentinel, which crashes into the plane, and Trinary ends up saving the day by regaining control and flying everyone to safety. Jean Grey has a nice little monologue that goes viral when Trinary connects to everyone’s electronic devices, revealing to the world all of Cassandra Nova’s machinations and pledging to stop her. 

I realize that seems like a summary, but this issue also read incredibly fast… Just like my last paragraph. If it weren’t for the art, this is a 5-minute read. Tom Taylor is a favorite of mine, but my worries of pacing have not been put to rest. He’s also clearly a fan of ending these issues with bold statements from Jean and her team all lined up together. I can dig it, can see how it may bug others and seem repetitive (it kinda is). 

Bits and Pieces:

Tom Taylor is a great writer due in no small part to him being sure to give readers something to enjoy in every issue. This time lots of detailed action sequences that fit the moment of the story, but here that leaves a lot of the heavy lifting to the art team. They absolutely delivered, but it doesn’t excuse a somewhat meandering plot. Maybe it’s just me getting antsy but I wanted to see a more direct conflict with Nova, instead, we got more mind-controlled British ambassadors hating mutants. I trust Taylor to get things going again, but I’m not going to be a huge fan of another 6 issues of this pace. It needs to pick up. 


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