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  1. #1
    hate cant reach you here Harpsikord's Avatar
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    Default X-Men Red #1 Spoilers and Review

    The issue starts of with the preview. We're introduced to Heather, a young mutant girl about to be lynched by her mother and the rest of her towns' people. She is awoken by the voice of a telepath in her head telling her to get out, and is as a result saved by Jean Grey and her X-Men, who explain that they are in their base of Searebro and that she is safe where she is, now.

    But how did we get here, to where we are now? After being introduced to the team we flash back to two months earlier, where a woman is carjacked by a bunch of thugs, who don't realize her infant in the backseat. Just as they do, however, they realize that something is very wrong as the baby begins to emit a sonic scream due to the extreme stress of the situation. Wolverine and Honey Badger, who live close by, answer quickly. Laura tries to quiet the baby, but gets her hand shattered in the process. Gabby and Laura are thrown back by the force of his screams.

    Enter: Jean Grey, who uses her telekinesis to catch Gabby and Laura. Laura tells Jean that it's a child, and Jean tells her that she already knows, and that his name is Toby and he is very afraid. Using her telepathy she calms him down and assures him that she won't let anyone hurt him, and carries him away from the now wrecked car. When she reunites him with his mother Jean explains to the woman that mutant powers can manifest at any time, and that she has telepathically suggested he cry a little less, and that if they have any more problems Wolverine and Honey Badger live nearby. She also, in the process of this, linked up telepathically with Beast and made arrangements for an inhibitor necklace to be made for the child, and extends an invitation to Xavier's when he's of age.

    That night, back at the Institute, Jean watches a live news broadcast that paints the child as a demon from one host, with another who fights for his side. Jean overhears that the UN is meeting to discuss mutant issues soon, and realizes the world is a much different place than she left it. She's spent too much time watching the world through a screen, and needs a different perspective.

    She leaves the institute for a late night flight session, and uses her telepathy to hear the fears and issues of everyone in the immediate vicinity. She doesn't know how to help, but she will, and she will learn.

    Cue a montage of Jean gathering and collecting the most brilliant minds in the world, or some of them, including king T'Challa of Wakanda. With them all together, and with their consent, she tells them that she plans to use their minds to come up with a new way to help the world and the mutants in it. An idea. A way forward. And she does, as she then explains to Nightcrawler via telepathy sometime afterward. Kurt insists that he help, and that it will be hard. Jean will need help. Jean explains that she would have it no other way, as Nightcrawler is the soul of the X-Men. I loved this exchange and I love Jean and Kurt as confidantes.

    And then we see Jean heading to Atlantis to talk to Namor. She'll need help if she's to address the UN, and so she approaches Namor, a head of state and a mutant himself. Though reluctant at first, and combative as is his nature, Namor agrees.

    The next time we see Jean she's at the UN, giving her address. Her idea is this: it is time for mutantkind to be seen as a nation. But mutants are all over the world, the UN says... but that's exactly the point. Every time mutantkind has been held under one banner it has just shown them as an even bigger target. Genosha, Utopia. So Jean suggests that mutants, despite not being given their own sovereign banner, become the Mutant Nation. Namor and T'Challa both support the argument, and it seems that Jean really is ready to take her place as leader of mutantkind and it seems like it may just work. Outside, after her address, she is approached by the ambassador to the United Kingdom who begins to explain that Jean convinced her and that she is ready to back her, after Brexit and other silly things that Britain has done lately. However, things turn sour quickly, and surprisngly, when it becomes clear that someone has taken over the ambassador to both Jean and the reader. And then... well... her head explodes.

    The guards at the UN assume that Jean was the one that attacked the woman, and she is saved by Wolverine, Honey Badger, Namor, and Nightcrawler, who gets them out of there fast. Elsewhere, our villain is revealed, and it is Cassandra Nova-Xavier. Jean's return and her stance have caused her to retaliate. After all, though they say that people can't control what's in others' minds... Cassandra sure can.

    ----------------

    This issue was FANTASTIC. It's ultimately classic X-Men fare, "protect the world that hates and fears you," but it's done in such a way that it doesn't feel overly familiar despite similar things happening over in X-Men Gold. It is written stunningly smart, forward, and progressive. It's impressive how different Taylor makes it feel, and amazing how good this book is in quality. Some people had qualms about the art, but I think they'll all be put to rest here, after the looks at Jean when she saves the baby or scans the minds of the people in the immediate area, or how chillingly frightening Cassandra looks on the penultimate page.

    The voices of the entire cast are arguably the most in character most of them have been in a very long time. Jean has been dead for fourteen years so it's hard to get her wrong, but it could have gone horribly. Taylor avoids that incredibly well. Nightcrawler is written beautifully as well, with a wit and compassion that could only be expected from the X-Men's Fuzzy Elf. It's nice to see the Heart and Soul come together like this. I hope that Jean and Kurt become close after this, indefinitely. And Namor is petulant and dickish as ever, with his own heart of gold.

    To sum it up... welcome home, Jean Grey. We missed you. And so did the X-Men.

    10/10.
    Last edited by Harpsikord; 02-07-2018 at 06:47 AM.

    "I've never felt the world so angry. So divided. I can hear you. I can hear your pain. Your fear. Your anxiety. I want to help. I don't know how, but I'll learn." - X-Men Red #1(2018)

  2. #2
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    I hope the nature of Ernst isn't ignored if it's a Cassandra Nova story. Othewise, it sounds good.

  3. #3
    Extraordinary Member Fokken's Avatar
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  4. #4
    hate cant reach you here Harpsikord's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lurkerforyears View Post
    I hope the nature of Ernst isn't ignored if it's a Cassandra Nova story. Othewise, it sounds good.
    Doubtful, overall, since this isn't the first time that Cassandra Nova has been addressed since the end of Morrison's run. It's the... third, I think.

    "I've never felt the world so angry. So divided. I can hear you. I can hear your pain. Your fear. Your anxiety. I want to help. I don't know how, but I'll learn." - X-Men Red #1(2018)

  5. #5
    Ultimate Member Ambaryerno's Avatar
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    Nice to get the context for why Jean assembled this team; Nightcrawler was with her as a friend, Namor because she approached him politically, while Laura and Gabby simply got caught up in events.

    Won't stop people from complaining about it not being another Claremont wank team, but it certainly makes sense how they came together.
    Still hoping for that Helix Reunion...

    Ron White says you can't fix stupid. I beg to differ. Stupid will usually sort itself out, it's just a matter of making sure you're not close enough to become collateral damage.


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  6. #6
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    Jean comes in and is awesome and ready to kick ass and solve problems. She's proactive and thinking about new solutions to old problems. It's such a good look on her. I'm not the biggest Jean fan, I don't love or hate her. But this is a Jean I can get behind. I enjoyed the rest of the cast, even though this was pretty much all about Jean. I love the line up.

    10/10 also.

  7. #7

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    That issue was soo great. Very emotional. Can't wait to read the next one buy why monthly? /cry

  8. #8
    hate cant reach you here Harpsikord's Avatar
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    I think that this book capitalizes on Grant Morrison's Jean too, as a Jean who was in charge and ready to be in charge and make a difference in the world, but back then her time was cut short. Here, even as referenced by the narrative during the conversation with Kurt and Jean, Jean will have the time to be the leader that not just the X-Men, but mutantkind as a whole needs. Things never would have gotten as bad as they did under Scott and Ororo if Jean were there.

    It also kind of explains why Marvel's editorial needed her dead for their narrative between 2004 and 2015 to work.

    "I've never felt the world so angry. So divided. I can hear you. I can hear your pain. Your fear. Your anxiety. I want to help. I don't know how, but I'll learn." - X-Men Red #1(2018)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Endsong View Post
    I think that this book capitalizes on Grant Morrison's Jean too, as a Jean who was in charge and ready to be in charge and make a difference in the world, but back then her time was cut short. Here, even as referenced by the narrative during the conversation with Kurt and Jean, Jean will have the time to be the leader that not just the X-Men, but mutantkind as a whole needs. Things never would have gotten as bad as they did under Scott and Ororo if Jean were there.

    It also kind of explains why Marvel's editorial needed her dead for their narrative between 2004 and 2015 to work.
    Jean as the leader of mutantkind... Interesting. I kind of like it. The only thing is it ties her even more to Scott, as she's taking over his old job so the comparisons would be inevitable. I'm hoping she forges more of an independent identity. And I really like Storm in that role. But there can be two leaders, and just because Scott had the job first doesn't mean Jean can't do it too.. I can see both sides of that idea.

  10. #10
    Fantastic Member Jiminy_Cricket's Avatar
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    A very strong start!

    I like the mandate of this team, it's nice to have an X-Team with a clear reason for banding together other than "Well, we have all these spare characters".

    Obviously interested to see how Gambit gets involved with this team and what his motivation is. Can't help but wonder why Jean reached out to Kurt rather than Storm though if she needed " A friend"
    L'Enfer !

  11. #11
    hate cant reach you here Harpsikord's Avatar
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    I don't think that Jean taking this position ties her any more closely to Scott, personally. The "leader" of mutantkind is an interesting role that so many characters have been in that it doesn't belong to any one of the definitively; Charles, Erik, Scott, Ororo, Kitty, even Logan. What interests me is how we're already seeing how Jean would do things differently than each of them, and forge her own path in comparison.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiminy_Cricket View Post
    Obviously interested to see how Gambit gets involved with this team and what his motivation is. Can't help but wonder why Jean reached out to Kurt rather than Storm though if she needed " A friend"
    Related to what I said above I don't think that Ororo would be portrayed in the right headspace for that. She was just recently in this position that Jean has put herself in, or wanted to put herself in, and Jean wanted someone who would understand, not someone who would talk her out of it. So that's why she went to Kurt. Solicits mention a friend that allies themelves against Jean's dream, and I can see that being Ororo now more than I could before.

    "I've never felt the world so angry. So divided. I can hear you. I can hear your pain. Your fear. Your anxiety. I want to help. I don't know how, but I'll learn." - X-Men Red #1(2018)

  12. #12
    Extraordinary Member Fokken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiminy_Cricket View Post
    A very strong start!

    I like the mandate of this team, it's nice to have an X-Team with a clear reason for banding together other than "Well, we have all these spare characters".

    Obviously interested to see how Gambit gets involved with this team and what his motivation is. Can't help but wonder why Jean reached out to Kurt rather than Storm though if she needed " A friend"
    Pfffft she popped into Storm's brain DMs and knows Mama ain't right, right now.

  13. #13
    Super Moderator Tenebrae's Avatar
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    I read it, I liked it overall. The art was mostly great and I like the premise or at least the premise Jean had in mind. I do still want to see how she reconnects with the X-Men she has more of a past with but I can be patient for that.

  14. #14

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    Forget the costume: Jean keeps changing of clothes in this issue (5 times I think)

  15. #15
    Spectacular Member BAMF's Avatar
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    I thought it was great, initial misgivings of the roster aside. That art! Asrar completely fits my aesthetic. Just the way he draws Jean in regular clothes is breathtaking. And his panels are absolutely kinetic...everything always feels like it's moving. I think Taylor has Jean's voice down in the early going. She wasn't a snarkbot. We have Gabby for that, for better or worse. The new status quo is intriguing. Even though we've always seen mutants try and create a space for themselves, this still felt new and interesting. And then we get the twist at the end, just when you thought you knew where it was all heading. The plan goes up in smoke and the book becomes about fugitives on the run. Lots happening in one issue. Loved it.

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