REVIEW: ‘X-Men Red,’ Issue #4

Reading Time: 3 minutes

X-Men Red #4 - But Why Tho

X-Men Red #4 is written by Al Ewing, illustrated by Juann Cabal with Andres Genolet & Michael Sta. Maria, colored by Federico Blee, and lettered by VC’s Ariana Maher. It’s published by Marvel Comics. “Three Short Stories About Death” takes place after Magneto defeated Tarn the Uncaring and took the Seat of Loss on Arakko. The Master of Magnetism is questioned about his place on the Red Planet’s council, given Krakoa’s ability to resurrect dead mutants. Meanwhile, Storm is called to discuss the fate of the Shi’ar empire following an encounter with the Marauders, and a newly resurrected Sunspot comes face to face with Rockslide after the stony mutant was reborn with a new personality following the events of X of Swords.

Out of the many upheavals that the Age of Krakoa has brought to the X-Men mythos, the art of resurrection is the most game-changing. And it’s one that has been tackled before in previous titles: Wolverine explored the toll that might take on the deceased and their loved ones, while Way of X showed the dangers of growing too cavalier in paradise. With this story, Ewing decides to explore how others might view the art of resurrection. Arakko views it as a weakness; after all, what good is struggle if you can just come back to life? And the rest of the universe wants to make sure that the mutants can’t use their powers to resurrect non-mutants. In his traditional fashion, Ewing manages to deliver some great meta-commentary on the nature of death in the superhero genre.

As the title of this issue suggests, there are three separate stories going on and each story happens to be illustrated by a different artist. Maria handles Magneto’s story, giving the Master of Magnetism a world-weary look as he discusses how the events of Inferno have led to a change in his philosophy. Cabal tackles the Storm issue—and rather ironically, the Black Panther plays a major part in that story as it plays off events in his ongoing title (which Storm also showed up in). Finally, Genolet handles the Rockslide/Sunspot conversation, which takes place on Krakoa’s beaches as the sun slowly rises. Blee’s colors gives each story its own distinct tone, from the pale blue skies in the Rockslide/Sunspot story to the spotless white room where Storm meets other galactic dignitaries. He also makes sure that red continues to be a prominent color. One page features Arakko’s set of laws, which are presented by Maher in bold black type with certain words in bright red.

The one downfall of the book is that it plays heavily on events that have happened in other books, including, but not limited to Black Panther, Marauders, and X of Swords. The beauty of Red was that it was a mainly standalone book. You only had to pick up that series to understand its story. And while I appreciate the effort to acknowledge other stories it does get a bit convoluted, especially if readers haven’t picked up those other books.

X-Men Red #4 presents three stories for the price of one and decides to explore how others view Krakoa’s ability to resurrect mutants. This continues to be one of the best X-Men books on the stands, and I cannot wait to see how future issues explore the X-Men’s place in the solar system, especially with the upcoming Judgement Day storyline.

X-Men Red #4 is available wherever comics are sold.


X-Men Red #4
4.5

TL;DR

X-Men Red #4 presents three stories for the price of one and decides to explore how others view Krakoa’s ability to resurrect mutants. This continues to be one of the best X-Men books on the stands, and I cannot wait to see how future issues explore the X-Men’s place in the solar system, especially with the upcoming Judgement Day storyline.

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