The war for Arakko is beginning to take shape, as the Arakii, Storm’s Brotherhood, and Abigail Brand’s X-Men all begin to vie for the Red Planet. X-Men Red #2 also puts a spotlight on one the more interesting characters in the war- Gabriel Summers, the former emperor of the Shi’Ar.
Al Ewing, Stefano Caselli, Federico Blee, and Cory Petit continue to build their epic, as a cold war is clearly about to start between Brand and Storm.
Gabriel Summers is increasingly mentally unstable, and considering his power, that presents a perfect opportunity for Brand. When she recruits him into her X-Men, everything begins to come together for him. At least, until he finds himself face to face with Storm and her Brotherhood…
Vulcan has been one of the most frustrating X-Men characters since he’s been created. Though the Krakoa era he’s be rehabilitated significantly, Ewing does so much in one issue to make him a fascinating antagonist, while maintaining the character progress he’s made. He’s got the potential to be frightening still as well, but he’s not so overpowered that he can’t feature heavily here. Ewing adds the character to his bag of tricks for the series, showing how intricate the series can be.
Without Caselli’s linework, I don’t think this story would have been nearly as strong. The confrontation between Brand and Manifold is great, with a nine panel grid giving him the space to have the duo face off, the emphasis on their body language and facial expressions. He also does some amazing action sequences, especially as Storm and Vulcan face off. He gives these big moments a massive scope and grandeur. I want to see more from him just to see how big it can get.
Blee’s work is continuing to improve, as each character looks just right. He avoids the inclination others might have to give everything on Arakko a red hue, and really goes all out in the fight scenes to deepen Caselli’s linework. Petit joins the book and does his usually great work. One thing I really enjoy is how he puts emphasis in the right place in the dialogue, whether it’s through italics or bolding. It draws the eyes to the areas of the dialogue that are important.
I’m really interested to see whether the series goes next. No matter what though, it looks like it’s not going to be be pretty for the characters, but a lot of fun for readers.
X-Men Red #2 is available now from Marvel Comics.
The X-Men line’s galactic odyssey continues with a killer spotlight. It’s building to something great, and we’re excited to see what’s next.