X-Men: Red #9
With Rachel now under the control of Cassandra Nova, it's up to Jean to take the world on her oversized shoulder pads and confront Nova alone. As Jean prepares to take the fight to Nova, she checks in on the rest of her Red Team, making sure each player's individual missions are being carried. A touching moment with Storm provides Jean with the necessary escape plan and then its off to Genosha to do battle over the soul of her daughter from another timeline.
Fighting Rachel, it is revealed that Rachel is also fighting Nova's control, but only enough to prevent Rachel from being able to win the fight, leaving Taylor's maternal Jean to offer herself up in exchange for Rachel's freedom. As Storm absconds with Rachel, Nova seemingly destroys a vulnerable Jean only to learn that Jean has merely been projecting to the battlefield and is in fact safely tucked away at the Atlantean Mutant Nation. War is declared between the Red Team and Nova as this series winds towards its final issue in two month.
Taylor’s run on X-Men: Red has been marked by a combination of lightness and relevant commentary on the state of social media at large. While the central story is the battle between Jean and Nova, the real heart of this issue lies in Trinary’s mission to combat the internet negativity and “fake news” outlets that threaten to divide an already broken populace.
The budding relationship between Gentle and Trinary seems doomed, sadly, to be buried by editorial oversight given the impending return of Uncanny X-Men. As we watch the slow attrition of X-books over the coming months, which will include Red, its hard to not see the seeds planted by Taylor and company in this series as potential casualties. There is a sense of hurry as we wind this chapter in X-lore– the knowledge that the end is near but far nearer than initially anticipated, and as such plot threads are being wrapped up at a furious pace.
The art by Roge Antonio was placed at an unfair disadvantage, directly following the spectacular work of Carmen Carnero, but still is beautiful in its own right. There even appears to be some continuity between the previous and current artists in terms of page layouts and pacing, which did not go unappreciated here.
Another great entry in a great series, even if it does feel as if we are rushing towards a hurried conclusion given the series recent cancellation. Taylor's X-Men are simultaneously extremely well built for their contemporary setting while feeling like an X-book of old in terms of lightheartedness in the face of catastrophe after catastrophe.
X-Men: Red #9: Being a Parent is Hard Sometimes
Writing - 10/1010/10
Storyline - 8.5/108.5/10
Art - 8/108/10
Color - 8.5/108.5/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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