With the week coming to an end what better way to end it than some comic book reviews. This week I’m highlighting Marauders #1 and X-Men Red #1. These two comics are part of the new Destiny of X direction that the X-Men franchise is now on post-Jonathan Hickman’s run. The rosters of both Marauders and X-Men Red have some of my favorite characters involved so I’m very excited to see how these two comic books start off. Let’s find out
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artist: Eleonora Carlini
Colorist: Matt Milla
Given that the events of last year’s Hellfire Gala it was only a matter of time before we saw more of the X-Men teams get involved with the greater cosmic side of the Marvel Universe. Marauders being transitioned to help explore the greater cosmos is an immediate fit. A major reason for that is the roster that is presented in Marauders #1. The team of Kate Pryde, Bishop, Psylocke, Tempo, Somnus, Aurora, and Daken should be doing more than being pirates helping trade for Krakoa. This is a team that can work similar to the core X-Men team in dealing with bigger threats. Which is exactly what we see and really helps elevate the stature of the team.
The best part is that Steve Orlando immediately ties in the recent developments with the Shi’ar Empire to launch this cosmic story for the Marauders. Orlando maximizes the appearance of Majestrix Xandra and her court to establish what is at stake. That all sets the tone to build excitement for what this Marauders team will have to deal with.
The only aspect of Marauders #1 Orlando is unable to get is Cassandra Nova’s involvement in the story. Orlando does his best to put over Cassandra Nova as compelling addition to the Marauders. But even with all the time dedicated towards her character at no point does Cassandra Nova come across as a series lead I want to constantly read about. Everything she does in this issue is just a reminder that less is more with Cassandra Nova as her act can get old fast.
Eleonora Carlini was solid throughout most of Marauders #1. There were times that it seemed like multiple artists worked on Marauders #1 as the style changed for certain scenes. That inconsistency did disrupt the flow of the story. But when Carlini was on point, such as the Shi’ar scene, Marauders #1 was at its best artistically. Hopefully more consistency is shown with the art as the series goes on.
Overall, Marauders #1 showed that this series has a lot of potential as Kate Pryde leads the team on a cosmic adventure involving the Shi’ar Empire. If Oralndo and Carlini can tap into the unlimited potential with the Marvel Universe’s cosmic side Marauders could very well be one of Marvel’s top titles. Though to get to that point much less of Cassandra Nova would help a lot.
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall: Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Stefano Caselli
Colorist: Federico Blee
Out of all the Destiny of X titles the series I was most excited about was X-Men Red. Not only was the concept of spotlighting the growing developments of Planet Arakko an instant sell X-Men Red has a top-tier creative team of Al Ewing and Stefano Caselli working on it. And I am happy to report that with X-Men: Red #1 the series is off to an impressive start.
What I love most about X-Men: Red #1 is that Ewing and Caselli do not avoid getting into all the political dealings with the characters involved. Right away we see that with Storm as Regent of Sol taking her role seriously. Ewing not only gets over how important she is but how she isn’t going to simply be satisfied with ruling from her throne. Storm is going to active with everything pertaining Planet Arakko and Sol as a solar system.
That ties in well to the different individual character plotlines going on with Magneto, Vulcan, Sunspot, Abagail Brand, and Thunderbird. Obviously, Magneto retiring wasn’t going to last long. Ewing gives proper enough of time to develop where Magneto is mentally before giving a reason for him to become active not long after resigning from the Quiet Council. With Storm and Magneto on different influential levels I’m very interested in how Ewing will play with their dynamic.
The one element I was not expecting from X-Men: Red #1 was the inclusion of the original Thunderbird, John Proudstar. With John Proudstar not having been around in decades Ewing quickly works in his backstory to explain his animosity for the X-Men and Krakoa. You believe everything John says is fueled by real feelings for what he has been through. While possibly written out I do hope that Ewing has bigger plans for John’s character as there is a lot of potential for him to be involved in X-Men Red in a bigger way.
The one character to continue to keep an eye out for is Abagail Brand. While she is continuing her SWORD duties there is an unease with everything she does here. That is a plot thread that continues from the revelation Abagail Brand is working as a double agent to break Krakoa from the inside. Which is definitely one of the more intriguing stories in this series.
X-Men: Red #1 more than lived up to my high expectations for the series. Al Ewing and Stefano Caselli create a strong foundation to make this one of the most compelling comic books that Marvel will be publishing. Everything about the politics on Planet Krakoa along with the involvement of Storm, Magneto, and others in this story is fascinating. I’m definitely all in on this series.
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10