X-Men Red has hit its major turning point as Storm faces off against Vulcan on Arakko and Cable leads a team to bring down Abigail Brand. These are two battles that Al Ewing has been building towards since X-Men Red started. Now that both are seemingly at their endgame there are a lot of big questions to answer. Those results may not be what some characters want. But when it all is said and done it appears that we are going to see some major things go down in the latest X-Men Red story. Let’s get into it with X-Men Red #10.
Writer: Al Ewing
Artists: Stefano Caselli and Jacopo Camagni
Colorist: Federico Blee
Letterer: Ariana Maher
On Planet Arakko Vulcan goes all out right away trying to incinerate Storm by setting the entire planet on fire. Storm fends off all of Vulcan’s attacks long enough to get help from Wrongslide, Sobunar, Lodus, and Logos to provide her back up so she can maximize her powers to completely defeat Vulcan. Storm and Wrongslide then encase Vulcan in mysterium to nullify his powers.
At the same time, over at the World Farm, Cable with Khora of the Burning Heart is able to regain control of his Techno Organic Virus and takes on Orbis Stellaris’ Heralds. This buys Manifold time to recover and, with Lactuca’s words of encouragement, warps the Heralds away. With the Techno Organic Virus under their control, Wiz-Kid gets the team out of World Farm before the Progenitors strike.
With all of that Majestrix Xandra Neramani confronts Abigail Brand for her crimes that go against the Pan-Worlds Treaty and Shi’ar laws. Abigail Brand’s only defense is she prefers weak neighbors to strong ones and body slides out of the SWORD base.
Abigail Brand ends up body sliding where the Fisher King is already waiting to make her answer for her crimes against Arakko.
As everything concludes an extremely old Nathan Essex comes out of the Orbis Stellaris and tells the Progenitors to prepare a new Orbis Stellaris to extend his life so he can release his full vengeance. End of issue.
X-Men Red #10 is an excellent example of how to handle multiple scenes going on at the same time. Al Ewing, Stefano Caselli, and Jacopo Camagni balance the three different key scenes to make them all important. It’s that balance that makes X-Men Red #10 have a big event feel the entire time you are reading it.
What made X-Men Red #10 such a balanced read was how Ewing, Caselli, and Camagni handled the transitions from one scene to another. There was time given for each time we were focused on one scene to let it breathe enough to get over how everything is happening at the same time. By handling the transitions from scene to scene so well there is a sense of urgency that is created as the Storm vs Vulcan, Cable’s team vs Orbis Stellaris, and Abigail Brand being cornered by Majestrix Xandra Neramani all feed into each other.
The flow between scenes further elevated Abigail Brand as the ultimate antagonist of everything going on. She is the one that manipulated things so that she can ultimately take the most advantage of weakening the galactic order. We see Brand says that herself when she is finally cornered and caught by Xandra. Brand still showing confidence in all her planning goes to show that she fits so well the role of antagonist you want to see lose in the worst way possible.
What happens with Abigail Brand helps strengthen the two big battles in X-Men Red #10. The Storm vs Vulcan fight in particular is given even greater importance since Brand tied so much to how she has used Vulcan for her own means. That is saying a lot as Caselli already got across how what we were seeing was already a battle of Omega-level titans in the mutant world with Storm vs Vulcan.
The choreography is on point as Caselli showcases the difference in fighting styles between Storm and Vulcan. We have the tank in Vulcan who goes all out because he believes no one is stronger than him. Then we have Storm who uses her experience combined with her incredible powers to fend off Vulcan in a way that leads her opponent into her gameplan. Because ultimately it wasn’t just about defeating Vulcan but also showing that no one person is greater than Planet Arakko. Storm showed that to Vulcan with the brotherhood of the Great Ring of Arakko.
The same team concept was shown in how Cable’s team overcame Orbis Stellaris. Cable showed great leadership knowing that they couldn’t waste more time fighting given the race against the clock along with the pain Manifold was being put through. With all that in mind, we get a great moment with Cable, with Khora’s help, to get control of the Techno Organic Virus in the quickest way possible. This opens the opportunity to break Manifold free and gives him time to use his powers to Orbis Stellaris’ Heralds.
Now what will be interesting to see from here is how the Sins of Sinister will further everything that went on at the close of X-Men Red #10. Because we know that X-Men Red will be going on hiatus as it gets replaced by Storm & the Brotherhood of Mutants mini-series during the Sins of Sinister event. While that plays into the reveal of Nathan Essex being Orbis Stellaris it does appear the resolution with Abigail Brand will be on pause. This is disappointing as the way Fisher King confronted Abigail Brand is something that should be followed up right away. Not doing so creates concern that the momentum won’t be there when we do circle back to what happens with Abigail Brand and Planet Arakko next.
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
X-Men Red #10 is a fantastic entry in what continues to be one of Marvel’s best comic book series right now. Al Ewing, Stefano Caselli, and Jacopo Camagni did an excellent job battling the battle of Omega-level mutants in Storm vs Vulcan with the endgame of Abigail Brand’s plot. The pacing for everything was on point as you were kept engaged in everything going on in X-Men Red #10. Hopefully, we don’t have to wait too long before getting back to the implications of how things end in this issue.