X-Men: Red has been a unique title within the Fall of X direction. Because of its setting the cast has been away from all the stuff the other X-Men are doing. Instead Storm and others have been dealing with what has now been titled the “Genesis War.” If things haven’t been bad enough we saw the Genesis’ Four Horseman make their appearance in the previous issue. How will things go next? Find out X-Men: Red #16.
Writer: Al Ewing (The Fall Of Prometheus); Raphael Draccon and Carolina Munhoz (Scales and Shadows)
Artist: Yıldıray Çınar (The Fall Of Prometheus); Marcelo Costa (Scales and Shadows)
Colorist: Federico Blee (The Fall Of Prometheus); Felipe Sobreiro (Scales and Shadows)
Letterer: Ariana Maher
“CONDITION RED! The Four Horsemen ride across the land. Daemon armies sweep through the skies. The Spire Vile is open. As Genesis launches her endgame, Storm and the Brotherhood fight for their lives across the Red Planet…and somewhere, the last Okkara Seed blooms. The Revelation is here. Plus: You’re not going to want to miss out on an all-new bonus story celebrating Latin/Latinx heroes and creators!” – Marvel Comics
Out of all the comic books that Marvel is publishing no ongoing series is hitting the big event feel like X-Men: Red. This latest issue is proof of that with how Al Ewing and Yıldıray Çınar hits on how big the Genesis War is. The chaos we see taking place throughout X-Men: Red #16 once again emphasizes the importance of everything going down on Planet Arakko as a big deal.
The opening with Craig Marshall was an important tone setter. Craig taking a group to Planet Arakko on a peace mission was a reminder of what Arakko represented. That is no longer the case as Planet Arakko is no longer the safehaven it represented as the new center of Sol. The status quo has been completely shifted with the Genesis War causing the entire planet to be engulfed in literal flames.
Even without appearing, this puts over Genesis as a big end boss as she is not holding back. Genesis endgame has been perfectly planned to the point she doesn’t need to appear on screen. She can leave things to the Four Horseman to execute her plan. Through their actions Genesis is further elevated as a big time threat. Which she already was as she continues to wield the Annihilation Staff.
With Genesis not appearing, it did give the Four Horsemen a chance to shine as villains as well. War, Famine, and Pestilence are brutal, merciless people who revel in the chaos they are causing. There presence gives off the feeling that this is the end of the world situation for Planet Arakko.
Which makes how we see Storm step up against the three even more impressive. Storm is not someone to let others fight her battle. She will be on the frontlines with everyone else. How she uses her powers to take down War and Famine in quick succession further reminded the reader of her Omega Mutant-level status.
This led into intriguing developments with Death, as we see his ties with Storm from Swords of X come back into play. Its great long-term planning by Ewing to have Death and Storm’s bond from that X-Men event continue. It not only helps to get readers to care about War as an individual but also adds to the importance of the Swords of X as a story.
With all this going down Ewing and Çınar are able to push how bad things are overall in Genesis War. Even with Storm’s impressive showing our heroes are being pushed to their limits. Things like Nova being taken down were all the last things that needed to happen.
All that helps to make the big ending with Apocalypse return hit even better. Çınar immediately gives Apocalypse a game changing presence with how he appears. How Apocalypse shifts the tide of the Genesis War will be very interesting to see play out.
No Marvel comic is hitting the big event feel like Al Ewing and Yıldıray Çınar’s X-Men: Red. X-Men: Red #16 is yet another example of that as the intensity is further picked up with the showcase of the Four Horsemen and Storm. The ending with Apocalypse provides a hook that makes you want to read what happens next right away. All in all, another can’t miss issue in Marvel’s best series.
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10