X-Men: Red has been one of the best titles Marvel has going right now. During the A.X.E.: Judgement Day event Al Ewing has been delivering some of the best storytelling in Marvel’s latest big event. The big hook with the Judgment Day tie-in has been the status quo of Magneto who has been left in a near-death state. And in the most recent A.X.E. Judgment Day issue Magneto used the last of his life force to take out Uranos. With one of the biggest characters in the X-Men’s franchise death being teased what will happen next? Let’s find out with X-Men: Red #7.
Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Stefano Caselli
Colorists: Federico Blee and Fer Sifuentes-Sujo
After killing Uranos, Magnegot asks Storm to promise to watch over Charles Xavier for him. He mentions how because their enemies never stop coming after them Charles will likely one day make a martyr out of all mutants but he is a good guy. With tears in her eyes Storm promises to do her best to watch over Charles. As Magneto passes away he tells Storm he can see Anya smiling.
Later, on Arakko Prime, Lodus Logos states that Isca the Unbeaten should lose her seat on the Great Ring Of Arakko after killing Idyll the Seer. Isca does not back down on giving up her seat and instead goes down a list of judgments on everyone.
After hearing all of this and seeing everyone getting ready to fight Isca the Fisher King steps up to challenge Isca. Fisher King says that their contest will be one of understanding.
After a long back-and-forth, Isca is left speechless when Fisher King gets her to understand the weight of what she has done. With her loss and memories of Tarn the Uncaring in her mind Isca gives up her seat on the Great Ring Of Arakko. Isca then walks away while warning everyone to not follow her or she will kill them.
The remaining members of the Great Ring Of Arakko discuss now having three seats empty. Storm announces that she is yielding her Seat Of All-Around-Us and Regent status to Lodus Logos. She then says in honor of her friend’s death (Magneto) she will claim the Seat Of Loss.
In S.W.O.R.D. Station Two’s The Keep area Wiz-Kid and Cable making a shocking revelation about the secrets Abigail Brand has been keeping from everyone. End of issue.
Al Ewing and Stefano Caselli get as much mileage in X-Men: Red #7 dealing with the events of A.X.E.: Judgement Day as they could. There are obviously key elements that have to do with the ending that A.X.E.: Judgement Day obviously had to avoid spoiling. To Ewing and Caselli’s credit, they are able to successfully do just that and push the overall narrative of Arakko forward with the changes in its status quo.
With Magneto’s sacrifice being just one big moment in the middle of countless big moments in A.X.E.: Judgement Day #4 it’s easy to forget it happening. That’s where Ewing takes the chance to give Magneto’s death the proper spotlight a character of Erik Lehnsherr’s magnitude deserves. Every word Magneto says to Storm in his dying moment carries great weight. It all paints a picture of not only how Magneto viewed the past and present of mutants but also it’s future.
The biggest part of his speech was asking Storm to watch over Charles Xavier for him. What made this stand out is that it wasn’t just to keep and protect his friend but also to watch out for warning signs of Charles’s extremist side. Magneto does not hide that knowing Charles as well as he does means knowing what kind of actions Xavier not only could but will make if he sees the need. Straight out saying Charles would make martyrs out of mutants is a big moment that changes the tone that Storm’s interactions with Charles will take.
Ending this scene with the last thing Magneto tells Storm says he sees is his dead daughter, Anya, smiling at him was an emotional gut punch. Caselli knocked it out of the part with the emotions on not just Magneto’s face but also how Storm reacts to this. It made this scene something fans will remember for a long time.
Moving from there to dealing with the status quo of Arakko was a good way to avoid the way things end in A.X.E.: Judgement Day, which is still not out as of the release of X-Men: Red #7. What impressed me was the way Ewing does it while making sure to remind the reader that A.X.E.: Judgement Day did have a major impact on the future of this title. It added importance to A.X.E.: Judgement Day without spoiling the event since it did largely take place on Earth not Arakko.
Specifically dealing with the ramifications of Isca the Unbeaten killing Idyll the Seer was a great way to bring things back to the politics with the Great Ring Of Arakko. Lodus Logos understandably wanted Isca to give up her seat for such an action. This all went to spotlight Isca’s personality and why she had the Seat of Victory as she would not give up the seat without being defeated in combat. Isca really shined here, especially when she started calling everyone out for their own losses.
All of this going back to how part of the politics around the Great Ring Of Arakko go back to a seat that must be challenged to be changed was handled extremely well. It opened the door for Fisher King to shine with the way he challenged Isca to a battle that wasn’t physical but philosophical. From a character standpoint, this worked well to have Isca admit her wrongdoings and give up her seat. Though I’m not a big fan of this being done through one of the annotation pages. This story choice did stop the momentum of an otherwise well-done character study for Isca and Fisher King.
From there things with the Great Ring Of Arakko got even more interesting with the immediate seat changes. Storm turning her seat and Regent status to Lodus Logos was unexpected. Ewing did give a good reason for why Storm made this decision. Though I’m left to feel a bit indifferent about the choice because we don’t know what this change will mean for the future of X-Men: Red and Arakko as a whole. It’s a story decision that will either be great or bad depending on how Ewing handles Lodus Logos development moving forward.
While it was questionable that Storm gave up her seat and Regent status it was a good full-circle moment for her to take Magneto’s vacant Seat of Loss. This was a great way to show how in a short time Storm and Magneto really built a strong bond with one another. Now that she is not Regent of Sol it’ll be interesting to see how the X-Men staff handle Storm managing her seats on Arakko and Krakoa.
The ending for X-Men: Red #7 was a bit awkward. The way it was handled read like an epilogue that was disconnected from everything else. A major reason for that is because of how Caselli’s artwork looked completely different because of the coloring from Fer Sifuentes-Sujo. The change in the look of the art along with the rush nature of the Abigail Brand revelation made this feel like Ewing wrote it for a different comic book.
[lasso ref=”amzn-x-men-red-2022-7″ id=”42581″ link_id=”44059″]
Al Ewing and Stefano Caselli do a wonderful job handling Magneto’s death and Isca The Unbeaten previous betrayal. Both showcase what has made X-Men: Red one of Marvel’s best comic books is the emotional connection with every character in this title. It’s that emotional connection that makes even the brief moments where X-Men: Red #7 stumbles a bit not take away from how engaged you are in what takes place in this comic book. Magneto’s final moments in particular make X-Men: Red #7 a must-read.
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10