If you enjoy secret missions, alien drama, and long-running stories coming to a head, you’ll love X-Men: Red #8. It’s good timing with A.X.E.: Judgment Day over and Arakko no longer under threat. Al Ewing and Madibek Musabekov are kicking off a mission led by Cable to tie into multiple subplots and some off-world shenanigans.
X-Men: Red #8 opens off-world where a few familiar faces like Prince of Power, who Al Ewing made us fall in love with in 2021. Cable is looking to recruit an Arakko mutant, and soon he’s got his team whisking off into the galaxy’s far reaches. The crew consists of Thunderbird, Manifold, Wiz-Kid, Khora of the Burning Heat, and Weaponless Zsen. The latter mutant has a unique ability that should be fun to see in action.
The adventure vibes of this story are alive and well with Cable’s mission. There are some tantalizing ideas at work and the build-up to stop Abigail Brand from her big plan.
While you ponder what she’s up to, Ewing and Musabekov reveal some significant political ramifications between the Skrulls and Kree. A recap of some atrocities by the Kree and some deals that could change everything raises the stakes.
All the while, Brand watches on like some kind of master planner. Musabekov draws her in quite an evil light, firmly establishing her as the villain in this story. From cover to cover, Federico Blee reminds us Marvel’s cosmic side is bright and well. Manifold’s powers look particularly cool via the creative team, and you’ll appreciate the fact that Cable isn’t covered in pouches.
Ewing writes well-written dialogue throughout, leading you from page to page and on specific words as needed. I did find the character work a little limited–this issue is more about getting characters on their adventure and then reacting to what they see–with some characters getting little to do or say.
This issue also has two data pages, which are expertly done. The second details every step in a master plan, which works well for a page-turn reveal. The reveal isn’t a big surprise, but the craftsmanship to pull it off is impressive.
X-Men: Red #8 will delight fans of the cosmic side of X-Men comics. The story is satisfying with ongoing stories involving Cable and Abigail Brand, as it offers plot progression and answers for long-running subplots.
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