Connect with us
Storm summoning lightning in X-Men Red #11
Marvel Comics

Comic Books

‘X-Men: Red’ #11 brings the mutants back to Mars

Can Arakko stand alone?

After a Sins of Sinister-sized detour, the mutants are back to Arakko in X-Men: Red #11. After the galactic conflicts of a truly massive event, Al Ewing, Jacopo Camagni, and Federico Blee bring a chance for the people of Arakko to take a quick moment to recover before delving back into the chaos of life in the Sol system.

SPOILERS AHEAD for X-Men: Red #11!

Listen to the latest episode of our weekly comics podcast!

Craig Marshall, a NASA scientist who has taken a liking to the people of Arakko, welcomes Storm to a quiet romantic dinner. Storm shows up somewhat overdressed, but neither of them particularly mind. But just when they’re about to push the date further, Storm gets a telepathic call from Charles Xavier. That talk Storm offered in Immortal X-Men #11? Xavier is calling for it now.

Storm reflects on the history they share, and it doesn’t satisfy her. Her fury remains, and Xavier will bear the brunt of it. She promises Marshall another date, before returning to Krakoa.

Sunspot, Nova, and Kobak aren’t quite as tense. They take a moment to relax, enjoy a hot tub, and reflect on their responsibilities. After talking about previous teams, Kobak excuses himself to a battle for the Seat of Victory. The new inhabitants of the other seats are teased, before a great explosion summons Sunspot and Nova to the Eternal Gate. So much for relaxation.

Craig Marshall from X-Men Red #11

Marvel Comics

Xavier, meanwhile, finally gets his talk with Storm. She reminds him that Arakko is more important than anything else, and Xavier realizes that Storm still resents him after their first meeting. They talk through it, before deviating to discuss the late Master of Magnetism.

Mourning his friend, Xavier asks to know Magneto’s last words. Storm refuses, and Xavier elects to pluck it out of her mind. It might have worked, if not for a beautiful artistic sequence featuring panels from classic X-Men comics. Storm uses a Red Triangle defense system against Xavier. It works brilliantly. The art itself contrasts well with the modern style of X-Men Red #11 and is regularly peppered in throughout the conversation.

While Storm stands over him, Xavier has the grace to feel shame. He reflects on Sins of Sinister and his worries that Sinister has been corrupting him from the start.

Seeing his shame, Storm finally tells him Magneto’s last words. It’s the only kindness she’ll offer. As soon as she’s done, Storm returns to Arakko. Xavier is no longer welcome there.

It may be a moment too soon to be casting away Krakoan support, however. Nova and Sunspot approach the External Gate. They don’t get too close before a figure approaches from inside. Bearing the White Sword’s blade, the last of the champions steps through. Sins of Sinister newcomer Jon Ironfire warns them that Genesis is coming.

If X-Men: Red has any one purpose, it’s establishing a true culture for the people of Arakko. As always, Ewing does the work. Mentions of Arakkii psychology, customs, and beliefs continue to be the highlight of the book. X-Men: Red is creating a distinct people, and it isn’t afraid to shy away from what that means.

With people, however, comes war. The Genesis War is alluded to throughout Sins of Sinister, and it appears that X-Men Red is already setting it up. Ironfire’s greatest shame is about to arrive, and if Storm and the Brotherhood of Mutants #2 is any indication, it won’t be pretty.

Sunspot, Nova, and Kobak take a second to relax in X-Men Red #11

Marvel Comics

Artistically, the issue is incredible. Storm’s dress alone would stand out, if not for the well-placed clippings of classic X-Men comics scattered throughout Storm’s thoughts. It’s a great way to indicate where her mind has been since the Council’s collapse.

The conflict between Storm and Xavier also helps serve as a binding link between Immortal X-Men and X-Men: Red #11. If there has been any negatives of X-Men: Red so far, it’s largely been how disconnected it has been from the overall story of Krakoa. Storm refusing Xavier a place on Arakko actually brings that into the narrative in a clever way. Krakoa is not abandoning its sister state. No, Arakko is capable of standing on its own two feet.

Perhaps that’s the same reason that Storm has recovered from Magneto’s death so well, while it has driven a mystified Xavier astray. Storm is not afraid of a life that ends, and Magneto wasn’t either. Xavier’s entire plan for Krakoa was born out of that fear.

It’s also nice to see X-Men: Red #11 returning to Arakko’s history. The return of the legend of the White Sword ties back into X of Swords and feels like a strong indicator that the Krakoan era is ready to move onto its next stage.

Unfortunately, knowing Ironfire’s fate takes away some of the mystique of his story. It is interesting to see his timeline play out in real-time, but Sins of Sinister already revealed how the entire Arakkii story goes — at least until Krakoa turned on it. While Krakoan involvement could change things, Storm has already dismissed them. The narrative structure takes away the tension, unfortunately, even if it will be fun to read.

X-Men: Red is always a highlight within the X-Men slate, but issue #11 does exactly what more comics need to do: It gives characters a chance to breathe. It doesn’t need to rely on meaningless fights to create genuine emotional tension and explores its heroes in a fresh and profound way. While the story it’s building up to has already been told, it will still be interesting to see what Ewing will do with it.

Storm summoning lightning in X-Men Red #11
‘X-Men: Red’ #11 brings the mutants back to Mars
X-Men: Red #11
X-Men: Red is always a highlight within the X-Men slate, but issue #11 does exactly what more comics need to do: It gives characters a chance to breathe. It doesn't need to rely on meaningless fights to create genuine emotional tension and explores its heroes in a fresh and profound way. While the story it's building up to has already been told, it will still be interesting to see what Ewing will do with it.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
Great use of a clever art trick to really ground Storm's mindset.
Allowing the characters to wind down also lets the story breathe.
Arakkii culture never fails to be intruiging.
It's somewhat disappointing to already know where Ironfire's story is heading.
8.5
Great
Buy Now

Join the AIPT Patreon

Want to take our relationship to the next level? Become a patron today to gain access to exclusive perks, such as:

  • ❌ Remove all ads on the website
  • 💬 Join our Discord community, where we chat about the latest news and releases from everything we cover on AIPT
  • 📗 Access to our monthly book club
  • 📦 Get a physical trade paperback shipped to you every month
  • 💥 And more!
Sign up today
Comments

In Case You Missed It

Gotham by Gaslight: The Kryptonian Age #1's cover Gotham by Gaslight: The Kryptonian Age #1's cover

‘Gotham by Gaslight: The Kryptonian Age’ #1 veers away from Gotham

Comic Books

X-Men Monday #255 - The Jordan D. White X-It Interview X-Men Monday #255 - The Jordan D. White X-It Interview

X-Men Monday #255 – The Jordan D. White X-It Interview

Comic Books

EXCLUSIVE: 'Epitaphs from the Abyss' #3 and 'Cruel Universe' #2 scares up impressive creatives EXCLUSIVE: 'Epitaphs from the Abyss' #3 and 'Cruel Universe' #2 scares up impressive creatives

EXCLUSIVE: ‘Epitaphs from the Abyss’ #3 and ‘Cruel Universe’ #2 scares up impressive creatives

Comic Books

X-Men Monday Call for Questions: Jed MacKay & Ryan Stegman for 'X-Men' #1 X-Men Monday Call for Questions: Jed MacKay & Ryan Stegman for 'X-Men' #1

X-Men Monday Call for Questions: Jed MacKay & Ryan Stegman for ‘X-Men’ #1

Comic Books

Connect
Newsletter Signup