REVIEW: ‘X-Men Red,’ Issue #3

Reading Time: 2 minutes

X-Men Red #3 - But Why Tho

X-Men Red #3 is written by Al Ewing, illustrated by Stefano Caselli, colored by Federico Blee with Protobunker’s Fernando Sifuentes, and lettered by VC’s Ariana Maher. It’s published by Marvel Comics. Following the events of the last issue, Vulcan challenges Tarn the Uncaring for his position in the Ring of Arakko. While Abigail Brand may think this furthers her agenda, little does she know that people in her own camp, most notably Cable, are plotting against her. She also didn’t expect Magneto to throw down the metaphorical gauntlet.

From its very introduction, Arakko and its people have been introduced as warlike and unforgiving. To reside on Arakko, you have to be able to survive, and that’s something the X-Men have grown accustomed to. But it isn’t just physical fighting that wins favor on the Red Planet; mental cunning can be just as powerful a weapon. Ewing shows how the various factions of Arakko vie for power. Cable discusses throwing a wrench in Brand’s plan with Manifold and the recently-resurrected Thunderbird, while Storm and her Brotherhood also discuss their next move. Even though this takes up half the issue, with all the plotting and planning this issue feels like a superpowered version of Game of Thrones.

Caselli’s art makes small moments feel big and big moments feel positively cinematic. And the biggest moment comes when Tarn and Vulcan face off in the Circle Perilous. Vulcan’s powers appear to give him the advantage, but Tarn uses his alien physiology—including the seemingly endless grey tentacles attached to his head—to deliver some punishing blows to the solar-powered Summers scion. And a page featuring Magneto going through an emotional moment is not only one of the best uses of a nine-panel grid that isn’t shamelessly trying to ape Watchmen, but also a genuinely emotional moment for the Master of Magnetism. He’s been through so much and Arakko seems to be the perfect fit for him as a character.

Topping off the artistic side of things is Blee, who’s joined by Sifuentes in this issue. And they make sure that this comic lives up to its title, as there is red everywhere. Red permeates both Vulcan and Magneto’s costumes, as the Master of Magnetism has returned to his classic red and purple getup. The dusty plains of Arakko are an orangish red, along with its sky. Even Maher’s lettering takes on a red hue, as one page is dedicated to an MMA-style ad for Tarn and Vulcan’s fight. Every so often, there will be a break in that color palette, as the action returns to the lush green landscapes of Krakoa or the cold blue steel that makes up the orbital space station known as the Peak.

X-Men Red #3 features plenty of double-crosses and bloody grabs for power, as Storm and Abigail Brand battle for power on Arakko. This book is shaping up to be Game of Thrones in the X-Men universe, which makes for an intriguing combo. Hopefully, Ewing and Caselli deliver a stronger ending for their series.

X-Men Red #3 is available wherever comics are sold.


X-Men Red #3
4

TL;DR

X-Men Red #3 features plenty of double-crosses and bloody grabs for power, as Storm and Abigail Brand battle for power on Arakko. This book is shaping up to be Game of Thrones in the X-Men universe, which makes for an intriguing combo. Hopefully, Ewing and Caselli deliver a stronger ending for their series.