When X-Men Red was first announced, a mystery character was supposed to join Jean Grey’s new team of mutants. While I thought it was going to be Gambit (maybe he will join later?), this week’s X-Men Red Issue 4 showed Storm being added to the roster and yes, I am excited!
Marvel Comics decided to bring back the original Jean Grey during the Phoenix Ressurection storyline. Now the comic book universe has two Jeans running around. There’s the younger version in X-Men Blue and the adult resurrected Jean leading her own team in X-Men Red. I wonder if we will get to see the two interact more. Anyway, X-Men Red Issue 4 revealed all of the players in the main team as well as the threat they’re up against.
Jean has missed a lot of events while dead. However, one thing she is determined to do is create a place where mutants can live in harmony. Genosha didn’t fare well, so let’s see how Jean’s dream holds up in the long run.
The current antagonist, Cassandra Nova, doesn’t want the hatred against mutants to end, and I have to say her plan (which uses Forge) is actually quite scary and effective.
X-Men fans are familiar with Sentinels. We have seen massive versions of them as well as shorter ones. These robots want to terminate the mutant race and many serve as fodder for different X-Men teams to tear or blow up. However, what’s interesting about X-Men Red is writer Tom Taylor introducing Sentinites (a mix of Sentinels and nanites). They work by attaching themselves to a person’s brain, increasing their hatred toward mutants.
Cassandra infected Storm with a Sentinite in X-Men Red Issue 3, making the goddess of weather attack Jean. What’s more is that Sentinites can make an infected mutant take their own life. X-Men Red Issue 4 showed Storm summoning a lightning bolt to hit herself. She’s saved in time by Gentle.
Cassandra isn’t playing around, and if she isn’t stopped, the powerful telepath can make mutants around the world take their own life without hesitation.
During issue number four, her plan was linked to the use of technology serving as a way to encourage hatred in people. The nod to the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal was clear.
Though Jean’s team doesn’t know the identity of their opponent, they do know how the Sentinites work. I am looking forward to seeing how the team defeats the threat.
Now, coming to the topic which has a part of the Storm fandom going crazy online, I asked Tom Taylor about Ororo casting a lightning bolt at herself. I understood the logic behind the move when I read the issue. But it is always good to have a proper explanation from the writer.
Yep. She’s generally protected. BUT we figured she can control lightning, so she can probably control it enough to hurt herself if she chose – or if something chose for her.
— Tom Taylor (@TomTaylorMade) May 17, 2018
So, there you have it. While Ororo does have resistance (some would argue immunity) to electricity, she can cause harm to her body if she wants.
Now, I understand Storm still being considered a mutant in X-Men Red after how Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote her in his Black Panther series and Ororo being in possession of Stormcaster in X-Men Gold might not sit well with some fans. Though Jean does refer to Storm as a goddess.
I recommend keeping calm and letting Tom Taylor tell the story he wants in X-Men Red. He did an amazing job writing All-New Wolverine (the finale issue was amazing!). So, I have hope X-Men Red is going to be great, too.
X-Men Red is a very politically aware series with a diverse cast of characters. This series comes across as different from the other X-Men titles because it feels current due to way it talks about sociopolitical themes. Also, I enjoyed how it hinted at Gabby possibly being queer in Issue 2. She is such a great character to have around.
Storm and Jean have been friends for decades. It will be interesting to see the two bonding together now that Jean is back from the dead.
On a separate note, someone needs to tell me what Wiccan is up to. A lot of things are happening in the Marvel Comics Universe and the reality manipulating mutant is nowhere to be seen. Maybe he has created a perfect little space where he is living the best life with Hulkling? But yeah, with everything mutants are currently dealing with, one would think having an incredibly powerful being around would be useful.
Have you read X-Men Red Issue 4? Let us know.
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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