Xavier vs Ororo in “X-Men Red” Issue 11 – Review
X-Men Red Issue 11 continued Al Ewing’s story after the Sins of Sinister crossover event. Storm gave Xavier a bold answer as a familiar threat neared Arakko.
With the Quiet Council of Krakoa shaken up after learning what Sinister had been able to do to them without raising suspicion, X-Men Red Issue 11 had Xavier summon Storm to talk about not only the Sins of Sinister stuff but also Magneto’s last words.
One of the things I had been waiting years for was for some Marvel writer to finally address Xavier and Storm’s past, especially when he traveled to a whole other continent to recruit a young Ororo. With Storm’s origin story establishing her as a Goddess, I had always wondered why Xavier was so quick to tell her otherwise and make Ororo leave her people and become an X-Men in the USA. In a way, she was a tool for Xavier to use to realize his dream.
Ewing gave me that confrontation as Xavier tried to force Ororo to tell him Max’s dying words. However, in my opinion, the conversation wasn’t perfect. I wanted to learn about what made Xavier change his mind about Ororo being a Goddess. He was quick to address her as such during the King in Black event.
The way Xavier tried to take that particular piece of information from Storm’s mind by force, even though she told him not to do it, had me shooketh!
What followed was a well-visualized scene featuring Ororo and Xavier’s history. It’s definitely one of my favorite panels as a Storm fan. I really loved it. The way their past dialogue was used for their mental showdown in the present. And the callback to Rogue Storm! Yes!!!!
With Genesis War coming up, I hope Ewing has something planned involving Rogue Storm, and it just wasn’t an Easter Egg for readers. I’m still waiting for Ewing to tap into Storm’s Godhead the way Coates did during his Black Panther series.
Of course, Ororo was able to force Xavier out of her mind. He trained her and the rest of the X-Men against telepathic attacks after all. Not only that but over the years, Storm has been depicted to have telepathic resistance due to her ability to control lightning and possessing an incredibly strong will. If she wants a telepath out of her mind, she can do it. And she will do it in a manner that will hurt the attacker.
With Xavier defeated, I did like how Ewing handled Ororo’s feelings toward her problematic mentor. She didn’t appreciate Xavier’s attitude, but I think she understood the reason behind it. When Max moved to Arakko, Ororo got to know Max in a manner Xavier couldn’t. And Professor X didn’t like feeling that way. He was also afraid of what Sinister was capable of. In a way, the entire idea of Krakoa was based on the fear of death. It was that fear that led Xavier to reach out to Sinister and even give him a place on the Quiet Council. In contrast, Storm, Max, and the rest of the Arakki were not afraid of a life that ended.
Even though Ororo told Xavier what he wanted to hear, she did cut ties with him. Xavier was not welcome in Arakko anymore. Which, I think, was a bit counterproductive, considering Max wanted Storm to keep an eye on his old friend. Hmmm.
As for the rest of X-Men Red Issue 11, we had a scene featuring Sunspot, Nova, and Kobak Never-Held conversing in a hot bath. It was an okay conversation. It shared information about what each character was up to and wanted to do. We did get an exciting tease for a new character.
The big moment was when Roberto and Nova traveled to investigate the Eternal Gate, and they were met by Jon Ironfire, who was armed with the White Sword. Ironfire’s warning was clear. Genesis was coming to Arakko and she was not happy. I can’t wait to see what Ewing has planned for the upcoming Genesis War arc. Genesis vs Storm is going to be everything! I can feel it!
I get that Ewing has been developing a narrative that focuses on teamwork and making the Arakki community understand the importance of adopting new ways. And yes, I’m also aware of certain Storm fans disliking how Storm’s victories can be attributed to her needing help from other mutants. However, even with all of that, I do feel Ewing is working toward a major feat for Ororo during the Genesis War. I also have to accept that Ewing is more focused on narrative storytelling, and feats can wait.
I want to see what led to Ironfire experiencing his greatest shame. I have a feeling he either killed Craig from NASA or played a role in Craig’s death. But let’s see.
Talking about Craig from NASA, we got to see him have a (kind of) date with Ororo. Craig’s a normal human who had been welcomed by the Arakki. The kids he protected during Uranos’ attack were doing well. While I appreciated him flirting with Storm (she sure needs some romantic attention!), I do feel that it’s a bad idea for a superhero to date a fan of theirs. Though Storm can have some fun with Craig, as far as my opinion goes, I think it’s clear to readers that Ororo and T’Challa will find their way back to each other down the line.
Breaking up Ororo and T’Challa still doesn’t make sense to me. I want a Marvel writer to let the two icons spy on each other while still being together. Give us the Mr. and Mrs. Smith vibes with Storm and T’Challa. The sexual tension that would come from it. I need it! Show some level of creativity!
And I can’t end my review without mentioning a particular panel. The way Robert’s knee was placed made me double-check to see if I was looking at the drawing properly.
The knee placement was so intentional! Ha!
All in all, X-Men Red Issue 11 (with art by Stefano Caselli, Jacopo Camagni, and Federico Blee) was a strong installment in the enjoyable series, regardless of being dialogue-heavy. And even though Xavier and Ororo’s conversation about their shared past left me wanting more, I greatly appreciate Ewing giving us said conversation in the first place.
What did you think of X-Men Red Issue 11?
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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