Ewing and Caselli’s X-Men Red concludes its first dramatic arc, in an all-star climax that spans across the solar system.
X-Men: Red #10
- Al Ewing
- Stefano Caselli, Jacopo Campagni
- VC’s Ariana Maher
- Cover Artist:
- Russel Dauterman, Matthew Wilson
- Release Date:
- Federico Blee
A new year begins, but the same X-saga continues with X-Men Red #10 charging into 2023 at a blistering pace. Al Ewing remains the mastermind writer behind with series, with resident artist Stefano Caselli joined by Jacopo Camagni, colors by Federico Blee, and letters by Ariana Maher. The creative team continues to gel impressively, moving from strength to strength as the first major arc of X-Men Red comes to an end.
X-Men Red #10 begins with a face-off between Storm and Vulcan. The two battle in the ruins of the Autumn Palace to see who will decide the future of the planet Arakko. Simultaneously, Cable and his S.W.O.R.D. team reach the climax of their mission to recover his T/O virus from the mercenary Orbis Stellaris. Elsewhere, as Storm and Vulcan continue to clash, Abigail Brand realizes somebody on her team isn’t as loyal as she thinks, and a confrontation with the Shi’ar and their allies looms.
Ewing’s writing is terrific throughout X-Men Red #10, demonstrating an incredible range in his dialogue at breakneck speed. This issue loosely concludes three major narrative threads in rapid succession, but thanks to Ewing’s careful plotting, each ending feels satisfying and fully fledged. The issue also ends with a massive and unexpected revelation, which will certainly have reverberating consequences throughout the current X-Men continuity. The dialogue throughout is punchy and well-executed, balancing numerous dramatic confrontations with moments of levity and character development. This issue also does a great job of rounding out some of the ongoing themes of X-Men Red. A holistic meditation on the many meanings of power, sovereignty, and victory, X-Men Red #10 explores its competing ideologies, smashing them against one another as they vie for control.
Caselli and Camagni deliver some incredible art in X-Men Red #10, capturing all the action, destruction, and drama with style and clarity. This comic is dominated by combat sequences, which are deftly plotted with clever panel design to maintain a sense of momentum. Caselli and Camagni make bold choices that draw the reader’s eye and prevent confusion when trying to discern characters in busy panels.
Blee’s colors in X-Men Red #10 are commendable as ever, doing crucial work to keep the four different settings looking and feeling instantly distinguishable from each other. The varying pallets contribute to each setting’s idiosyncratic atmospheres, although overall, the colors are not as creative as some of his other work within the title. Maher does great work with this issue’s letters, ensuring that every syllable of dialogue packs as much impact as possible. She also amps up the extraterrestrial threat of Orbis Stellaris’ heralds by giving them their own unique letters, mottled and peculiarly rounded. Orbis Stellaris gets a similar treatment, with a thicker and more elaborate script than everybody else to reinforce their otherworldly power and status.
X-Men Red #10 provides the perfect soft conclusion to the series, pulling together earlier plotlines and thematic preoccupations in a satisfying blitz of confrontations and revelations. As a direct result, it offers a poor entry point for new readers, who would do well to read the previous issues (as well as Gillen’s Immortal X-Men) to appreciate the full scale of what is unfolding in this comic. Although it is not totally clear where the series will go from here, the weight of this issue’s final revelation proves that X-Men Red has a major part to play in the wider mutant story.