Sworn to sell comics for Marvel executives who feared and hated the fact that Fox owned their movie rights, The Uncanny X-Men suffered great indignities, but with a corporate merger on the way, the X-Men can finally get back to doing what they do best: being objectively the best franchise in comics.
Each week, armed with the joy, heartbreak, and frustration of 30+ years of reading X-Men comics, we read every new X-book that comes out, recap the events, provide the historical context so you can read it on Marvel Unlimited, and wonder when Marvel will let Chris Claremont write something again.
It's the way X-Men comics were meant to be read! It's the column that can only be known as…
For more about the column, check out the reboot issue here.
X-Men RED ANNUAL #1
Tom Taylor (W) • Pascal Alixe (A)
Cover by Travis Charest
VARIANT COVER BY ARTHUR ADAMS
VARIANT COVER BY TBA
After Resurrection. Before Red. Jean Grey was reborn in a world that had changed. Her friends and family had lived lives. Some had lost lives. This is Jean's story of catching up losses and triumphs. Reconnecting with old colleagues, grieving for those lots, and meeting family members she didn't know existed.
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
In X-Men Red Annual #1, we finally get to see what happened after Jean Grey came back in Phoenix Resurrection. Okay, sure, we know what happened after that because it's been taking place in the regular issues of X-Men Red, but this is what happens before that stuff. Okay, fine, it's a filler story.
The issue opens up immediately after Phoenix Resurrection left off, with Jean breaking up with the Phoenix and reuniting with the X-Men. A group hug occurs. Jean reveals that the X-Men caught her up on everything she'd missed over the last ten years. She was particularly unimpressed by the "Schism" storyline. Sister, join the club.
Later, the floating, legless bodies of Old Man Logan and Jean Grey meet up for our personal favorite exchange in the book:
You tell him, Jean. Scott + Jean forever. @#$% a Wolverine.
Nightcrawler then teleports Jean to the Xavier Institute (current location: Central Park), where Jean learns that during a recent Marvel status quo, the school was actually named after her (see: Wolverine and the X-Men). Outside the school, a mutant hater throws a hot dog at Jean and Kurt, but Jean blocks it with her telekinesis and Nightcrawler eats it. You're really getting your five bucks worth here, folks. Throwing food is one thing, but when one of the mutant haters calls Kurt a monster, Jean flips out. She reads his mind and learns that he's an internet troll. She lectures him and sends everyone home, where presumably he immediately took to Twitter to decry Jean as a mutant SJW menace ruining comics. Satisfied with her work, Jean heads inside to talk to Rachel.
Rachel and Jean do a mind meld so they can avoid having to talk to each other, and then they take a trip to meet X-23… or is she still All-New Wolverine here? Marvel doesn't bother to let you know when stories take place anymore, even though the publishing lineup is more confusing than ever. If you think this is bad, try figuring out the timeline of Venomized. Jean wanted to meet Laura because of their mutual connection to Wolverine, but they're interrupted by Honey Badger, who freaks out over having a celebrity in her apartment. After some brief pleasantries, Jean, Rachel, and Laura head out to confront Black Bolt and discuss the death of Cyclops which was kind of his fault (as opposed to the character assassination of Cyclops, which was the fault of Marvel editorial — never forget!).
A brief scuffle ensues before an inhuman with blue skin and a lot of eyeballs agrees to speak on behalf of Black Bolt. The blue-skinned inhuman, a telepath, is able to confirm that Jean isn't going to hurt Black Bolt. Jean lets Black Bolt into her mind to look at her memories (and reveal she's still keeping tabs on Chad, the internet troll from earlier). After a brief discussion, Black Bolt apologizes for everything. It wasn't really his fault though. It was Marvel's genius marketing department, which runs the comics, trying to appease Ike Perlmutter by replacing the X-Men with the Inhumans, whose movie rights aren't owned by a rival corporation, if we're being really honest. But we're not. This is just a comic.
Later, Jean goes to visit Scott's grave and talk to him. She wishes he was still around. Well, give it a few X-over events, we're sure he'll be back eventually. In an epilogue, Cassandra Nova visits Rachel and messes with her mind, vowing to use her against Jean later.
The Bottom Line
You knew what you were getting into when you paid five bucks for an annual, and it wasn't significant story progression. In fact, pretty much the only important thing to happen in this comic is the final two-page scene with Rachel Grey and Cassandra Nova. Sure, this was a blatant cash grab and you could have spent your money on something more worthwhile, but would you be able to live with yourself as an X-fan if you did that? X-fans need to know every single detail of the lives of their favorite mutants, and that's what this issue provides. If you're into that, pick this one up. If you're not… well, what are you doing reading a column like this one? If nothing else, it's all worth it for the sick burn on Old Man Logan.
Want to see what Jean missed when the Xavier school was called the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning? Start at Wolverine and the X-Men #1.
Read more X-ual Healing here: