X-Men Red Annual #1
Written by Tom Taylor
Art by Pascal Alixe
Colors by Chris Sotomayor
Letters by Cory Petit
In the aftermath of Resurrection, Jean Grey has returned. This annual takes place after those events and before the events of X-Men Red and is a way of bridging that gap by focusing on Jean’s journey to rediscover the world she’s lost.
She is immediately embraced by the people in her life and that’s good. She sees the changes happening in the world around her and I wish a little more time was spent on how those changes affect her. A lot of this issue seems to come too fast and I would have liked to see Jean process those things a little more. The time she takes to mourn Scott actually seemed a little abrupt. It immediately seemed to transition into the confrontation with Black Bolt and some of the emotional power of the book got lost.
Many of the portions of this annual felt like they could have been better served as parts of the series itself. I think they might have found better purchase as part of a journey for Jean. The annual seems to wrap things up a little too neatly, though I did enjoy the ending a lot. I really wanted to see Jean dealing with the prospect of a world that’s changed and how she is going to find her place in it.
Her reunion with Rachel is interesting, but doesn’t feel new for some reason. There seems to be something missing and I know that the mind sharing moment is supposed to express the connection between them, I never really got a sense of that. There just seemed to be too many moments where things aren’t expressed that should be and are replaced with inner thoughts instead of exposition. There is a matter of fact lack of curiosity from both Jean and everyone else. No one asks questions and Jean doesn’t seem all that interested in exploring or learning much about the world while she was gone.
There were way too many parts of this story that had the potential to be interesting. Unfortunately, the narrative veered away from things of interest and failed to explore things that would have made Jean’s return and new mission more meaningful. I never really got a sense that there was much to this story and that’s a shame because the series is one of my favorites at Marvel right now.