Today’s X-Men Red #1 saw Jean Grey, one of the original and most iconic X-Men, return and form a new X-Men team. She may have been just in time as one of the X-Men’s most dangerous foes has returned to threaten mutants once again, and Jean Grey may be the only mutant equipped to stop her.
SPOILERS for X-Men Red #1 follow.
After returning to life through the events of Phoenix Resurrection: The Return of Jean Grey, Jean finds the world changed. She reaches out with her psychic abilities to take it all in and senses the pain and fear and hatred that has spread throughout the world.
Jean then assembles some of the world’s greatest minds and asks for their permission to take a psychic dip into their psyches. She comes away with a new vision for the future of mutantkind and sets about trying to enact it.
Step one involves calling in some allies. Specifically, she needs the recognition of Black Panther of Wakanda and Namor of Atlantis in order to petition the United Nations to recognize mutants as a nation. She meets some public resistance from the ambassador from the United Kingdom, but the ambassador tells Jean in private later that it was mostly posturing and that the UK won’t stand in the way of mutants.
That’s when things go wrong. The ambassador’s demeanor suddenly changes and she threatens Jean and mutants before her head literally explodes. The scene makes Jean look like she just murdered the ambassador. Luckily she had friends – Wolverine, Honey Badger, and Namor – there to defend her and Nightcrawler nearby to teleport them all to safety.
In the final pages of the issue, the true villain is revealed. It's someone who has psychic gifts that outstrip even Jean’s and is, in her own words, uniquely capable of making the world “see red”:
Cassandra Nova, the twin sister of Professor X, has returned. Xavier killed Nova while they were both still in their mother’s womb, but Nova possesses such powerful psychic abilities that she was able to survive without a body as a purely psychic entity for years. She eventually managed to gather up enough biological material to form a body. She then activated a dominant group of Sentinels and had them wipe out the mutant nation of Genosha before attacking her brother's school and students.
Nova’s in utero death has colored her perspective so that, in her mind, only she and Xavier matter. Nova is determined to wipe mutants out not because she hates mutants, but because their extinction will hurt her brother.
X-Men Red #1 is on sale now. Be sure to check out our full review of the issue.