Ladies and Gentlemen, please stand up for the anthem!
The X-men always seemed too intimidating to me, that is why I never really cared about them, other than the 90’s cartoon when I was younger. All these characters with convoluted backstories, love triangles, time travels, long lost relatives and alternative versions of themselves… it was too much to get in too. Besides the general consensus is that the last few years if not more, were not the best for Marvel’s mutants. However with all the media hype surrounding the Resurrxion initiative, I fell victim to it
X-Men: Gold is a hehe back to basics approach for the series. Our merry mutants run a school for gifted youth, fight against prejudice and clean the mess made by other mutants. The main team consists of Kitty Pryde who is now all grown up and in charge, Storm and Old Man Logan who offer mentorship and guidance, Colossus, Nightcrawler and Rachel Gray (whom I knew nothing about!).
The volume is constructed in a smart way. It consist of two stories each spanning 3 issues and some foreshadowing of the future events. It was very refreshing to read storylines which were not artificially made longer to fill an entire volume. Here, storylines last naturally long and to be honest they are not that important to start with. X-men meet new villains to fight against, each of them with their own nefarious agenda, they beat them up and move to the next one. But throughout these super powered showdowns, we get to meet the heroes; their fears, hopes and dreams and this is where X-men: Gold shines the most.
Despite not knowing much about modern X-men I immediately connected with the characters. Smart exposition and a condensed X-men history lesson attached at the back of the first issue help to figure out who is who and allow to connect with the characters and their long history. The characters are of the utmost importance.
I liked both artists on the book. They didn’t thrill me but neither did they scare me away. From what I understand, the rooster of the artist will be switching all the time, which is a good thing to hear after all the delays that Marvel had over the last few months.
X-men: Gold is a pure escapist fun. It is nothing spectacular, but it has been a while since I felt a member of a bigger community from a very first issue.
Four out of five Claremonts.