So this volume of X-Men Gold is kind of a mess. It almost feels like Guggenheim is so in love with 80’s Chris Claremont (the godfather of the X-Men) that he can’t do anything really different. Even the line-up is basically the mid/late 80’s line up. The storylines seem to reflect that too, and not even inventively. Kitty Pryde and Colossus are stuck in “Round 70” of their on-again/off- again romance. Nightcrawler and Rachel Grey are beginning a relationship that’s been teased for years. The injection of early 90’s characters like Omega Red and X-Cutioner don’t really lift this volume to above barely average.
There has been a lot of complaints about Guggenheim and is take on the X-Men, that it is little more than a nostalgia retread. I tried to ignore that in the first volume, but it’s clear that this series is exactly just that. Despite the new location of the mansion to Central Park, and despite the updating of the mutant registration to the mutant deportation, there is not much new that he is adding to the X-Mythos.
The real reason to purchase this volume (besides being an X-Fan) is for the relationship between the characters. The dynamics are all rich and plays at the decades of history, and while it tries to move them forward, it’s mainly just rehashing their previous status quo.
The most egregious of sins continues to be Guggenheim’s portrayal of Storm. She maybe gets 1 or 2 lines in each issue, most of which could have come from anyone. There is very little development on why she is so not involved. It’s almost as if editorial said that she must be included and the writer is literally just doing that. It’s sad for fans of the weather goddess to have her sidelined so in every issue.
I’m not a fan of Old Man Logan on the team, as it really is kind of nonsensical, and seems like he’s only there to fill the feral component of the team which could easily have been filled by any number of mutants residing at the mansion. Besides, he is much more interesting in his solo book or even in Weapon X.
I do like the artwork, as it’s enjoyable, even if the action scenes aren’t all that challenging, and the X-Men are constantly being bested by people they should easily take out.
I ask myself why I continue to collect the comic if I’m not loving it. Is it the nostalgia of the characters? Is the artwork? If the writing isn’t compelling, if it’s not offering something new – Why continue? I guess my best answer is that I do love the characters, and right now it’s my only place to get Rachel, so I’m going to stick with it a little bit longer to see if it gets better.
For fans of Marvel’s X-Men Gold comic books, be sure to check out Baltimore’s review of the first trade paperback to keep updated with the progression of this series’ story arcs.