X-Men Gold #1 (Marvel Comics)
At long last, the X-Men have returned to their rightful place as a premiere Marvel team. Our first look at the new “ResurrXion” direction of the X-Men was glimpsed in the X-Men Prime special last week, but now we’ve got the official start of X-Men Gold, the team that features long time favorites like Colossus, Nightcrawler, Storm, Kitty Pryde, and Old Man Logan. Gold is being set up as the flagship book for the X-Men going forward, and writer Marc Guggenheim and artist Ardian Syaf definitely have a clear vision for the mutants going forward, one that’s more in the super hero mode than recent takes on the characters.
Led by Kitty Pryde, the new X-Men are more of a superhero team than ever before. They’re saving people from collapsing buildings, battling major threats like Terrax, and even operating out of Central Park. While this new motivation and drive hasn’t been welcomed by the public just yet, the team is making strides to change their public image, and Kitty’s Professor Xavier-esque speeches are starting to slowly help. That is, until they come across the new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, who not only present a threat against the world, but the perception of Mutants as well.
This new take on the X-Men works exceptionally well, mainly because of Marc Guggenheim’s script. Guggenheim’s characterizations of all of the team members are exactly on target, and he gives every character their own chance to shine. This new “superhero approach” to the team is something that has been sorely missed, and it seems like Guggenheim was the right writer for the job to usher in this new era of the X-Men.
Ardian Syaf’s art is also on target, for the most part. The big, epic set pieces that make up a large majority of this issue look fantastic under his pencils, but some of his characters look a little off at times. Old Man Logan, for example, looks more like a modern day Wolverine with grey hair than the rugged, beaten down character we’ve seen before, and at times Kitty Pryde and Rachel Summers (now going by Prestige) look like the same person but with different hairstyles. Despite this, there are more positives than negatives when it comes to Syaf’s work here, and I’m sure he’ll improve as the book continues.
X-Men Gold is exactly what longtime X-Men fans are looking for, and will definitely win back those who were scorned by Marvel’s recent treatment of the team. While it remains to be seen where this run will stack up when compared to other X-Men runs, as it stands right now, X-Men Gold is off to a fantastic start. After being survivors, outcasts, and even in the literal realm of Limbo, it’s nice to have the X-Men back in a way that feels like the good old days.