Review: X-Men Gold #20

The X-Men’s victory against the might of Scythian has come at a cost…which might kill them all! How can the X-Men survive on a barren planet? You do not want to miss the status quo-altering final page!

Yes, the X-Men are stranded on a unknown, barren planet.  Things are not looking good for our team of mutant heroes, as the opening pages show Storm thinking she is going to die on the planet. Marc Guggenheim does a good enough job setting up the feeling of despair throughout the various members of the X-Men and their situation. They are alone, hurt, and no one would know where to look for them. My only issue is the despair disappears pretty quickly and things seem to fall into place rather quickly for our heroes, and bing bam boom, they get home (spoiler alert). I mean, they JUST crashed in the last issue, and I would have liked to see them dealing with their situation for at a couple of issues at least.  But as mentioned, it all wraps up rather neatly, and too quickly for my liking, which really was a let down for this issue.

The moments between Kitty and Peter came off as a little melodramatic for my liking as well.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy to see them back together as they have always been one of my favorite pairings within the X-Men, and I get they are in a dire situation and may not make it out. But man, the sugary sweet banter and declarations of love were a little annoying….and no, I am not an insensitive robot who ignores emotions, but seeing Kitty really take the reigns in this series as leader has been great, so to see her being so helpless and not really trying to do much (other then stay phased) really took away from the strong, leadership light she’s been cast in.  I’m not saying that a leader has to be cold an unfeeling, but it was a stark contrast to the Kitty we’ve seen from the beginning of this series.

I did, however, really enjoy the art in this book, courtesy of Diego Bernard (penciler), JP Mayer (inker) and Frank Martin (colorist). They all did a very good job of showing us the environment of this barren planet, the threats that are lurking, and the severity of the situation. They character depictions were well done, conveying their emotions and reactions to their situation really well. I’d say the art was definitely the highlight of this issue for me.

Overall, this issue was just ok for me. I do love it when the X-Men go out on a good space mission, and the beginning of this story arc was good, but it definitely did not stick the landing in ending the story.  Yes, the situation was dire, but it all just ended too fast and too neatly for me. I have issues on how easily Nightcrawler was able to figure out their way home, after only being on an enemy ship for a short time, as a captive, and not seeing much of their technology. And the “status quo” altering ending that the solicit promised? Any reader would have seen it coming pages before, so that was also a let down.  The art in this issue was really good, and for me, the only saving grace. Here’s hoping the next story kicks things up a notch and makes this title exciting again.

Story: Marc Guggenheim  Art: Diego Bernard, JP Mayer, Frank Martin
Story: 5.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Read (for us die hard X fans)

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review