fXavier’s dream comes full circle as Kitty Pryde takes the reins and assembles a squad of the most iconic X-Men to fight at her side. Storm. Colossus. Nightcrawler. Old Man Logan. Prestige. They are X-Men Gold! And they’re on a mission to be Earth’s finest heroes, even when that means defending those who hate and fear them.
It’s a new beginning for the classic heroes as Marvel returns to the 90s with two teams one Gold and one Blue. The Gold team is more of the classic team now lead by Kitty Pryde and after reading the first issue, this feels so much like the fun classic X-Men from decades ago. In a return to the 90s labeling, writer Marc Guggenheim captures some of that more positive time (I remember the 90s X-Men as big colorful adventure).
While X-Men Prime helped catch up new readers, X-Men Gold #1 does a solid job of reintroducing the team with comments here and there to remind readers as to what’s going on and for those who are all caught up there’s tons a small details and humor to entertain long-time readers. And it’s those small details that got me really intrigued.
The issue kicks off with the usual hate towards mutants and that again is brought up so the social consciousness of the series is front and center. The comic starts with it! The mutant population is now hated for being mutants and starting a war with the Inhumans and Guggenheim lays that out. That hate is a fundamental of the line of comics and to see it so squarely presented early on is a reminder of this and also shows a commitment for that to still be a focus of the X-Men. The other small details of the comic is references to things we’ve been missing. Kitty and Logan sitting outside watching the X-Men play baseball for instance. A simple scene that harkens back and Kitty and Logan in their discussion feels like an acknowledgment that the X-Men have strayed to the reader.
The one negative I have is though there’s some action, the first issue feels as much as a prelude as X-Men Prime dragging on a little bit too much in getting to that ending, which again is a solid wink to old-school X-Men comics. But that action is cool and feels original as the X-Men takes on Terrax, a character I don’t think I’ve ever read them fight, so bonus on the originality, especially how Kitty saves the day. There’s something “woah” about it all.
Ardian Syaf‘s art is fantastic reinforcing the brighter direction of everything. The characters look great and there’s some cool layouts and what action exists looks great. The opening fight with Terrax too looks amazing with some panels that hand me linger. Syaf nails Guggenheim’s action, it’s a fantastic combo of writer and artist. Syaf is helped by Jay Leisten on inks and Frank Martin on colors. Both help make the art pop off of the page.
This first issue feels like a return to the classic X-Men I grew up reading decades ago with a mix of action and humor but most importantly reminding us that these though these characters have extraordinary powers, they’re very much human. Welcome back my X-Men!
Story: Marc Guggenheim Art: Ardian Syaf Ink: Jay Leisten Color: Frank Martin
Story: 8.45 Art: 8.65 Overall: 8.50 Recommendation: Buy
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review