Writer: Marc Guggenheim
X-Men Gold #1 is a welcome, glorious, return to mediocre that comic X-fans have been begging for since 2012.
It’s been a dark, macabre several years for homo superior. Under the misguided keystrokes of Brian Michael Bendis, Charles Soule, and Jeff Lemire, we’ve seen the mutant population dwindle to a mere handful, the death of Charles Xavier, Cyclops descend into borderline villainy, the death of Wolverine and the X-Men absolutely trounced and dismissed by The Inhumans. Things were, and still may be, bleak for the merry mutants. Enter this whole “ResurrXion” initiative from Marvel that promises a return to form for the X-Men and X-Men Gold #1 does seem to be a step in the right direction.
Written by Arrow-verse producer, Marc Guggenheim, this first issue of the new mutant flagship sees Kitty Pryde in her first days as the new leader of the X-Men with all the issue #1 trimmings. They fight a villain, show their worth as a team, set-up everyone character arc and dynamic within the team, and, of course, tease the books big-bad. In this respect, the book succeeds very well for setting the stage for its audience. So, let’s talk specifics.
Thematically, it’s a rehash of the whole “protect a world that hates and fears them” motif with a slight twist. Kitty Pryde, and by proxy the team, validate those fears. They outright say that their race is dangerous, that they’re capable of inciting calamity, and most answer the age-old question of why humans in the Marvel Universe hate the X-Men but cheer and celebrate other meta-humans. This was an excellent move by Guggenheim. Not only is he giving fans a classic troupe they’ve been asking for, he’s also found a way to give them something different and noteworthy to cling to as the series goes forward. This was the most notable part of the work.
However, much of the book felt like nostalgia for the sake of nostalgia. I mean, the X-Men literally play baseball at the end of the first act. It can certainly be perceived as a demerit for the book but when considering how depressing and downtrodden the X-Books have been for the past several years, I’ll take nostalgia over whatever the hell Bendis was doing.
This ResurrXion initiative deserves a chance. Marvel seems to be earnest in its interest to bring the X-Men back to prominence and restore their status in the Marvel Universe and nothing conveys that better than by assigning such a high profile writer such as Guggenheim. And while the book isn’t a must-read, can’t miss experience, it’s certainly enjoyable and sets the stage very well for the what’s come.