Writer: Marc Guggenheim
X-Men Gold #2 is simple, effective, and timely as Guggenheim is slowly helming the X-Men back to their former glory.
We rejoin the story after the last issue’s cliff-hanger reemergence of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. The standard superhero scuffle ensues, the villains built up some credibility by subduing our heroes, and in true, classic X-Men fashion, the team breaks off to their separate corners to fester and monologue about their various self-doubts. Like I said, this is all standard stuff but after the funeral march the X-Books have been since 2011 standard is a welcome sight.
What elevates the book past mediocrity is Guggenheim’s dialogue, deviations from story conventions, and the social commentary he uses the plot to convey. Guggenheim’s years on Arrow has clearly served him well as his script is witty, engaging, and character specific. Logan spouts the gruff, gravely one-lines we’ve been craving since main-line Wolvie was axed in 2014, Colossus is his classic quiet, yet confident self, and Kitty Pryde (series MVP) can on one page be the assertive, effective leader the merry Mutants have long needed and the witty, self-deprecating woman X-Fans have long revered. And while you may think that Guggenheim has taken too many ‘member berries in effort to conjure nostalgia and Chris Claremont, he is sure to use the characters to break expected story tropes and give the audience some very memorable moments.
Speaking of memorable, Guggenheim also uses this current iteration of the X-Men to talk about some very hot topics in the political realm. X-Men stories have a long standing tradition of being allegories for the different, the marginalized, and the segregated and Guggenheim has now come to bear that torch. I won’t speak directly about he has chosen to contribute to this legacy because I’m not about the spoiler life, but it will be interesting to say where it leads.
The X-Men finally seem to have some stability under the purview of Guggenheim and his keystrokes and I’m overjoyed. I haven’t had this much fun reading X-Men in a long, long time and I am optimistic for the course this series is taking.