When Tom King made waves in the comic community with Batman’s monumental proposal to Catwoman last June Marvel took notice, so you can’t really blame them for concocting a wedding of their own to compete. Alas we have the ongoing “Til Death Do Us Part” arc leading into the super-sized X-Men wedding between mainstay mutants Kitty Pryde and Piotr “Colossus” Rasputin. Unfortunately, a wedding decades in the making isn’t enough to save this issue (or this series, for that matter) from becoming stale bordering on boring.
What’s really plagued the X-Men Gold series lately has been its incredibly dull dialogue and, sadly, #27 is no different. It’s not that the dialogue feels robotic or unrealistic, it just feels like it’s being spoken by an even less funny Ned Flanders- it’s just so mundane and dry. Each joke lacks any creativity and falls completely flat while there’s little to no emotion conveyed in every conversation.
One line in particular stands out to me as being truly horrible. When Pyro is just about to enter a room, he says, “If I had to guess, I’d say it’s..” then, upon finding out it wasn’t what he would’ve guessed, says “actually, it was gonna be a totally different guess.” It’s a moment that’s written with the cadence of a joke followed by the most bland, obvious punchline of all time. While this example is the worst of the book, it’s indicative of the quality of the majority of the dialogue included.
There is one standout exchange between Rogue and Kitty Pryde that did warm my heart, as Kitty confides in Rogue she’s getting cold feet about marrying Piotr. In these short pages, Kitty and Rogue share a lovely back and forth about the wedding and all the preparations necessary as Kitty laments that the universe is telling her not to go through with it.
Rogue being Rogue, she convinces Kitty to give the universe the finger and follow through because she knows how much she loves Piotr. It’s another instance of Rogue showing just how stellar a leader, teammate, and friend she is that proves why she has been one of the series’s few saving graces over the last few issues. I’d love to see writer Marc Guggenheim helm a solo Rogue series or give her a team of her own.
One of X-Men Gold’s more interesting subplots has been the troublesome maturation of Rachel Summer’s powers, a narrative that finally gets revisited in this issue. The whole team is beginning to notice the extent of her new powers and she even puts them on full display in this issue, complete with a snarky, almost hostile, attitude. I’ve long thought this has been one of X-Men Gold’s most interesting yet underdeveloped stories, but it’s once again rushed over to focus instead on another one of Lydia Nance’s terrible mutant-genocide plans.
While it is certainly a refreshing return to normal to see these X-Men battling a domestic threat to mutantkind rather than space gods from other dimensions, Lydia Nance feels like such an underwhelming villain. There’s another attempt in this issue to perhaps provide insight behind the machinations of Lydia’s bigotry, calling back to her abusive mutant father, however this moment feels too much like an excuse for her bigotry rather than any attempt to humanize her. I think the X-Men are at their best when they’re battling bigots, but Lydia’s “I had a bad experience with one mutant so now they all must die” stance seems both over-dramatic and uninspired.
There’s a few other minor problems I have with this issue that don’t relate to the series as a whole, but should be pointed out anyway. First off, Storm’s new look and hammer feels an awful lot like a quick fill in for Jane Foster’s Thor, who is now gone. I actually don’t think this was an intentional move to capitalize on the recent Thor’s success, but the copycat feeling is there regardless. Second, the flashback sequences in the introduction may look gorgeous, but they serve no purpose to the story as a whole other than to tender readers’ loins as they say “aww, look how cute Kitty and Piotr are!”
X-Men Gold lost its mojo (no pun intended) following Marvel Legacy and I’ve been hopelessly waiting for the series to return to quality ever since. Unfortunately, this is not the issue to restore my faith in Kitty Pryde’s squad. X-Men Gold #27 is another in a long line of boring, uninspired issues that only feature a few good moments surrounded by countless unforgettable ones.
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