By Marc Guggenheim, Ken Lashley, Frank Martin, and Andrew Crossley
The X-Men line has gone through several revisions in the past few years. Some were good, some were bad. We’re now eight issues into the newest relaunch and there have been mixed reviews for the core X-titles. X-Men Gold has an older feel to it with a very familiar cast, which is one of its biggest charms. Behind Marc Guggenheim, the book has laid down a story of mutants trying to repair their reputation among humans and every other race in the universe; Guggenheim seems to have them on the right track.
As we dig into X-Men Gold #8, we pick up right where we left off: Peter getting shot at. Spoiler alert, he doesn’t die, but Guggenheim came up with a creative way to get out of it. One nice thing that Guggenheim has also done these past two issues is incorporate some of the limbo X-Men, like Dust and Rockslide. Even though they weren’t major players in the issue, it was still nice to see them actually do something. If there is one gripe with the issue, it’s that it’s way too Kitty-centric. She’s the leader of the team, so she should get good panel time, but it feels like she’s super Kitty and she just kind of does everything. It can be a little overwhelming at times. That aside, X-Men Gold #8 was a fun issue to read and Guggenheim has been doing a fine job mixing in nostalgia to new stories.
The pencils this issue are handled by Ken Lashley with colors by Frank Martin and Andrew Crossley. Lashley’s pencils look great this issue. From the opening page, as a bullet races towards Peter’s head, everything is clean, smooth and gorgeous. The fight scenes are well drawn and easy to follow. There aren’t any hard to make out panels during fights that sometimes kill a book. Panels where Nightcrawler is beaten and bloody are very good here too; you really see all the welts and bruises. The colors by Frank Martin and Andrew Crossley are right on par with the high quality art, though at times, the colors can look a little muddy when characters are farther in the background. This can be seen in panels where Logan and Storm first find Nightcrawler. With that small gripe out of the way, the rest of the book looks excellent as the pair of colorists dazzle with a dark yet slightly vibrant color palette. Look no further than the red of Peter’s uniform or the blue on Nightcrawler’s skin. The colors go so well with the pencils laid down by Lashley.
X-Men Gold has been a fun, but safe ride. This series offers a familiar cast that and writing that is fairly similar to the 90’s style of comics. Marc Guggenheim does a nice job of making things interesting enough while filtering in good supporting characters that haven’t been seen in a while. The pencils and colors for this issue look great. X-Men Gold is a book for throwback fans and new fans alike.