Review: X-Men Gold #9
By Andy Frisk
August 15, 2017 - 21:42
Writer(s): Marc Guggenheim
Artist(s): Ken Lashley
Colourist(s): Andrew Crossley Frank Martin
Letterer(s): VC's Cory Petit
Kitty Pryde testifies before a Congressional Committee that is proposing the forced deportation of all mutants in America. Meanwhile, Russian bad actors work to resurrect a former X-Men foe and end up directly impacting the processes of duly elected American officials. Oh, and romance is kindled (and rekindled) between X-Men teammates. Russians, politics, and love...oh, yeah. This is the X-Men, Claremont homage style.
Writer Marc Guggenheim took some flack from me over his weak portrayal of Kitty in the first issue of X-Men Gold. He has redeemed the character greatly since then. X-Men Gold is becoming the X-Book to read if you are a fan of the progressive politics of the classic Uncanny X-Men series as it was written by Chris Claremont three decades ago. Let's hope that Guggenheim stays true to this historic thematic component of the X-Men's stories that made them such iconic touchstones of social justice fiction. The social justice themes aren't the only themes that Guggenheim resurrects here though. The intertwining personal romances of the characters weave their way through the narrative smartly and juxtapose nicely against the larger conflicts in the story that allegorically portray the divorce of the State from its legal citizens as represented by the Congressional panel's intentions.
Artist Ken Lashley does a great job creating the quieter moments in the story. His understated yet powerful grasp of body language and facial expression in these moments is breathtaking and beautiful. It is when the action starts that things don't look as good. His unique use of panel bleed over and angling is meant to convey the kinetic action of the battle between Kitty, Whiplash, and Colossus in the Congress chamber room, but it ends up looking too chaotic to the eye to be striking or smooth enough to be visually arresting. It's highly stylish, but too unwieldy to be coherent. Simply put, it's hard to follow.
Politics, love, and Russian interference. Yeah, I'm loving X-Men Gold right now. Now, if Guggenheim can work in some X-Men punching out Nazis story lines over the next few issues, I'd be in X-Men, and comic book reading, heaven.
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