This week X-Men: Gold issue six comes out, concluding the second story arc. While both arcs were enjoyable, they seemed to wrap up before really gaining any significant footing. Is X-Men: Gold in a rush to get somewhere?
***SPOILERS LIE AHEAD***
X-Men: Gold #6 is the third and final chapter of “Techno Superior”. The sentient, mutant hunting, AI takes on Kitty Pryde’s X-Men and a handful of other heroes that happened to be in NY. The foes only weakness? Psychic attacks.
The team’s psychic heavy hitter, Rachel Summers, is unconscious. She’s going through a bad dream tour of self doubt and advice from her parents, allies, and future self. She faces her fear and wakes up to swiftly end the threat her teammates face.
Personally, I’m a big fan of one-shots and tighter story arcs as opposed to the giant epics that last forever. Especially when it comes to X-Men comics. Writer Marc Guggenheim certainly isn’t going for big stories that may wear out their welcome. He’s also not giving anything time to breath.
Any Marvel fan today knows when a story is rushed. Too many cancelled books forced to wrap up their master plan in a single farewell issue. We’re all too familiar with it. That’s not the case here, but it’s a similar feeling after finishing this book. The only difference is knowing that there’s another issue in two weeks.
Both of X-Men: Gold‘s arcs were entertaining, action packed, and scratched the itch of longtime X-Fans ascetically. Guggenheim and company have a good handle on the characters and history. It’s all just happening a bit too fast.
This issue in particular ended on a rather unfulfilling note. As soon as Rachel awoke, it was over. Her internal conflict and fear of her full potential is extremely appealing. I wouldn’t have minded to spend some more time with that. Especially when it gives us our Cyclops back for a brief moment.
Gambit and Storm have been very close friends for a long time. Whether or not it warrants exploration, the two X-Men share a kiss and it’s barely given a second mention. I’m not saying I want a whole issue exploring the kiss, but maybe another panel or so.
I understand we’re long removed from the Claremont X-Men tactic of letting things slowly develop in the background for years, but why such a rush to move forward? It’s hard for anything to carry weight moving forward if the gravity of events doesn’t get fleshed out and felt by both character and reader.
Perhaps Guggenheim has major plans for the team in the future and these first six issues are a soft opening number? Are the first few story arcs aimed more at drawing in new readers than earning back the trust of longtime fans? That’s not what Marvel promised the objective of this book was when ResurreXion was announced.
Pacing is important with comic books, especially ones that ship twice monthly. This is where an editor should step in and help plot the future.
Only time will tell where the book is headed and whether or not we’ll get a chance to really catch up with our beloved mutants before we get there. The book has a long enough leash where a pacing problem won’t derail the experience as long as it delivers otherwise.
The creative team is worthy of our trust for now. I believe in X-Men: Gold.
What do you think of the series so far? Is pacing a problem or has nitpicking gone too far? Let us know in the comments below!