X-Men Gold #1 Could Be Renamed “Don’t Be A Menace To Central Park While Playing Baseball Outside Of The Mansion” (SPOILERS)

It was one of the first Wayan Bros movies and probably their best. A parody of the works of Spike Lee and similarly themed movies, Don’t Be A Menace To South Central While Drinking Juice In The Hood. And with a mailman ready to follow any long character monologues with…

…”Message!”

Having Bamf do something similar in X-Men Gold #1 might have really helped. Because X-Men Gold #1 is about looking backwards and moving forwards, simultaneously. And constantly telling you about it. Wielding a sledgehammer.

Which is why we have the X-Men playing a baseball game in their new home of Central Park.

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Sorry, “softball”. Looking forward, right? We have a passionate speech about humans and mutants.

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“Message!” We have Storm talking about going back to their roots…

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“Message!” We have Kitty Pryde choosing not to go back to her first Peter.

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“Message!” And Rachel on her own codename, even as Kitty Pryde makes a point of refusing to choose one.

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“Message!” And then writer, Marc Guggenheim adding an essay at the end. Well, if not an essay, certainly a… message.

Seriously, thanks. If you’re reading this, it means you’ve bought the first issue of X-Men Gold. (Right? Right? If you torrented it, you should feel appropriately terrible.)

Is this the first time Marvel has mentioned torrenting in one of its comic books? Especially when, while people are more likely to torrent Marc Guggenheim’s TV shows, most pirating of new comic books right now come down to certain websites, message boards or even YouTube videos that just show every page one after another? Come on Marc, you’ve got to look forward…

The mission statement of this book is as straightforward as the title of our first arc: “Back to the basics.” After no more mutants and utopias and messiah complexes and AVXs and E’s for Extinction and terrigen mists, the X-men are no longer facing some existential threat, which means they’re free to cut loose and go back to saving a world that hates and fears them.

Basically, we’re going back to go forward. What does this mean? (good question.)

It’s a question lots of people seem to be asking David Gabriel this past weekend.

It means that we’re going to tell stories that feel like a throwback to the halcyon days of Uncanny X-Men while still being fresh and new.

This is a tall order. Fortunately, however, I’m aided and abetted by Ardian Syaf, Jay Leisten and Frank Martin, whose beautiful art summarizes what we’re doing – old school meets modern – better than I ever could. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t also call out our editor extraordinaire, Daniel Ketchum, whose vision for this book has been my north star. I’ll take the blame for any shortcomings, but daniel deserves the lion’s share of the credit for the awesome things we’re doing.

And if that weren’t enough, we have RB Silva and Ken Lashley waiting in the wings to help us ship this series to you twice – twice! – monthly. In short, it’s an artistic murderers’ row.

Okay, I thought that was a bad thing. Like, gthe artists were going to have to be murdered to get the pages out on time. I just checked and, for non-Americans like me, that’s a term initially used to describe the devastatingly effective batting line-up of the 1927 New York Yankees baseball team, now used more broadly to refer to any particularly successful and/or powerful group of people.

I don’t know, I thought today’s Uncanny Avengers was probably the best looking X-Men comic this week… Pepe Larraz might be more suited to moving the needle.

And in keeping with drawing inspiration from yesteryear, we’re bringing back the letters page! (email page?) every other week, it’ll be my pleasure to respond to your missives about our little book. But we still need a title. So how ’bout this: email in with your suggestions and if we pick yours, I’ll make sure daniel sends you something special. Sound good? Good.

Murderer’s Rows? You know, rows, as in arguments? Oh never mind….

So yes. Ardian Syaf, Jay Leisten and Frank Martin look a bit like John Cassaday crossed with early Jim Lee/Marc Silvestri, and the open with a page like this, which is very Astonishing X-Men… with giving us those widescreen panels of talking heads and gradiated block colour backgrounds you may associate with that run.

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But if you were worried about some of the mutant hate/racism/homophobia parallel that has so fuelled the comic in the past going away… remember, this is how they begin their bright new start.

 

X-Men Gold #1 by Marc Guggenheim, Ardian Syaf, Jay Leisten and Frank Martin is published by Marvel Comics today.

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.