Sworn to sell comics for Marvel executives who feared and hated the fact that Fox owned their movie rights, The Uncanny X-Men suffered great indignities, but with a corporate merger on the way, the X-Men can finally get back to doing what they do best: being objectively the best franchise in comics.
Each week, armed with the joy, heartbreak, and frustration of 30+ years of reading X-Men comics, we crankily read every new X-book that comes out, recap the events, provide some back-links to Marvel Unlimited, and wonder when Marvel will let Chris Claremont write something again. Seriously, how do you have the greatest writer in the history of comics on the payroll and just not use him for anything?
It’s the way X-Men comics were meant to be read! It’s the column that can only be known as…
For more about the column, check out the reboot issue here.
X-MEN GOLD #31
MARC GUGGENHEIM (W)
Pere Perez (A)
Cover by Phil Noto
• The cake’s been cut, the band’s gone home, and the biggest X-Wedding in history is finally a done deal!
• I’m not crying, you’re crying! And so is one of the X-Men!
• And those aren’t tears of joy: You won’t believe which X-Man calls it quits!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
X-Men Gold is wrapping up in September, which means it’s time to begin paying off the storylines that have been building from the beginning now that the “wedding” is behind us. This next storyline is all about Rachel, and it kicks off with Prestige waking up the morning after the “wedding” to find her boyfriend, Nightcrawler, incapacitated by the telepathic villain Mesmero. Mesmero drops some backstory in case you’re not caught up on previous issues; he’s been messing with Rachel’s mind for pretty much the entire series, slowing making adjustments.
Next, we get a brief interlude with Colossus leaving the “Clarebyrne” hotel, about to head off on an adventure in Astonishing X-Men, provided that comic doesn’t take 6 issues to assemble the team. Kitty confronts him, saying she loves him, but Colossus says that only makes the wedding issue bait-and-switch hurt all the more.
Next, we flash forward to the Days of Future Past storyline, where an aged Kate Pryde and Colossus are in a mutant internment camp. Storm, Nightcrawler, and now-adult-time-displaced-teen Cylcops plot an escape, thanks to a device Forge invented that will turn off their power-dampening collars. It works, but another group of X-Men including Anole, Armor, Fake Avalanche, and Ink are immediately attacked by sentinels. Ink is killed instantly.
Anole is upset by this, making him the one person in the world that cares Ink is dead. The other mutants make their escape, but Storm stays behind to hold off the sentinels and dies in the process. Don’t worry. It’s an apocalyptic future timeline. It doesn’t really count.
The escaped mutants make it to Patterson, New Jersey, but all the good pork roll, egg, and cheese sandwich places are all closed due to the post-apocalypse. Colossus drops a bombshell: Kate is pregnant! That’s his cue to get shot by Dr. Rory Campbell before a telepathic blast takes down Kate, clueing in Nightcrawler that Rachel is helping Campbell hunt them down, and she’s wearing her Hound cosplay.
Hound Rachel and Campbell attack, and Rachel snaps Cyclops’ neck. Things don’t look good for the X-Men until Iceman and Fake Pyro show up to confront Rachel, and we realize that the Days of Future Past timeline is all in Rachel’s head, and she’s attacking her friends in real life. Oops! To be continued.
The Bottom Line
We didn’t actually get the wedding we were promised last issue, with Gambit and Rogue getting married instead of Kitty and Colossus, but it certainly changed the direction for those four characters. For the rest of this series, it looks like the creative team intends to leave their mark on other cast members as well, starting with Rachel (next issue promises “a seismic shift in status quo for one of X-MEN GOLD’s charter members”), and a Storm storyline after that. The penultimate issue even teases possibly killing Storm. All of this leads into the Extermination X-over event and some kind of reboot/relaunch.
In that kind of atmosphere, it’s easy to stop caring about the current books knowing they’re going to be replaced by a new status quo, but it’s more rewarding to take some time to savor the current status quo one last time before things inevitably are “never the same again.”
Days of Future Past, of course, takes place starting in Uncanny X-Men #141, which you can read on Marvel Unlimited.
It’s in Excalibur #75 that Campbell learns he becomes the mutant hunter Ahab in the Days of Future Past timeline, but that is sadly not on Marvel Unlimited. The timeline is also revisited in Excalibur #67 “Days of Futures Yet to Come,” which you can find there.
Read more X-ual Healing here: