Storm reflects on the day she lost her parents as she processes their resurrection. Uovu, a god who has suddenly appeared in the village in which Ororo was raised, has brought Storm’s parents back to her somehow. As happy as Ororo is, she can’t leave Uovu uninvestigated, and she searches his compound. Back in New York, Kitty Pryde and Magik have a heart-to-heart while fighting thugs in Mandroid costumes.
X-Men Gold #34 moves a lot more quickly than the previous issue and has more of a story to tell than #33, which was an issue-long meandering setup for what could admittedly be a good story.
That said, X-Men Gold #34 probably should have moved a bit slower. It wants to have this big emotional reunion between Storm and her parents, but it speed through that to have Storm immediately uncover what Uovu is doing in this village and sparking a conflict between herself and Uovu’s cult.
It’s just as possible to pace a comic too quickly as it is to move too slowly, and Gold #34 does that here. The reader needs more time to see this potentially heartwarming reunion between Ororo and her parents for the painful emotional payoff to arrive when Uovu’s plan becomes apparent.
As it is, we see them reunite and, boom, Ororo runs off. The reader knows that another shoe will drop in this story, so rushing to said shoe dropping doesn’t do the comic any favors. It scores points for prefacing this with a painful scene of young Ororo witnessing her parents’ deaths, but it’s not enough buildup for what this comic wants to pull off.
Michele Bandini bolsters the comic with solid artwork, but even that is soured somewhat in this installment. While the detailing, expression, and use of shadow are all solid, the backgrounds are often left barren and leave the characters looking like they are merely floating in a void. It’s off-putting and is distracting in many panels. When the artwork still looks good outside of that problem, and Erick Arciniega delivers some solid color work in this book, even if the Ororo scenes could have used some dashes of lighter colors to contrast.
X-Men Gold #34 isn’t a bad comic, but it struggles and ultimately fails to be the emotional trek that it wishes to be. Ororo’s parents are back, but you know that something wrong is happening here. Storm will be split apart from them, but there’s no moments of warmth and connection to make that powerful. I can recommend this comic tentatively to the X-Fan, but I wouldn’t call it a must-read.
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