Mojo’s back and the hits just keep on coming. The joint teams of X-Men find themselves kidnapped by Mojo from their home base at the Xavier Institute For Mutant Education and Outreach now situated in Central Park and placed in a deadly new show he is televising to the whole world where he pits them against the ghosts of their past.
X-MEN GOLD #14
Writer: Marc Guggenheim
Artist: Carlos Cabrera
Colorist: Rain Beredo
Publisher: Marvel Comic
What You Need to Know:
Already quite a lot has happened in the previous two instalments of the saga. While enjoying some downtime and playing a simple game of softball (what else) the team, along with the five time displaced X-Men and their new compatriots Jimmy Hudson and Bloodstorm, are attacked by three gold spires of indeterminate origin. Upon splitting up into smaller groups to investigate the triple threat in three separate locations they each become embroiled in holographic recreations of scenarios and outfits that are well known to most of them.
Kitty, Bloodstorm, Rachel and teen Scott take off to Lexington Avenue to discover the dangers of Days of Future Past. Storm, Old Man Logan join teens Bobby and Warren to find Times Square has been transformed to the site of the Asgardian Wars and Nightcrawler and Colossus go to Washington Park with the younger Jean, Beast and Jimmy Hudson to encounter none other than Inferno. The teams are kept linked by Prestige who has her signal boosted by the link shared with Scott and Jean, which has been recently re-established. Kitty’s team is soon joined by Longshot (back in mullet mode I’m afraid to add) in time to give the guys the down low as their world switches again, but not before Bloodstorm is seemingly taken out of the fray. On top of which Kitty’s team is now faced with Magneto and Asteroid M. Where will it all end?
What You’ll Find Out:
Up next the three ersatz teams are faced with more past battles. Kitty’s team is now on Magnetos Asteroid M base where Scott lets slip his crew are now working with the Master of Magnetism, Storms team switches from Asgard to X-Tinction Agenda, facing none other than the Press Gang and Magistrates and quickly lose Warren to the not so tender mercies of Wipeout and team Jean still seem stuck in Inferno (we all know how that feels) where we are treated to Jean in Goblin Queen attire facing off against …the Goblin Queen.
And now on top of Mojo announcing all bets are off and anyone can be killed Kittys team once again has a scene shift and are up against the hot mess that is AvX.
Meanwhile back at base the kids of Generation X are faced with the realisation not only does it look like their friends are being picked off one by one but they can do nothing but watch…and eat popcorn. Similarly Longshot, the innocent he is has to also come to terms with the harsh reality that the Avengers are not there to help!! Finally after the Goblin Queen gets more than she bargained for by mentioning Scott and Jean gets a shot in, their surroundings also change to throw them into the Savage Land and a group of decidedly mixed up enemies, amongst them, in an image eerily resplendent of the closing post credit scene of Days of Future Past, Four Horsemen astride their good old mechanical golden mares.
What Just Happened?
In a dizzying battle switching between the three separate teams (though not much is seen of the Inferno team) all in various costume changes and past scenarios and… yet more costumes… it seems what our three teams have to deal with is more about image and history lessons rather than cooperating or moving the story along.
Aside from Angel being taken off the board the only revelation here seems to be O5 Scott letting slip to Rachel and Kitty that his gang have recently thrown their lot in with Magneto when they come up against a version of him in battle. While the shock is palpable it doesn’t come off as genuine, especially for Kitty who, let’s not forget practically owed Mags her life way back when as she was stuck in a bullet in space. Also given Rachel has herself just the previous issue had yet another reminder of her own past as a hound surely the judgement comes off a little heavy handed?
With the progress the younger team has made since getting back together it also seems a little off that they are all completely amateurish, with both Warren and Iceman ploughing in without any forethought during the X-Tinction Agenda scenario, a battle that they also have no experience in, which is made painfully obvious when Warren in Archangel garb comes off worst as he faces off against Wipeout. Whereas Kitty and Rachel are somewhat more guarded given they were not on the team during those confrontations the gung-ho recklessness of their younger allies seems circumspect and a little out of character of late and the progress they have made in their own more recent adventures. Especially taking into consideration they have just lost a key player in Bloodstorm and they know it’s all to play for and not just a walk in the park. We’ve already had an issue of them all being caught on the back foot, it’s past time they got their acts together and started acting with some cohesion. Teen Jean getting the better of the Goblin Queen only because she makes a comment about Scott loving her more doesn’t count. I’m still having trouble forgiving Guggenheim for having Kitty call Rachel “Rache” and not “Ray” the previous issue, these two have been best friends and team mates for so long now and this isn’t the norm. It’s slips like this, minor though they are, that make me feel that this whole thing is just going by the numbers here and I kind of expect more from a team that is essentially the remnants of my beloved Excalibur. Also, in the final panel to not only come face to face with Stry-Pocalypse…Apoc-Ryfe but also a *sigh* Phoenix imbued Sentinel…? Is EVERYONE going to be a Phoenix now?
Final Thought: While the previous instalments have treated us to such delights as Spider-Man and the Champions tackling the barrier trapping the X-Men, Kitty telling Rachel they WILL have a discussion about her and Kurt, Jimmy calling Old Man Logan “pops”, Rachel and Scott similarly discussing what she should call him (apparently dad is actually acceptable compared to adolescent dad, tyke dad or little dad) this issue hasn’t given us too much to go on in the way of plot development and team interaction with Nightcrawler, Colossus and Beast in particular taking much of a back seat. While this is a common hazard with ensemble cast and the fact it’s three separate teams it may just be too much to juggle story wise.