Marc Guggenheim is laying the foundation for one of the best X-Men runs in recent memory. Every issue is another brick being placed that is built upon by the following story. Piece by piece Guggenheim is creating a complex and layered X-Men tale that shows no signs of slowing. Just when you think that the plot is beginning to slow, that’s when the author places another twist in the road.
Here is a short list of the current plots and subplots that we see in this issue:
Kitty Pryde is maturing into a very effective leader of not only her team, but a figurehead to the public as she is bringing the X-team back into the public forefront.
Colossus and Kitty are caught back up in the will they/ won’t they dance of romance, as the big metal Russian went so far as taking a bullet for his former love.
There have been hints that Nightcrawler may not be able to die. (An after effect of the character’s resurrection)
There is also the rising threat posed by an ever toxic political scene, where there is now a bill being introduced that would deport mutants.
We also see the blooming plot of the ninja group The Hand buying the remains of the Russian mutant known as Omega Red.
There is also the dynamic of new team members (Dust and Rockslide) coming into their own and finding their place among the established veterans.
All of this is going on in the background and building upon itself as the main plot of the issue provides action. The driving story for this installment is a mutant serial killer is loose inside the mansion while part of the team is off trying to lend their help in the events that have engulfed New York City; which has been transported to an alternate, demon filled dimension thanks to the events of the Secret Empire cross-over event that is currently running throughout most Marvel titles this summer.
Ken Lashley and the art team provide another fantastic issue as they fill-in for departed/fired artist Ardian Syaf. Lashley’s style is a great fit for the X-Men as his panel and page layout give room for the action to take center stage. He will finish his arch with issue #9, and artists Lan Medina and Luke Ross are scheduled to take over the art chores in subsequent issues. All of this feeds the concern that I raised upon the firing of Syaf; will this hot title be able to maintain its momentum will a constantly rotating cast of artists? The problem has been the death knell for many titles before and I would hate to see this comic join those ranks.
Right now Guggenheim is steering the Gold team into successful waters—I don’t see this changing anytime soon. This continues to be one of the best titles to come out of the line-wide re-launch.
Story: Marc Guggenheim
Art: Ken Lashley
Colors: Frank Martin & Andrew Crossley
Letters: VC’s Cory Petit