X-Men Gold #30

Writer: Marc Guggenheim
Artist: David Marquez
Colorist: Matthew Wilson
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover Artist: Phil Noto
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Review by Nico Sprezzatura

I’d like to start this review off by saying my Marvel wedding prediction (all the way back in November!) ended up being correct, because I’m an iconic soothsayer who is always right about everything.

I know what you’re thinking: But Nico, it’s Kitty Pryde and Colossus getting married here, not Rogue and Gambit! They’re holding hands on the cover! They even had a pre-wedding special just a matter of weeks ago! And while all of that is true, this week’s X-Men Gold #30 ends with nuptials… just not Kitty and Piotr’s.

I think it’s safe for me to spoil as much from the jump, since The New York Times made it official this morning. But yes: Kitty gets cold feet and decides not to marry Colossus after all, leading Gambit to swoop in and ask for his newly-reunited partner’s hand in marriage. Given how unenthusiastic I am about Kitty and Colossus as a couple, but especially because of how much I support Rogue and Gambit, X-Men Gold #30 ultimately delivers on its surprise twist.

As for the rest of the issue? I don’t really know what to make of it. While David Marquez delivers some fantastic, gorgeously clean art —as is usual for his output— the actual execution of the story feels a bit off.

Kitty’s sudden reluctance to marry Piotr feels unearned to me, even if she does have a history of ditching men at the worst possible moment. (Remember when she almost married Star-Lord?!) The past six issues (and aforementioned wedding special) never really established any kind of doubt in her mind about getting hitched to Colossus, and some offhand comments from Guggenheim seem to suggest this development wasn’t planned from the beginning.

And then there’s the matter of Magik in this issue, who (more or less) convinces Kitty that marrying Piotr might not be a good decision. It’s just a weird scene that only fuels Kitty/Illyana shippers in a way that I’m not sure was intended? I can’t say I’m confident Marvel will officially make either of those characters queer —much less as an item together— so it kinda hangs over the rest of the issue as unusual subtext they probably won’t address anytime soon, if ever.

But like I said, artist Marquez and colorist Matthew Wilson provide some seriously pretty art that makes up for the story’s shortcomings. The actual moment Kitty phases through Piotr’s wedding band is rendered perfectly, as is the grid layout of various parties —Kitty and Piotr included— reacting to it. Marquez in particular is just very good at conveying emotion in characters, and it helps sell the material in a way that Guggenheim’s script doesn’t for me.

So while X-Men Gold #30 is an uneven issue, the groundwork it lays for the X-Line moving forward is kind of exciting. We get a glimpse of Mr. & Mrs. X —a new ongoing series that stars Rogue and Gambit— in the backmatter, announcing Kelly Thompson and Oscar Bazaldua as its creative team. Coming off the excellent Rogue & Gambit limited series (also written by Thompson), I’m very much looking forward to following the two in their wedded bliss. And while I’m not overly invested in Kitty and Colossus as a couple, the aftermath of their non-wedding should be pretty fascinating.

The Verdict: Check it out.

Unless you’re a mutant completist (or an opportunistic speculator), X-Men Gold #30 serves a skip-able, underwhelming climax to a story months in the making.

Nico Sprezzatura
Nico Frank Sprezzatura, middle name optional. 24. Schrödinger's writer.

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