Getting married is always crazy. As great as it may be to bring two people together in matrimony, there are a lot of things to worry about: extended families, bachelor and bachelorette parties, and, of course, the wedding plans. But, if you’re an X-Man, these are the least of your worries. In X-MEN GOLD #27, a nanotech sentinel and an insane old lady with a vendetta against mutantkind are just a few more of Kitty and Colossus’ pre-wedding troubles.

Writer Marc Guggenheim and artists Geraldo Borges and Arif Prianto kick off the second installment in the “Til’ Death Do Us Part” arc with Kitty Pryde’s worst nightmare: Colossus’ capture by the Gold team’s frequent enemy, Lydia Nance. And just when things look bad enough, Nance and her nanotech toy reveal their plans to use Colossus’ DNA to create a new virus that will wipe out all of mutantkind. It’s up to the Gold team to save the day and rescue Colossus. Unfortunately for them, the nanotech sentinel known as “Alpha” doesn’t plan on giving up without a fight.

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The Team Hunts for Colossus in X-MEN GOLD #27

X-MEN GOLD #27 finds Colossus missing and the team in shambles. Storm is struggling with her new hammer, Stormcaster, and Rachel is similarly struggling with her heightened telepathic powers. Storm is concerned about Rachel, who in recent issues has been showing some of her old “hound” characteristics. Her enhanced powers have made her distant and short tempered — two traits she shows off in her brief but heated encounter with Storm.

Soon enough, the girls have to put their respective problems aside to focus on the bigger issue: saving Colossus from Lydia Nance and Alpha. The Gold team tracks down Colossus’ location, leading them to Nance’s compound in the Savage Land. There, Nance has Colossus hooked up to machines that will apparently extract the DNA needed to create a new strand of the Legacy virus.

X-MEN GOLD #27
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

The team attacks but Alpha is impressively powerful. Since he’s made of nanotechnology, he can easily create an endless line of sentinel clones. The Gold team struggles to keep up with Alpha’s limitless army. In the last panel, Kitty watches as Nance’s spaceship — presumably carrying Colossus — shoots off into the atmosphere.

Like Mother, Like Daughter

X-MEN GOLD #27 is filled with marital angst surrounding Colossus and Kitty, which makes sense since their wedding is coming up soon. With a title like “Til’ Death Do Us Part” I expect some angst. However, what really makes X-MEN GOLD #27 a strong issue is the scene between Storm and Rachel.

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It’s no secret that X-MEN GOLD has been Kitty’s series from the start. She’s usually the star and most of the storylines revolve around her — which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Kitty deserves to have the spotlight just like any other character does. But, after 26 issues, it’s nice to see Rachel and Storm getting some character-developing panel time.

Rachel especially deserves it, considering Guggenheim has been hinting at her fragile psychological state for a while now. At the beginning of the series, Rachel got a boost of telepathic power. It’s this boost that’s causing her old “hound” persona to reappear (i.e. her facial marks and costume). With the physical change comes a mental change as well. The normally warm-hearted Rachel has become distant and moody, as seen in her exchange with Storm. She adamantly refuses to see the similarities between her and her mother’s (Jean Grey) dangerous circumstances, even though they’re obviously similar.

With so much attention focused on Kitty and Colossus, I’m really glad Guggenheim squeezed in this scene with Rachel. After the end of the current arc, I hope to see more of Rachel and her hound troubles.

X-MEN GOLD #27
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Mutant Hate Breeds Illness

Perhaps the most disappointing part of X-MEN GOLD #27 is the return of the Legacy virus. Although it’s clear that this new virus will not be exactly the same as the original Legacy virus, its description sounds similar. Since the Legacy virus has been such a big deal in the past, spanning countless X-Men series’ and issues, the reappearance of the virus here feels a little unoriginal. It’s been seen so many times in the past, with so many writers approaching it at different angles, that I personally don’t think it really needs any further exploration. Having Lydia Nance (who’s randomly reappeared in X-MEN GOLD way too many times) be the mastermind of the new virus also feels unoriginal.

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Instead of another Legacy virus, I would have liked to see a stronger focus on nanotechnology. Clearly the tiny sentinels are extremely powerful since Alpha is able to take down the Gold team single-handedly. With technology this powerful, I think an entire storyline — still involving a captured Colossus — could’ve been successful.

Shady Business

Artist Geraldo Borges brings his own distinct style to X-MEN GOLD #27. Borges’ backgrounds are some of the best and most detailed I’ve ever seen. But, Borges’ facial expressions sometimes appear distorted due to the intense shadows used to carve out facial features. Whether this shadowing is the work of him or the colorist, one thing is certain: Borges’ beautiful drawings drown beneath too heavy of shadows.

X-MEN GOLD #27
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Colorist Arif Prianto has worked for X-MEN GOLD in the past and his coloring style is one of the most consistent artistic elements in the series. In past reviews, I’ve critiqued his skin tones, which frequently have too strong of pink or purple undertones to look realistic. However, in X-MEN GOLD #27, Prianto’s skin tones are — for the most part — really good. In this issue, Prianto also uses a brush-like stroke when coloring faces. This gives them a lot more dimension, beyond what Borges’ pencils can do.

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Final Thoughts

Overall, X-MEN GOLD #27 is a solid issue and an enjoyable read for any X-Men fans invested in Kitty and Colossus’ relationship or in Rachel Grey’s character. While the plot lacks the originality that I wish it had, the presence of the new Legacy virus doesn’t detract from the much-needed character development that Guggenheim includes. Borges and Prianto’s artwork also helps makes this issue one of the better ones in recent months. Hopefully, the next issue in Kitty and Colossus’ marriage saga will prove just as enthralling!

Make sure to pick up X-MEN GOLD #28 on May 23rd!

X-MEN GOLD #27 by Marc Guggenheim, Geraldo Borges, Arif Prianto, David Marquez, and Matthew Wilson
Plot
Characterization
Art
Summary
X-MEN GOLD #27 brings a surprising amount of character development -- not just for Kitty and Colossus but for Rachel Grey too. The mutant virus storyline feels a little recycled, but with how well Guggenheim is handling the characters, I have hope that the next few issues will be just as entertaining as this one.
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