The wedding is over, and so are Kitty and Colossus in X-MEN GOLD #31. Writer Marc Guggenheim and artists Pere Perez, Jay David Ramos, and Matt Milla lead the Gold series into a new direction after the insanity seen in X-MEN GOLD #30. Kitty and Colossus, the series’ spotlight characters, take a back seat while long-neglected Rachel Grey finally gets some interesting characterization. Kitt and Colossus are not exactly minor characters, but they’re no longer the prized centerpieces they once were. What this means for the series, which is due to wrap up in September, is up to ComicsVerse speculation.

As always, beware of spoilers! If you haven’t read X-MEN GOLD #31 turn back down now.

x-men gold #31
X-MEN GOLD #31. Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Psychic Jungle

It’s the morning after the wedding and, mere minutes after waking up, Rachel is already being harassed by (you guessed it) Mesmero. The longtime Gold team nuisance is back, and he has his sights on Rachel.

The Unexpected Happens in X-MEN GOLD #30

We only get a quick glimpse of Kitty and Colossus’ strained relationship before the scene shifts to the post-apocalyptic world from the X-Men arc “Days of Future Past.” For any new X-Men fans out there, I’d highly recommend reading this arc before diving into X-MEN GOLD #31. Everything makes a lot more sense when you have a little background knowledge.

The rest of the issue features a depressing jailbreak, where numerous fan-favorite characters meet their end. After finally making it out, Kitty (aka “Kate”), Colossus, Nightcrawler, and Cyclops find a hound-version of Rachel. Before they can even react, she’s on the offensive, easily killing Colossus and Cyclops. But, as the last panel of the issue shows, none of what’s going on is real. Mesmero is behind it all.

Loose Ends

I’ve been hoping to see an issue like this since Guggenheim first began hinting at another dark-Rachel saga many Kitty-centric issues ago. Finally, Guggenheim is giving this slow-burn storyline a complete issue that really dives right into Rachel’s psyche (both literally and metaphorically). I’m sure some fans might not be too excited to see another good-telepath-gone-bad kind of story (Rachel and her mother have already had their fair share of those kinds of arcs) but just including a story that’s predominately about Rachel is a big step for the Gold series. As a character, she’s been underutilized in X-MEN GOLD. With how much Guggenheim’s been showing her, she might as well just not even be on the team.

X-MEN GOLD #31
X-MEN GOLD #31. Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

But, X-MEN GOLD #31 changes things around. Whether you like or dislike what Guggenheim is doing with Rachel, at least he’s doing something. Honestly, any story in X-MEN GOLD that isn’t exclusively narrated by Kitty is already on the right path.

Kitty and Colossus’ Decades Long Romance: From the First Kiss to the Wedding

The Future of Gold

Although it isn’t obvious quite yet, you can already kind of see how Guggenheim is trying to end the series in X-MEN GOLD #31. With their relationship over, Kitty and Colossus can go their own separate ways. After the X-Men psychically save Rachel, she’ll no doubt need some recuperating time away from the Gold team. With a psychic invasion of this magnitude, Rachel might even need to spend some time with her “mother,” Jean Grey, in order to get her mind back on the right track. Nightcrawler is a permanent fixture on the X-Men’s Red team, so he can leave at any time. Recently, Storm also joined that team, leaving Gold another member down.

The team is dismantling, and Rachel’s psychic possession via Mesmero is just another step. While I would have liked to see Rachel star in an arc before the series was set to cancel, I’m not especially frustrated with how things are turning out for the soon-to-be-gone Gold team. From the start, Guggenheim didn’t build the Gold team to last. He focused too much attention on Kitty and not enough on the other fan-favorite characters in the series since day one. I’m actually glad the team is ending because that means characters like Nightcrawler and Storm will finally get some much needed attention in other series. Gold needs to end for Marvel to put out new and better X-Men series.

X-MEN GOLD #31
X-MEN GOLD #31. Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Fresh Pencils

X-MEN GOLD gets another artistic makeover as the creative team brings Perez in for pencils on X-MEN GOLD #31. Personally, the huge jumps X-MEN GOLD has recently made in artistic talent is concerning. We’ve seen so many artists come and go that it makes the series feel disjointed and poorly managed. Still, Perez does an excellent job on X-MEN GOLD #31, even if his illustrations are different than those seen in past issues. His figures are realistic, and he clearly organized his layouts well. He creatively uses panels to make each page appear different and interesting. Since the consistently random art isn’t Perez’s fault, I won’t blame him for it. That’s all on Marvel.

x-men gold #31
X-MEN GOLD #31. Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

The coloring duo of Matt Milla and Jay David Ramos deliver solid work in X-MEN GOLD #31. Perhaps the most exciting thing about their coloring is how they use light to create a strange sense of anxiety. When Mesmero first appears to Rachel, an eerie yellow glow pollutes the right side of the page, almost like a warning. Later on, the red, glowing skies in Rachel’s mindscape leave readers feeling as uneasy as the characters in the panels. Just from looking at the careful use of colors, you can already tell something is a little off.

Final Thoughts on X-MEN GOLD #31

The final issue of X-MEN GOLD is coming soon, but that doesn’t mean the series has to end on a bad note. With Kitty and Colossus’ dream romance ruined, Guggenheim can finally give some attention to the characters he’s neglected in the past. He doesn’t have a lot of time to give that attention, but as a dedicated reader who’s been gone through the entire series hoping for a Rachel-centered issue, I’m happy with X-MEN GOLD #31. The arc will be short, but that’s okay. I’m just glad X-MEN GOLD is finally headed in a new direction.

X-MEN GOLD #31 by Marc Guggenheim, Pere Perez, Jay David Ramos, and Matt Milla
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
X-MEN GOLD #31 brings Rachel into the spotlight for the first time while giving Kitty and Colossus a more minimal position. With the series ending soon, Guggenheim's plan to give more characters needed panel-time is a wise move.
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New Direction
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