X-Men Gold 3, written by Marc Guggenheim, begins where the last issue left off. The X-Men are rushing to the address Old Man Logan sent them to rescue the mayor kidnapped by the new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. This obviously leads to an action scene, and then the conclusion of the opening story arc. There isn’t too much to talk about with the action scene. It’s over fairly quickly, with a lot of the action skipped over with scene changes, only to change back to see the Brotherhood member getting finished with one powerful move. It’s kind of a boring way to approach action scenes. As for Magma, it’s explained that Mesmero psychically manipulated her into joining the Brotherhood. That didn’t surprise me. In fact nothing in this issue really surprised me.
Besides the complete lack of surprises, there’s also a near complete lack of drama. When Kitty Pryde finds Magma, she’s clearly distressed now that she’s at least partially free from Mesmero’s control, but the comic doesn’t dwell on this at all. In this comic there’s no room for drama when there’s a story that needs to be concluded and another story to be teased. There’s also this slightly condescending moment where a bunch of X-kids offer to help, but Kitty Pryde talks down on them and only accepts Armour and Rockslide, the two who are physically the hardest to take down. This feels kind of hypocritical considering Kitty Pryde joined the X-Men at a very young age, and unwarranted since most of the kids shown are already very experienced. Evan is one of the kids shown, and he’s extremely powerful. Also, Old Man Logan is controlled by Mesmero at one point in this comic, even though he showed a lot of resistance to Mesmero’s telepathy in the previous issue. Yay continuity!
But my biggest complaint about this issue is Kitty Pryde herself. This is something I didn’t quite notice at first, but it’s become increasingly clear with each issue. She doesn’t really feel like Kitty Pryde. Sure, her strong leadership abilities make sense, but she’s so dour and serious all the time that she feels more like Cyclops. She’s supposed to be a warm and likeable member of the team. She’s fully capable of being likeable and still leading a team. In addition to this, she’s still focused on more than any of the other team members, a complaint I had with the first two issues.
The art is decent. What little action there is flows well, and makes good use of Magma’s fiery body, rockslide turning to absorb Old Man Logan’s blows better when Mesmero is controlling him, and the burns on Kitty’s arm when a distressed Magma blasts fire at her to try to scare her off. Facial expressions are overly serious, but otherwise they do a good job at conveying emotion. I’m pretty sure that’s more of the writing than anything else. While I searched, I couldn’t find any hidden messages – not surprised by that. Frank Martin’s colouring is good. The action scene is appropriately dark for an abandoned building, and it’s balanced by Magma’s bright fiery lights, Storm’s single use of lighting, and the brighter, more colourful scenes outside.
As a whole this story feels rushed, and that’s not a good sign when it’s the opening story arc. With a bi-weekly series, there’s no real reason to go for faster storytelling and sacrificing all the potential dramatic writing as a result. This is the kind of feel I’d expect from a series that’s cancelled early. Throw in a complete lack of surprises, too much focus on a single character for a team book and mischaracterization of that same character, and you have a comic that is nothing special. I might give this series one more issue to win me over, but I doubt it, and I wouldn’t recommend it at this point.