Writers: Mark Guggenheim, Greg Pak, Cullen Bunn / Artists: Ken Lashley, Ibraim Roberson, Leonard Kirk, Guillermo Ortego / Marvel Comics
I am going to put it all right up front for you, my readers. X-Men Prime is a bit of a mess. That is a product of where it is trying to go as much as anything else — getting one’s act together and taking it on the road leaves a trail. The entire plot of this one-shot is to bring Kitty Pryde back to the X-mansion and back in charge of an X-Men team, while also cleaning up the messes of the X-Men vs. Inhumans series, and moving the time-displaced teens out of the X-mansion and off to their own storyline. That’s a lot of ground to cover in 30-some-odd pages. Oh, and did I mention starting a plot featuring Lady Deathstrike in the middle? Yeah.
Starting from the beginning, Kitty has left the madness that is Peter “Star-Lord” Quill (let’s be honest, that’s a dude that’s great in bed but has bad decision written all over him) and is busily trying to be a normal in Chicago. That lasts about as long as it takes Storm to fly from Limbo to Illinois, that is, not long.
See, Ororo is having some guilt about the whole Inhumans thing, so she’s leaving the team. Again. Some more. So Kitten has to come home and take over. Kitty does a half-a-job at pretending she doesn’t want the job. About as convincing of a job as Ororo does of pretending like she’s leaving. The drama there is fake, you know Kitty’s gonna take the job and Ororo is going to be around, but it gives the writers an excuse to have Kitty wander the X-mansion and run into all of her old friends, including the other Peter (properly Piotr Rasputin), who also may be good in bed but probably wasn’t as bad of a decision.
Meanwhile, or perhaps earlier, the teen old-timer X-people (Jean, Cyclops, Angel, Beast, and Iceman) make their final decision in the Danger Room and leave the X-mansion. They’ll be starting their own comic X-Men Blue, written by Cullen Bunn (Uncanny X-Men) and feature art from Jorge Molina (Star Wars). I loved Molina’s work on A-Force, so I’m looking forward to the visuals on this new series. The first issue will be available April 12.
This leaves Kitty to start up X-Men Gold, a comic that will also feature Nightcrawler, Colossus, Storm, Rachel Grey, and Old Man Logan. It’ll be written by Marc Guggenheim (the CW’s Arrow) with art by Ardian Syaf (Batgirl). This issue will be available April 5, and will ship twice a month.
Lastly, that Lady Deathstrike bit in the middle? Is that a hook for the new All-New Wolverine? Weapon X? I don’t know. It’s a lot, y’all.
I wouldn’t consider this a ramp for a new reader — you still have to know who all these people are in advance to follow along. And it isn’t properly part of any of the previous series. I almost feel like it is unfair to give this one-shot a rating, as it isn’t so much a story, or even a pilot, as it is a tool designed to get other vehicles off the ground. It is a booster rocket. And only seeing the success, or failure, of the actual spacecraft will tell if it is a good one.
The main event starts next week with X-Men Gold. We’ll talk then.