Saturday, January 13, 2018

X-Men Gold Annual #1

   As a fan of the original Excalibur comic book (featuring classic Chris Claremont / Alan Davis adventures set in Great Britain), I had to break my "avoid modern-day annuals" rule and pick up this X-Men Gold Annual, which features a reunion of the team to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the first issue.

   And guess what? It's... ok.

   Not great. Just... ok.

   It features a happy announcement - Brian (Captain Britain) Braddock and his wife Meggan have had a baby! They invite their former teammates to see the new addition to the family, so traveling to their old haunts are Kitty Pryde, Nightcrawler and Rachel Summers Grey, the former Phoenix who's now going by the name Prestige. (Really? That's, uh, not a great hero name, is it?)

   Anyway, they have a nice reunion, discover the baby is surprisingly exceptional, and run into an old enemy who's out for revenge (although on the wrong former Phoenix).

   It manages to channel the somewhat offbeat feel of those original Excalibur stories, though that's about the best I can say about it. The art by Alitha E. Martinez and Craig Yeung is quite good.

   The issue also features a nice (if improbable) back-up story featuring Storm that manages to be sweet and touching without being cloying.

   So, not a bad annual - but not as special as it should be. But it is nice to see Excalibur back in action.

Grade: B-


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