It’s been a while since I picked up an issue of X-Men: Gold. While I did read the first story arc of this series X-Men: Gold did not grab my attention enough to continue reading past that. So far that has been the case with most X-Men team books, except for X-Men: Red. Now with that said when I heard there would be a big wedding between Kitty Pryde and Colossus I could not pass X-Men: Gold #30 up. Kitty Pryde is one of my favorite X-Men and Marvel characters and this marriage to Colossus could potentially change a lot of things. How will the wedding between two well known X-Men go? Let’s find out with X-Men: Gold #30.
Writer: Marc Guggenheim
Artist: David Marquez
Colorist: Matthew Wilson
Story Rating: 1 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 3.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Years ago Colossus admits to Kitty Pryde he fell in love with another woman that sacrificed her life for him on a world that the Beyonder created. Kitty realizes that due to this experience Colossus does not love her anymore.
In the present Kitty and Colossus look over the site where they will be holding their wedding. Colossus says that this is all better than he could’ve dreamed of. Kitty appreciates how Colossus said what he did.
Later that night Kitty and Colossus attend a party with all their X-Men friends at a nearby bar. Their all the X-Men catch up, including Rachel Grey having an awkward moment with the present and past versions of her mother, Jean Grey and Kitty meeting Lockheed’s new family.
As the party goes on Illyana convinces Kitty to have a drink with her in private.
On the roof of the bar Kitty asks Illyana why she wanted to drink in private. Illyana tries to play it off as no big deal but Kitty knows something is bothering Illyana. Illyana admits that she does not think Kitty and Colossus should go through with getting married as it will only lead to disaster, just like their past on-again-off-again relationship has been. Kitty tries to play it off since things beyond their control have happened but Illyana uses that as more proof that she and her brother aren’t meant to be together. Kitty hugs Illyana and thanks her for being honest with her.
The next day Nightcrawler helps Colossus get his tuxedo on. While getting ready Nightcrawler reveals that he is planning on proposing to Rachel.
Elsewhere, Stevie Hunter helps Kitty get her makeup on while Storm and Kitty’s mom gush about Kitty getting married. Kitty gets emotional and thanks her mom, Storm and Stevie for being such positive influences in her life.
All the people attending the wedding make their way to the wedding ceremony. As they do Wolverine watches everyone arrive from a nearby rooftop, proud that Kitty and Colossus are getting married.
As everyone is sitting down Storm clears up the sky to make sure the weather is perfect. As Storm does that Illyana admits to Rogue that she said something to Kitty that may be terrible. Rogue tells Illyana that Kitty trust Illyana as her best friend and nothing she says would be seen as terrible.
While young Cyclops and Jean Grey have a weird moment together as they know their future selves got married nearby Rogue meets up with Gambit. Gambit tells Rogue that she looks stunning.
The rabbi asks Nightcrawler if he has the rings. Nightcrawler quickly teleports away and gets back with the rings.
The wedding begins and Colossus is stunned by how beautiful Kitty looks walking down the aisle. As the rabbi gives her speech on what love means Kitty and Colossus flashback to all the struggles they have been through in their relationship. When they put the rings on each other Kitty ends up phasing through hers, much to everyone’s shock.
Kitty apologizes and phases through the ground, away from everyone. Colossus asks Nightcrawler to teleport him away.
Later that night in the reception area all the X-Men talk about what happened with Illyana telling Rogue she feels this is all her fault.
In a nearby cliff Colossus find Kitty and asks her why she couldn’t go through with marrying him. Kitty admits she wanted to marry Colossus but when she thought about their relationship during the ceremony she realized something. She says that while they’ve had their good and bad their relationship has always been a mess.
Colossus asks Kitty if she loves him. Kitty says she does which confuses Colossus more.
Back at the reception area Storm tells Gambit it was a good thing that Kitty realized that they should not go through with the wedding if she knew she and Colossus weren’t meant for each other. Gambit is confused by that. Storm says that for people to get married their needs to be a mutual feeling that they can’t live a day without each other.
Gambit suddenly realizes something and approaches Rogue. Gambit gets on one knee and proposes to Rogue. She accepts and Kitty tells them not to use their ceremony area so it does not go to waste.
Not long after Gambit and Rogue get married with all the X-Men around them. End of issue.
The Good: X-Men: Gold #30 is a clear example of how the endgame will dictate whether a story will succeed or fail. Unfortunately for X-Men: Gold #30 it turns out to be the latter as the end result with Colossus and Kitty Pryde’s marriage damages everything that came before and after failed ceremony. It’s to the point that you wonder what the point of all the hype and time spent in this series with how things ended up in X-Men: Gold #30.
Now before I get into the problems with X-Men: Gold #30 there was one positive thing about the story itself. And that positive thing was the short involvement of Jean Grey in this issue. From having an conversation with her older self that made Rachel Grey feel awkward to Jean and Cyclops talking about where their future selves had their wedding, it worked as Guggenheim desired. It was so well done that it makes you wish we got more than the short two panels that were written involving the two Jean Grey’s, Cyclops and Rachel Grey.
David Marquez also provided X-Men: Gold #30 with some solid artwork. With this being completely about the X-Men interactions with each other Marquez delivered on matching the facial reactions to the dialogue that was being spoken by each person. Marquez was especially at his best with the splash pages as his art shined with how he drew Kitty Pryde walking down the aisle and when Gambit and Rogue got married at the end.
The Bad: X-Men: Gold #30 delivers a head scratching decision to have Kitty Pryde become a runaway bride and once that decision is made it makes this a hard issue to read again. And it is not hard because as the reader you feel bad for everyone involved. No, the reason this resolution to months of build up is tough to read is that the execution of the entire story in X-Men: Gold #30 is cringeworthy.
Everything about this X-Men: Gold #30 telegraphs exactly why the wedding was a bad idea in the first place. Putting that idea throughout the issue leading up to the moment of the wedding just makes it so your left wondering if all this was worth it. From all the marketing to the time spent in X-Men: Gold in getting Kitty Pryde and Colossus back together to the time of their engagement. It all feels pointless now and makes going back to read X-Men: Gold something that you’ll absolutely not want to do given how the one plotline in this series that was heavily promoted turned out to be such a horror show.
From an execution standpoint, Guggenheim never spent time in X-Men: Gold #30 making you believe Kitty Pryde and Colossus are in love. Even the second page that is supposed to do that is canceled out by the opening that shows how shaky the relationship between Kitty and Colossus has always been. Even if Guggenheim and the X-Men editors knew that they weren’t going through with the wedding of the two characters their at least should have been a moment that made the reader believe it would happen. Even one thing that showed how this wedding was something everyone, from fans to editorial, wanted to see happen would added to the story as presented. But without that moment the shock and sadness you are supposed to feel when Kitty phases through the wedding ring never happens.
This problem with the pacing especially hurts the role Illyana played. Everything about her dialogue sounded like it was Guggenheim trying to apologize to the reader for teasing them with something he never intended to go through with. Seeing the writer in the dialogue is never a good thing. And for Illyana, who is Kitty Pryde’s best friend and Colossus’ sister, this is not how her dialogue should’ve come across as.
The worst part about this is that the entire story of Kitty being the one that backs out on the wedding reads like an editorial mandate. It was almost as if someone in the X-Men office said “Won’t it be awesome if we heavily promote this wedding and not go through with it in the end?” That idea is absolutely the first thing that comes to mind. And no matter how much Guggenheim tried to play it off as a natural progression of his story it never came across that way due to the pacing of this issue.
What is even worse about this development is that is that neither Kitty Pryde and Colossus benefit from this. When it comes to a big decision like this it has to come with the idea that it’ll benefit at least one, if not both, characters. And it would be one thing if Guggenheim was able to make this feel like a step into a greater, and more interesting, direction for Kitty Pryde and Colossus but that never happens. Instead both fan favorite X-Men are damaged by this result as they both come off as weak characters who can’t help but continue going through the same cycle of failed relationships.
This is especially bad for Kitty Pryde’s character since she is supposed to be the leader of the X-Men right now. Having this moment around all the current active X-Men members just does not breed confidence in the direction Kitty has for the X-Men. While you can understand Kitty getting cold feet it is hard to justify this result given how rushed it all comes off. It would have been much better if the wedding never happened and instead Guggenheim invested time in developing how Kitty realized being in a relationship with Colossus was what she needed to get away from. This would have made her direction as the leader of the X-Men much stronger as she could’ve realized to be the leader the X-Men need she must let go of the past. Unfortunately that does not happen and it just opens the door for Jean Grey and Wolverine to take over her current spot rather than strengthen her position in the X-Men.
While I was a fan of the recent Rogue & Gambit mini-series the marriage of both characters felt completely random and not a payoff that was needed to make X-Men: Gold #30 a good comic. Since the mini-series didn’t even sell 20k by the end of its run most readers of this issue wouldn’t even know that Rogue and Gambit were together by the time this issue was released. This once again falls on the shoulders of Guggenheim who never got across the fact that these characters were in a relationship. Instead Guggenheim tried to play it cute by having Rogue and Gambit just have two flirtatious moments that just continued down what X-Men fans would expect from these two, even when they aren’t together. And because of how the payoff of a long running sub-plot ended up it made Rogue and Gambit’s marriage feel more like a compromise rather than a true payoff of what fans of X-Men: Gold have been reading about.
Continuing that trend of random stories that felt like came out of nowhere was Nightcrawler mentioning his desire to propose to Rachel Grey. For one, Guggenheim never clues the reader in on this relationship being something that is currently happening. At no point in X-Men: Gold #30 do these characters interact with one another. That fact alone makes Nightcrawler just come across as stuck in the moment rather than making a decision that would truly be meaningful. And for their not to be any follow-up after Nightcrawler told that to Colossus made it feel like a waste of the page count that could’ve gone to fixing other story problems with this issue.
All of these story missteps combine to making X-Men: Gold #30 an example of why this is a series that is not worth going back to read. As someone who stopped reading X-Men: Gold after the fifth issue I now have no reason or interest in going through that. Guggenheim’s execution on this entire story just turned out to be a complete turn off of this entire comic book. That is exactly the opposite feeling Guggenheim and Marvel needed to aim for since this is the type of issue that should make a reader feel the need to back and read what they were missing in the lead-up. Not tapping into that sensation just further exemplifies why X-Men: Gold #30 failed to deliver on multiple levels.
Overall: X-Men: Gold #30 is a complete disappointment. Everything about this issue, from the pacing to the character work, leaves the reader scratching their head on why the decisions made were allowed to happen. Absolutely no character involved came out better than when this issue started. That is especially the case for Colossus and Kitty Pryde, two characters that Marc Guggenheim completely destroys the interest in reading more about. No matter how hardcore of an X-Men fan you are I strongly recommend you stay far, far away from X-Men: Gold #30.