X-Men Gold Annual 2018
Writers: Marc Guggenheim & Leah Williams
Penciler: Alitha Martinez
Inkers: Alitha Martinez & Craig Yeung
Colorists: Jay David Ramos & Dono Sanchez-Almara
Letterer: Cory Petit
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Review by Greg Brothers
Annuals are an interesting beast. Some writers treat them like one-shots. Other writers give us them as if they were just another issue. Finally, some of them will use it to lay the seeds for future stories. The point is it is often a mixed bag, both in story structure and unfortunately also in quality.
X-Men Gold Annual 2018 finds Kitty, Rachel Grey, and Nightcrawler all getting an invite to see Brian and Megan Braddock’s newborn child. Of course, being an X-Men story, they are are interrupted by an alien who is bent on destruction.
While I have been enjoying Guggenheim’s work on X-Men Gold, X-Men Gold Annual 2018 missed the mark on many points. The dialogue and storyline felt disjointed at times. Several threads are created only to be solved quickly without much advancement. This is especially true when it comes to the big bad in the story. He comes in surprising our heroes and engaging in a battle that is more humorous than dramatic. Just as quickly, the fight ends with very little learned. I do not know if it was Guggenheim or Williams who wrote the jokes here but many of those jokes fall flat.
One of my main concerns in X-Men Gold has always been the rotating artist. Each month I cringe as I open the book, hoping that it will be good. Unfortunately, X-Men Gold Annual 2018 has many of the same inconsistencies. From Kitty’s hair to the stripes on Rachel’s face, the intricate details are missing. Likewise, many of the panels are overcrowded, which leads the characters to be muddled.
Skip it. I was looking forward to X-Men Gold Annual 2018 mainly because of the Excalibur reunion. Unfortunately, it did not live up to my expectations. With so many people being part of the creative team for the annual, it feels like it may have been a situation with too many chefs in the kitchen. While lots of ideas were introduced, none of them were really followed up on. In addition, there is nothing that happens in the story that seems like it will have a lasting impact.