Writer: Marc Guggenheim
Artist: R.B. Silva
Inker: Adriana Di Benedeto
Colorist: Frank Martin
Letterer: Cory Petit
Cover Artists: Adrian Syaf, Jay Leisten and Frank Martin
Editors: Mark Paniccia, Daniel Ketchum, and Chris Robinson
Editor-In-Chief: Axel Alonso
Recap (with commentary): This issue begins with a figure, shrouded in shadows, breaking into a very secured building; most of you may know where this is going, based off the cover. The shadowy figure is stopped just shy of his objective by two armed soldiers. The figure’s identity is revealed to be none other than the Ragin’ Cajun, Gambit. Gambit takes care of the two with some kinetically charged cards before encountering a floating cube; he grabs some liquid from it and makes his escape.
The action switches to Kitty, Rachel and Kurt taking on the Serpent Society; wow, Guggenheim is really reaching for the old school villains here. The have a very brief fight with the society because Kitty has a meeting with city hall about hooking up the mansion with sewage and plumbing. Is Kitty not already running a school? There has to be a bunch of regulations regarding that which Kitty should have had to leap through to get the school set up?
We move to Storm and Logan looking at a dead mutant with Detective Mahoney. The detective wants to know who gave them authority to be there and Storm flashes an XSE badge, which goes back to Guggenheim’s clear love of X-continuity. The Xtreme Sanctions Exectuvie was a group Storm started up at the request of the United Nations, back in the early 2000s. They were a paramilitary group that worked with law enforcement, which ceased to exist after the Superhero Registration Act from the first Marvel Civil War.
Logan asks for the cause of death. It seems the deceased mutant fell to his death, after being chased by an unknown assailant. This teases the new X-Cutioner once more, one of Guggenheim’s more successful slow boil plots.
We return to Gambit, in the penthouse of the client he was stealing the item for. He learns his employer is Olivia Trask, the granddaughter of Bolivar Trask. She tells Gambit that vial is full of nanites that can self replicate and think for themselves. Gambit instinctively thinks she will use them for new sentinels but she states its for basic military application but he is not buying it. He steals it back from them but accidentally drops the vial allowing the nanites to get loose. They get into a computer and start growing in size.
We finally visit the X-Mansion where Colossus and Dr. Cecilia Reyes are trying to get the Brood-looking mutant to talk. I am glad to see Dr. Reyes return, as she has largely been forgotten in recent years. Reyes discovers that the Brood thing is not a mutant and they inform Kitty, who is having a Danger Room session with Magma. Magma does not remember anything about joining the brotherhood, which bothers Kitty. Before she can dwell on it, Rachel psy-links to Kitty and Amara and lets them know Gambit is requesting help. Kitty gets the details from Rachel and on the way to Gambit’s location, Rachel gives the team an overview of what is going on through Gambit’s eyes. He sees the nanites turn into a new form of sentinel and cue the cliffhanger.
Conclusion: The issue started strong with Gambit, but I am curious what his role is here? Will he be joining the team, or will this set-up Charles Soule’s Astonishing X-Men? I personally hope he joins both teams, as he fits the classic feel of the Gold title. Guggenheim is still calling back to that old school feel, much like the prior arc and we now have new forms of sentinels involved in both flagship X-Men books. Yet Blue and Gold are dealing with the Sentinels in very different ways. The art by R.B. Silva was serviceable but not spectacular; it lives in the shadow of Syaf’s phenomenal art from the prior arc. The colors did pop a lot in this issue which I loved, which is where the art is better than the first arc. The story is moving along nicely, so I hope the art begins firing on all cylinders to catch up.