X-Men: Gold Annual #1

Issue Date: 
March 2018
Story Title: 
Cross-Atlantic Caper (1st story) Why I love the X-Men (2nd story)

1st story: Marc Guggenheim & Leah Williams(writers), Alithea E. Martinez (penciler), Alithea E. Martinez  & Craig Yeung(inkers) , Jay David Ramos & Dono Sanchez-Almara (colorists), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer)
2nd story: Monty Nero (writer), Dobril Morissette-Phan (artist), Michael Garland (color artist), Cory Petit (letterer)
Alan Davis, Mark Farmer and Chris Sotomayor (cover artists), Jay Bowen & Anthony Gambino (graphic designers), Chris Robinson (editor), Mark Paniccia (X-Men group editor), C.B.Cebulski (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)
X-Men created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
Special thanks to Michael Martinez

Brief Description: 

1st story:
Kitty Pryde, Prestige and Nightcrawler receive an invitation to England to celebrate the birth of Captain Britain and Meggan’s child. The three leave and fly coach to England. When they finally reach the lighthouse, they meet the couple’s daughter, Maggie, who despite being only a few weeks old can already talk and is unnaturally intelligent. While Nightcrawler quickly makes friends with Maggie, Kitty and Rachel have to console Meggan, who is upset at her daughter’s genius, fearing she will soon look down on her. After she has calmed down, they rejoin the others, but suddenly they are attacked by the super-powered D’bari Starhammer, who wants revenge on Rachel for fooling him in the past when he tried to kill her. He plans to use a device to strand Earth’s heroes in another dimension, leaving humanity helpless. The heroes battle him and manage to get his remote. Maggie fixes it and they find a dimension where D’bari still exists and to which Starhammer can take the few surviving D’bari of this universe. With the danger over, Brian and Meggan ask their three former teammates to become Maggie’s godparents and they happily accept.

2nd story:
A young girl, Rosie and her aunt, Ellie are on their last day in New York. Being a big fan of the X-Men, Rosie wants to meet them. They visit several site where the X-Men are supposed to battle enemies but are always too late. They always encounter prejudice and Rosie is unafraid to school the people on their bias, causing Ellie to slowly change her mind on mutants. Dejected, they go to Grand Central Station to catch their train, but there they meet Storm, Rosie’s favorite X-Man. After taking a selfie with her, Rosie can finally give her the picture she drew of her. And Storm happily realizes that, slowly, the X-Men are changing minds.

Full Summary: 

1st story:
New D’Bari, Heroes Courts:
The great Starhammer monument:
Years ago, Dark Phoenix destroyed the original D’Bari. Only stragglers who were far from home on distant outposts survived. A hero known as Starhammer helped rebuild what was left of D’Bari society. And he avenged D’Bari when he destroyed Dark Phoenix’s descendant, Rachel Grey, who was also once a host to the powerfully destructive Phoenix Force. But this tale of vengeance turned out to be a lie. Rachel had used her telepathy to make Starhammer believe he’d killed her.

Exiled and shunned, Starhammer watches as the monument honoring him is torn down. Disgraced and embarrassed, he wants revenge.

The grounds of the Xavier Institute, Central Park:
Several X-Men and students look cluelessly at a stork that has just arrived carrying a message. Nature Girl informs them the stork has a special delivery for Ms. Pryde, causing Old Man Logan to crack now they know why Kitty and Peter finally got engaged.

A mortified Kitty reads the message, which turns out to be from Meggan Braddock and informs Kitty that she and Captain Britain had a baby. Kitty, Kurt and Rachel are invited to meet her. Kitty informs the other X-Men they get to work out who is in charge and runs into the kitchen to tell Kurt and Rachel the happy news and that they are invited to London.

Kurt wants to prepare the X-jet but Kitty forbids it. Jet fuel is expensive and is only for hero stuff, which is tax deductible. And so, a little later, the three of them fly coach.

12 hours later, they have made their way to the Braddocks’ lighthouse on the west coast of Britain that used to serve as their headquarters. Kurt notices Rachel is very quiet. She claims it’s the memories.

They are welcomed by Meggan Braddock, who greets them effusively, yet becomes evasive when her daughter is mentioned. She leads them inside and explains why they restored the lighthouse. They thought it would be a unique place to bring up a child.

Inside, Brian is standing next to a crib. When Nightcrawler hugs him, a voice from the crib demands that she wants to see. The three X-Men look into the crib and see a tiny blonde baby with pointed ears, who looks at them and already speaks. She introduces herself as Maggie and demands to be picked up. Brian complies and introduces the three of them.

Maggie curiously looks at Kurt, then asks her father to hand her over. She asks Kurt why she is so small. He tries to explain she is a baby, which is what they call their new people. Where do baby come from? Maggie asks, causing Kitty to quip kids grow up so fast these days. Meggan bursts into tears and runs outside.

Kitty and Rachel follow. Meggan sobs that her baby is literally growing up too fast. She said her first word days ago but she’s only three months old. They didn’t even know until just after they’d sent the stork to Kitty and the others. She sinks to the ground as she continues that mentally Maggie is already smarter than her. Half of what she says goes over her head. She only needs a mother because she doesn’t have any fine motor skills.

Meggan admits she feels cheated. She’ll never get those moments where she will watch her child take in the world with wonder. She didn’t even learn how to read until she was an adult! She still struggles with it. How can she read her baby bedtime stories knowing Maggie will know when she skips words which are too hard for her?

Rachel tries to show her another side. Some parents die not knowing if their children will be all right without them. Kitty adds Meggan and Brian will get something most parents don’t: a whole lifetime of knowing the person they gave birth to. Meggan sniffs but admits they are right and thanks them. She figures life is too short to go crying in the closet.

In the meantime, Maggie is still staring at Kurt and finally asks why he looks so different. A good question, he begins. His skin is blue. What’s blue? she asks. Also a good question. What is a Maggie? he retorts A human, she replies. Who is a Maggie? he continues. A baby, a daughter, she reasons. Why is a Maggie? She admits now she understands. Brian interrupts asking if she is hungry. No, she’s Maggie, she jokingly corrects him. Very soon, Maggie and Kurt discuss free will and good and evil.

One round of dress-up later, the two men are in their hero outfits and show Maggie the Wizard of Oz movie when the women join them. Maggie greets Meggan and tells her she is learning what ‘good’ means. Meggan hugs her.

Suddenly, a blast destroys the wall, thanks to metal tentacles from Starhammer’s ship. Changing the molecules of her outfit to her costume, Rachel asks if Meggan was expecting any other guests. Kurt and Brian take care of Maggie while the women attack.

Starhammer asks Rachel if she doesn’t remember him and she admits she doesn’t. He reminds her how she rewrote his memories.

Kitty tries to dodge the tentacles but has problems moving freely in her skirt. She is joined by Cap carrying Maggie and he suggests she get her old Shadowcat outfit they still have somewhere around. She declines. Her costume is in her luggage and she last wore the Shadowcat costume when she was 14!

Maggie asks why this is happening. Starhammer shouts that Dark Phoenix is responsible for the genocide of his people and never suffered the consequences. Rachel realizes he means D’bari. She points out that this is not her fault. She wasn’t even born yet. She wasn’t in this timeline yet.

Lots of baggage, yes? Nightcrawler comments to Kitty, who has changed into her outfit. She doesn’t know which of them he means but agrees.

Starhammer announces his masterplan starts now and presses a button on his device. First nothing seems to happen, then Starhammer and the heroes are teleported to several different dimensions. Starhammer reveals he seeks revenge against all of humanity and plans to annihilate them like his people were. He simply has to strand Earth’s heroes in alternate dimensions.

Without superheroes around, humanity will go extinct. He laughs madly.

A different time and a different life threaten to overtake Rachel’s mind. Presque vu. Tip of the tongue. When one can almost remember, but the memory itself remains just out of reach.

Several local creatures attack the heroes. Maggie asks her father to get her Starhammer’s remote.

Trying to recall Starhammer’s face made Rachel remember the years spent in subjugation. Rachel remembers and telepathically orders him to drop the remote. Meggan grabs it and throws it to Kurt, who teleports it to Cap and Maggie, who begins working on it. Maggie somehow grasps a single strand of another dimension and yanks it into a thriving D’bari metropolis.

How is that possible? Starhammer asks. Nightcrawler tells him there is only possibility, nothing else. Starhammer is now able to bring his D’bari colony here. Revenge never tasted a sweet as rebirth.

Soon, the heroes return to the damaged lighthouse. The X-Men apologize. Brian and Meggan reveal they invited them because they want them to be Maggie’s godparents. The three X-Men happily agree.


2nd story:
A preteen girl, Rosie and her aunt Ellie are visiting Manhattan. Ellie asks Rosie what she wants to do on their last day in New York. Meet Storm, is the reply. She’s a goddess. She’s an X-Man! the girl gushes. But aren’t X-Men yucky? the aunt asks. Not to her, the girl replies and shows her her Storm scrapbook. She’s loved Storms since she was five. She shows Ellie a picture she drew of Storm and explains that Storm fights for what’s right. She gives her hope! They all do.

Rosie gets a news alert on her cell phone and learns the X-Men are battling at Grand Central. Can they go? She begs. It’s only five stations from here. On the screen, they watch a team of X-Men – Kitty Pryde, Storm, Colossus, Armor and Ink battle Fing Fan Foom.

Ellie agrees but tells her to stay back. Rosie promises that she just wants to meet Storm. She’s better than Harry Styles. Better than s’mores! Better than Harry Styles covered in s’mores!

He aunt agrees but, when they get there, the battle is already over and the heroes have moved on. They’ve missed them, Rosie complains. Lucky, a bystander remarks. Damn muties are a menace! Rosie protests; they saved everybody. He calls them freaks and wishes one could get rid of them. Rosie decides he is grouchy. Maybe his back is hurting, maybe it’s because he is going bald. But when he’s had time to think, he’ll realize he’s witnessed a miracle! A flying woman controlling the elements. A man of steel fighting a dragon. It’s literally amazing! That’s why they are called the amazing… Clowns! the man interrupts.

Ellie asks where they went and Rosie realizes the X-Mansion is only twenty minutes from here.

Soon they are at the Xavier Institute, but Anole informs them the team is at the Natural History Museum. Something about the Mole Man. Rosie is disappointed. She wants to meet Storm. She wants to meet the X-Men. Anole points out he is an X-Man. Rosie is not having it. Classic characters only. So they leave for the museum.

They arrive at the American Museum of Natural History where the fight again is already over and the X-Men have left, leaving some beaten Moloids behind. An employee calls control, complaining that first there was the Mole Man ransacking the place for some mythical bone and then that mutie scum! Enough with the hate speech! Rosie protests. He calls her a mutie-lover, enraging Ellie. Rosie asks him what’s wrong with him. Can’t he see the magic in superheroes?

A news report announces an attack by Gigantus on the USS Intrepid at Pier 86. Rosie sees Storm battling him and the two leave.

The battle is already over, of course, when they arrive but the X-Men are still nearby. People in the crowd mutter negative things about mutants. Rosie calls out to Storm who is flying away that she has something for her but she is too far away. Dejected, Rosie decides they should get their suitcases.

Later at Grand Central Station, they wait for their train as Ellie tells Rosie she gets now why she loves and admires those heroes. To battle evil while being hated and feared.

That moment, Storm lands nearby and the both of them screech excited. Rosie asks Storm what she is doing here. Storm explains that they made quite a mess in the city today, so it’s only right she help clean up. Rosie tells her she is her biggest fan. She gives Storm her letters and the drawing and Storm is touched. After that, they take a selfie in the with her in the air.

Later in the mansion, Storm smiles and hangs up the picture. Peter asks what that is and she explains it’s a reminder that they are getting there. One person at a time.

Characters Involved: 

1st story:
Kitty Pryde, Nightcrawler, Old Man Logan, Prestige, Storm (X-Men)
Captain Britain, Meggan
Margaret ‘Maggie’ Braddock
Eye-Boy, Hindsight, Morph II, Nature Girl (students)


In flashback:
Jean Grey

2nd story:
Rosie O’Ready

Anole, Armor, Colossus, Ink, Kitty Pryde, Storm

Fing Fang Foom

Story Notes: 

The cover is a homage to Excalibur (1st series) #1.

1st story:
The story takes place between X-Men: Gold #22 and 23.

Phoenix destroyed D’bari in X-Men (1st series) #135.

This story is based on the Starhammer story from Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #338. But Starhammer fought Jean not Rachel. The flashback art on page one even depicts Jean.

2nd story:
Harry Styles is a British pop singer and actor.

Written By: