Sandstorm – X-Men Gold #20

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Title:  X-Men: Gold #20

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Writers:  Marc Guggenheim

Artists:  Diego Bernard, Frank Martin 

Story Rating:  6

Art Rating:

Color Rating: 10 

Overall Rating:  7.6

The X-Men battle the harsh elements in this chapter of will and survival. In the aftermath of the spaceship crash the Xavier mutants are scattered across a desert world in the Negative Zone.  

Marc Guggenheim writes the classic tale of man versus nature. Lost in the desert Kitty Pryde, Colossus, and Storm must wade through a sandstorm to find their allies. In the debris of the spacecraft Wolverine, Armor, NightCrawler, and Ink come together to activate the dimensional portal drive. 

In the high winds Storm finds Kitty and Colossus once together they travel back to the spaceship. When the team is united inside the ship Storm uses her powers to command the dimensional drive to send the mutants home. 

The comic book is unsatisfactory to several degrees. Artwork, pacing and overall story arc suffers due to poor decisions within the storytelling. Everything is pushed to the side for the romantic relationship between Colossus and Kitty Pryde. All the obstacles before the team in the Negative Zone are solved in rapid succession.  

Another story point contradicts the rules of the world. Storm uses her electrical powers on command when it was established she couldn’t before because of the surface layout on the planet. When Wolverine demands her to use such electrical force she has no problem conjuring the energy to take the team home. 

Diego Bernard and Frank Martin come together for the artwork. The characters and setting is complete but does not offer anything too compelling or interesting. Everything within the panels is basic to simple in terms of execution and style throughout the issue. 

The colors are solid, which do not blend or fade into neighboring tones. They do complete the detailing for the characters supported by shadows, complimentary color, and dark ink. Pencil work displays small but scarce detail on characters and surroundings. Overall the artwork was not impressive, only acceptable. 

The Negative Zone War ended on a low point in the numerous comics associated within the story arc. This issue destroys the struggles and obstacles that were built in previous installments. Now in the upcoming arc will focus on the relationship of Kitty Pryde, Colossus, and the power of love.

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