Prisoners to Mankind – X-Men Gold #23

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Title:  X-Men Gold #23

Publisher:  Marvel Comics 

Writers:  Marc Guggenheim 

Artists:  Thony Silas, Arif Prianto 

Story Rating:  6

Art Rating: 7

Color Rating:  10 

Overall Rating:  7.6

Marvel Comics goes on the inside of a super villain prison, as Kitty Pryde and the X-Men must serve hard time until their names are exonerated or condemned. Inmates close in on the team for all the past villains seek their sweet revenge. 

Marc Guggenheim has lost focus through the confines of this particular comic issue. The story suffers from major continuity errors and interjections of unimportant content.  Therefore, the overall display comes as lacking luster and unsatisfactory for the reader who has been following the previous comics to this point. 

The character Magma is not in prison alongside her teammates yet, she was present in the location of the primary arrest of the X-Men. She disappeared from the scene with no explanation, which contradicts the story.

In the middle of the second act we are given information about a potential threat for the team but is never explained to any degree. A man going by The Shredded Man takes away from the main story. He is seen underneath the city but does not perform any means of villainy or destruction. Then the story cuts back to the main prison plot line where the X-Men try to avoid prison yard fights and lunchroom brawls. 

Scythian the God of Dartayus makes his return through the Negative Zone and heads toward Earth. He is never explored more or even set up as the cliffhanger of the comic book. The significance of the character loses its depth. 

In the art department Thony Silas brings forth a style of pencil work that resembles more cartoonish theatrics. The artwork presents a bold portrayal of exaggerated limbs and facial features. Characters look similar in the facial department with little to no distinction besides designated apparel. 

Arif Prianto dives into layers of color delivering multiple light sources, shades, and complementary hues. Everything inside the panels is bright and vivid for the reader making characters, locations, and powers stand out on each page.  Specific colors of red, yellow, and orange make up the majority of the issue. A sense of realism is present for colors to blend to create flesh tones upon character faces and physical profile.

The conclusion of the comic book did not satisfy for the far more destructive threat was pushed aside to highlight the prison yard bully. The comic missed the opportunity to go more in depth with the return of Scythian God of Dartayus.

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