Techno Superior is the second instalment in the story of X-Men Gold and it spans through three comics. Just as a preamble, the art by R.B. Silva has a great impact in this story and it is outstanding, and not to mention the inking by Adriano di Benedetto and the colouring by Frank Martin that help to make the special effects pop out of the page and provide depth to all the action scenes. The story again comes from Marc Guggenheim and it is fairly complex in terms of storylines with some of them opening up for future instalments of the series. Others are fully fleshed here and help to understand what drives certain characters.
That begin said, this is a story that will please you, especially if you like a big cast of characters and a story that has an impact that goes beyond the individuals that are part of the X-Men Gold recurring cast.
Read on to learn more about Techno Superior BUT beware of spoilers!
First and foremost, the story has an important addition to the cast of characters, albeit temporary. The favourite mutant thief who will steal (and break) many hearts, Remy LeBeuf, aka Gambit is the center of the first part of the story. As a professional thief, he infiltrates Nanostorm Inc. to steal nano technology, using and impressing the reader with his powers, which ends up being an extremely small (and apparently empty) vial.
Immediately one might think that Gambit is back on his reckless behaviour of thinking about his gain and pure profit without thinking about the consequences. The reader will be surprised to see that Gambit’s goal was to meet his anonymous employer and gauge the type and severity of menace that this employer poses to his fellow mutants and, in general, the world.
Gambit not only finds that Bolivar Trask has a granddaughter named Olivia, but that she is Gambit’s secret employer and continues to manage Trask Industries. As a quick refresher, Bolivar Trask is also the character that created the sentinels, an artificial intelligence with only one goal: to eliminate the X gene. In essence, sentinels target the mutants and engage with deadly force and they have always been one of the deadliest opponents for the X-Men. It is incredibly rewarding to see them return to this world in an evolved fashion, now deadlier and more indiscriminate than before. Think Bolivar Trask sounds familiar? He was also portrayed in the X-Men movie “X-Men: Days of Future Past” by the incredible Peter Dinklage.
After understanding the type of threat that Olivia Trask poses to the world and realising (really being told) that the empty vial contains a swarm of nano technology that can render technology sentient, Gambit chooses to ignore Olivia Trask when she says she wants to use this technology for military purposes (and associated financial gain) and tries to recover the vial. This leads to a confrontation with Olivia Trask’s bodyguards and to the incident that will trigger significant action scenes (and panic) through New York City: The vial breaks and the swarm of nano technology infects a sentinel that is being built at the Trask facility.
The second part of the story focuses on the realisation of the menace this new sentinel poses to the city of New York. Initially, the X-Men Gold team is called into action to rescue Gambit (including a rescuing borderline kidnapping of Olivia Trask) and everybody else who is in the building of Trask Industries and the adjacent street, and to assess the threat.
Besides Logan, who is dedicated to save civilians who are in harm’s way and hilariously being displeased by being called “grandpa”, Kitty, Prestige, Storm, Colossus and Nightcrawler are dispatched to fight the nano-sentinel. Kitty—whose power to phase also has an effect on technology, usually damaging it permanently—uses her ability on the sentinel. Despite thinking that the ability worked, the sentinel proves to be stronger than the X-Men initially anticipated. To make things more complicated for our heroes, the sentinel is able to render Prestige unconscious through a psychic shock and the sentinel disappears.
They learn the magnitude of the problem, specifically that the sentinel is self-aware with an ability to learn from prior encounters and that the nano technology has affected more than one sentinel. This will lead to a dramatic escalation of events and a fight between Marvel heroes and the sentinels in the city of New York. There are several heroes that join the fight, including Daredevil, Deadpool, Hulk, and Captain Marvel to stop a threat that does not only affect mutants. The goal of this new sentinel is that all mutations must be eliminated, including mutations different from the X gene, for instance colorblindness or cancer. In essence, the entire population of New York is a target for the sentinels.
The key to win this fight will be Rachel Summers. While still unconscious from her previous encounter with the self-aware sentinel, she will need to face herself, her powers, her parents, her fears—including the fear of succumb to the dark phoenix force—and become a much stronger psychic than she was before.
The last instalment of the story really provides a closer look into Prestige and what fuels and holds her back from unleashing and becoming a stronger version of herself. It is an interesting specific character deep dive (that will have repercussions also in the following stories) and provides the option to connect with Rachel.
Prestige will wake from her coma and realize her potential and tap into it, connect with every mind and awareness and channel her powers into the world, reaching and destroying the nano technology that powered the sentinels.
And this is only the main story of Techno Superior! There are several interesting stories that intertwine, some that will have more lasting effects—for instance, Logan and Ororo are exposed for the first time to the fact that there is a mutant killer loose in the city of New York. This is a particularly upsetting information that will impact the X-Men Gold story in the next instalments.
Also, despite the efforts of the Back to the Basic story, Lydia Nance still is a painful presence for the X-Men and mutants in general. She is still advocating against them in public forums, taking advantage of the latest events involving the X-Men, labelling them as terrorist, which the younger members of the X-Men don’t take well.
It is going to be interesting to see what Lydia Nance will continue to do for the X-Men world and how she will be able to antagonize the X-Men in the next stories.
Have you read the story? Did you enjoy the story? Tell us in the comments below and stay tuned for more to come on X-Men Gold!