Well, I wasn't a fan of X-Men: Blue #13, but I am a masochist and feel it is worth taking another look at the new push in the X-Men books. Plus, fellow Bleeding Cool reviewer Joe Glass liked the story of this comic, and I felt it must be worth taking a look on his recommendation.
Now, the premise is one of my issues, and this is the book that set up that premise. As such, it does seem like I just got this book to be the whipping boy with which to pursue some sort of vendetta against the current X-books. This isn't the case, and I do hope that is obvious.
In any case, this book starts off with the X-Men playing softball (yay, trope codifiers!). The teams that make up the Gold and the Blue books are playing together. Suddenly, spires begin descending from the sky, and they are sent by Mojo in order to set up the battles with the Frost Giants, demons, and the Days of Future Past scenario. Storm, Angel, Iceman, and Logan are in the first simulation, Beast, Jean Grey, Nightcrawler, Colossus, and Jimmy Hudson are in the second, and Kitty Pryde, Rachel Summers, Cyclops, and Bloodstorm are in the last.
Mojo even uses the word "Legacy" to describe the significance of the scenario he has set up.
Now, I feel that it's a bit obvious why that's cringe-worthy in this situation. You can make all the jokes you want about the new Marvel initiative, but you aren't really doing anything significant to challenge it. Yes, Mojo set this up, and he is the antagonist. However, the story is still playing out in such a manner so that the readers are shown these overt references and callbacks to significant X-Men stories.
I didn't mean for this to be a further dig at the current X-story, but it turned out that way anyway. The story is still greatly flawed, and the attempts at poking fun at the corporate initiative which led to it doesn't do enough to fix the problems. In fact, the metatext is one of the reasons it doesn't work.
That being said, this one isn't burdened with some of the plot points which made Blue more frustrating. However, the softball opening does almost feel like a self-conscious decision, especially since that the first issue of X-Men: Gold had a similar softball opening.
Ironically, unlike Joe, I quite enjoyed the art of this issue. Mike Mayhew's does fall into the uncanny valley at times, but I enjoy the depth and pseudo-realism of the style for the most part. Rain Beredo's very scaled color work compliments it with skin-tones and textures which support the photorealism of the style.
In the end though, this comic provided many of the same problems which Blue had. The story is trying a little too hard to be cute. The art is good, but Gold brought no spin to the proceedings to justify the problems. I unfortunately cannot recommend this one either.