Sworn to sell comics for Marvel executives who feared and hated the fact that Fox owned their movie rights, The Uncanny X-Men suffered great indignities, but with a corporate merger on the way, the X-Men can finally get back to doing what they do best: being objectively the best franchise in all of comics.
Each week, armed with the joy, heartbreak, and frustration of 30+ years of reading X-Men comics, we crankily read every new X-book that comes out, recap the events, react to them, maybe provide some links to Marvel Unlimited for further reference. No smart, fancy words about the creative process. Go read a review for that, you… intellXual!
It’s the way X-Men comics were meant to be read! It’s the column that can only be known as…
For more about the column, check out the reboot issue here.
MR. AND MRS. X #1
Written by KELLY THOMPSON
Art by OSCAR BAZALDUA
Cover by TERRY DODSON
On Sale 7/25/18
What the Hell Happened?!
Mr. and Mrs. X #1 opens with the X-Men splitting up into two teams to get Gambit and Rogue ready for the wedding. Lots of witty banter ensues, along with some cute character moments, like Storm choosing to be on “Team Gambit” and Gambit calling her Stormy, like when they first met and she had been de-aged to a child after going through the Siege Perilous (see Uncanny X-Men #266). Mystique arrives and has a tense but positive reunion with Rogue, who agrees to let her watch the wedding disguised as Abigail Brand, who couldn’t make it.
We also learn how Rogue was able to kiss Gambit without stealing his psyche and powers. She’s wearing a power-dampening collar which she also intends to bring on the honeymoon. Why did nobody ever think of that before? It can’t be that easy though. Beast, who made the collar, x-plains that the collar causes Rogue pain. Well, for some, that’s even kinkier.
Later, on the honeymoon, in a multi-page implied nude scene, Gambit reveals Rogue’s greatest weakness: she’s ticklish. They’ve gone to space in hopes that they could avoid any X-Men drama from interrupting the honeymoon, but Kitty Pryde calls with an urgent mission that just happens to be taking place in space as well. Gambit is so disturbed by this he shows Kitty his penis. Sadly, since this book is rated T+, we don’t get to see it for ourselves.
The honeymooners head to Che’an, part of the Shi’ar Empire. Kitty wants them to pick something up there. When they arrive, they find Cerise, a Shi’ar that a caption box helpfully informs us is a former member of Excalibur and aide to dead Shi’ar Majestrix and Professor X love interest Lilandra Nermani. But she’s being held hostage by the Imperial Guard. A fight breaks out, and Rogue grabs the package (a pink crystal) and steals the powers of Imperial Guard member Astra, then phases outside of the ship. Before Gambit and the Guard can bring Rogue and the crystal back inside, she’s teleported away and wakes up in bed with Deadpool. The crystal has broken and there’s an egg inside. The issue ends there.
The Bottom Line
It’s no surprise that this series is off to a great start. Rogue and Gambit’s story has a lot of momentum coming out of the eponymous Rogue and Gambit mini-series, which was also written by Mr. and Mrs. X writer Kelly Thompson. That series gave the relationship between these two the proverbial “Fresh Start,” and the relationship, as well as the characters, both needed it. Sending them off into space for their honeymoon is a great way to roll with that momentum.
It’s curious that when Marvel launches an ongoing as a result of the success of a mini-series, the writer moves along but not the entire art team. Pere Perez drew Rogue and Gambit and did a fantastic, expressive job, both with the emotional story about the couple’s relationship and with all the callbacks to past X-eras. Surely, that played as much of a role in the response of fans to that book.
In any case, Oscar Bazaldua does a great job in Mr. and Mrs. X #1, and we’re sure we’ll all grow to love this book just as much as Rogue and Gambit, so this isn’t a complaint about the art in this book. In fact, this book was so good (and sexy too — nothing turns us on more than x-pository caption boxes) that we’re awarding it the most coveted prize of all grilled-meat-themed weekly comics awards: The Wolverine’s Weiner X-Pick of the Week!
Just some questions about Marvel’s process is all. Of course, Marvel’s website only lists the writer, penciller, and cover artist for the books, so you’ll need to look inside to learn that Frank D’Armata is the colorist for both series, which does provide some continuity between the two books, as does lettering by Joe Caramagna, who like Rogue and Gambit letterer Joe Sabino works out of the Virtual Calligraphy lettering studio. Jay Bowen and Anthony Gambino also did graphic design for both books.
But what about Pere Perez?! That’s all we’re saying. There’s probably a perfectly rational explanation.
Go read Rogue and Gambit, of course, though it’s not yet available on Marvel Unlimited so you’ll have to shell out the money for the individual issues, or the trade paperback which just came out this month.
Cerise first appeared at the end of Excalibur #46 and substantially in Excalibur #47, which you can read on Marvel Unlimited.
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