MR & MRS X #11
As Remy arrives to deal with some challenges to his so called leadership he faces not one but two surprise contenders. Not only has the Red Death herself returned from the dead but also the ex wife makes a power play. As Candra has her own designs on him to regain her rightful form, Bella Donna seems to be fixing to take his role as leader of the two Guilds. Just when things look decidedly bad the good lady wife arrives to wipe the floor with the opposition. But a sucker punch from behind lands her in the same predicament and Candra reveals her intent was not to put him on trial as he believed, but to finish them off once and for all...as a sacrifice.
Writing: We finally get some clarification as to what the state of play is after the big return home, as the newspapers on Remy’s arrival in New Orleans clearly reference both events in Uncanny X-Men and X-Force, very grounding touch. So we are clear that they know what’s happened finally and also why they are still not part of things. I found myself wishing there had been one showing Ripley’s report on Carol from the end of Captain Marvel #5, as Rogue was there in time for the end of that. But it is enough that they at least place where we are in things and allows Remy to explain why they aren’t already knee deep in X-Men and running to their aid. After so long away the connections are quickly re-established.
I’ve said it before, Kelly knows how to keep the separation from main events realistic and still allow for some great storytelling, without us mentally screaming for them to jump back into things. And much like when Forge and Banshee were searching for the X-Men I get the feeling our couple will end this current saga by focusing their efforts to find their fellow X-Men. Also putting in the contact lenses shows the state of play for mutants right now. Coupled with the newspaper reports at the airport it is clear that times are again harder and mutants need to take more care. Which also dovetails well with the developing plot here with the Guilds, underpinning what the state of play is with other groups of mutants.
And even here his assertion that Rogue will go to them is touching, as it shows yet again he is comfortably assured of what she will do with utter confidence, despite the fact she later proves him wrong. And there is none of that bratty insecurity about his belief she will go to the X-Men to help, which is refreshing. It is an annoying and petulant trait that some past writers felt was necessary, simply to bolster his male ego and make him look cool for the sake of it. He can still have that edge, without being the Lothario and tired Pepé Le Pew cliche. And to top it off he gets a taste of the pain she has endured with the collar all this time, which helps acknowledge that he at least understands her suffering. And we all knew that given the option of subtle entry and dramatic he’d go for the dramatic route.It will never be subtle, but we still love him for it, every time he does the grandstanding thing. Ever the showman. The way he can still breeze his way into the situation will never get tired. Just because he is a married man, doesn’t mean he can’t still show off occasionally. I particularly love how everyone has to keep pointing out that he needs checking for lock picks. Not just once but twice, they mention how slippery he can be and are in no doubt he needs extra attention. Even Bella Donna demanding more aggressive checks. And yet more chains? Honestly, Kelly people will talk.
Art: The cover once again perfectly showcases the drama and Terry and Rachel Dodson ensure they give us the dynamic without giving away the main antagonists, instead focusing on the heroic couple. Also the coloring of Frank D’Armata again lends rich depth to the interior scenery, both fleshing out the cold dank underbelly of the criminal lair as well as the flashy bright explosives of both Remy and his ex wife’s power set. And the depiction of Rogue’s power draining without touch is rewarding to see. Visually her power has always only been about the after effect and her outward physical appearance. And with no physical mutation to show it isn’t always clear. But here we see the waves of energy draining from the victim, giving even more visual drama to her power. The only other place this has been seen so far is over in Captain Marvel #4-5 and there it was only seen via the coloring of Tamra Bonvillain. But here there is a more robust aspect to it, that clearly shows the energy draining in waves. Which is thanks to both Frank and Oscar together.
There is something very reassuring about Oscar Bazaldua’s artistic style. It’s clean, crisp and polished, which is usually something I don’t relish as it reminds me too much of the ‘bubblegum’ style of the 90’s. It worked back then but this is now. However Oscar brings something different to the table and keeps it fresh, while maintaining that stabilising element. The realism of the details in the reflective flooring. The sheer fluid poetry and grace depicted in Remy’s stylish entrance into the den of iniquity that is the meeting of the Guilds. Even the punch packed by Bella Donna as she reveals her own formidable power to him and then later against Rogue. The set up as he goes on the attack triggering explosions with each of the henchmen. It all makes the art flow perfectly, without seeming to be just stage setting or posing for imagery sake, the movement all seems organic and real and tells it’s own story. No more clearly shown than in the sweeping drama of the panels as he launches into action.
Characters: Color me slightly puzzled. But both Candra and Bella Donna are meant to be dead right? I had actually forgotten about Belle when she showed up at the house warming back in Mr & Mrs X #6 and it took Candra also returning to remind me. Now with Candra it’s a given, Chris Yost laid the groundwork for that when he had her explain to Wolverine and Ben Reilly in Scarlet Spider #19 that thanks to her ‘sisters’ she will always be able to return, as she draws strength from death. And her regression to a younger appearance, that she is clearly disgusted with, was just sheer genius.
Hence her ploy here it seems. Which really tickles me, as her youthful appearance will surely cause her no end of problems when it comes to inflicting any sense of dominance later. And that I can’t wait to see more of. But Bella Donna was killed in Deadpool Assassin #5, with still no explanation of her return. Maybe it will be linked to Candra and the hold she still has over her here. But it is at least good to finally have the definite answer as to whether or not she was one of the mutants to retain her powers post M Day. The answer is a resounding yes. Also Kelly raises a rather interesting point that has bugged me for some time. How can Remy reasonably justify his role as King of the Thieves Guild at the same time as manage a full time career as hero and X-Man? And now added to that his new responsibilities as husband, his attention is divided among too many contradictory demands.
Very similar to Storm’s time as X-Man, Queen of Wakanda and wife to Black Panther, something has to give. Bella Donna did mention this way back in Mr & Mrs X #6 and now it crops up again here. Both times bringing up the conclusion of his last solo series. And I have to wonder if this is Kelly’s way of resolving those issues once and for all. If this final arc of the series (as we now know this is) might be a way of clearing the board and allowing the pair to re-enter the larger X-story each with some resolution and removal of excess baggage.
Great way to segue the Merry Married Mutants back into the larger plot and the hero biz.
Mr. & Mrs. X #11: Externally Yours
- Writing - 9/109/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Art - 9/109/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10
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