MR & MRS X #5
As Gambit considers all that he has lost, we find out what really happened to Rogue and Xandra. And later as the couple deal with the fallout and the changes to Rogue’s powers, they finally return home.
First on to the art. Yet again another stunning cover depicting the Starjammers…never get enough of those. And within, more explosive BOOM noises. I love how these are a feature of this series. I don’t know who we have to thank for that, if it’s Oscar or down to the lettering of Travis Lanham, but I’m grateful for it nonetheless. Frank D’Armata also has a huge part in making this issue pop, with the coloring of the cold planet feeding into the emotions of Rogue and the revelations hat she is faced with. And even though the way Oscar Bazaldua draws Rogue’s face is still a little distracting, he more than makes up for it with the action scenes, which were eye popping. From the depiction of Titan looming above everyone, which was so well rendered, to the drama and pathos as Gambit kneels beaten and distraught as the dust settles on the aftermath of the battle.
And the anguish was palpable as so many super powered individuals stand around helplessly, before making an awkward exit….where did Deathbird disappear to by the way? And finally all of that was superseded by the slight pensiveness that hangs in the air as Rogue and Gambit stand so far apart in the final scenes. A telling moment that could so easily have spelt disaster, rescued at the last moment to my great relief and it was a short lived fear, as they draw ever closer to each other. I was a little worried about the awkward distance at first. The caution seems of course acceptable as they are anxious about the new turn this is all taking. We deserve for these two X-Men to have some peace at last, perfect ending and the imagery alone gave closure.
As for the writing, although I suspected the conclusion of last issue was going to result in one of those ‘off panel’ discussions where plans are formulated, it was interesting to see the other side and Rogue and Xandra’s getting their heads together. Much like the Buffy episode where the Slayers discuss fighting the Übervamp, or the New Universe Psi Force/DP7 battle that told the same story from different angles in two consecutive issues, this was a dynamic way to show what was essentially a flashback.
The drama then switched perfectly, with the “tongue massage” moment, which was hilarious and put me in mind of Cerise and her own introduction to the sensation of what she called “lip massage” with Nightcrawler in Excalibur #55, so very long ago. And though Xandra was cute as a button and I do love Cerise, it is good they left as these two need to focus on each other more right now and get used to each other in the shared space that is their new home.
And so this is shaping up to be a truly refreshing series, Kelly is taking the characters we know and love and leading them down a path we have not seen for so long in comics. That of the happy, stable relationship. Although there was that slight disagreement previously with the revelation Xandra could fix her powers and Gambit’s reaction, they do naturally fit into the supportive couple and are a solid unit. And it is very telling that Rogue knows him so well that his fragile male ego will cause him to react the way he did, insecure at being unable to become the protector/hero he so much needs to be for her. But of course they manage to salvage things, even as yet another setback reveals itself in the new development of her power.
And since her power is now evolving she can utilise it the same way as Leech and also somewhat like Hope as regards proximity, which will be interesting to see in conflict. I also think Kelly has planted the seed to a more acceptable and organic way for Rogue to control her powers. I am hoping this will lead into her finally learning to control it. Short term the collar was okay, but it’s hardly a long term solution, it will become annoying every time we have to have it explained or used as a get out. Much like a too convenient sonic screwdriver. Instead of some external fix her power is now evolving and she can train to obtain control thanks to her own effort, which is of course what she stated she wants. Bittersweet though it is, there is no better way for her and it’s something she has always been faced with. And I loved the depiction of it as well. This is a game changer for Rogue and I can see she will become a force to be reckoned with again, which is how it should be.
With all of this there was some extra little details that filled out an issue already bursting at the seams. First there was a nice little nod to Cyclops with Gambit’s comment during the heat of battle. Also with the conversation between Oracle and Cerise it now is a little more clear as to who she was working for all along and the larger plan of Gladiator, only time will tell how that goes.
And finally, the cats!!!! So pleased to see them again. And though obviously Gambit still has them it’s almost a surprise when writers remember to add minor details like this, which we almost always expect them to otherwise forget. I also still love that it shows he is a Disney fan as they are all named after Disney animated feature cats from Cinderella, Pinocchio and Oliver & Company.
And did everyone catch how he even introduced them in the same order as he did to Lorna way back in All New X-Factor? It’s quite a relief to see that they seem to approve of Rogue much more than they did her though. Or maybe they are just more house trained. I can’t wait to see how Mystique reacts to her gift being part of this new family. I’m sure she will not be pleased. Nice ending, a party is such a great idea, can’t wait.
The battle of the previous issue as seen through the eyes of Rogue and Xandra. With a new wrinkle in the status quo of a linchpin X-Man, a heart warming conclusion and segue into the future of the happy couple
Mr & Mrs X #5 When the Dust Settles
- Writing - 8/108/10
- Storyline - 7/107/10
- Art - 7/107/10
- Color - 7/107/10
- Cover Art - 8/108/10
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