MR & MRS X #7
Gambit gets his turn in the spotlight as he fights Longshot for the honor of Rogue and we spin the Wheel of Genres to see stones romanced, wars starred...and so on. However when Gambit keeps dying, Spiral steps into the action, posing as her alter ego Ricochet Rita and gives him some spoilers, revealing it was her who orchestrated their arrival in the first place. With our hero sent in the right direction it only remains for her to take Rogue on her own journey. One of self discovery.
A solid issue for me, that seemed to be almost exclusively a Gambit story, finally. And tying in the trip to Mojoverse as a ‘Quest’ to cure Rogue was a great touch too. Given what Spiral and her Body Shoppe did to Psylocke, I’m not entirely convinced this bodes well for Rogue. This was also a treat for those who remember the classics. And thanks to the visual cue of Gambit hitting Longshot full force with a deck we get another Jim Lee homage, echoing Uncanny X-Men #277 in his first confrontation with Gladiator. Well, a Skrull version. Also with the return of Gambit’s one liner from Uncanny X-Men #273 “bang, you dead” delivered not to Wolverine, but this time to Spiral. And speaking of which, Ricochet Rita!!!! Finally the feisty stuntwoman at last gets a cameo, even if it is just Spiral wearing her old ‘form’ like a coat.
Also loved the little nod to Han and Leia in the visuals of the use of the Wheel of Genres. And even the tree-house scene had an air of the Ewok about it. And to me it also kind of summarised the journey from the beginning for Rogue and Gambit. He believing he could whisk her off her feet, she having none of it and having to forcefully remind him that she has more about her than that. Being back in the Mojoverse also has a feel of “Where Happy Little Bluebirds Fly” of X-Men #10, where Gambit and Longshot first encounter each other. I remember back when Gambit first showed up. Throwing projectiles, all acrobatic and charming the ladies. It was then I first had an inkling he was very similar to our stuntman turned Mojo star Longshot. And here that all too salient comparison came home to roost and finally someone else said it.
Although it was nice to see how much Gambit has clearly grown in this title. Overall characterisation was spot on too. Gambit shows obvious concern for Rogue throughout and it is touching hearing him vocalising his feelings in the ‘documentary’. It also makes it believable when threatening Spiral and heart lifting in his dialogue in his exit scene at the end as he launches into action. He really is lucky in love. And I did worry a little myself about her at the start, acting all damsel in distress. But she soon put paid to that.
And it goes for everybody else too. Major Domo is the quintessential toady and Spiral the scheming harpie, plotting against the Bloat as well as sulking that there seems to be love in the air. Even Mojo himself still holds onto that need for romance he acquired while in New York and his brush with Anne. And I felt a little dig at the reader in her comment too.My one worry is the propensity with which the happy couple just keep DYING! We had Rogue vanishing in space back in the first issue, which caused a major freak out from Remy. Then later Rogue fake exploding in front of him in issue #4, sparking yet another freak out. Then it’s Gambit’s turn with his exit scene last issue and now the Groundhog Day of it all this issue. I have to say, this trope is wearing a little thin. There is just no feeling of actual peril any more. And empty word balloons do bother me so. Was he speechless? Did Joe Sabino miss adding in some over emphasised phrase?
However, that aside I don’t have a single grumble this issue. They may be too frequent, but the death scenes are no less spectacular for it. And Oscar Bazaldua also does some stunning things with the re imagining of the stars in the different genres, even adding the visual from X-Men: the Animated Series of Gambit dressed as Robin the Thief. However the one standout panel for me was Rogue hovering majestically in the air above Gambit, showing true empowered like a modern day Disney Princess. And Frank D’Armata gives Oscar his all, adding an ethereal feel to the opening scene in the castle keep, making the fairy tale forest seem as natural as a wilderness hike and adding the usual flare to the action scenes and visuals of the physical manifestation of the power sets. In fact the team of Bazaldua and D’Armata have achieved the impossible for me. They’ve managed to make Mojo seem horrifically fearsome with his red bug eyes and that is something in itself.
And in writing and characterisation Kelly Thompson handles the happy couple like a boss, as always. As well as making the guest stars time fit well and not seem overcrowded, again a feat she effortlessly accomplishes time and time again. And of course yet another stunning cover by the Mr & Mrs Dodson, giving us our six-armed siren and the smooth debonaire Gambit with a hilarious and appropriate homage to Roger Moore and Maud Adams in the James Bond movie Octopussy. I don’t know what to say that is different form usual on this title. Which is a good thing. It proves the artistic team prolific, as well as showing they are consistent and bring their A game every single issue.
A standout Gambit issue as finally the focus isn’t all about Rogue. Look out Longshot, there’s a new star in town. “LONG AIR GAMBIT” will be the cry after that exit scene. I know I’m rooting for the guy.
Mr. & Mrs. X #8: Someday I’ll Wish Upon a Star
- Writing - 9/109/10
- Storyline - 8/108/10
- Art - 8.5/108.5/10
- Color - 8/108/10
- Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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