ROGUE & GAMBIT #1
DESTINY STRIKES YOUR FAVORITE X-MEN DUO! Krakoa is on a precipice. Destiny alone can see what's coming - but the precog cannot act. For that, she'll need her adoptive daughter, Rogue. Husbands need not apply…but with mutant duties stealing Rogue away so much these days, Gambit is determined to make the most of the mission and put some Cajun spice back into their increasingly complicated love affair. He just has to make it out of the bar first.
There’s a good deal to recommend about this new series opener. Stephanie Phillips sets the scene for our erstwhile mutant couple, who are supposed to reconnect on vacation, but when you are a mutant, there’s always an emergency. There’s a very apparent strain between the couple who can’t get their timing right, and this isn’t made easier when Gambit’s favorite mother-in-law (NOT) shows up and tasks the couple with retrieving one Eden Fesi, the mutant known as Manifold, with not much more than a “trust me it’s important.” . Against this backdrop, Phillips adds the mystery of several villains being broken out of various facilities, which is something Fesi is investigating. The setup is smooth from Phillips, overall the character interactions and action move the story along at a decent clip and Phillips brings in characters that have appeared in the Krakoan canon to give the opener the feeling of it being very much set in the now of the Krakoan era.
If I have any criticism, it’s about the main couple. I’m very comfortable with the idea of Gambit as the wife guy; in fact, I think it’s laudable what writers like Tini Howard and Kelly Thompson have done to grow him out of the sleazebag image that’s followed the character for years. However, while there are some genuinely good and funny moments in this issue, I’m not sure that having Gambit be purely the comedy relief for the series and Rogue play the absolute straight man is something I’m going to enjoy for the whole series. I’ll concede that it’s early days, and I may be a little overinvested in the two central characters as a huge fan but something just didn’t sit right with me about the characterization in certain parts of this issue with Gambit really being overly goofy and Rogue being really dry. The text message data page is a genuinely funny highlight and there’s enough mystery and questions raised to sink its hooks into you and make you want to know what happens next. Who are these people selling this dangerous tech to all the wrong people and how does Manifold tie into Destiny’s vision of the future?
Carlos Gomez, fresh off of the marvelously entertaining X-Terminators, is on art duties. overall his art is really fun to look at, with strong line work and an eye for some really expressive facial expressions (Gambit having a dig at Destiny when she shows up is a good example). His characters have a classic comic book feel to them, and his paneling and layouts feel quite cinematic. This book has a more serious feel to it than, say, X-Terminators, and that comes through in the artwork with dramatic staged moments like Destiny showing up out of thin air and the airport scene later on.
Dave Curiel and Federico Blee bring Gomez’s art to life with colorful aplomb, and Ariana Maher is flawless on letters. It’s an excellent opening salvo from the art team overall that makes me excited about what’s to come. It’s worth mentioning that Steve Morris’s covers for this series are all excellent and tell a small story of what to expect inside while looking exceptionally cool.
It's a solid opening salvo in the latest chapter of one of mutant kinds most famous couples which combines beautiful easy on the eye art with a well paced script and healthy dose of mystery, held back only slightly by some of the characterization. It's a fun first issue well worth checking out.
ROGUE & GAMBIT #1: Bad Timing and Mother-In-Laws
- Writing - 8/108/10
- Storyline - 8/108/10
- Art - 8/108/10
- Color - 8/108/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10
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