Out of all the new series from the ResurrXion relaunch, Rogue and Gambit is among the most unique and impressive. The on-again-off-again couple’s romance was made fresher and more believable than it had been in years, and their rekindling was followed up by a surprise wedding at the end of X-Men Gold. The pair are now back with another duo book, Mr. and Mrs. X. Its first volume, collecting issues #1-6, comes out this week. It tells the story of Rogue and Remy’s honeymoon, which gets more than a little off track. The Starjammers, Imperial Guard, and even Deadpool disrupt the fun. How well does this series follow up on its predecessor? Is it good?
The best part of this volume is definitely Rogue and Gambit’s rapport. Writer Kelly Thompson does a great job with the dialogue, which allows the leads to shine both individually and as a couple. Thompson’s take on the characters is an enjoyable one that stays true to core aspects readers are familiar with without sticking painfully close to clunky vocal tics or unneeded baggage. The characters’ bond alternates between being humorous and heartfelt, as we see them both joke sexually mid-fight scene and support each other when things fall apart around them.
Unfortunately, the actual plot and its execution leave a bit to be desired. The concept of high jinks in space is fun in theory, but the conflict doesn’t feel as dire as it’s supposed to be. The pacing of the space drama is also a bit weak; it all wraps up a bit abruptly. On the plus side a new character named Xandra debuts, and she makes a good first impression. Her power set and struggles to understand it make her a great fit for a story starring Rogue in particular. Deadpool also guest stars and while some of his banter is funny, his rivalry with Gambit (due to their both having romantic history with Rogue) feels forced and a bit predictable.
Art-wise, this volume is a mixed bag. Oscar Bazaldua draws most of the issues, and his line-work is clean. The character expressions throughout are generally solid, and there are some cool two-page spreads that convey action in unique ways. Unfortunately, the visuals are majorly hindered by the comic’s world not feeling well-defined. Most of the backgrounds throughout are very minimal, making it seem like the characters don’t actually interact with their surroundings. There’s a major lack of texture to the objects and settings; everything looks disappointingly flat. Fortunately, the coloration (by Frank D’Armata and Nayoung Kim) and lettering (by Vc’s Joe Sabino and Travis Lanham) are generally quite polished and pleasing to look at, even if they’re not delivering anything especially memorable.
All in all, Mr. and Mrs. X Vol. 1: Love and Marriage is a decent read with significant flaws. The main characters’ relationship is great, and their dialogue is on-point. The supporting characters mostly make good impressions as well, and there are some cool moments visually. On the downside, there’s some boringly predictable macho rivalry between Gambit and Deadpool, and the world around the characters feels ill-defined and lifeless. If you’re a big fan of the main duo then give this series a try. Otherwise, I wouldn’t recommend it.
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