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X-Men Monday #192 - Stephanie Phillips Talks 'Rogue & Gambit'

Comic Books

X-Men Monday #192 – Stephanie Phillips Talks ‘Rogue & Gambit’

Plus, 6 eXclusive preview images from upcoming X-Men comics!

Welcome, X-Fans, to another uncanny edition of X-Men Monday at AIPT!

You know, when you’ve got yourself a weekly X-Men interview column, you learn a thing or two about which of Marvel’s mutants have the die-hard fanbases. Storm? You better believe it. Jean Grey? I mean, have you been on the internet? Hellion? Well, that’s a little teaser for next week’s edition!

Listen to the latest episode of our weekly comics podcast!

But don’t count out Rogue and Gambit’s fans. When there’s a Rogue and Gambit-focused X-Men Monday, these fans show up with questions at the ready. I’m excited they’ll soon be able to read a new series devoted to their favorite X-Couple — Rogue & Gambit #1, on sale March 1 — and they get to read its writer Stephanie Phillips’ answers to their questions right now.

X-Men Monday #192 - Stephanie Phillips Talks 'Rogue & Gambit'

Courtesy of stephaniecomics.com

Let’s see what Stephanie has to say!

AIPT: Welcome to X-Men Monday, Stephanie! Let’s start by going back to the beginning — what was your first X-Men experience as a fan?

Stephanie: My first experience with the X-Men was actually the arcade game! The game introduced me to the characters and from there I wanted all the action figures and comics I could get. I was really into Gambit, actually, and liked the Paul Smith/Chris Claremont storyline where we first see Rogue join the X-Men after leaving the Brotherhood. I loved her interactions with Wolverine, who is one of my favorite characters. 

AIPT: While you’ve written for several of comics’ top publishers, Rogue & Gambit is among your first Marvel projects. How did the opportunity to play in Marvel’s X-Men sandbox come about?

Stephanie: I worked on a Marvel Unlimited digital comic about Millie to Model as a S.H.I.E.L.D. spy and it was a great experience. I wanted to continue playing in the Marvel sandbox and I appreciate how supportive editorial was. Writing Cosmic Ghost Rider and Rogue & Gambit were both an easy “yes” on my part.

AIPT: This week’s first X-Fan question comes from AppleJ (Jacki), who’s curious to learn about your history with Gambit and Rogue. What did you do to prepare for this series and what are your favorite Gambit and Rogue comics?

Stephanie: Like I mentioned above, I really like the introduction of Rogue into the X-Men by Smith and Claremont. I think their story really solidified Rogue as one of the most interesting characters to me. It showed us what a dynamic character she is and made me feel incredibly engaged in her development over the years. 

For the story I’m telling with Carlos Gomez, I do pull a lot of inspiration from Andy Kubert and Fabian Nicieza’s run on X-Men where we get their first kiss, their first date, even the first time they say “I love you.” It’s been really important to reference those moments in our current story.

X-Men Monday #192 - Stephanie Phillips Talks 'Rogue & Gambit'

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

AIPT: Next up, X-Fan Serena (@616LEBEAUS) first wanted to share that they’re so excited to read your book and sends you so much love. Second, Serena wanted to know how you feel about the guilds and Rogue and Gambit being the Queen and King of Thieves?

Stephanie: Thank you so much! I’m excited for the book to be out in the world as well. I’m definitely interested in Gambit’s past with the Guild, and who doesn’t love the title “King and Queen of Thieves”?! For our story, though, it ties more closely to where Rogue and Gambit have been in the current X-Men storylines. Rogue has just left the X-Men and her time with the team started to create a wedge between her and Remy. We’re picking things up at that moment in time where we get to explore Rogue post-X-Men.

X-Men Monday #192 - Stephanie Phillips Talks 'Rogue & Gambit'

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

AIPT: Speaking of current X-Men storylines, X-Fan Nathan X said we’ve seen Coven Akkaba’s Ruben Brousseau in preview art. Is it fair to say you’re picking up some plot points from Rogue and Gambit’s tenure in Excalibur?

Stephanie: Actually, no! This has more to do with what is happening in the Captain Britain series at the moment, as well as the big bad of our series who hasn’t actually been revealed yet. 

AIPT: For readers who are just learning about Rogue & Gambit for the first time, what’s your elevator pitch for the series?

Stephanie: Destiny uses her powers of incredibly poor timing to interrupt Rogue and Gambit on a date to launch them on a mission that has implications for all of mutant-kind. With limited information about the vision Destiny saw, Rogue has to trust her adoptive mother and find Manifold, a teleporting Avenger. Unfortunately, others are after Manifold and Rogue and Gambit find themselves mixed up with a familiar big bad from the Marvel Universe…

The series will tie into larger things happening with the X-Men stories, but it can also be read on its own for anyone interested in the characters. 

X-Men Monday #192 - Stephanie Phillips Talks 'Rogue & Gambit'

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

AIPT: You mentioned Manifold — X-Fan ConfusedAboutIssues was wondering what you most enjoy about writing Manifold and Lady Deathstrike, who also appears.

Stephanie: I’m excited to get to add a lot of other characters from the Marvel Universe into the story. It makes for fun fight scenes between characters and helps to show how unique the universe really is. Manifold offers great banter with Gambit, and Lady Deathstrike’s abilities have been fun to write. 

AIPT: X-Fan Daniel pointed out that Rogue and Gambit have been attached at the hip for so long. Daniel was wondering if it’s challenging to write a couple but also capture all their various character traits and further develop their individual character arcs.

Stephanie: I love writing romance in comics (I think there should be more!) and I think Rogue and Gambit are fun to write because they are in such a unique place in their relationship. They aren’t a new couple or a budding romance — they have been together for such a long time that they get to be annoyed by how the other chews. 

AIPT: You touched on this a bit before, but let’s dig in further. X-Fan Rob Baskinger asked, in your opinion, how much does Rogue trust her mothers, Mystique and Destiny?

Stephanie: Rogue? I would say she trusts them enough to listen when Destiny says there’s an issue that needs solving. Rogue truly wants to trust them, so she does place trust in them because the alternative would be pretty depressing for her. But Gambit… there’s no trust there. 

X-Men Monday #192 - Stephanie Phillips Talks 'Rogue & Gambit'

Courtesy of Marvel Comics and ComicBook.com

AIPT: Juicy! Finally, it seems we can’t have an X-Men Monday about Rogue and Gambit without at least one cat-related question. So, for X-Fan Matt — will we get any appearances from Gambit’s cats?

Stephanie: I’m a cat person, so this is absolutely one of my favorite things about their relationship. I do plan for the cats to make an appearance! 

AIPT: There you have it, folks. Expect cats. But on that note, Stephanie, thanks for swinging by X-Men Monday! Remember, X-Fans, Rogue & Gambit #1 goes on sale March 1, 2023! We’ve got an eXclusive sneak peek below, as well as a look at a few other upcoming X-Men comics courtesy of X-Men Senior Editor Jordan D. White.

X-Men Monday #192 - Stephanie Phillips Talks 'Rogue & Gambit'

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

X-Men Monday #192 - Stephanie Phillips Talks 'Rogue & Gambit'

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

X-Men Monday #192 - Stephanie Phillips Talks 'Rogue & Gambit'

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

X-Men Monday #192 - Stephanie Phillips Talks 'Rogue & Gambit'

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

X-Men Monday #192 - Stephanie Phillips Talks 'Rogue & Gambit'

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

X-Men Monday #192 - Stephanie Phillips Talks 'Rogue & Gambit'

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

No shirt no service? Not in the mad, mad world Mister Sinister has created! He can even get a sandwich without pants it seems.

Anyway, until next time, X-Fans, stay exceptional!

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