Rogue & Gambit #1
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artist: Pere Perez
Colorist: Frank D’Armata
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Review by Greg Brothers
Any fan of the X-Men franchise knows that besides their crazy and intergalactic adventure, relationships have been key to their stories. Jean & Scott, Kitty & Peter, Warren & Betsy, all have had as many ups and downs, twists and turns as any soap opera. Right in the middle of those soap opera type relationships are Rogue & Gambit. Their history has always been complicated and intertwined. Just as it seems they are done with each other, somehow, they cross paths and all the emotions come back again.
Rogue & Gambit #1 promises to reunite one of the X-men’s most popular couples. Kitty, who is running the X-Men, needs the couple to head to an island paradise to investigate the disappearance of Mutants at an alarming rate. The mission is one that promises to shock. But will those shocks be only related to what they discoverer, or could we see some surprises in Rogue and Gambits relationship?
From the moment that you see the opening splash page, it is obvious that Kelly Thompson has done her homework. As the two star-crossed lovers are duking it out, shards of glass highlight some of the couples most defining moments. It is a quick reminder of just how long and complicated their relationship has been. After a quick preview of what is going on with the island where the mission will soon take place, Rogue & Gambit #1 jumps straight to The Xavier Institute. It is here that we get our first look at Gambit and Rogue fighting a familiar foe in the Danger Room. It also becomes obvious that not only did Thompson do her homework on the couple, but she also understands their relationship. The quips, the history, the sexual tension, and the deep compassion for each other, even when they are not getting along, are all present here.
Furthermore, it is not just Rogue and Gambit that Thompson has a strong grasp of. Psylocke’s comments in the Danger Room about the couple’s past and Kitty’s comment about not having to send herself and Peter undercover because she is in charge, show an understanding of the history of the X-Men. Personally, I think that Thompson’s writing style is perfect for the X-Men in general. Thompson hits all the right notes in Rogue & Gambit #1. The humor and sarcasm sprinkled in with the seriousness of the mission helps to move the story and the characters forward rather than becoming stagnate.
Before getting into the overall art I am going to preface it with I am very particular of how both Gambit and Rogue should appear. Much like Thompson’s writing of the character, Perez and D’Armata’s visual depictions of the characters are spot on. Gambit is designed with a perfectly chiseled jaw and chin, complete with a five-o-clock shadow. Rogue is drawn feminine yet powerful. The real defining piece is Rogue’s hair. So many artists and colorists just throw a white clump on the front of her hair. Here it is perfectly designed and feels natural rather than a bad dye job.
I would be remiss if I stopped at the two title characters. Rogue & Gambit #1 is filled with character designs that feel both classic and modern at the same time. Kitty, Storm, Pixie and Armour all leap off the pages with their looks. The Danger Room villain pops with its familiar design and perfect colors. The contrast between the setting in the panels allows the reader to easily recognize the different surroundings. Personally, I want to hop on a plane and travel to the island getaway that Perez depicts.
Buy it! Rogue & Gambit #1 has all the components of a rom-com, with the right amount of action and mystery built in. The dialogue between all the characters is familiar yet refreshing. When Marvel announced with Resurrection that they were going back to fun stories and adventures, this is exactly the type of book I envisioned. While Rogue & Gambit #1 is the start of a limited series, hopefully high praise will help it to become an ongoing. If not, someone should definitely get this creative team an X-team with Rogue and Gambit part of it. Thank you Thompson, Perez and the entire team for creating the Rogue & Gambit book that I have always envisioned!