Everyone has their favorite era (and roster) of X-Men. While I’ve had my share of favorites over the years, the Blue and Gold Teams of the early-mid 1990’s was hands down my personal favorite. With all of my favorite mutants in one (well, two, really) place, it was a great time as a X-fan.
I will admit that I was more of a Blue Team fan, as personal favorites Cyclops and Wolverine led the roster. But my favorite pairing was that of Gambit and Rogue. They had a fun “Will they or won’t they” chemistry, and I found them a more entertaining couple over Cyclops and Jean Grey.
But times change, teams change, storylines get convoluted, and the X-Men as a whole even took a backseat for a while thanks to movie deals that no one played nice with (until one bought the other). I always felt that removing the element of Gambit and Rogue as a “something” took a little heart out of the series, so when Marvel took some cues from DC’s ReBirth series, we’re seeing some old stories and relationships get reestablished.
When it comes to Rouge & Gambit #1, I am all in for this.
The comic immediately opens with Rogue and Gambit going at each other as they always did (bickering, mostly), with memories of prior adventures (and artists) in the background. It’s a nice way to tell their backstory without dwelling too much into it. Gambit is ever the eager suitor for Rogue, and is willing and ready to rekindle something between them. Rogue, having lost control of her absorption powers again, is not. And yet….
While this is a Gambit and Rogue centric story, their long-time teammates have their own relationships with the two. Storm and Gambit tease each other as old friends do, knowing each other far too well. Psylocke can’t help but nod at the two’s turbulent pasts, and Kitty Pryde (who is now the Headmistress of the Xavier School) sends the two on a mission in a way that doesn’t fully pull rank, but highlights Kitty’s knack for being clever… and just a little mischievous.
The two are sent on an undercover mission to rescue a group of kidnapped mutants… at a couples resort in Ciudad Paraiso that caters to mutant guests. As expected, the two have to pose as a couple, and since they have history….
Kitty Pryde is a devious one, but I’m fond of her.
So Gambit and Rogue have to come to terms with old feelings and new adventures, and the comic does well in highlighting the years of feelings the two have for each other. Much of it is very familiar in its nostalgic tone, but it also makes a point of how the two do care for each other regardless of their turbulent relationship’s past.
And of course, being X-Men, there is always that inevitable danger to get into. But it almost feels a bit like a romantic screwball comedy. There’s a lot of light-hearted humor in this first issue.
The writing (Kelly Thompson) and art (Pere Perez) is consistent and well done. Thompson has a great sense of voice for the characters, allowing Rogue to get under Gambit’s skin (even if she can’t physically touch him). Thompson also captures the voices of the other team members well. It was like reuniting with old friends after a few years, and that was a nice feeling. The art is sharp and colored well, and the overall story pacing is fast.
Overall, I’m really pleased by the change in tone that Marvel Legacy has brought to the table. Rogue & Gambit #1 is fun and familiar without the “extreme” bravado of the 1990’s, and I am looking forward to seeing what mystery the Cajun and Southern Belle mutant duo get themselves into.