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Rogue & Gambit Review

September 11, 2023 | Posted by Rob Stewart
Rogue & Gambit Image Credit: Marvel Comics
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Rogue & Gambit Review  

Sorry this is late, but I lacked the foresight to look and see how many issues of this series there was supposed to be!

So after I got issue five and sat around for over a month waiting for a sixth issue that was never going too exist… I guess that is on me. It took me too long to bother checking online and seeing that this was only a five issue series. But I’ll get into why I thought we’d get one more in bit here (besides the fact that six feels more regular for a series than five).

But hey, I’m here now! So let’s see how this recent X-Based mini-series wrapped up.

TITLE: Rogue & Gambit
Writer and Artist: Stephanie Phillips, Carlos Gomez
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Protagonists: Rogue. And also Gambit!
Antagonists: The Power Broker

Image Credit: Marvel Comics

I shouldn’t feel as lost as I do here, and yet… here we are, feeling lost. Most of the X-Books I’ve read in recent memory have featured the Southern Belle and her Cajun husband. I was reading Mr. And Mrs. X for a bit before the Krakoan era started, and after it did, I was a fan of Excalibur. But I fell off the Hickman era X-Books when X Of Swords became a thing–I hate when Marvel platys the “Now You Have TO Read ALL Of The X-Books” crossover game–and I certainly never ended up reading Knights Of X, the follow-up to Excalibur. Jubilee wasn’t in that one, so what was the point?

So I guess Gambit died in Otherworld at some point, and I missed that. Also, I’m 90% sure earlier issues resolved that mutants who died in Otherworld could NOT be put through the resurrection protocols (Rockslide died there and could not be brought back correctly). But Gambit is still here, so what do I know?

Anyway, this series is about Rogue and Gambit (obviously; it’s right there in the title) being tasked by Destiny (who is a smokeshow young woman now, and I thought she was always an old lady, so again… I am lost) to bring the teleporter mutant Manifold to her in order to save all of mutantkind. Despite being given nothing to go on, Rogue agrees to trust her adoptive mama.

Manifold has no such trust in Irene, though, and he laughs off Rogue and Gambit’s request to go to her. And as he is doing so, a few bad guys attack, neutralize our heroes’ powers, and put an implant in Manifold that allows them to control him.

It turns out, The Power Broker is gathering super powered characters, implanting them, and selling their services to the highest bidders. And someone is bidding for him to bring in Rogue next!

While fighting to free Manifold, Rogue gets caught and has an implant start to be crafted into her, but Gambit interrupts. Between the only partial insertion of the implant and The Power Of Love, Rogue breaks control, and the two of them (with Lady Deathstrike’s help) defeat The Power Broker.

But then Rogues uses the implant to control Manifold and give him over to Destiny! What! That’s not very heroic! She buries him in a water casket thing to keep him “safe”, and Rogues goes off to boink Gambit. For, like, the third time this series.

Image Credit: Marvel Comics

That’s a hell of an ending, and a reason why I thought there would be a sixth issue. What is Destiny doing with Manifold? Are we really concluding this series with Rogue doing THAT to a friend and fellow mutant? I actually kind of like it, even if the result is YET ANOTHER “Go Read More X-Books To See How This Resolves”. Didn’t I say I don’t like that? Well I don’t, and it’s unlikely that I’ll read whatever book this continues into. But as a conclusion here… it does at least leave me enticed.

I want to start off with the art here and say that Carlos Gomez is the king of the entertaining X-Characters mini-series, what with his work between this and X-Terminators from several months ago. His art might actually be even better here than it was in that previous mini. Give me more of this guy drawing all of the X-Men! I’ll at least check out anything I know is his.

Gomez’ art is full of action, bright colors, clean lines, and cute women. It’s all very kinetic and guides the story along so nicely. I’m definitely a fan, as I mentioned. He is great at facial reactions, too.

As for the story, I will say while it contains a fair amount of the more PG-13 nature of the aforementioned X-Terminators (written by Leah Williams, both books feature some low-end lewd humor and characters not afraid to divulge their more inner desires), it feels a little more bogged down in doing random things just to do them.

The Black Panther fight, in particular. It comes out of nowhere (Literally! Rogue and Gambit are lost in the edge of civilization miles outside Vegas, and T’Challa just… shows up to fight them), lasts for one issue, and then he is gone. He doesn’t play a role at any point after the second issue. It feels like a guest spot for the sake of a guest spot and boosted sales. A time-honored comic book tradition, sure, but not one of the better ones.

The Rogue and Gambit relationship, as lost as I am on this actual chapter in their lives of it, is written marvelously, even with the stereotypical Power Of Love ending. I like their conflict here and their interplay. They are using physicality (fighting AND… well, another F-word gerund) to avoid the lack of communication between them, but at the end of the day, they are there for each other.

Honestly? I’d read an ongoing series of Phillips writing these two. There’s a lot more good than bad, and I appreciate the dark cliffhanger the series ends on.

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
Enjoyable in its willingness to be risqué, Rogue And Gambit has a shocking ending and some high-end art. It's not as much of a blast as X-Terminators was, but it was well worth the cover price and the wait between issues.