ROGUE & GAMBIT #2
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artist: Pere Pérez
Colorist: Frank D’Armata
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Release Date: 2/7/18
Rogue and Gambit uncover something new about the island while therapy dredges up wounds from the past in Rogue & Gambit #2.
Plot: While investigating the couples retreat, Rogue and Gambit must go to their own therapy sessions. They recount the first time they met and discover something sinister about what is happening to the retreat attendees.
Story: First things first: if you’re the type of X-Men fan who cannot stand reading Gambit’s thick Cajun accent written phonetically on the page, this issue might not be for you. Kelly Thompson does not hesitate to embrace one of Gambit’s more controversial attributes in this book, and it’s even more prominent in the flashback portions of this book where Rogue’s Southern accent is hammered in as well.
But, if you enjoy the accents, or at least can deal with them, Thompson writes a great story balancing the emotional development of the couple with the unraveling mystery of the island. I expected this title to be a fun romp with one of the X-Men’s classic couples, but Thompson explores emotional conflict in a way that feels authentic and not forced to elevate the book into something more thoughtful.
Which is not to say it’s dark. There are plenty of jokes and sweet moments as well between the couple. While the first half focuses more on their relationship and the retelling of their not so cute “meet cute,” there is no shortage of action in the second half. I would have liked to see the villains of this resort developed a little more given there are only three issues left, but I’ll reserve judgment until I see how they’re handled the rest of the run.
Art: The standout element of the art this issue has to be the great use of layouts, in particular for the therapy scene and the fight sequences. Pere Pérez draws a beautiful splash page during the therapy scene that manages to capture years of the couple’s relationship with just a few scene bubbles. Pictures are worth a thousand words, and it was a smart move to tell this part of the story through images rather than what would have taken pages of dialogue.
The action scenes are very dynamic and Pérez really knows how to make the most of Gambit’s powers, especially when he’s fighting Rogue in the flashback. Even when they first meet and are fighting, the two have strong chemistry, which is captured much better through the art this issue than in #1.
Frank D’Armata’s colors play into the dynamic of the island: bright and airy in the retreat areas while dark and sinister in the hidden labs that the duo discover. I also like the shift of colors for the flashbacks. Generally, flashbacks are shown in more muted colors to denote the past, but D’Armata discards that trope and instead makes the flashbacks more vibrant accentuating Rogue’s older costume.
Verdict: With a mystery finally starting to pay off and plenty of character development this is turning into a very solid miniseries. While fans of this ‘ship might have an extra fondness for this issue, the action and accompanying art is undeniably interesting enough to keep even a casual reader engaged.