Mr. & Mrs. X ended 2018 with a fun holiday issue as Rogue and Gambit hosted a belated engagement party with their superhero friends. The party turned in some unexpected results. One of them was the transition to the next story arc for Mr. & Mrs. X with Rogue and Gambit somehow ending up being Mojo’s prisoners for his latest show. With how things have gone for the X-Men newlyweds this challenge from Mojo should not be anything they aren’t familiar with. What direction Kelly Thompson takes this in relation to what has happened between Rogue and Gambit thus far will be interesting to see. Let’s see what comes next with Mr. & Mrs. X #7.
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artist: Oscar Bazaldua
Colorist: Frank D’Armata
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Somewhere unknown Rogue and Gambit find themselves chained up over a pit of alligators.
In the Mojoverse Mojo complains that we’ve seen Rogue and Gambit in similar situations before. Mojo decides to use his Wheel Of Genre’s to decide what situation to put Rogue and Gambit in. He lands on the noir genre.
Rogue and Gambit are placed in a noir movie setting called “Honey Moonlighting.” After meeting up Rogue and Gambit infiltrate a building through a vent. Before hitting their target they have one big kiss.
They then enter a heavily guarded room. They make quick work of all the grunts and the leader with very little struggle. Gambit finds their target, which ends up being a baby bird.
Rogue suddenly starts feeling weird as their costumes change. When Gambit checks up on her his body melts in front of Rogue. When Rogue goes to touch Gambit his body turns into dust with only his trenchcoat left.
Back in the Mojoverse Spiral comments that something is wrong with Rogue’s readings as they are different from the last time they mapped her data. Spiral recommends sending Rogue back and getting other X-Men, which Major Domo agrees with.
Mojo yells at Spiral and Major Domo that he wants a love story and since Rogue and Gambit are an X-Couple that ranked highly on a recent social media poll. He then says he can exile Spiral if she would prefer that instead. Spiral says she doesn’t want that. Mojo then tells Spiral to help him start over their work. Spiral does as she is asked.
Elsewhere Rogue lies in a bed sleeping under an enchantment. Someone enters the room and gives her a kiss. The kiss wakes Rogue up. The person takes off their hood to reveal Longshot, who Rogue calls her hero.
In the Mojoverse, Mojo is extremely happy with the recasting. End of issue.
The Good: Mr. & Mrs. X #7 is a nice change of pace from the normal superhero stories being told elsewhere. Kelly Thompson makes full use of the Mojoverse concept to treat readers to a story with the right amount of meta-jokes. In the process she is able to continue to explore Rogue and Gambit’s dynamic within a different type of setting.
When it comes to the Mojoverse it is one of those concepts that can easily overstay its welcome. Luckily Thompson does a great job using the concept in the right way. She never spends to much time beating the reader over the head with how Rogue and Gambit are inside the Mojoverse. Instead, she makes sure to continue to make the focus on the dynamic between Rogue and Gambit with the cutaways to Mojo and his group being used to break-up the type of content in Mr. & Mrs. X #7.
Keeping a major focus on Rogue and Gambit’s relationship was the right thing to do for Mr. & Mrs. X #7. The strongest scenes in this series have been the ones where Rogue and Gambit simply talk to each other. Whether its having serious conversations or bantering back-and-forth with each other, Thompson makes their dynamic one that you want to continue reading about. Even when it is Gambit hitting on Rogue and her calling him out on it, Thompson is able to write it in such a compelling way that makes you get behind the relationship even more.
Putting Rogue and Gambit in different settings due to Mojo changing up the worlds was a great way to slightly tweak the way their interactions went down. The noir setting that Mr. & Mrs. X #7 largely takes place in, showed that their dynamic can work in just about any type of setting. Thompson spends just enough time in this setting for us not to get bored of what they are doing.
Thompson also does a great job not going overboard with Mojo’s character. Mojo is present in Mr. & Mrs. X #7 to not come off as the annoying asshole he is normally portrayed as, which usually gettings boring fast. Mojo is still a selfish asshole who is looking to use others for his own personal entertainment. But because he does not dominate the story his scenes end up standing out when he does makes his presence known.
What was particularly interesting about Mojo this time around was how Thompson presented the character’s new obsession with romance. As mentioned in the editor’s note, this is something that first started happening in the X-Men: Black issue dedicated to the character. Thompson does just enough to get across why Mojo is now obsessed with romantic stories to not make the X-Men: Black issue feel like required reading.
With Mojo’s new obsession Thompson is able to make his relationship with Major Domo and Spiral be another standout sub-plot. Both are presented as different types of sidekicks. With Major Domo he is more than willing to just do what Mojo wants. As for Spiral we do see a reluctance to do what Mojo says. That reluctance made the threat Mojo makes to Spiral much more notable. It is something that gives Spiral her own sub-plot as there is clearly something more going on with her character that could be developed over the course of this story arc.
The recasting of Longshot in the spot of Gambit was a good way to create a hook ending. It accomplishes its task of shaking things up as now we are left wondering what happened to Gambit. At the same time it worked to get across how powerful Mojo and Spiral are, as they are able to change reality to the point Rogue does not immediately remember Gambit. For newer readers this is a key thing to do to get over what the Mojoverse is.
Oscar Bazaldua once again delivers great artwork throughout Mr. & Mrs. X #7. His penciling along with Frank D’Armata coloring make the pop off artwork pop off the page. Everything feels like it has a life to its own. Bazaldua and D’Armata make good choices in how to adjust the artwork to fit the tone of the genre Mojo puts Rogue and Gambit in. They are slight but fit well with the change in setting. These changes help make the action sequence in the noir setting have a sense of motion that was very different from the recent sci-fi adventure Rogue and Gambit were in.
The Bad: The only minor complaint I have with Mr. & Mrs. X #7 is how easy everything was Rogue and Gambit in the Mojoverse. There was absolutely nothing challenging to what Mojo was putting them through. It was especially disappointing a villain like Black Tom Cassidy or Lady Deathstrike weren’t used in the role of antagonist within the Mojoverse to add a X-Men villain for the noir setting.
Overall: Mr. & Mrs X #7 was another enjoyable issue it was has quickly become one of Marvel’s best ongoing titles. Kelly Thompson does a great job using the Mojoverse concept to continue to explore the relationship between Rogue and Gambit. She also did a good job handling Mojo’s character so he comes across as a compelling antagonist. With how things ended up it’ll be very interesting to see what direction Thompson goes with this latest story arc in Mr. & Mrs. X.