Rogue & Gambit has been a pleasant surprise. The structure of this new X-Men mini-series has so far delivered on the fun character dynamic between Rogue and Gambit. The chemistry between the pair has been on full display as they are on a mission to find out the truth behind a mutant paradise. Kelly Thompson has been able to get across how much this the on again-off again relationship has affect Rogue and Gambit. Now that they are getting more involved in what is going on with the mutant paradise will things heat up even more between one of the X-Men’s iconic couples? Let’s find out with Rogue & Gambit #3.
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artist: Pere Perez
Colorist: Frank D’Armata
Synopsis: During their therapy session Dr. Grand asks Rogue and Gambit where their relationship went wrong. Rogue and Gambit reveal that it is a trust issue that began in when they were captured and had their powers suppressed in Antarctica.
They go into details of how they had their first time together, which was also Rogue’s first time having sex, and how it meant everything to both of them. After that they both were forced to relive all the sins of their respective past, leading Rogue to abandon Gambit in Antarctica and both of them scarred for life.
Dr. Grand tells them it is good for them to talk about the memories but also let go of their emotional attachments. Rogue and Gambit agree. They then ask the Dr. Grand about how they’ve experienced some fuzziness in their memories. The Dr. Grand says it is just part of the side effects of the paradise’s treatment and that they have nothing to worry about.
While walking on the beach Rogue and Gambit mention that part of them feels weird but they still feel good. They then decide to take a swim back to their bungalow. The couple stop by Janine and Theo’s place on the way but notice they are gone. They decide to leave a message since Janine and Theo have been gone for a while.
They then swim to their bungalow where Rogue says that when they got together she was young and inexperience. Because of that she was scared that her whole world would revolve around Gambit, which is why, out of fear, she wanted to know she could survive without him.
Rogue touches Gambit and they both realize her powers aren’t working for some reason. They decide to take advantage and start making out in the water. They move to their bed and have sex.
After having sex, while they relax Gambit mentions he isn’t able to feel his powers. Both comment that it probably has to do with their mission but are starting to care less with each passing day.
Kitty Pryde suddenly sends Rogue a text with coordinates for them to check out. Gambit jokes that he is taking back his vote for making Kitty the X-Men’s leader.
At ParaiSo Island Hospital Gambit charms the front desk nurse to let him and Rogue take a look around the hospital. When they enter the psychiatric ward they are surprised to find it filled with people dealing with amnesia or dementia. Rogue and Gambit leave before being told to leave in order to investigate the hospital more.
Putting their costumes on Gambit and Rogue head over to the retreat center. They both feel like they’ve done all this before.
Gambit is able to use his powers to make a slight crack on a wall that Rogue then punches through. They are surprised to find that the room they just busted into is filled with clones of both of them.
While they examine the room Gambit comments that this may be why their memories are hazy. Before they can find an answer one of the Gambit clones blasts Rogue and Gambit out of the room.
Rogue and Gambit are then surrounded by their clones, all of who are wearing costumes they’ve worn in the past. The main Rogue and Gambit are able to work together to fight off all of their clones. While they are fighting Gambit thinks that their clones have the memories that they are missing. Though they start getting overwhelmed by their clones numbers Rogue is able to clump all the clones together so Gambit can hit them all with one big kinetic blast.
While they are recovering Lavish suddenly shows up and introduces herself to Rogue and Gambit. Lavish comments on how Rogue and Gambit have been her favorite subjects to test on given their history.
Lavish then suddenly sucks up Rogue and Gambit’s memories up and is powered but by those memories. End of issue
The Good: Rogue & Gambit #3 does a good job at continuing the fun that has been delivered by Kelly Thompson in this mini-series. Thompson shows complete understanding of both characters throughout her writing. While there are plenty of fun and games Thompson does make sure to get at the root of the problems Rogue and Gambit have had in maintaining their relationship. Its during those moments that this issue truly ends up shining.
Kicking the Rogue & Gambit #3 off with getting right into the core of the issues our two leads have had in maintaining a steady relationship together was a great momentum starter. Thompson was able to tap into some deep personal history that is clearly traumatic to the two of them. Centering it around the incident in Antarctica when Rogue and Gambit were depowered was a good use of X-Men history. It something that happened early in their respective histories as young members of the X-Men. Placing that memory when they were young further showed that they did get they possibly allowed themselves to get to serious too quickly because of the heat of the moment.
This memory sticking out to Rogue more also highlighted how tough it has been for her to even create relationships with others. Given her powers Rogue has always been more closed off than other, more outgoing X-Men. So for her to have her first everything happen and then deal with an extremely traumatic experience you can see why it haunted her being so young when it happened. This is something that adds depth to how Rogue has gone about her life as she has become more experienced as not only an X-Men but also an Avenger. Those experience have shaped her to not just rely on one person or group and also give her the chance to show she can stand on her own.
At the same time Thompson did a good job using Gambit as a supportive person as he did not hold any sort of hate towards Rogue. Sure Gambit is clearly still affected by Rogue’s decision in the past but he does not hold it against her. That makes how Gambit continues to pursue a relationship with Rogue come off as something that is not just him holding on to the past. Instead it is something that he knows they both wants doesn’t want to hold back out of fear.
That all nicely built to a moment that did feel earned as Rogue and Gambit allowed themselves to get caught up in the moment again. That transitioned well to when we saw Rogue and Gambit work well together against all of their clones. Their chemistry made it more believable that they would be able to take on all of their clones together since they got back the trust they had in each other, at least for now.
Adding to the fun of Rogue & Gambit #3 was Pere Perez great artwork. Perez is the right fit for this mini-series. He gets across the tension between Rogue and Gambit with how he draws their facial reactions when they talk about their past together. At the same time Perez is able to keep the action clear even when having to draw so many different versions of Rogue and Gambit. That made the big battle stand out even more as Perez got across how crazy things were getting as Rogue and Gambit fought off all of their clones.
The Bad: The one problem with Rogue & Gambit #3 was with the development of Lavish as the big bad of this story. Given that we saw the villain’s reveal at the end of the previous issue it would’ve made this issue better if we got to see Lavish much more in this issue. At this point Lavish is a blank slate as a villain and is still not over in the minds of fans. There needs to be more to the character than just stealing people’s memories. We need to understand what her motivation and endgame is because as of now there is not much behind her in terms of threat level.
Overall: Rogue & Gambit #3 was another enjoyable issue in this mini-series by Kelly Thompson and Pere Perez. Tapping into Rogue and Gambit’s past opened up more character development possibilities, which Thompson took full advantage of. Adding in the vibrant artwork by Perez and colorist Frank D’Armata makes this a great looking comic book. As long as the next issue can develop the threat that Rogue and Gambit are up against this will end as one of the strongest X-Men comics we have gotten in a long time.