Rogue & Gambit has been a surprisingly fun mini-series that continues to elevate the stock of Kelly Thompson within Marvel. Thompson has shown so far that she understands what makes Rogue and Gambit such an appealing pairing. The way she has addressed their relationship and its current status has elevated both characters. Now with Rogue and Gambit forced to literally face off against past versions of themselves how exactly will Thompson end this mini-series? Let’s find out by checking out Rogue & Gambit #5.
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artist: Pere Perez
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: Rogue and Gambit continue fighting different versions of themselves, regaining lost memories in the process and fighting through the backlash of the good and bad memories.
Dr. Grand suddenly appears and Rogue is quick to figure out she is a golem copy. She smashes Dr. Grand to pieces and absorbs the memories contained in her golem.
Rogue proceeds to experience memories of Dr. Grand. Sometime before current events Dr. Grand lost control of her powers and created a golem copy of herself to split her powers. The clone, who turns out to be Lavish, convinces Dr. Grand to create more vessels to contain mutant powers so they can be more powerful.
With Lavish’s powers absorbed in her Rogue gets a power boost in her own powers. Lavish shows up and tells all of the mutant golems to attack the X-Men pair. Before the golems attack Rogue uses her new powers to absorb all the mutant powers in one go.
Absorbing all the power transform Rogue into a hybrid of all the mutants on the island. Rogue waste no time in overpowering and absorbing Lavish’s powers, destroying her golem powers in the process.
With things calm down Rogue starts to freak out that she can’t control all the powers she absorbed. Gambit calms her down and has her focus on slowly returning all the mutant powers Lavish stole to every mutant starting with him.
Gambit and Rogue kiss and suddenly experience all of their pleasant memories of previous kisses they’ve shared.
At the Paraiso Hospital Gambit and Rogue find all the mutants who had their powers stolen into golems by Lavish. Rogue proceeds to give the mutants their powers one at a time.
Sometime later as the mutants get on the Blackbird Theo thanks Rogue for saving all of them. Rogue asks Theo if he still wants to get rid of his powers. Theo says he did but now believes that would be a mistake now.
Rogue finds Gambit and apologizes for always running away from pursuing a relationship due to her own fear of what may happen. Rogue continues on to say that while there will never be a perfect time for them to be together but is willing to give it a shot. Gambit and Rogue then kiss.
After breaking their kiss Gambit asks Rogue how she feels about cats. Rogue says she loves them, mentioning that she had a dream back in the day that she absorbed a cat’s cuteness in order to keep Professor X from getting mad at her when she broke a vase.
Gambit then says that when Rogue gets full control of her powers they should see if she can access Lavish’s powers again. Rogue agrees as they watch the sunset. End of issue.
The Good: As with the rest of the mini-series, Kelly Thompson delivered a fun ending with Rogue & Gambit #5. Thompson’s love and knowledge for Rogue and Gambit was clear on every page of this mini-series. Throughout this mini-series she tested the status quo of their current relationship by exploring what has happened between the two since they first got paired up. In doing so Thompson delivered a lot of a great fanservice for long-time and new X-Men fans to enjoy.
The nostalgia factor was at its height in Rogue & Gambit #5. Thompson leaned in heavily with showing us all the moments that have shaped Rogue and Gambit as a pair and individuals. Seeing those important moments throughout their history together showed us why Rogue and Gambit aren’t able to resist one another. That chemistry, as Rogue mentioned at the end of the issue, has made their relationship also be something that never was able to happen at the right time. Thompson addressing that timing will never be perfect for them was a great adult moment for both of them. It showed that both Rogue and Gambit grew over the course of this latest adventure as they are willing to take the chance on being together again.
That grown up moment was the greatest strength of Rogue & Gambit #5 and of this mini-series. Through their shared experience, Thompson allowed both characters to grow through this battle with Lavish. That growth made the connection Rogue and Gambit feel stronger than ever before. And in the process Thompson made you want to see these characters together and portrayed as a strong linchpin to the rest of the X-Men franchise.
The growth of Rogue and Gambit in this mini-series helped elevate Lavish as the villain of this story. While Lavish herself wasn’t as interesting as other X-Men villains she played her role perfectly. Her specific powers gave Rogue and Gambit the chance to grow their connection with one another. In addition to that, her plot forced Rogue to push her powers to the limits. That push made Rogue’s strength in controlling all the mutant powers an impressive visual. It also made how Gambit helped Rogue stay calm in this situation a good moment for both characters.
There was a lot of solid comedy throughout Rogue & Gambit #5 that kept the issue moving forward in a positive direction without interfering in the main story. Thompson kept the comedy specific to who Rogue and Gambit are, making the jokes they make during the fight with their copies come off as a natural part of their interactions with one another. Rogue mentioning her dream of using kitty powers to keep Professor X from being mad at her was a nice way to end the story with a light moment.
Pere Perez artwork for the entire mini-series helped elevate the fun that was had with Rogue & Gambit. With so many different versions of the characters Perez did a good job making the action clear. The action was never overwhelming as Perez nailed the different looks Rogue and Gambit have had over the years. The most impressive part of Rogue & Gambit #5 were the spread pages. Perez packed in a lot of great detail that made you want to stop and look at the various memories we saw from Rogue and Gambit’s history together.
The Bad: As mentioned earlier, Lavish as a villain was not the most compelling. She was the weak link of this series. There needed to be more time spent developing who Lavish was and how her plot was connected to her own history. Not seeing that earlier made it harder to connect with what Lavish was up to. The lack of development that Lavish got did not get in the way of how fun Rogue & Gambit was as a mini-series. It would just have made this mini-series a stronger story if we got a better idea of who Lavish was.
Overall: Rogue & Gambit #5 delivered a fun ending to Kelly Thompson’s mini-series featuring one of the X-Men’s premiere couples. Thompson delivered all the fun moments that fans expect from seeing Rogue and Gambit together. By the end you’ll feel Rogue and Gambit grew stronger as a couple and individuals. Pere Perez elevated Thompson’s story by delivering a lot of great artwork, especially for the big nostalgic moments. If you are an X-Men fan I highly recommend picking up Rogue & Gambit comes out on hardcover or trade paperback.