Rogue and Gambit #1 Review: Gambit Needs to Chill a Bit

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In a place called Ciudad Paraiso, mutants are being hunted down by a mysterious figure who has somehow sapped their powers.

Headmaster of the Xavier Institute and former Shadowcat, Kitty Pryde, needs someone one the case. Rogue is hanging around with the X-Men on break from the Avengers, and Kitty thinks Rogue and Gambit's strained romantic history would make them the perfect candidates to go undercover to the "mutant resort" in Ciudad Paraiso.

Rogue and Gambit #1 cover by Kris Anka
Rogue and Gambit #1 cover by Kris Anka

As is often the case, also check out Joe Glass's great review of Rogue and Gambit #1too.

Kelly Thompson plays very well with the character relations in the X-Men here. Rogue and Gambit play off of each other well, Rogue and Kitty have a fun conversation, as do Gambit and Storm, and so do Rogue, Armor, Pixie, and Psylocke. The dialogue in this comic is greatly entertaining.

Gambit is a bit overbearing in this comic, and he is unceasingly hitting on Rogue. This is certainly the intent of the comic, but it does come off as a bit creepy. I'm not sure if that's the intent, but it does not come off as cute or romantic at all. Rogue makes it quite clear that he should back off a bit. It does come to a head in an entertaining fashion when Rogue implies that Deadpool is a better kisser than Gambit.

That's also the moment when Gambit finally lets his guard down a bit and exposes some of his insecurities. It's an overall great moment.

As entertaining as the comic is, it doesn't leave me feeling compelled to keep going through this miniseries. The Ciudad Paraiso mystery may have something compelling at its crux, but, if so, it's not shown in this issue. Rogue and Gambit may both be likable characters, but this issue gives a lot of hints that this probably won't work out. I like Gambit quite a bit, but I've never been invested in him and Rogue as a couple. This may be pointing out the obvious, but I get the impression that this comic is intended for those who are already fans of this couple. That's all well and good, but it would help if the comic made the seem especially endearing instead of Remy constantly being impervious to Mary brushing him off.

Don't get me wrong, I have my list of beloved superhero couples: Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, Green Arrow and Black Canary, the Winter Soldier and Black Widow, even the new one, Scarlet Witch and Doctor Voodoo. However, you have to sell the reader on why these work, and this one doesn't sell me. If the intent of the comic is to show why it doesn't work, well, I actually respect that quite a bit, but that doesn't compel me to follow this to its conclusion.

Rogue and Gambit #1 art by Pere Perez and Frank D'Armata
Rogue and Gambit #1 art by Pere Perez and Frank D'Armata

Pere Perez's artwork is quite great in this comic. The characters look really good, and facial expressions are played with well. The few moments where there is a lot of action look great too. Frank D'Armata brings some popping color art that leaves the comic quite bright and appealing visually.

Rogue and Gambit #1 is an entertaining comic, and I do get what fellow reviewer Joe Glass sees in it. However, it tries to have its cake and eat it too. It's not action-heavy enough to feel like a good superhero tale, but it's not calm enough to shoot for slice-of-life. While comics like Hawkeye, Astonishing Ant-Man, and Spider Woman have managed to make that balance work in the past, this one doesn't.

If you really do like these two X-Men as a couple, then you should definitely check it out. It will likely give you exactly what you want. However, if you're looking to be sold on them as a couple, then, like myself, you probably won't get much out of it.

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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.
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