PopCultHQ received a review copy of MR. AND MRS. X #9 from Marvel Comics. Available March 27th, the creative team for this issue features writing from Kelly Thompson, art from Oscar Bazaldua, colors by Frank D’Armata, and lettering from VC’s Joe Sabino.
Here’s PopCultHQ’s spoiler-free review of…
MR. & MRS. X #9
Gambit must use all his thieving skills to steal a precious object. Spiral must single-handedly (or is that multi-handedly?) fight off Mojo’s minions. And Rogue is on a mental trip reliving all her defining mutant memories. Not a great time for self-reflection, Rogue!
PopCultHQ’s Comic Book Review:
MR. AND MRS. X #9
While Rogue faces an internal fight to reclaim the lost pieces of herself, Gambit ventures out to ensure her protection. The threat of Mojo looms as the two battle towards safety and each other.
Kelly Thompson loves Gambit and Rogue like Gambit and Rogue love Gambit and Rogue. Thompson lavishes this issue with some major moments in Rogue’s past to try and get to the core of the character. She does the same for Gambit in a more subtle way that is true to the very essence of the fan-favorite X-man. It’s this deep understanding of the two that is the main reason this title succeeds on multiple levels. Exploring the authenticity in the relationship is the strength of Thompson’s take on the book. A thief who steals hearts but wants to be better than who he was and a powerhouse who steals powers and is prone to emotional vulnerabilities.
Thompson writes nostalgia, entertainment and spectacle in a fresh voice and connects with the audience on a level that exceeds her connection to the characters. This has only gone from strength to strength across Hawkeye, Jem and the Holograms, A-Force, and West Coast Avengers. It’s a shame most of those books have such a finite run because there is no doubt, she is a writer whose work screams out for a lengthy run on anything she writes.
Much like his run on Spider-Man (vol. 2), Oscar Bazaldua loads up on the action, adventure, and expression to perfectly capture the visual tone of Kelly Thompson’s words. Shifting between Gambit’s stealth mission, Rogue’s poignant realizations, and the battle that rages around them, is no easy task but the stitching is seamless on Bazaldua’s tapestry. While his art feels like it’s not yet hit its highest gear yet, this is still scary good sequential storytelling. When Bazaldua finally unleashes the full fury of his potential his work will climb higher up the sales charts, guaranteed. He does Thompson’s affections for the characters justice without treading all over those that have come before. Hats off to him too for nailing the love bitten moments between the titular duo and for the great diversity he’s displayed in this comics settings and locations so far that his taken this book across the universe and back.
Let’s also tip our hats to the always amazing covers by Rachel and Terry Dodson. While most covers on the stands are great, few capture the feel and fun of the story that awaits the reader inside with every issue of Mr. and Mrs. X as well as the dynamic imagery of the Dodsons.
The appeal and energy of this books look has a lot to do with the color work of Frank D’Armata. Clearly someone who enjoys playing in the mutant sandbox (he’s colored Weapon X, Uncanny X-men, and Cable & X-Force before this), D’Armata also looks to be relishing the diverse locales this book finds itself in. Able assisting Oscar Bazaldua with sombre tones during Rogue’s more painful recollections and an almost patented sci-fi feel to the alien landscape of the Mojoverse, D’Armata’s attention and knack for what will enhance the reader’s experience in this issue is another fantastic display of the colorist’s skills.
The letterer that handles basically every Deadpool title in the known universe extends his font frequency out to this title in keen fashion. Joe Sabino gives a visual distinction to the internal monologues of both leads while keeping the mountainous dialogue and exposition from seeming intimidating and exhausting to the visual gaze. Seemingly light on effects work, this is a clever exercise in restraint so that the issues dramatic pitch carries the exact right amount of impact when it lands.
PopCultHQ’s overall assessment:
Great writing that really delves into, and captures, the essence of fan-favorite characters and serves as a constant reminder of why we’re so taken by the infectious charm of Gambit and Rogue. Ditto for the art that keeps the reader invested in the story by playing a shell game with the action amidst the character growth. A straight up solid, fun-filled issue that works in excellent fashion as a jumping-on point too. This book deserves the same and love and support from comic fans that it showers on all things X-Men.
4 out of 5 Stars
MR. AND MRS. X #9 will be available at your local
comic shop and online retailers Wednesday, March 27th!
Be sure to follow the creative team!
Writer – Kelly Thompson
Letterer – Joe Sabino
Publisher – Marvel Comics