JUST JOSING: Rogue and Gambit

If you were going to ask me some of the best writers in mainstream comics, Stephanie Phillips would easily be in anyone’s top five list right now. Coming off an incredible run with Harley Quinn, Stephanie also has the fantastic series Grim, as well as everything else she has done. I’ve been a big fan of Stephanie’s long before her climb to the top. She’s even been on the podcast. I always dig her work and tend to follow at least one of her books on her pull list.

Choosing her Marvel books currently has been difficult. Both are outstanding. I decided for nostalgia’s sake to choose her ongoing X book. Cosmic Ghost Rider is fantastic as well though. But for this column, we’ll go with everyone’s favorite X couple.


The Book

Rogue and Gambit

Written by Stephanie Phillips

Illustrated by Carlos Gomez

Colorists David Curiel with Federico Blee

Lettered by VC’s Ariana Maher

Design by Tom Muller with Jay Bowen

Edited by Sarah Brunstad

Published by Marvel Comics


The first three pages of the comic are hilarious. Gambit is drunk out of his mind, picking a fight he’d have no sense getting into sober, as the thieve’s guild is using him as a punching bag. Rogue comes to the rescue, and it looks like Gambit is about to lose both consciousness and the contents of his stomach. You get a perfect sense of their relationship right in those three pages. They don’t quite fit into each other’s world, but they love each other.

The real plot of the book starts after the opening credits. (I love the title of this particular issue) Lady Deathstrike gets kidnapped by clandestine forces. She and others are being kidnapped and used by something or someone. This ties back to the main characters through Destiny, who doesn’t give a crap about Gambit at all. Typical mother-in-law stuff with the cajun. Destiny convinces Rogue that they have to go to the mutant Manifold who is already on the case. Together they go to try and intercept the people kidnapping the mutants when they turn the tables on the three of them by activating a device that neutralizes everyone’s powers. Manifold manages to teleport with the last of his strength Rogue and Gambit away from this before he is captured by this group.

In issue two we find Gambit and Rogue in the desert, their powers still gone. That didn’t come with some unexpected side benefits for both of them. Eventually (ahem) both of them end up in a small town in the middle of nowhere. To the pleasant surprise of Gambit and Rogue (and this reader) the town respects and adores Rogue, especially for saving the world. This puts them automatically in the good graces of the places. Of course, good moments don’t last long as Black Panther shows up to confront both of them about what happened to Manifold. He believes they had something to do with what happened to him.

As for Manifold, it seems the chip they placed on him enables him to be controlled by some mysterious person or organization. Whatever the case, things have already gone wrong and badly.

Rogue and Gambit, without powers, manage to escape Black Panther by some very underhanded tactics from Gambit. It’s not stuff that Rogue approves. Still, they’ve escaped and are now seeking help from another mutant to help them. Forge.

Stephanie Phillips writes relationships well. While I do feel that Gambit is definitely a little too much in the role of not being good enough for Rogue in this current writing, Rogue and Gambit’s relationship is the heart of each issue. They fight, they bicker, they are there for each other, and are trying to make this work, despite the world, and to some extent, each other getting in the way. Can love to conquer all? We’ll see.

Carlos Gomez is a fantastic illustrator for the book. His character’s facials tell the whole tale. You can see the nearly comical reaction from Rogue when Gambit nearly loses his lunch. You can see her anger when Gambit does what he does to escape. Each character even without words you can see their feelings on the page, and that’s a testament to Gomez. David Curiel and Federico Blee add to the tone of the book with their vibrant colors.

The design of all X books currently needs to be mentioned. Beyond the standard Krakoa X-Men designs that are taken for granted at this point, there are tidbits of other things that add to the story going on. The telephone conversations in each issue reveal things that happen around the events of the issue for example. Gambit waiting for Rogue at the restaurant long past the expected time and the trouble that happens. Mystique’s conversation with Destiny after things go to hell. My favorite extra in the books has been the Rogue magazine article inside the comic. It really informs the reader of Rogue’s status and also the general disapproval of Gambit in her life. There’s a lot of clever world-building adding layers to the story, and it makes the book more fun to read and adds layers of engagement. Kudos to all involved.

This has been a very fun series so far. I cannot recommend it enough.


The Business

I’ve been doing client work the likes of which I never expected. I’m working on a power rangers video. A parody power rangers video, but that’s awesome. I never expected my life to be so creative. I want to thank anyone here that’s been listening to the podcast. I’ve been averaging one hundred downloads a day on a regular basis. I appreciate everyone here at First Comics, and elsewhere for listening

On top of that, I can say that my education massage therapy series Healing Hands with Shelniel Bostic will be launching on May 9th. I’ve been working on this series since November. I’m nervous about showing it to the world and will be making some previews on the newsletter in the weeks to come. Click on the link to subscribe if you wish.

Next week I’m doing something different. I’m reviewing Brandon Sanderson. He has comics too. Should be a fun one. Until then, stay inspired.

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