Just when you thought Kitty Pryde and Colossus were to be wed in X-Men Gold #30, the long-time power couple of Rogue and Gambit ended up the ones hitched.
Remy LeBeau... always a thief, even of people's wedding days.
That surprise shake-up set the stage for the new Mr. & Mrs. X ongoing from Kelly Thompson and Oscar Bazaldua that debuts this week from Marvel Comics. As Thompson tells us, this X-Men marriage has been in the works for some time - with her previous Rogue & Gambit series secretly working to set the stage for what was to come.
They're married now, and have already booked an interstellar honeymoon - but things are never that easy, are they? Thompson tells Newsarama that readers can expect "high-octane plus lots of jokes and some sexy bits," including appearances from Deadpool, the Starjammers, Deathbird, and Excalibur cult favorites, TechNet.
Newsarama: Kelly, Mr. and Mrs. X was kept classified for months ahead of its reveal for obvious reasons. Can you tell us how this book came together?
Kelly Thompson: Yeah, a lot of people seemed either annoyed or confused by the classified aspect of the announcement, but the goal there was simply to preserve the plot twist in X-Men Gold #30 for as long as humanly possible - and I think that’s a pretty noble comics goal - to try to preserve the purity of that reader experience – a genuine plot twist.
As for when… I actually wasn’t in the room when the wheels first began to turn on this idea for Rogue and Gambit to get married. Fortunately, it was an idea that came about early enough that I was able to use the Rogue & Gambit mini-series as a natural way to clear out all their baggage and tee them up for this big change.
Nrama: As you’ve referred to, you’ve got plenty of experience writing Rogue and Gambit as a couple. How is their dynamic going to change now that they’re married?
Thompson: I don’t actually think their dynamic changes at all. They’re still fun and sexy and full of push and pull. I think marriage presents different and specific challenges and by going on a space honeymoon Gambit and Rogue have sort of been able to temporarily push those challenges away… but they can’t run from them forever. It should be fun!
Nrama: Mr. and Mrs. X #1 shows the side of Gambit and Rogue’s spontaneous nuptials that we didn’t see. What’s in store for us there?
Thompson: Yeah, when you steal someone else’s wedding issue you don't necessarily have all the panel time you might want! So, the first half of Mr. & Mrs. X jumps back in time a bit and explores some of the little things that are missing when you have a spontaneous wedding like that - the between the panel moments - if you will - that happened between Remy’s proposal and “I do.”
Nrama: After that they’re going on an intergalactic honeymoon. What’s awaiting them in space?
Thompson: They go on a space honeymoon hoping to get away from X-Men shenanigans… but instead run headlong into them. They end up trying to protect a mysterious package - trying to get it home to the X-Men - but everyone in the Shi’ar empire wants this thing - and so it’s Rogue and Gambit careening from one fight to the next, just trying to get this thing home. It’s pretty high-octane plus lots of jokes and some sexy bits!
Nrama: It looks like Deadpool will be showing up in an upcoming issue. Can we expect any other big-name X cameos?
Thompson: We’ve really packed this series with fun cameos and supporting roles. We’ve got Deadpool, as you said, but also Cerise (formerly of Excalibur), Technet, the Starjammers, the Imperial Guard, and Deathbird. It’s a real who’s who of Shi’ar guest stars and we’re having a ton of fun with it.
Nrama: Oscar Bazaldua is drawing Mr. and Mrs. X. What’s your favorite thing he’s drawn for the series so far?
Thompson: Oscar is so fantastic, I love working with him. He’s got a really great handle on all the elements that make this book work – the action, the romance, and the humor. We’re having a ton of fun. One of my favorite things he’s done is the big wedding kiss from issue #1 that people have already seen in previews – it’s just stunning. But we’ve also got an absolutely incredible four-page action scene in issue three that he just finished and which I just love so much.
Nrama: How hard was it to keep this series a secret in the lead up to the announcement?
Thompson: Honestly? It was brutal. I was constantly worried… and I was also just really excited and wanted to share. But worst of all was that I felt a bit bad and guilty because Rogue and Gambit have such a passionate fan base and the response to the mini-series was really positive - and they wanted a new series to spin out of it so badly… and I just wanted to shout from the rooftops to them “It’s already happening! I’ve written three issues! It’s amazing!” It was certainly the hardest comics secret I’ve had to keep so far.
Nrama: Gambit and Rogue’s relationship hasn’t been without its issues. Do they hold the key to marital bliss?
Thompson: Oof. I don’t know if anyone holds the key to marital bliss… does such a thing exist? Relationships are hard, you have to constantly work on them, and Gambit and Rogue are no exception… but I do think they’ve had an experience (in the Rogue & Gambit mini-series) that was deeply emotional and life changing for them - literally seeing through one another’s eyes - and it was an experience that allowed them to leap forward in their relationship and leave a lot of their old crap behind. Time will tell if they can hold onto that. I will say that the way I write them - the way I see them - is as a couple very well-matched -who bring out the best (and sometimes worst) in one another - but who are far more than just their complicated baggage. I find their chemistry completely magnetic on the page and I think others do too.
Nrama: Considering the secret nature of the lead up to Mr. & Mrs. X, what can you tell us about the series that nobody knows yet?
Thompson: Hmmm. Writing Deadpool and Rogue and Gambit together is extra magical? They were so fun. So were Technet. I’d totally write a The Adventures of Gambit & Rogue plus Technet series! I’m sure it would sell about 50 copies… but it’d still be worth it!