Rogue and Gambit truly cannot catch a break. Not only has their honeymoon been interrupted by enemies vying to claim Professor Xavier’s daughter Xandra, but now, Rogue may be dead! Upon the conclusion of the last issue, Rogue and Xandra seemingly disappeared right before Gambit’s eyes. Now, in MR. AND MRS. X #5, writer Kelly Thompson explores the aftermath of that calamitous event in unexpected ways.

MR. AND MRS. X #5 brings readers the run’s best issue thus far. As it digs deep into Rogue’s inner conflicts in addition to new steps in her relationship with Gambit, the issue excels in its depiction of the growth of our titular heroes.

mr. and Mrs. X #5
MR. AND MRS. X #5 page 2. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

The Dark Side of the Moon

MR. AND MRS. X #5 opens on a distraught Gambit, solitary on the moon of Chandilar. He remains shaken by Rogue and Xandra’s sudden dissipation, ultimately in denial that he has truly lost Rogue.

Thankfully, his denial proves to be true.

We come to learn that Xandra devised a plan in the midst of the main battle in the last issue. In order to prevent more people from getting hurt, Xandra suggested to Rogue that they combine their powers and create an illusion, one that would lead their enemies to believe they had disappeared into thin air.

Unfortunately for Gambit, they had to execute the plan rapidly and did not have time to consult him. So, when Xandra and Rogue suddenly reappear before Gambit’s eyes, he immediately expresses anger. He is angry that Rogue did not consult him and did not think of him as a partner in that moment. Of course, Rogue counters that he would have done the same thing if it had been him in her shoes.

Before they can reach some sort of understanding in their fight, Rogue’s powers erupt. They begin absorbing Gambit’s energy, even though she is not making any physical contact with him. In an effort to stifle her abilities, Rogue places a power-restraining collar on herself.

Following this, Rogue remains in shock. When Gambit comforts her, she states that she fears the current state of her abilities as they have become absolutely uncontrollable. Gambit reassures her that they will manage this storm, no matter what.

MR. AND Mrs. X #5
MR. AND MRS. X #5 page 3. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

The Living Nightmare

There are various reasons as to why MR. AND MRS. X #5 shines so greatly in regard to the rest of the series thus far. Firstly, Thompson brings Rogue’s inner conflicts up to the surface. We get a raw understanding of her fears and her doubts in overcoming them.

Additionally, Thompson presents Rogue and Gambit’s evolving relationship. We see them weathering a conflict that presents a great challenge to their marriage. Of course, that challenge has not been conquered just yet. Thus, it will be interesting to see how they handle it as partners.

Ultimately though, it is nice to see Thompson exemplify their relationship dynamically and imperfectly. It gives the couple more authenticity in addition to deeper characterization.

mr. and Mrs. X #5
MR. AND MRS. X #5 page 4. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

The Many Hues of MR. AND MRS. X #5

The artwork of MR. AND MRS. X has been a contentious point. However, this particular issue features some great highlights. Firstly, Oscar Bazaldua and Frank D’Armata convey a gorgeous opener depicting Gambit’s despair. They isolate him in that moment, really conveying the gravity of that scene.

Also, the moment depicting Rogue’s sudden, powerful outburst is electrifying. The coloring is especially fluid and captivating in that sequence. Overall, D’Armata’s colors are what make this issue’s art stand out. I love the way he conveys the setting of Chandilar’s moon in such a vibrant manner.

The colors he brings to space truly render it an immersive place.

So, ultimately, I hope to see future issues convey the quality of MR. AND MRS. X #5 as it greatly excels in its imagery.

What Lies Beyond

Based on the conclusion of this issue, it appears as though our newlyweds are moving onto a new adventure. Since the commencement of this series, new challenges have affected Rogue and Gambit, challenging their relationship.

It remains to be seen whether or not these challenges will have serious, lasting effects.

Though for now, maybe the couple will actually get some time to enjoy their new marriage.

MR. AND Mrs. X #5 by Kelly Thompson, Oscar Bazaldua, Frank D'Armata, & Joe Sabino
MR. AND MRS. X #5 is the best work of the run thus far as it levels up each and every aspect of the series.
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