Mr. and Mrs. X #9 Review

by Charles Martin on March 27, 2019

Mr. and Mrs. X #9 Review
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artist: Oscar Bazaldua
Colourist: Frank D'Armata
Letterer: Joe Sabino
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Mr. and Mrs. X #9 takes us over the halfway point of the Mojoverse arc, and the story perks up considerably as it bends toward a showdown.

This issue delivers full-throttle Gambit and Rogue, restored to their proper selves if not quite teamed up again. No more arbitrary Mojo plot-meddling, no more snotty Mojo meta-commentary.

Gambit's slated for a classic smashy-stealy mission on behalf of Spiral while his wife is busy with soul-searching. Rogue's re-examining critical memories - what she herself pegs as her "greatest hits" when the Ms. Marvel fight queues up - and looking for a common thread to help her figure out her power control issues.

The character art throughout is polished to perfection. Oscar Bazaldua just gets better with these protagonists the longer he has them, and his Rogue is especially noteworthy in this issue. He's absolutely nailed the perfect facial proportions, something that he previously struggled with. Rogue's retrospective agenda allows him to lay on a greatest hits roster of past looks, all of which come out splendidly.

The visual weak spot - and it's a very small one - is a shortage of detail/impact when it comes to crowd scenes. It's eminently forgivable when the close-up character work is this good.

Frank D'Armata's colours make a significant contribution; he uses thin, muted washes on Rogue's memories to distinguish them from more vibrant contemporary events. But the script insists on blurring that line at the climax, and the palette handles that impossible job with incredible skill.

The script for this issue sets up nice, straightforward stories for each protagonist: action for Remy, introspection for Rogue. They look primed to cruise to basic satisfaction - but no further - particularly as Rogue maps out a rational but simple explanation for her power troubles.

And then Kelly Thompson spins the words up onto an entirely different level when Rogue actually reaches her conclusions. She fuses her personal experiences with universal ones, and the result is a profoundly uplifting moment that's applicable well beyond the concerns of one super-powered mutant.

What about Gambit's humble thieving story? Well, he reconnects with Rogue by the end of the issue, and their brief but powerful conversation ennobles hubby's prior scenes thanks to a beautiful bit of thematic repetition.

All that and a fascinating mystery about Spiral's motivations, too! Turns out, the weakest part of this Mojoverse arc was Mojo himself. The less scenery he chews on and the less he pokes his nose over the fourth wall, the better the story gets.

The third part of Rogue & Gambit's Mojoverse adventure takes a serious step up in quality, thanks in no small part to shuffling Mojo out of the story almost entirely. A crucial exploration of Rogue's character is nicely backed by good Gambit action, a tempting Spiral mystery, and wall-to-wall visual excellence.

Our Score:


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Charles Martin's picture
I missed the key dialogue repetition on my first read-through, which is a testament to the script's subtlety and an indictment of my usual reading speed.