SPOILER WARNING: The following interview discusses plot points from Marvel Comics' Rogue and Gambit #1, on sale now.
Romances between superheroes are complicated and sometimes even dangerous. When they go right, they empower the heroes involved and give them a reason to keep fighting. But when they go wrong, they can shatter the dynamic of a group and even get members injured or killed. Former X-Men power couple Rogue and Gambit understand that destructive potential all too well. That, and the baggage between them, is why they've kept their distance from each other the last several years, but sometimes the Marvel Universe reunites former lovers whether they want to see each other or not.
In the debut issue of writer Kelly Thompson and artist Pere Perez's Rogue and Gambit, fate stepped in and the titular characters found themselves on a mission together that will force them to deal with the issues between them and a dangerous mystery. CBR spoke with Thompson about her title characters reuniting, the way they feel about each other, the role their tumultuous past will play in the story, and the inspiration for the mystery Rogue and Gambit are investigating.
CBR: Kelly, at the end of Rogue and Gambit #1, they have a heart to heart on the beach where, between the dialogue and Pere Perez's great facial expressions, you sort of summed up where the state of the relationship is at. What I took from that conversation was that, based on the loss of control over her powers and everything that's happened to them in the past, Rogue feels hsher and Gambit should move on even though she might not really want to. Meanwhile, Gambit thinks they're still worth fighting for.
Kelly Thompson: It was important before we did a deep dive into our story -- and into these characters -- that we set the table for where they’re both at right now in their lives and in their relationship with one another. We need that to be clear so that we’ve got somewhere to go, something to build to, y’know? Rogue and Gambit have had a few on panel conversations where they talk plainly about their relationship, but not a lot considering the decades they’ve been together (and not together). Definitely expect some serious soul-searching about their relationship from both characters.
The idea of Rogue and Gambit posing as a couple to investigate the disappearances surrounding a resort that relieves mutants of their trauma seems like something that both grew out of the character's relationships and uniquely catered to Gambit's skills at deception. What can you tell us about what inspired the plot and sort of genre elements of the story?
I think that, for starters, any story that can lean into a mystery readers are hooked with to figure out right away, is a good thing. And when you add to that the natural action component of superheroes and the sort of sneaky “undercover” strengths of Gambit, a plot like this just seemed like a really natural fit. I also think there’s a long history of fun stories (in lots of mediums) with couples – especially those who have a lot of sexual tension – going “undercover” as something they aren’t (or aren’t quite). Whether you’re doing X-Files or Moonlighting, it’s just a genre that maximizes fun and romance…or at least the potential of romance, and thus it fits Rogue & Gambit especially well.