109: UXM 308 - 310 (Gambit, Wedding plans)

What’s Covered?

UXM 308 - 310 & Gambit, Volume 1 # 1 - 4


UXM 308 includes Jean's proposal, 309 is an Xavier flashback chronicling a former relationship with Voght of the Acolytes, and 310 has Cyclops bonding with Cable now that they know of their relationship while fighting the X-Cutioner.


The 1994 Gambit Limited Series takes Gambit and Rogue back home to New Orleans where the mystery of the Thieves Guild is explored.


Roster Watch


Synopsis


UXM # 308: The Proposal

Writer - Scott Lobdell

Pencils - John Romita Jr.

This is a rare issue that focuses solely on the X-Men hanging out on a Fall day enjoying themselves. There is some reflection on the history of Cyclops and Jean, leading up to Jean proposing to Scott!


UXM # 309: Professor Xavier and Voght

Writer - Scott Lobdell

Pencils - John Romita Jr.

This entire issue is a retrospective within Charles Xavier's mind. Charles is struggling with his own feelings of bitterness towards Scott and Jean. He knows he's happy for them, but he's clearly jealous as well that they were able to find happiness when he never was able to.


This line of thinking causes Charles to think back to one of earliest love interests. A long time ago, after he initially lost the use of his legs, he started a romantic relationship with a nurse at the Hospital. Ironically, the nurse was Amelia Voght, the teleporting mutant Acolyte I have commented previously about as seeming wiser, older, and carrying a secret.


We learn the tragic story of them growing quite close and Amelia helping Charles to establish the initial school and recruit Scott and Jean. Amelia announces that she's going to leave because she doesn't want to be second fiddle to the school, but more importantly that she disagrees with his intention to create a mutant militia group. She feels that if mutants continue to create separate groups, they will actually be causing problems rather than fixing them. We can see how some of her more extreme views leads to her falling in with the Acolytes.


The most tragic part of this story takes place when Charles uses his psychic power to force Amelia to stay, before giving up after a few seconds. Amelia knows what he did, slaps him, and leaves forever.


UXM #310: Cable and Cyclops have a moment

Writer - Scott Lobdell

Pencils - John Romita Jr.


Cyclops walks into the Danger Room, surprised to see someone re-enacting the day he had to send Nathan into the future. It turns out that it's Cable, who recently got confirmation from Mr. Sinister that he is, in fact the true Nathan Christopher (this happened in an issue of Cable that I haven't covered quite yet).


Cable has a chip on his shoulder and they start to get into it before alarms going off signaling that the X-Cutioner is in the mansion, attempting to kill Emma Frost (who apparently has been resting in a coma in the mansion this whole time). Nothing can bring a father and son together quite like fighting a villain with low stakes.


Scott asks Cable to come to his wedding and while Cable is still harboring some confused and resented feelings, he agrees to come.


Gambit, Volume 1 # 1 - 4

Writer - Howard Mackie

Pencils - Lee Weeks

This Gambit Limited Series was...ok. Definitely not required reading.


So Gambit's brother (who looks wayyy older than him) shows up begging Gambit to come back home, shortly before being killed by the Assassin's Guild. Upon coming back home to New Orleans, Gambit learns that his wife Bella Donna is alive, but on the verge of death. Bella Donna originally appeared in X-Men # 26 as covered in 88: X-Men 8 - 11 (Ghost Rider, Shattershot Crossover).


Rogue agrees to go with Gambit and we hear her admit that she loves him. She will end up spending a lot of time caring for Bella Donna and eventually absorbs her memories, which is almost too much for her to handle. I'm not entirely sure what she say or where this is going, but it seems impactful.


It was teased in the last Bella Donna story that the Assassin's Guild may have elongated life and this is fleshed out more. We learn than an External named Candra has been visiting the Thieve's Guild and providing them with a serum that helps them to live longer. We also learn that the rival Assassin's Guild is given powers by Candra.


I'm going to summarize a lot of plot by saying that shit does down, Gambit challenges the status quo, and in the end the old feud as well as the agreements with Candra is over. Some see Gambit is a hero where others think he ruined everything. Bella Donna is cured and wakes up, but has no memory of Gambit, allowing Gambit and Rogue to leave still together and in the same place before the Limited Series (like a 90's sitcom!)


My Connections


The big proposal! This is a nice callback to X-Factor # 53 where I had the following to say in 65: X-Factor # 51 - 59 (Sabretooth, Caliban, and Vampires):


"Scott proposed to Jean in # 53, but Jean tells him she can't commit. This plays out over all of these issues. While Jean may have gotten rid of the Madelyn and Phoenix psyche (meaning there aren't multiple personalities floating in her mind), she still has all of their memories and is struggling with that. When Scott asks her to marry him, she can't turn off her memories of him marrying Madelyn and them having a kid together. She feels as though fate is pushing her to marry him and she just needs to make sure that she's making her own decisions. "

While I really liked this reversal, there was something missing here. I think maybe because I felt like "Oh, they weren't married already?" Is that because I had read the wedding issue when I was a kid? Am I just over Scott and Jean by this point? Have they been written poorly lately? I'm really not sure, but for some reason this isn't landing hard for me.


Seeing Scott and Cable talk openly about their relationship, now that's something I'm here for! I've always known their relationship, but I'm certainly never read about how it actually went down. And with this being teased and confused (Stryfe?), it's been held over our heads for too long. But now we have it and we're starting to see them talk about it and I can't get enough of it.


There's definitely a blurring of the lines here between the Blue and Gold team. Scott and Cable were the featured characters in UXM # 310 and neither of them are on the team, in theory. In addition, the 4 members of the team were ghosts outside of Jean. Do I need to stop doing separate graphics? Should I start combining my coverage of the two series!? I have no idea.


I was really bored by the Gambit Limited Series and I'm really racking my brain to think if there has been a limited series that's been worth reading so far. Iceman? No. Nightcrawler? Fun, but fantastic. Sabretooth? Decent. Deadpool? That might have been the best. Longshot? Weird and a good introduction. Maybe it's better for introductions as opposed to exploring existing characters.


Creators

For UXM, Scott Lobdell and John Romita Jr are still here doing their thang. Lobdell is on probation for me after the shitshow that is Fatal Attractions, but he is so damn good at writing character moments so he's out of the doghouse for now.


Howard Mackie and Lee Weeks were the creative team on Gambit. As mentioned, I didn't dig Gambit so with this being my first introduction to these two characters, they are not off on the right foot with me. I guess the art was ok.


Character Beats

The biggest movers and shakers here revolves around the Summers family. Jean and Scott get engaged and as mentioned above, it just didn't do much for me. Scott and Cable talking openly about their relationship, that's captivating in my opinion.


One amazing character moment to point out was the return of Philosopher Logan after Rogue announces that she loves Gambit.



We haven't really seen the wise and all knowledgeable Wolverine shelling out great advice left and right since the Claremont days, so this was really nice to see.


My Rating and Review

308 - 310 - 9/10

Gambit Volume 1 - 2/10


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