Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Gambit and the X-ternals #4


This issue's sequence of events jumps around in time a bit as we follow multiple groups of people.  For the sake of clarity I'll present it all in the order it actually happened.

Gambit, Lila, Guido, and Jubilee all made it back to earth, with Rictor still trailing behind them.  Gambit and Lila go one way while Guido and Jubilee go another.  Jubilee has the crystal shard.  Rictor follows Gambit, so Jubilee and Guido are supposed to make it back to the X-men to give them the shard.  On their way through the tunnels they run into Nanny and Charles.

This is when we find out that Guido is a traitor.  He was captured by Apocalypse's men and a device was implanted on his heart that would kill him if he didn't do as they asked.  He was supposed to kill Gambit as a way to get to Rogue which would then get to Magneto.  Guido was willing to do this because he hated Gambit and loved Lila.  When he sees Charles, he realizes that's an even better way to impress Apocalypse, so he destroys Nanny.  Jubilee manages to grab Charles and run, but Guido pursues them and eventually is able to take off with both Charles and the shard, leaving Jubilee buried in the rubble.

At the same time, Rictor lets slip to Gambit that he is not worried about where Guido and Jubilee went because he has ways of tracking them, which tips Gambit off to the possible double cross.  He goes back instead of escaping as planned, and Guido, Rictor, Gambit and Lila all end up in the same space.  They see him with Charles and the shard and realize what he's done.  Rictor uses his powers to bring down the tunnels all around them.  Guido uses his strength to hold the place up for as long as he can, so Gambit has a choice - save Lila or grab the shard and Charles.  He chooses Lila.

Rictor is also dragged back to Apocalypse, who is pissed at him because Rictor was so focused on trying to catch Gambit that he didn't realize Charles and the shard were far more valuable.  Apocalypse kills him for his stupidity.  He didn't have to worry though, because Guido was able to save both and brought them to Apocalypse himself.

Dazzler and Exodus arrive in the tunnels, originally looking for Charles but they find Gambit and Lila instead, and Exodus mentions he senses a third life form, which I believe is how they are telling us that Jubilee is still alive.  The end tells us the story will be continued in Amazing X-men #4.

So the main hint for the sudden betrayal in this issue is the way they felt the need to mention once per issue that Guido was still in love with Lila.  That's not really that much of a hint, really, but I guess it works as proper set up.  It's still kind of a let down though, as it feels like they're adding in unnecessary conflict at the last minute just to make things a little more difficult for the X-men in X-men Omega.  It's nice to see Gambit finally treating Lila properly and being able to love her fully, even though the only reason why is the silly notion that he gave up his love for Rogue to the crystal last issue.

2 comments:

  1. +JMJ+

    What if the twist is that was was left behind was not Gambit's love for Rogue, but Sunspot's life? (Ooooh!)

    In any case, I'm with you that it doesn't seem realistic for Gambit to be able to get over Rogue so easily. It's almost magic, you know? =P On the other hand, I'm impressed that of all the lovers in the X-universe, it gets to be these two who make the sacrifice that is necessary to prevent Professor X's death.

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  2. This was a frustrating issue. As clumsily as they were set up, I actually quite like Guido's turn, and though that not only the moments where he's forced to confront his teammate, but the end bit where we see him now on Apocalypse's side, were quite powerful. As was the choice Gambit made, potentially damning an entire universe just to be with the woman he can now love with all his heart. As with Gambit, it's a dashing choice to make, but highly questionable.

    I think what really hurts this issue is the non-linear what in which it's told. As your synopsis shows, it doesn't really lose any weight or impact by playing out in a straightforward fashion, so they end up needlessly convoluting things. It also doesn't feel like a natural continuation from the last issue in that too much has happened from where we left off. And while Al Milgrom, a legend in the field, does everything he can as an inker to make things pop and sell, he's still stuck with pencils by the sloppy Larroca.

    Though I will say I like Nicieza as a dramatic writer more than I do a quippy superhero writer. Jubilee still gets some annoying lines, but I love her mini breakdown as she hits a fork in the tunnels, not knowing where to go while also reflecting on how the traitorous friend chasing after he does.

    It's not great, but I still kinda sorta enjoyed it. :)

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