Welcome back to the Marvel Rundown! This week, we take a look at Marvel’s annual Pride celebration with X-Men: The Wedding Special #1. The review contains MILD SPOILERS, but jump on down to the Rapid Rundown for takes on Avengers: Twilight #6 and Hellverine #1!

What did you think of this week’s batch of fresh Marvel Comics, True Believers? The Beat wants to hear from you! Give us a shout-out, here in the comment section or over on social media @comicsbeat, and let us know what you’re thinking.


X-Men: The Wedding Special #1

X-Men: The Wedding Special #1

Creators: Kieron GillenRachael Stott, Tini Howard, Phillip Sevy, Tate Brombal, Emilio Pilliu, Yoon Ha Lee, Stephen Byrne, Wyatt Kennedy, and Jenn St-Onge
Colorists: Michael Bartolo, KJ Díaz, Irma Kniivila, and Brittany Peer
Letterers: VC’s Ariana Maher and VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover: Jan Bazaldua and Rachelle Rosenberg

I was surprised to see that this year’s Marvel Pride issue would completely revolve around the wedding of Mystique and Destiny (especially in the midst of the Fall of Krakoa), but I honestly think the central theme made X-Men: The Wedding Special work in a way these one-shots occasionally struggle to. 

The main story of the wedding is fun, and follows the happy couple in the lead-up to the wedding, where they get into some predictable shenanigans. Kieron Gillen has been scripting the pair for the last few years and writes them as playfully loving. It’s been interesting watching Mystique evolve over this period, keeping that edge, while opening herself up to feeling emotions again with Irene back. Rachel Stott and Michael Bartolo makes everyone look gorgeous in these pages, with some great character work in both expression and figure work.

While the wedding itself is the main event, it operates as a framing device for the majority of the issue, where we get to jump around and check out different characters getting ready for the ceremony.

Tini Howard, Phillip Sevy, and KJ Díaz narrow in on Betsy Braddock and Rachel Summers, as they face off against Technet and Saturnyne in a world without a Captain Britain. It’s a fitting send-off for Howard after shepherding this duo over the past five years, solidifying the staying power of Rachel and Betsy, all while channeling that classic Excalibur goofiness. Sevy has been a frequent collaborator for Howard, and along with Díaz, captures the perfect mix of silly and steamy that defines this team.

There are also some great shorts featuring Wolverine back in his teacher era, couples counseling from ‘Emma Frost,’ and a heart-to-heart between Rogue and Destiny about marriage. It’s a great range of stories from a variety of LGBTQ+ creators that cover the gamut of love, life, and Logan’s no-so-secret love of teaching.

The issue ends with a history of Mystique and Destiny’s relationship, an interview with Chris Claremont, and two reprinted stories of Iceman and Mystique. It’s a bit of padding for sure, but it doesn’t detract from the quality of the issue. 

In a period where the line has been incredibly hit or miss, this is a gold mine of an issue. Each story celebrates queer life unabashedly, while also paying respect to this era and overall history of the X-Men.

Verdict: BUY.


Rapid Rundown!

  • Avengers: Twilight #6
    • There’s a familiarity here at the finale of Avengers: Twilight— that we’ve been here before. We’ve done this exact build and exact end, which can lead to predictable storytelling and sometimes bored readers. But there’s a comfortable atmosphere knowing we, the reader, are cinematically coherent, can see the development arcs, and have been paying attention the whole ride. Comfort food storytelling is less about paying off storybeats and more about giving the fans what they want! So, here at the end, there’s some Mark Gruenwald era Captain America, some Mark Millar Ultimates, some MCU Avengers [2016], and some Avengers #1 peppered into the climax and denouement penned by Chip Zdarsky. It’s a brilliant amalgamation of what works for the premise and what feels like a classic Avengers blockbuster! With Daniel Acuña painting every panel, it’s difficult to do anything wrong per se, but I believe Acuña’s traditional painting background helps keep his soft line rendered look easy to visually comprehend. Painted comics can veer into visual chaos with competing eyelines, textures, and rendering too much on a page, but by receding background elements with lighter colors and isolating foreground elements with darker palettes, a panel’s compositional focus helps steer eyes through a layout more than it requires them to study its illustration. Now, while the dialogue and caption approach by VC’s Joe Caramagna sing simple Marvel house style, Caramagna’s sound effects nest themselves natively into Acuña’s paints with thoughtful color choices and enough character that they qualify as visual reverb, which is a damn treat in my book! If an Avengers blockbuster finale is whatcha asked for, then let it be so! — BQ
  • Hellverine #1
    • This is good clean superhero fun courtesy writer Ben Percy and artist Julius Ohta. Not clean in the blood sense, this is a gorey horror book through and through. An unexpected follow up to the Ghost Rider/Wolverine crossover from last year, it offers a quick recap before throwing us headfirst into political intrigue. The timing is odd with the close of Percy’s larger Wolverine run, but it’s nice to see the writer move on with this character in a fun diversion. Ohta’s art is grimy and dark, full of hatching and muddy backgrounds. Perfect for setting the dark mood. The structure of the story flashes back and forth through time, which is confusing at first but pays off by issue’s end. Frank D’armata’s colors lean mostly midnight blue and cool shades which lets the orange Hellfire and red demon imagery really pop. Travis Lanham’s letters are solid. Percy has proven he can tell epic, sprawling tales intertwining politics and character drama. It’s nice to see him cutting loose with something so purely outlandish, while still hinting at real character drama to come. — TR

Next Week: It’s the end of Krakoa with our roundtable review of Uncanny X-Men #700!

1 COMMENT

  1. In my opinion, a celebration of a queer relationship should highlight how a couple like Mystique and Destiny would likely reject something as heteronormative as marriage. There’s no way these two would get married!

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