X-Men Wedding Special featured Reviews 

“X-Men: The Wedding Special” #1

By | May 29th, 2024
Posted in Reviews | % Comments

During the X-Men’s ‘Fall of X’ era Marvel’s Mutants have suffered great losses. Now with Orchis off the board, it’s finally time for Marvel to take a step back and celebrate the end of an era. “X-Men: The Wedding Special” #1 will serve as one of the final Krakoan X-Men comics for the line and writer Kieron Gillen’s time on this incarnation of the X-Men. Gillen has worked with the Mutant couple of Mystique and Destiny longer than a year at Marvel Comics with his time on “Immortal X-Men.” How will the publisher be able to sunset an entire line of comic books? Will Gillen find something interesting to say with some of his final moments with Destiny and Mystique? Plus, will the other stories in the collection be able to properly celebrate this momentous era for the X-Men or lose focus? Let’s celebrate one of the most fascinating couples in all of X-Men history with “X-Men: The Wedding Special” #1!

Cover by Jan Bazaldua and Rachelle Rosenberg

Written by Kieron Gillen, Tini Howard, Tate Brombal, Wyatt Kennedy and Yoon Ha Lee
Illustrated by Rachael Stott, Phillip Sevy, Emilio Pilliu, Jenn St-Onge and Stephen Byrne
Colored by Michael Bartolo, KJ Diaz, Irma Kniivila and Brittany Peer
Lettered by VC’s Ariana Maher and VC’s Joe Sabino

WEDDING EXTRAVAGANZA! Mystique and Destiny are one of the most beloved — and longest running — gay couples in history. Somewhere in their 100+ years together, the pair married, but we’ve never seen the event on the page. This year MARVEL’S VOICES: PRIDE makes history with Marvel’s first woman-to-woman wedding in a story by superstar X-Men scribe Kieron Gillen! And with a couple as complex as these two, you know there’s a lot more to the story. We promise party crashing! Villainy! Romance! In the classic tradition of FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #3 and X-MEN #30, this anthology will be a must-read for every comics fan. Featuring the Marvel debuts of award-winning writers Yoon Ha Lee (Ninefox Gambit, Machineries of Empire) and M. Louis (Agents of the Realm), and much more talent to be announced!

The opening of “X-Men: The Wedding Special” #1 is nothing short of surreal. Shortly after resolving the internal strife between the Destiny and Mystique, the publisher is positioning the couple in a scenario to renew their vows. To make matters more interesting, Nightcrawler shows up who has also been managing animosity from Mystique and brand new feelings about his origins. Seeing these characters embrace each other with the sharp dialogue from Kieron Gillen is a welcome change of pace from the high stakes of the Krakoa comic books during the ‘Fall of X’ era. Even though this is a time of joy for Raven and Destiny, Raven is still obsessing over her arsenal for destruction in the story. Gillen checks into a couple more threads from Krakoa during the tale that largely makes this issue read as an epilogue for the tremendous “Immortal X-Men” series.

Artist Rachael Stott works well with the cerebral nature of Gillen’s script. The faces on Destiny’s masks brilliantly foreshadow the detail that Gillen applies to his scripts. Stott also leaves the first page with a shot showing our couple’s reflection in the mirror. The beautiful dress for Destiny and plain clothes character designs for the formal setting are a visual feast throughout the issue. Stott’s nimble line and strong character acting offers vivid emotion for the X-Men cast members present at the event.

The next story titled “Wedding Gatecrashers” features writing from Tini Howard with art from Phillip Sevy. Seeing Howard return to Betsy Braddock as Captain Britain alongside Askani is a great call back to the Krakoan era of comics. Howard keeps the relationship progress between Askani and Betsy during this tale. Howard evokes a pleasant feeling by showing Betsy and the rest of the Captain Britain Corps coming together to attend the wedding. The Corps end up having to respond to a threat before attending the event. Howard and Sevy end up returning to another classic Krakoan plot thread to leave off for Betsy and Askani. The villainous character also offers an interesting revelation that effects the first half of the story. Sevy renders great expressions for the numerous cast members in the issue. Certain panels don’t have the same quality in facial expressions as seen in others. In addition, the facial details from characters can look a lot different between individual panels. When overlooking these minor artistic issues and focusing on the emotion behind the art, readers should still be able to enjoy this story quite a bit.

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Wolverine’s story from Tate Brombal and Emilio Pilliu sports a great premise with Wolverine and Mutants like Pixie trying to find a gift for the ceremony for Mystique. Having Marvel reunite characters like Anole with Wolverine is a great call back to Logan’s long and winding past. Brombal lends too much dialogue to the issue overall and ends up holding the premise back from readers in terms of the execution. Also, Pilliu loses accuracy with minimalistic backgrounds and expressions for the characters. Brombal’s scripting and dialogue increases in quality during a tense exchange between Wolverine and Mystique. The minimal detail and clunky dialogue holds Wolverine’s presence from “X-Men: The Wedding Special” #1 from being memorable.

Yoon Ha Lee and Stephen Byrne explore Mystique and Destiny’s curious exchange with Emma Frost. Lee’s scripting takes on numerous twists and turns in the issue to keep the dynamic feeling fresh between the characters. Byrne rises to the challenge artistically by rendering unique environments and scenarios for the story. Lee and Byrne reflect on a couple of interesting plot points from Krakoa while taking an unexpected influence from a different side of the Marvel Universe later in the comic book. Byrne’s expressions for Emma do an excellent job teasing the complex emotions towards her inner thoughts. Byrne’s psychic rendition of the landscape is also beautiful to see interpreted on the page.

Wyatt Kennedy and Jenn St-Onge tell a story fleshing out a couple formed before Krakoa with Gambit and Rogue. Jenn St-Onge’s thick line and expressive characters give the tale a manga sensibility that is beautiful to witness. The story uses the framing device in a smart way as Gambit heads home to pick something up that Rogue forgot. Marvel wisely referenced Rogue’s continuity by showing her helping Destiny get ready for her event. The final panel with the couple featuring a bleed, negative space and the logo from the story is incredible and begs for more content from this creative team.

Gillen breaks the fourth wall in an incredibly fun way when he returns to the story with Nightcrawler and features a couple of fascinating Marvel comics easter eggs. Comic book weddings and ceremonies can mark moments of important characterization. Gillen uses the moment to punctuate countless character moments spotlighted throughout the Krakoan era. There are even story elements that seem to make readers reflect on important moments of Krakoa for the pair like “Inferno.” When read in the greater context of “Immortal X-Men” and Marvel’s ‘Fall of X’ initiative the last couple of pages in “X-Men: The Wedding Special” #1 carry incredibly strong emotional weight. The bonus content making up the issue features interesting elements of history to put the pieces of this special comic book issue in context.

Final Verdict: 9.0 – “X-Men: The Wedding Special” #1 celebrates the Krakoan era and serves as a strong coda to “Immortal X-Men.”

Alexander Jones