Publisher – Marvel Comics
Writer – Kelly Thompson
Artist – Pere Pérez
Colorist – Frank D'Armata
Letterer – Joe Caramagna
When the thought of superhero couples comes up, certain pairings come to mind. One of those would be Rogue and Gambit of X-Men fame. Despite that, a little reminder of why such a relationship works is necessary from time to time. Rogue & Gambit: Ring of Fire attempts to be that kind of reminder in an adventure in which the two characters confront a villain, and their past.
The best part of the writing is the way that Kelly Thompson handles continuity. Nothing feels like a cheap attempt at coasting off of past highs. Instead, it is used to show not just who these two characters are, but also how they have grown over time. Also, the main villain works nicely as a foil. How the villain's powers mix with the heroes' abilities, and personal issues is entertaining to see play out. Some parts of the writing leave something to desire in terms of execution. With that said, Thompson's script hits more than it misses.
Pere Pérez and Frank D'Armata do a mostly solid job on art. The flashbacks maintain a strong sense of action, while subtly separating itself from the present with some subtle texture differences. There are moments when facial expressions look a little odd, and a few layout choices clutter more than clarify. When things are less troublesome in terms of body language and layouts, Pérez and D'Armata shine in delivering lively characters, and kinetic action.
Joe Caramagna has a strong showing, on the lettering side of things. Dialogue never gets too hard to follow, even when things get hectic. Word balloons usually stay consistent in terms of text and placement. When things change beyond what's been established in those terms, it is to compliment what is on the page without feeling out of place. Sound effects are handled in a way that they compliment what is on the page.
Overall, Rogue & Gambit: Ring of Fire is worth a look. Even with its faults, this is a good example of an X-Men tale done right. There is enough within the pages to leave both newcomers, and knowledgeable fans both satisfied.