Digging Deeper Between Hope and Sorrow
Credits: Fabian Nicieza (writer), Andy Kubert (pencils), Bill Sienkiewicz (inks), Bill Oakley (letterer), Paul Becton (colorist)
Rogue and Gambit go on a date and talk about their relationship. Rogue asks Gambit why he never discusses his wife and Gambit asks Rogue why he doesn’t know her real name. At the end of the night, Rogue offers to tell him her name but he says it doesn’t matter. Banshee returns to the Mansion and reconciles with Moira, while Cyclops also returns and reconciles with Jean. Psylocke and Revanche continue to antagonize each other, while Shadowcat and Wolverine attempt to comfort Jubilee after Illyana’s death. Cyclops tells Xavier about the information Sinister gave him in Alaska and Xavier fears that Stryfe’s virus could become a plague.
Some of Banshee’s conversation with Moira is re-lettered on page 6. There are actually quite a few word balloons and captions throughout this issue that don’t seem to fit in.
On page nine, Beast says that he is “weeks shy of 30”.
There's no inker credited in this issue, but the GCD lists Bill Sienkiewicz. It's certainly appears to be his style.
Check out Cyclops’ eyes on page 29, panel three. What’s up with that? Also, Xavier says that he never consulted Beast’s “expertise in biogenetics” when trying to cure Illyana. There’s no reason given why and it really doesn’t make sense.
Nicieza fills time until the next crossover with a chatty, no-action issue (I wonder if the X-office had an internal name for these issues, they certainly did a lot of them). It’s relentless dark, as it builds up both the Legacy Virus and return of Magneto storylines. Nicieza makes everything a little too melodramatic, but he’s successful in selling these two threads as serious threats to the X-Men. Andy Kubert’s art gets a moody makeover from Bill Sienkiewicz's inks, matching the gloomy tone of this issue. It’s certainly much better than their previous collaboration, which didn’t work at all.
Every “all talk, no action” issue of X-Men during this time had to have at least one scene where Gambit and Rogue act moody and talk about their relationship. This is one of the better ones, as Gambit brings up the legitimate point that no one even knows Rogue’s name (and no one would, until Hollywood decided to give her one). Rogue points out that Gambit never talks about his wife, which is also reasonable since Belladonna’s introduction and death were being ignored at this point. In the upcoming months, however, I would grow to hate these scenes as they made both Gambit and Rogue seem comically whiny and mopey. Illyana’s death is also covered in this issue, but we’re just given more scenes of Jubilee crying. Since her reaction was already dealt with in this month’s Uncanny, you would think that someone else (Shadowcat or Colossus especially) would receive more attention.