X-Men marriages always have a certain air of skepticism when they are announced. For a group of people who are constantly battling all sorts of forces that are opposed to their very existence, you don’t really expect them to get many happy endings. Off the top of my head, I can only think of three marriages involving members of the X-Men that looked promising but usually ended eventually. Most of their relationships in general are pushed to the extreme limits by the very nature of the X-Men but few have stood the test of time like Kitty and Piotr. Already off to a controversial start due to Kitty being a teenager compared to Piotr’s adult status, the mutant couple has watched their relationship been tested again and again and they know it. They talk about watching one another die, getting stuck on magic metal space bullets, getting stranded in time or mentioning their on again/off again status. So, when Kitty asked Colossus to marry her, it got the usual announcements and variant covers. Legendary X-Men writer Chris Claremont came back to write a small story within the event and for the most part, a lot of people would say its about time. While I wanted to be happy for the couple as the big issue approached, my skepticism remained but I’m always open to be proven wrong. However, upon reading X-Men: Gold #30 by Kelly Thompson and Oscar Balzulda, that wasn’t the case and I found myself both disappointed and annoyed at Marvel for such a missed opportunity.
First to their credit, Kelly and Oscar did a marvelous job with the issue itself. I’m not familiar with Kelly Thompson’s work but she did a great job of moving the story along at a good pace and with honest depictions of the X-Men assembled for the big day. She balances the traditional wedding stereotypes with the eccentric X-Men lifestyle well and I did chuckle at Nightcrawler’s realization that he forgot the rings to only teleport and back with them just in time. I remember Balzulda’s work from (Ultimate) Spider-Man and everything looked amazing. Whether the characters are drinking on top roofs, reflecting amongst the stars, or sitting in proper attire waiting for the ceremony to start, his style is detailed but also pleasant and helps to convey the emotion in the moment. His drawing of Kitty coming down the aisle is beautiful to view but all these positives are for naught when the ending of the issue is revealed. All this build up is for nothing because during the ceremony when Colossus is about to put the ring on Kitty’s finger, her hand phases right through his. She reveals she can’t marry him and phases through the ground in front of their wedding party and all the guests present. Colossus asks Kurt to teleport him away shortly after and the readers are left like the audience present, shocked and wondering what the hell just happened.
Now this unexpected twist didn’t come out of nowhere. Within the issue, Kitty and Piotr’s sister and fellow X-Men Ilyana are drinking on the roof where the guests are celebrating and Ilyana states her feelings on the matter as the girls are passing a bottle back and forth. She is happy for the couple and wants nothing but the best, but she wonders why now? After everything they’ve been through as a couple, why didn’t Kitty and Piotr get married much earlier? Overlooking obvious points in the couple’s relationships where they couldn’t commit to such a union, that is a good point and you can almost hear that idea start to sink in both Kitty and your mind. Why the big wait, are the lives of the X-Men really that crazy that they don’t allow marriage? Honestly when you consider the X-Men’s history, how could you not want to plan a wedding or a family when Sentinels, Purifiers, Mr. Sinister or a dozen other threats could decide today is the day they try to kill you and everything you love. While you could debate either side of this argument, why propose in the first place if you weren’t ready? The fact it took Kitty that long to realize she couldn’t do it as she was at the altar and the ring was hovering inches from her finger just seems out of character. But then again currently where more marriages end in divorce and the idea of matrimony seems more and more old fashioned, you can somewhat understand her reasons as she explains it to Piotr shortly after but that’s not the part that frustrated me and other fans. While the guests contemplate what to do next, Gambit and Rogue attempt to salvage the situation and get married in their place.
Here we have another X-couple who may have a e chaotic and temperamental relationship than Piotr and Kitty decide to not waste the gorgeous set up and food and get hitched. This moment which does its best to be sweet and honest is nothing more but the set up for an upcoming series Mr. and Mrs. X which will be Gambit and Rogue together balancing lives as a couple and as X-Men. In the end, what should be an authentic and sentimental moment for all of these fan favorite characters feels like a rushed conclusion under the guise of being spontaneous and romantic; an ending that was also spoiled online way before the issue was even in stores.
One could suggest the idea was to capitalize on the attention and praise DC Comics has been recieving from the upcoming Batman and Catwoman marriage in Batman #50. While the timing is suspiciously coincidental, comic books are often planned months or even years ahead of time so it’s less of a trying to one up the competition and more of poor choices regarding the direction of these characters. The life of a superhero does not always need to be tragic and full of obstacles to be realistic but even the most gruesome story is allowed some happiness occasionally. In the case of Katherine Pryde and Piotr Rasputin, their special day ended up being for somebody else. While Gambit and Rogue fans can rejoice for a new chapter in their characters lives, Kitty and Colossus’ fans deserved better. Hopefully things will improve in the near future but as the newly resurrected Logan said: