This week’s X-Men Gold #30, out now, promised readers a superhero wedding, a holy grail of the drama-filled genre occurring within one of its most soap-opera-y settings: the X-Men.
Technically, it delivered. But that hasn’t stopped its biggest twist from leaking before it was published, igniting controversy over spoilers and dividing a fandom into those relieved and those angry.
Here’s what happened.
X-Men Gold #30 is the Kitty Pryde and Colossus wedding issue
Kitty Pryde (alias Shadowcat) and Piotr Rasputin (Colossus) are two X-Men with a long romantic history marked by stretches of of separation. First, they couldn’t be together because the 19-year-old Piotr was understandably uncomfortable with the idea of returning 13-year-old Kitty’s puppy love. Then, because Piotr had fallen in love with a woman from space who’d given her life to save him. Later, because Kitty had used her powers to phase a giant bullet through the Earth in order to save the world and become lost in space as a result, and after that, because Colossus was temporarily dead.
Sometimes their romance was put on hold for the weirdest superhero reason of all: They both happened to be seeing other people.
In 2017, Marvel started teasing a June 20 “Wedding of the Century,” and in January of 2018, Kitty proposed to Colossus in the pages of X-Men Gold #20. X-Men Gold #25 showed us Piotr kidnapped from his bachelor party. Kitty got a wedding dress designed by artist J. Scott Campbell. Legendary X-Men writer Chris Claremont returned to pen a story for the X-Men Wedding Special #1 one-shot.
The date was set.
So why are people so mad?
Well, first, a New York Times article about the June 20 wedding issue spoiled the twist in its headline, but was published on June 19. The article also revealed the real title, subject and creative team behind a series formerly known as X-Classified.
Even though “X-Classified,” was due to hit shelves next month, everything about it has been unusually under wraps, especially for a publishing model that depends so heavily on pre-orders. We know now that it’s a story spun out of the most spoilery part of the wedding issue, and some fans assumed that the spoiler-heavy New York Times article was sacrificing spoiler-averse readers to create hype for a new series.
But, according to X-Classified’s writer Kelly Thompson, the article went up a day before the wedding issue because its story had already leaked. To Marvel, it was just damage control.
You didn’t have to read it on the NYTimes. It was leaked everywhere starting last week and yesterday full scans of the issue started showing up online. We would have waited until it was out but at some point, once it’s leaked, we have to try to take control...— KELLY THOMPSON (@79SemiFinalist) June 20, 2018
Marvel editor in chief C.B. Cebulski, tweeted the New York Times article with a warning, saying “X-Men and @Marvel fans: SPOILER ALERT! You might want to wait until after tomorrow’s X-Men Gold #30 before reading the insights in today’s @nytimes!!”
But X-Men fans aren’t just up in arms about the way the Kitty/Colossus wedding issue was presented. The controversy is also in its contents, particularly in a big dramatic twist.
[Warning: The rest of this article contains spoilers for X-Men Gold #30, the Kitty/Colossus wedding issue.]
So what actually happened? In the issue?
After a lot of cute wedding prep with plenty of amusing X-Men cameos, Kitty got cold feet. She and Piotr are still together, but are going to take things a little slower. In the meantime, Gambit and Rogue got married. On the spot. Taking advantage of the fact that all their friends were there, as well as an officiant and reception stuff and everything.
After all that build up for Kitty and Colossus, and comparatively little for Rogue and Gambit, it’s the latter who wound up married during Marvel’s “Wedding of the Century.”
Remember “X-Classified?” It’s real name, revealed at the end of the issue, is Mr. & Mrs. X, and it will follow the adventures of the newlywed Anna-Marie and Remy LeBeau as they honeymoon in space. It’s being written by Kelly Thompson, the writer behind Marvel’s recent miniseries Rogue & Gambit: Ring of Fire, which saw the two on-again-off-again X-Men rekindle their relationship after they’re unexpectedly forced to work together.
So how are fans taking it?
It differs. Some think the twist is just bad writing, a bait and switch. In fairness to X-Men Gold Writer Marc Guggenheim, the twist was not originally his idea.
“Comics, like TV and film, is a very collaborative medium,” Guggenheim told the New York Times. “These are not my characters, they are Marvel’s. Part of writing other people’s characters in a shared universe are other ideas are going to end up supplanting yours. My job as a writer is to take those marching orders and write the best issue I can.”
Other folks are looking on the bright side.
does x-men gold rly think it can redeem itself just bcs it’s gonna have rogue and remy getting married in it? LMAOOOO haha yes— abū bakr aṣ-ṣcott summers (semi hiatus) (@lgbtcyclops) June 19, 2018
And others are looking a little ... further ahead.
Personally, I’d put my bet on Batman and Catwoman definitely being married at the end of their wedding issue. But it is superhero comics we’re talking about. As X-Men Gold #30 shows, even when the Joker isn’t trying to interfere, anything can still happen.