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X-MEN: THE WEDDING SPECIAL #1 – EVERLASTING LOVE

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X-Men: The Wedding Special (COVER: Jan Bazaldua – Credit: Marvel)

***Spoiler Warning: This review contains minor spoilers and plot points for the Marvel Voices: Pride – Mystique and Destiny’s Wedding issue. If you prefer to experience the stories firsthand, consider this your BIG FLASHING CAUTION SIGN.***

Marvel Voices: Pride – Mystique and Destiny’s Wedding is an issue brimming with love, happiness, and light. Something rarely seen when it comes to our beloved superheroes and X-Men. This issue brings a refreshing change, focusing on the pure love between Mystique and Destiny.

No chaos , treachery, or various villains ruining their special day. Just love in its purest form. It’s a celebration long overdue for these characters, who have been together for literal decades.

Now, we finally witness their Wedding (vow renewal), surrounded by their families, friends, and the Marvel universe’s rich tapestry of LGBTQIA+ characters.

Story Synopsis and Reviews:

“Something Borrowed Something Blue” by Kieron Gillen, Rachael Stott, and Michael Bartolo

The issue kicks off with a charming wedding invitation, setting the stage for Mystique and Destiny’s vow renewal. We see heartwarming family moments with Kurt and Rogue. The writer highlighting a rare, carefree side of characters usually embroiled in drama. It’s nice to see Mystique acting motherly when she has certainly had her moments of being quite the opposite in the past. Women in chic suits add a stylish flair, a sight not often seen in superhero comics. 

Mystique and Destiny start ripping open their wedding presents looking for one in particular, that they can’t find. Finally, Colossus knocks on the door with one final delivery, the one they have been waiting for. A gift from Mister Sinister with a. hilarious note attached. A mysterious long blue cylinder with what looks like a person inside…?

Art: The coloring and intricate background details make the opening panels pop. The beautiful coloration and well-detailed characters enhance the story. With fashion choices that complement, it make the characters look incredibly attractive.

“Wedding Gatecrashers” by Tini Howard, Phillip Sevy, and KJ Diaz

This story starts steamily with Betsy Braddock (Captain Britain) and Askani in bed together. They soon find themselves in an epic battle against The Gatecrashers from across the multiverse. Betsy Braddock and Askani fight off the gate crashers in an epically written battle scene where Captain Britain variants from across the multiverse team up. 

 The duo come to find out that they were sent by Saturnyne. She is jealous that she wasn’t invited to Mystique and Destiny’s wedding. She wanted to steal an invitation from them. The message in this chapter is about how seeing others in our community get married inspires other gay couples to find their bliss. Betsy and Askani ponder their own love story and contemplate the possibility of marriage themselves. Very inspiring for people of the LGBTQIA+ community who were denied that right for so long. 

Art: The use of pastels and darker shading is beautifully done, with intricate details. The stylish wedding attire Askani and Braddock wear adds variety and flair to the heroes’ personalities a contrast to their usual costumes.

“Get Mystique…A Gift!” by Tate Brombal, Emilio Pilliu, and Irma Kniivila

Wolverine, accompanied by Pixie, Indra, Vic, and Paras, embarks on a humorous quest to find a wedding present for Mystique. Their adventure takes them teleporting to various exotic locations, such as Limbo and the Savage Land. The writer blending humor and hijinks with a lesson on the complexity of good and bad in people, especially mutants, especially when contrasting a brooding character like Wolverine with the young peppy energy of his students.

The students debate whether Mystique deserves a gift. Stating that just because she’s currently on good terms with the X-Men, getting “gay married” doesn’t erase the bad things she’s done. 

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At the reception (which strangely takes place before the ceremony), Wolverine ends up getting her something special. It’s a gold gun with her bride’s name “Destiney” engraved on the handle. The gift that was originally pitched in the first place, while the other students give her their own idea of a perfect wedding present.

Logan used this exercise to teach his young mutant students that sometimes things for a mutant aren’t always black and white. It’s also just like people aren’t always good or bad. It’s important to see that even people who are told they’re “different” deserve a happy ending in the end just like Mystique and Destiney. 

Art: I love the contrasting colors and lighting in different environments which are well-executed by the artist. The backgrounds are well drawn, with a lot of interesting character details mixed into the settings. 

“Epee is Truth” by Yoon Ha Lee and Stephen Byrne

Mystique and Destiny undergo “pre-renewal” counseling with Emma Frost. Frost projects them into a telepathic setting in their minds to “get to the heart of their relationship.” Emma, Destiney, and Mystique find themselves engaging in a fencing match as Emma coaxes them into slashing through their issues, an interesting device used by the writer. Emma forces Mystique to confront how Destiney’s death affected her. They grow stronger together once the details of how that affected Mystique emotionally have been revealed. 

They admit to one another that their love is true and not matter what happens, how many times they die, no matter what it takes, their love will transcend! They will always find their way back to one another. A true romance for the ages. 

Mystique and Destiney leave but it is revealed that it was Loki who shapeshifted into Emma all along. Emma and Loki start taunting each other about their inability to have healthy relationships and are envious of Mystique and Destiney’s time-tested relationship.

Art: The sleek drawing style and the use of colors to depict mood are noteworthy, and the art style is classic, though backgrounds are more bland than other chapters.  The way the artist draws Thor in blue lightening hues behind cold Emma Frost and depicts fiery Phoenix Jean Grey behind Loki is a nice parallel that adds depth.

“The Thief’s Surprise” by Wyatt Kennedy, Jenn St-Onge, and Brittany Peer

Rogue gifts Destiny a power-dampening bracelet. A touching mother daughter moment as she passes an “heirloom” from her own wedding to her mom for hers. The significance of the bracelet is so Destiney can enjoy the surprises her wedding may have in store for her instead of constantly seeing the future before it happens. It’s a very touching moment, as Rogue understands what it’s like to have uncontrollable powers. 

The writer kept this chapter short but sweet, though Gambit’s shenanigans on the subway feel somewhat superfluous to the overall story.

Art: The rustic, pencil-drawn style with vibrant colors works well. The simplistic character drawing approach is effective, with Gambit’s rose petal fight being a standout moment visually.

Ceremony

The ceremony itself is beautifully depicted. Mystique and Destiny exchanging the most beautiful vows. The writer did a fantastic job incorporating romance, heart, and tenderness in a way that isn’t cheesy. Their love is described as a circle, unbroken even by death. But just when you thought this issue was all sunshine and roses, it wouldn’t be a mutant wedding without a little excitement! 

In a surprising twist, it turns out the mystique at the wedding is a clone. Destiny and Mystique planned a heist at the Scarlet Witches emporium! The real Mystique crashes through a window like chaos incarnate at the wedding, leading to a spontaneous and thrilling ceremony officiated by Nightcrawler.

They say I do just before the police arrive, and the two escape running, laughing hand in hand almost like Thelma and Louise. It’s not clear what Mystique and Destiny are up to, but I am sure it will be revealed soon…

Art: The wedding details are beautifully rendered with vibrant colors and stylish fashion. The style depicted in this issue truly shines. The artists use of sunset lighting and shading add a visually intriguing element to the ceremony.

Final Thoughts

Marvel Voices: Pride – Mystique and Destiny’s Wedding is a beautiful, heartwarming issue that normalizes LGBTQIA+ marriages and showcases support from friends and family. The love between Mystique and Destiny is transcendent, demonstrating that love is love, regardless of gender presentation or sexuality. This issue pulls at the heartstrings and highlights the beauty of LGBTQIA+ love. X-Men has always championed inclusivity and the fight for belonging, and this issue not only underscores that message but also shows that everyone deserves a happily ever after.

Grade: 9/10

Thank you, Marvel, for your dedication to diversity in storytelling and for this beautiful representation of normalized LGBTQIA+ love and acceptance.

Hey hey, I’m Max Taff! If you found my insights on this issue compelling, join me for more discussions on Twitter @VigilanteVibes. Dive deeper into the world of nerd culture with my podcast, Vigilante Vibes: A Marvel Podcast. AND if you’re looking for a welcoming community to explore all things nerdy, join my non-toxic Facebook group, MediaVerse: Comic Unwrapped, boasting over 50k members. Let’s connect and delve into our favorite fandoms together!

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