Temptation Lurks in the Shadows in Astonishing X-Men 4

by Taylor Anderson

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Being human, we are all slaves to our desires. True, most people are able to keep their impulses in check and only give in every so often. However, the urges are always there and it is only through self control that we’re able to be productive members of society as opposed to fleshy hedonism bots. So ingrained is desire in our culture that it frequently presents itself in pop-culture, usually as a dangerous temptation for heroes as they struggle to achieve their ends. For the X-Men, who are more than human, will temptation prove too great in their fight against the Shadow King?

In a word: yes. Rogue, Gambit, Mystique and Fantomex are trapped in the Astral Plane to defeat the Shadow King and save the world but get mislead by their base desires. For both couples (Rogue+Gambit and Mystique+Fantomex) they give into their lust instead of saving the world. For both couples the logic seems to be that they’ll save the world after they have some fun first.

While it’s hard to argue with jet-skiing in your underwear, the choice by both couples to ignore the obvious danger they’re in in favor of giving into the moment seems like dumb choice. Mystique knows that it’s only a matter of time before the Shadow King finds her so she figures she’ll enjoy her time while she can. That kind of makes sense for her character and Fantomex’s decision to get all sexy also seems in character. However, that Rogue and Gambit would decide to screw the world so they can screw each other seems bizarre. While neither of them is a perfect hero or as moralistic as say, Cyclops, it’s hard to believe they would choose to be so self-centered. That the delusion they find themselves in is so flimsy only adds to mystery of their choice.

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