by Spencer Irwin
This article containers SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk.
What’s a Wedding Special without a wedding? It’s X-Men: The Wedding Special 1, I suppose. I’ll try not to hold the fact that this isn’t actually Kitty and Colossus’ wedding against this issue — chalk it up to a failure of expectations and research on my behalf, although I’ll still argue that it’s a misleading title. If anything, the real problem with this special isn’t the lack of a wedding, but the fact that much of what we get instead feels insubstantial and, at times, even generic.
This is most evident in the second of this special’s three stories, Marc Guggenheim and Greg Land’s “Boy’s Night Out.” It’s a story that leans hard into bachelor party cliches straight out of a sitcom without doing anything new or subversive with them. Its most interesting details are more closely related to Damnation than X-Men, and Colossus’ arc says very little, if anything, about him as a character — in fact, he’s underserved by this special as a whole. While the other two stories focus heavily on Kitty, on her history and thoughts about marriage, the most we get out of Colossus is that he loves Kitty and is protective of her. He deserves more in his own marriage special.
(The fact that the bachelor party continues on into X-Men Gold doesn’t do a lot to justify this story/special’s existence either)
Chris Claremont and Todd Nauck’s “The Dream Before” fares better by leaning into Kitty’s long and storied history — which is the very thing wedding stories and special issues exist to highlight, after all. The story is perhaps a bit wordy and perhaps a bit too comprehensive, but Claremont’s deep understanding of Kitty — a character he co-created — allows him to take her on an actual journey. Her insecurities are understandable, given all she’s gone through, and her eventual epiphany feels earned because readers can see how her experiences have led her to that point.
The final story, “Something Old,” is probably the most fun. Kelly Thompson and Marika Cresta do lean into some bachelorette party cliches, but put their own unique spin on them (strip-karaoke is a new one!), and Thompson keeps the story grounded in her lead character, her fellow X-Men, and their unique relationships.
Kitty’s interactions with Rogue, Callisto, and Emma Frost are all very different, and each gives Kitty something new and different to think about as her nuptials approach. If this story has a weakness, it’s that these various encounters feel episodic; they don’t build to any sort of shared theme or epiphany.
Ultimately, though, this is a Special that doesn’t feel all that “special.” Most of the stories are worthwhile in one way or another, but none of them have anything interesting to say about the wedding, or Kitty and Colossus’ relationship, or why their marriage is significant. In that sense it takes readers’ history with the X-Men for granted, even as it attempts to milk a few extra dollars out of that same sense of fondness, history, and nostalgia. If you aren’t already psyched about this wedding, then this Special will do little to change your mind.
The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?