WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Rogue & Gambit #3
The only thing deadlier than Gambit and Rogues is... well, more of them. Marvel's X-Men limited series continues this week with Rogue & Gambit #3, as our two heroes continue to investigate a new villain and their power-sucking 'island retreat'. In the last two issues, the pair were sent out on the mission by Kitty Pryde, who learned that there were mutants seemingly disappearing in the area (presumably connected to the island retreat).
She picked Rogue and Gambit for the job so that they could pose as a couple seeking therapy; something that works especially well given their long and complicated romantic history. Needless to say, the therapy worked wonders. Until the clones storm in to ruin the fun.
The Rogue & Gambit series has been spending quite a bit of time dealing with the two X-Men as a couple, which is hugely satisfying for long-time fans of the on-again, off-again pair. But the series has also introduced a new Marvel villain, Lavish, encountered as the heroes investigate the missing mutants. A villain whose plan has finally come to fruition.
Rogue & Gambit #3 opens with the pair in therapy, and with seemingly no memory of the things that they had discovered about the island in previous issues (like a room full of bodies). They also mention that their powers seem to be dampened (which does allow Rogue and Gambit to have sex without their powers killing one or the other), along with gaps developing in their memory.
They're content despite all of it... until they go looking a second time, and re-discover the room full of bodies. This time, though, it is revealed that the bodies are actually clones - of Rogue and Gambit (among others)! And these clones are under the control of Lavish, who sends them out to do battle with the originals.
Thankfully, Rogue and Gambit are able to defeat their various previous selves, even with dampened powers (which suggests that this clone army isn't quite up to full strength), but this reveals quite a bit about Lavish's master plan. The clones aren't simply created from the physical DNA of Rogue and Gambit - as Gambit points out, the clones are wearing the same outfits that they have at various points in the past, which wouldn't happen with a common clone army.
Instead, it seems that Lavish is sucking the memories and powers from mutants in order to turn them into this new kind of memory-clone; versions of the original mutant that has the same appearance and a measure of the same powers, but that can be created and controlled by Lavish. It's not clear exactly how Lavish is doing this, of course, but it seems that the master-plan involves draining mutants to create a new clone-army that Lavish will use to execute the master-plan.
And now that Rogue and Gambit are finally face-to-face with Lavish, readers will likely find out what the plan is in Rogue & Gambit #4.
Rogue & Gambit #3 is now available from Marvel Comics.