Musings on Mutant Matrimony: X-Men: The Wedding Special #1

X-Men: The Wedding Special #1
Chris Claremont, Kelly Thompson, Marc Guggenheim
Marvel Comics
16 May 2018

In real life, weddings are supposed to be a joyous, momentous occasion for couples, friends, and family. In superhero comics, weddings tend to have more mixed connotations. That’s not just because deals with Mephisto have established that the world of superheroes is extremely unforgiving for couples who think their love can handle retcons, time travelers, and clone conspiracies. Most never even make it to the bachelor party. Only a handful ever establish themselves as a romance that even Mephisto can’t corrupt.

Kitty Pryde and Colossus may not be on the same level as Reed and Sue Richards, but they’re daring to make the effort. Considering the on-again/off-again nature of their relationship over the years, it carries more risk than most. That chaotic history includes moments where they’ve seen each other die and in relationships with other characters. It also includes instances where Kitty dates other men named Peter and even comes close to marrying one. That kind of history makes it difficult to elevate their love to the same level as other iconic superhero romances.

Despite all the inherent complications surrounding marriage in superhero comics, Kitty and Colossus enjoy a relationship that is one of the most sincere, genuine romances in comics. It doesn’t try to be perfect. Their growth, as characters, isn’t dependent upon their relationship with one another. They’re capable of holding their own as individuals. That makes them more prepared than most to take the matrimonial plunge.

X-men: The Wedding Special #1 acts as the last round of preparations before the big day. It’s a giant-sized rehearsal of sorts, utilizing creative contributions from Marc Guggenheim, Kelly Thompson, and even the X-men’s most famous scribe, Chris Claremont. There’s no massive battle against an army of Sentinels. There’s no surprise attack by the Shi’ar, the Skrulls, or the Purifiers. This issue simply makes the case that the marriage between Kitty Pryde and Colossus is deserving.

Through three self-contained, character-focused stories, X-men: The Wedding Special #1 makes that case very well. It’s a testament to the past, present, and future of Kitty Pryde and Colossus. One story shows where they came from. Another shows where they are in the present with their engagement. Another offers promise and hope for the future, albeit through strippers and karaoke. When presented together, it proves to be a potent combination.

The first story, written by the X-men legend Chris Claremont, acts as a slide-show of Kitty Pryde’s journey to this moment in her life. For those who haven’t kept up with Kitty’s eventful life, from training alongside Wolverine to getting trapped in a giant space bullet, this offers a comprehensive insight into who Kitty is. For those who know her story, it won’t reveal anything too groundbreaking. There are no dark secrets or Skrull agents in this emotional recap.

However, it will add some extra personal insights, especially for a character who’s about to get married. Kitty muses about how being a mutant has effected her life, from joining Excaliber to losing her father. These are all things that feel like something a young woman may think about before her wedding. She doesn’t approach it like some fairy tale princess, thinking everything is all rainbows and sunshine. She takes the good, the bad, and the hopeful all at once and she’s stronger because of it. That’s what makes her Kitty Pryde.

The second story, written by Marc Guggenheim, offers some insight into Colossus. It’s not quite as comprehensive as Kitty’s story in that it doesn’t recall the journey he took to get to a point where he’s about to marry the love of his life. It does provide more entertainment value, though, in the form of Colossus beating up a renegade demon who just got fired from a Las Vegas casino run by demons. It’s as colorful and entertaining as it sounds, even if it is somewhat short.

It acts as a tie-in story, of sorts, to the ongoing events of X-men Gold. It also provides a closer look at the kind of person Colossus is and the kind of man Kitty will be marrying. He sets himself apart from his more free-spirited teammates, like Gambit and Nightcrawler. He establishes himself as the kind of guy who isn’t into bachelor parties or the Las Vegas lifestyle. He’s just a gentle, soft-hearted guy who can still beat up a demon when he has to.

Given how many men named Peter that Kitty Pryde has dated, it’s worth making clear that Colossus is the right man for her. He isn’t the kind of character who will impress a woman with his attitude, charisma, or style. He’s a man of action. Whether he’s fighting a demon or spending a night in Las Vegas with his fellow X-men, what he says and does lets everyone know the kind of person he is. Gambit may have more personality and Nightcrawler may have more charisma, but Colossus shows that he’s the kind of man most any woman would be proud to marry.

The last story, written by Kelly Thompson, follows Kitty on her bachelorette party. Unlike her future husband, hers doesn’t involve Las Vegas or attacking demons. It does, however, involve a visit from an old friend/enemy from an iconic moment in X-men lore. It makes for a brief fight, but one that isn’t meant to derail Kitty’s night or her wedding. In a world where time travelers and clones are known to interfere in romances, that’s almost seems strange.

Instead, the fight only acts as another reminder of sorts, one meant to inspire Kitty to make her marriage with Colossus work. It’s something that’s worth fighting for. It’s something that’s worth all the loss, heartache, and struggle they’ve endured. It also reminds her that loving someone means being vulnerable and not just to Mephisto. She can either recoil in fear or become stronger. Being one of the X-men and having Storm plan her bachelorette party, Kitty certainly comes out stronger.

In terms of a prelude, X-men: The Wedding Special #1 achieves something important for Kitty and Colossus. It may very well be the most important thing it can possibly achieve for a superhero wedding. It reaffirms why these two iconic characters are getting married and why we should care. It acts as a reflection of the emotional journey these characters have taken together. While there’s some attempt at conflict, it’s fairly minor and somewhat forgettable. There’s an effort to tie these stories into other happenings in recent X-men comics, but those ties are fairly loose and not really critical to the overall story.

X-men: The Wedding Special #1 still succeeds in the most important way for Kitty Pryde and Colossus. It gives emotional and dramatic weight to their upcoming wedding. In a world where every marriage is a few deaths, resurrections, and retcons away from destruction, that counts for a lot. These are two characters who are strong as individuals, but when they’re together, they become something truly special. That bodes well for any marriage, superhero or otherwise.

RATING 9 out of 10 / 10