By Ben Morse
The X-Men’s resident wild card moves to the top of the deck once more in August when Remy LeBeau stars in the ongoing GAMBIT series by writer James Asmus and artist Clay Mann.
Asmus sees Gambit’s character as one that stands out in even the most crowded of fields.
“The core of what I love about [Gambit] is that he’s the rare antihero who has fantastic charm and a sense of humor,” the writer reflects. “So many of your morally grey, mysterious [characters] are so brooding and serious that they often lose some of the pure fun that I like in my comics. I want to hopefully deliver a wildly fun comic that has a morally ambiguous character at its center.”
While the Cajun card shark will remain active at the
“I can tell you that I’m very interested in exploring what it is to be a thief in a world as complex as the Marvel Universe,” Asmus discloses. “Heist movies are awesome and all, but when your heist can involve aliens, magic, alternate dimensions, superpowers, evil gods, or basically anything you can think of, you can really take the well-won thief story to some new and exciting places.”
The first arc of GAMBIT will see Remy “pulling a job in his own backyard,” but ending up in familiar hot spots through time and space including “ancient ruins, a savage other world, a bizarre futuristic Marvel landmark, and into the jurisdiction of one of my favorite foreign Marvel heroes.”
“Gear up for exotic locales, sudden surprises, sexy tension, and a wide range of allies and antagonists—old, new good and evil—who aren’t always on the side you expect,” continues Asmus. “By centering the book on something as open and flexible as thievery, I have the freedom and ability to work in almost any character, setting or idea that [gets] me excited.”
While old flames will inevitable make their way to GAMBIT eventually, the opening story will introduce a new femme fatale in Remy’s life, one who may be his professional equal—or even his better.
“Gambit is at his most charming and conflicted when there’s a beautiful woman involved,” says Asmus. “And every good tale of thievery needs someone you can’t trust. So obviously, we’re gonna get the most sparks out of making that person one and the same.”
While artist Clay Mann has depicted a version of Gambit in Age of X, this will be his first real chance to take on the classic incarnation of the character, and Asmus doesn’t hesitate to highlight on of the key skills his collaborator brings to the table:
“Answers one through five are ‘sexiness,’ which, honestly, I think is an undeniably key aspect to making Gambit work. But beyond that [Mann’s] work is a rare and incredible balance of cool and grounded. His design work makes all of his characters as believable and appealing as you’ve ever seen. He manages to pull off any insane spectacle you can think of, letting you really by into the experience while still making it feel like something special.”
“Gambit has always been a favorite of mine,” says Mann. “When I first got into comics, Jim Lee was drawing he X-Men and Gambit was so cool to me. It’s funny, the first two things that come to my mind are my Dad taking me to Pizza Hut when they had an X-Men promotion going and saving he placemats Gambit was on drawn by Joe Madureira, and the other is how cool he was in X-Men Vs. Street Fighter. I’ve been a fan of Gambit for some time.”
Ultimately, Asmus and Mann aim to make GAMBIT a comic not just for X-Men diehards, but for everybody.
“As much as any character I’ve ever written, when I’ve told friends of mine about Gambit, even non-comic book readers get excited,” Asmus says. “So what I’d love more than anything would be for someone who loved him from the cartoon show or a handful of their brother’s comics as a kid to be able to pick up this book and feel like they understand and love it just as much as a dedicated Marvel fan will.”
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