I’m not ashamed to admit it, I like Gambit. I’ve liked him ever since the 90s X-Men animated series, and despite his cheesy accent and excruciating romance with Rogue, have always liked him as a member of the X-Men who is, almost literally, a wild-card. But I haven’t really read any of his previous solo stories, in fact, I used to believe that the only X-Man capable of maintaining a solo series was Wolverine, but hey, it’s the 2010s now, maybe Gambit can work? And on the basis of this issue, I think he might. This was a solid opening issue, and while it’s not quite as strong as some of Marvel’s other recent debuts like Hawkeye and Captain Marvel, I’m excited enough to pick up #2 and think that James Asmus’ take on the ragin’ cajun is a good one.
The story starts with Gambit questioning how much his character has changed, he’s no longer a dangerous thief, he’s a lame-ass teacher, so he decides to go have some fun and steal some shit. What follows is a very cool and very fun story where Remy LaBeau turns up the charm and does bad things. I think it’s interesting that Asmus has paid so much attention to the sexual side of Gambit, we see his naked ass in this issue, and he flirts with multiple women. It’s a little jarring at first, but it’s something different from most superheroes, and hey, as a man I’ve seen plenty of female superhero butt, it’s about time the ladies got some cheesecake (is it cheesecake if it’s a dude? What’s the preferred nomenclature?). It was also refreshing to see an X-Men character in a story that’s not really about the X-Men, not about oppression or fighting Magneto, but just a thief off having fun and getting into trouble.
So whilst this issue didn’t blow me away, I had a lot of fun being pulled along by a charismatic hero and Clay Mann’s excellent artwork, if you’re a Gambit fan, check this out, if you’re not… I wouldn’t say definitely try it, but there is a distinct lack of ‘ma cherie’ and other silly nonsense that may have put you off before.