With only 3 issues left (sob), it looks like James Asmus is wrapping up this series with a bang. Gambit is back in the shower, once again trying to decide if he’s a hero or a thief, when he’s mysteriously alerted (someone wrote a message on his steamed-up mirror) to a robbery, and it’s one that’s personal to him.
Gambit’s big ‘white whale’ of a robbery was to steal the bell from the New York Stock exchange. It’s a relatively small physical crime, but one which would cause companies to lose billions of dollars. This was Gambit’s plan… only someone else has done it. He and Fence team-up to find out who was behind it, and what follows is a very enjoyable little trawl through the underworld. This issue is probably the best one since the ‘Bar With No Name’ story, and it’s because it does that job of showing the Marvel Universe crime world, of showing how the real-world business of doing bad shit intersects with superheroes and monsters. So here, the ‘illegal aliens’ that Gambit and Fence come across are actual aliens, which is cool.
This issue was full of great moments, Gambit actually using his head for once, Fence’s reaction to the idea of Gambit becoming an Uncanny Avenger, and best of all, the way Remy LaBeau sneaks into the Stock Exchange to snoop the scene of the crime… he uses a stolen Avengers ID Card that belongs to Hawkeye, complete with David Aja art on the card! I loved this moment, because really, this series and Hawkeye have a lot in common, both are showing what a big-time superhero, whether X-Man or Avenger, gets up to on their days off. Now, Gambit isn’t as good as Hawkeye, but it’s still good, so I loved the nod, James Asmus has a great sense of humour.
In the end, Fence betrays Gambit (which we as readers new to suspect after the end of the War Machine issue) and we find out who was behind all of this mess… it’s the Thieves Guild and Gambit’s father! Oh yes, the finale to this series is going to seriously personal.
Clay Mann returns to the art with this issue, and he does his usual excellent job, his Gambit just looks like the coolest motherfucker alive, and he’s a great traditional superhero artist. It’s a shame he needed so many fill-ins, because when this book is firing on all cylinders with him and Asmus… it’s not the kind of series that should be getting cancelled.