Gambit, on the variant cover of Astonishing X-Men #4 (October 2018). Art by Adi Granov
|First appearance||Uncanny X-Men Annual #14 (July 1990)|
and Uncanny X-Men #266 (August 1990)
|Created by||Chris Claremont (writer)|
Jim Lee (artist)
|Alter ego||Remy Etienne LeBeau|
Horsemen of Apocalypse
|Notable aliases||Le Diable Blanc, Robert Lord, Death, Ragin' Cajun|
Gambit (Remy Etienne LeBeau) is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, commonly in association with the X-Men. The character was created by writer Chris Claremont and artist Jim Lee. Drawn by artist Mike Collins, Gambit made his first appearances in Uncanny X-Men Annual #14 (July 1990) and Uncanny X-Men #266 (August 1990).
Gambit belongs to a subspecies of humans called mutants, who are born with superhuman abilities. Gambit has the ability to mentally create, control, and manipulate pure kinetic energy to his desire. He is also incredibly knowledgeable and skilled in card throwing, hand-to-hand combat, and the use of a bō staff. Gambit is known to charge playing cards and other objects with kinetic energy, using them as explosive projectiles.
He was part of a thieves' guild before becoming a member of the X-Men. Given his history, few X-Men trusted Gambit when he joined the group. There was consistently a source of stress between him and his on-again, off-again love interest and eventual wife Rogue. This was exacerbated when Gambit's connections to villain Mister Sinister were revealed, although some of his team members accept that Gambit honestly seeks redemption. Often portrayed as a "ladies' man," Gambit has shown a more vulnerable side of himself over the years, especially when it comes to Rogue. Gambit remains fiercely proud of his Louisiana heritage and speaks in a Cajun accent.
Since his debut, Gambit has appeared in several solo series. As of 2013, there have been three attempts at an ongoing title starring the character. Gambit has also had two miniseries and starred prominently in Gambit & the X-Ternals, the X-Force replacement title during the Age of Apocalypse. Gambit was ranked 65th on IGN's "Top 100 Comic Book Heroes of All Time" stating that "Gambit is just the sort of tortured soul that X-readers love, and his continued presence in the TV and movie spinoffs cements his status as one of the greats," and in 2013, ComicsAlliance ranked Gambit as #4 on their list of the "50 Sexiest Male Characters in Comics". He has been featured in several animated series and video games based on the X-Men. Although he did not appear in the first three X-Men films, Gambit appeared on screen in the 2009 film X-Men Origins: Wolverine, portrayed by Taylor Kitsch.
- 1 Publication history
- 2 Fictional character biography
- 3 Powers and abilities
- 4 Collected editions
- 5 Other versions
- 6 Reception
- 7 In other media
- 8 References
- 9 External links
After a brief appearance in Uncanny X-Men Annual #14 (July 1990), Gambit's first major role was in Uncanny X-Men vol. 1 #266 (Aug. 1990). Because the story in the annual is set after the story in #266, there is some debate among collectors about which issue is the "true" first appearance. Gambit joined the X-Men and appeared in almost every issue until Uncanny X-Men #281 before moving to the X-Men title for a number of years. When Storm created a splinter group to hunt for Destiny's diaries in the pages of X-Treme X-Men, Gambit joined her in issue #5 and co-starred for the remainder of the series.
Gambit has starred or co-starred in four mini-series:
- Gambit Volume One (released in 1993) and Gambit Volume Two (released in 1997) explored the character's mysterious past and his ties to the New Orleans Thieves' Guild.
- Wolverine/Gambit: Victims teamed the two popular X-Men on a mystery involving what appears to be a modern-day Jack the Ripper.
- Gambit and Bishop was advertised as a sequel to the character's first series and involves the two X-Men in Stryfe's return.
Gambit has starred in three ongoing series. The first, which lasted 25 issues and two annuals, ran from February 1999 to February 2001. The second lasted 12 issues and ran from November 2004 to August 2005. The third series lasted 17 issues, from August 2012 to September 2013.
Additionally, Gambit & the X-Ternals, published in 1995, featured a group of renegade mutants led by Gambit who has been living on the edge of law during the Age of Apocalypse. In 2009, Gambit's past was explored in the one-shot X-Men Origins: Gambit. In 2010, the one-shot "Curse of the Mutants: Storm & Gambit" was released. In June 2011, he began co-starring in X-Men: Legacy.
It was announced at the C2E2 convention by Marvel Comics that in August 2012 Gambit gets his own solo series that takes him back to his roots as a charismatic, cool, mutant master thief, written by James Asmus and drawn by Clay Mann. When asked about the upcoming series Asmus was quoted saying "This book focuses on the two most important aspects of Gambit: #1 that he's sexy, and #2 that he's the preeminent bad-ass thief of the Marvel Universe." Marvel canceled the series at issue #17.
Gambit was one of the principal characters in the 2013 series All-New X-Factor written by Peter David and drawn by Carmine Di Giandomenico. The series was cancelled after issue #20, with David suggesting it would be some time before Marvel would consider featuring Gambit in a leading role again due to a persistently low sales record in this and previous titles.
Fictional character biography
Remy Etienne LeBeau was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was kidnapped from the hospital where he was born, then raised by the LeBeau Clan Thieves' Guild, and given to the Antiquary as a tribute.
They referred to the child as "Le Diable Blanc" ("the White Devil") and believed he was prophesied to unite the warring Thieves' and Assassins' Guilds. Soon after, Remy was placed in the care of Fagan's Mob, a gang of street thieves who raised the child and taught him the ways of thievery. After living as an orphan on the streets, a 10-year-old Remy attempted to pick the pocket of Jean-Luc LeBeau, then patriarch of the Thieves' Guild. Jean-Luc took the boy off the streets and adopted him into his own family.
Remy's bio-kinetic charging abilities manifested early in his teens, although he kept his powers secret from his family and friends, practicing his powers away from prying eyes. When he was 15, he accompanied his cousin Etienne Marceaux on his "Tithing," the ritual initiation test of the Thieves' Guild. However, it went awry as they were assigned to steal from the powerful immortal mutant Candra, who quickly captured them. Candra recognized Remy from an encounter that had taken place in her past but in his future (due to a time travel mission to the 19th Century Remy would take as an adult) and sold them to the deformed mutant gangster and child slave trader known as the Pig, who planned to sell them and others their age to HYDRA as boy soldiers. Remy used his powers to escape their holding pen, but the physically enhanced Pig quickly caught up to them. Remy discovered his signature attack when he picked up a playing card that Etienne had dropped, charged it, and threw it in the Pig's face, taking out his eye. Finally escaping his cliff top headquarters by diving into the sea, Remy was ultimately rescued by the Guild; Etienne drowned.
Later during his teen years, Remy was first hired by Mister Sinister, then in disguise of Dr. Nathaniel Essex. Essex wanted his stolen diaries back from the Weapon X program. Remy and the Thieves' Guild accepted the mission and sent out Remy to retrieve said diaries. Standing in the cold, scouting the Weapon X facility, Remy couldn't bear the cold and swore he would steal a long, stylish jacket in New Orleans after the mission, which he did. Upon entering the facility, Remy witnessed Wolverine escaping from his adamantium procedure and found the diaries. However, deeming them to be too dangerous for Essex to have them, as Remy didn't fully trust him, Remy burned the diaries. He headed back home, only to find a disappointed Thieves' Guild and Essex.
In an attempt to reconcile the Thieves' and Assassins' Guilds, Remy married Bella Donna Boudreaux, granddaughter of the head Assassin, whom he met at the age of eight. Unfortunately, he was challenged by her brother Julien to a duel after the wedding. In the duel, Gambit killed Julien, and he was exiled from the city, ending his romantic relationship with Bella Donna.
The Mutant Massacre
After his exile from New Orleans, he wandered the world and became a master professional thief, making many contacts (and quite a few enemies). During this period, Gambit found he had an uncontrollable amount of energy flowing through him, to the point that he could not withstand it. Desperate, Gambit went to Mister Sinister for help. Sinister modified Gambit's power by removing a portion of Gambit's brain stem, making him significantly less powerful, but able to control the still considerably large amount of power in him. Years later, a much-younger version of Mister Sinister surgically returned it, upon Gambit's request, when Gambit time-traveled to the 19th century.
However, Sinister wanted the favor returned, so Gambit carried out various missions for him. For the last of these operations, Gambit gathered together a group of mercenaries which Sinister named the Marauders. Mister Sinister then ordered Gambit to lead Sabretooth, Blockbuster, Prism, and Riptide into the tunnels under New York City — while unknown to Gambit however — Mister Sinister had also ordered Scalphunter, Arclight, Harpoon, Malice, Scrambler and Vertigo into the tunnels also. The group of Scalphunter followed the Morlock Tommy and their goal was to wipe out the Morlocks. Gambit was unable to prevent the Marauders from killing a considerable number of Morlocks, but he was able to save a single child named Sarah, who would grow up to be Marrow, the leader of the mutant terrorist group Gene Nation. Gambit long kept his involvement with Mister Sinister and his mission in the massacre a secret from his fellow X-Men, much to their eventual displeasure.
After wandering around the world, he encountered a de-aged and powerless Storm, and helped her escape from the Shadow King. He then rescued her from Nanny and the Orphan-Maker, helping her battle them. Afterwards, the young amnesiac Storm, who had reverted to thieving to stay alive, joined Gambit, and she eventually brought him back to the X-Men. Soon after, Gambit helped the X-Men, X-Factor, and New Mutants battle the Genoshans. Only Wolverine expressed his doubts about the Cajun, which led to a Danger Room duel between the two. Gambit was able to triumph by using a robotic doppelganger of Lady Deathstrike to distract Wolverine, while taking advantage of Wolverine's injuries, inflicted by the Reavers. Gambit and the X-Men were then taken to the Shi'ar galaxy by Lila Cheney. Alongside the X-Men and Starjammers, Gambit battled Deathbird, the Imperial Guard, and a band of Warskrulls. Upon their return to Earth, Gambit assisted the X-Men and X-Factor in battling the Shadow King, though he was temporarily controlled by the Shadow King.
When the original five X-Men rejoined and the team was divided into two squads, Gambit became part of the Blue team under Cyclops' leadership. Alongside the X-Men, he battled Magneto and his newly formed Acolytes, Fenris, the Hand, Omega Red, and Sabretooth, and then Mojo. Gambit then fought Bishop and was attacked by his estranged wife Bella Donna. Gambit recounted how he had fled from New Orleans after killing his brother-in-law in self-defense. Alongside the X-Men, Gambit first encountered the second Ghost Rider. Gambit battled the Brood Queen and the Brood-possessed Ghost Rider, and witnessed the apparent death of his now ex-wife, Bella Donna.
Gambit became romantically interested in one of his teammates, Rogue, and started flirting with her. Despite her off-putting manner and the obstacle of her uncontrollable mutant ability that prevented anyone from touching her, he began romancing and seducing Rogue. Their strong romantic relationship was originally written as a one time, flirtatious moment; ironically, their romantic relationship is listed as one of the longest and most popular on-going deep and close romantic relationships in the X-Men series, probably only second to Jean Grey and Cyclops. Although their early "courtship" portrayed him as very "devil may care" in his flirtation with her, later issues revealed that, beneath his bravado and swagger, he truly had genuine romantic feelings for her. Similarly, despite her initial aggressive rejection of his advances, Rogue found that she was not only flattered by his attention, but that she felt equally romantically attracted to him.
Many publishing years later, it had become apparent Remy had a dark secret. Sabretooth had hinted to it on numerous occasions during his "residency" at the X-Mansion, prompting Rogue to ask him to reveal whatever he knew about Gambit's past. Remy was captured and brought before a mock trial held by Magneto, the mutant Master of Magnetism, then disguised as Erik the Red. Rogue was forced to kiss him again, revealing that he had assembled the team of Marauders for Mr. Sinister that later killed most of the Morlocks. However it was also revealed that Gambit saved a single girl from the Marauders during the massacre. This apparent revelation and absorbing Gambit's own guilty memories caused Rogue to reject him. Gambit was similarly cast out of the X-Men and was abandoned in the frozen wastes of Antarctica.
Starving, and haunted by the betrayal of his lover, Gambit made his way back into Magneto's citadel, where he encountered the psionic essence of a dead mutant named Mary Purcell. The wraith-like Mary bonded with him, allowing him to survive until he reached the Savage Land, a hidden jungle nestled in the icy wasteland. There, Remy struck a deal with an enigmatic being known as the New Son. In exchange for passage back to America, Gambit agreed to run errands with the help of friend Jacob Gavin Jr.[volume & issue needed] During this period, Remy's command over his abilities strengthened and amplified significantly.[volume & issue needed]
When Gambit's psyche absorption had worn off, Rogue spent months searching for him, to no avail. Gambit encountered Storm and Shadowcat when he attempted to steal the fabled Crimson Gem of Cyttorak for his new employer. He agreed to return to the X-Men, mainly for his self-respect and for Rogue. At one point, he became the field leader of a branch of X-Men. His romantic love for Rogue was still intact, but her inability to control her powers made her break it off out of fear of hurting him.[volume & issue needed]
Meanwhile, the New Son revealed his true identity as an alternate universe version of Gambit himself, after organizing an assassination game for a cadre of superpowered mercenaries with Remy as the target. During the final confrontation, Gambit burned out his enhanced abilities, thus returning to his original level of power.[volume & issue needed]
In Bishop's future timeline, Bishop stumbles upon a video from the past with Jean Grey making a frantic call to any X-Men she can find. She says that the X-Men have been betrayed by "one of their own" and it appears in the video that she is the last one left and is killed in the video. Disturbed by this, Bishop seeks "The Witness", a man who is said to be the last person who has ever seen the X-Men of the past alive. He enters a citadel of sorts where he confronts an old and withered but plucky man with long gray hair sitting on a throne, with two blonde women to either side of him. When Bishop confronts him as to who killed the X-Men the Witness acts as though he knows, but refuses to tell and Bishop is thrown out of the citadel.[volume & issue needed]
When Bishop comes to the X-Men in their original timeline, he meets Gambit and is sure that he is the same old man in Bishop's future and that it was Gambit who was the "Traitor" that killed the X-Men. For some time, he continues to watch Gambit's every step until he is finally convinced some time later that Gambit was not the Traitor (with Onslaught being revealed to be the traitor). The reason behind Gambit being called the Witness in Bishop's timeline has not been revealed. In the Messiah Complex, it was revealed that the Witness was killed by the Marauders in their efforts to destroy anyone with knowledge of the future.[volume & issue needed]
X-Treme X-Men: XSE
When Storm leads a team of X-Men in search of Destiny's diaries, the thirteen-volume Books of Truth, Gambit volunteered to join them, but Rogue — afraid that her increasingly uncontrolled powers would bring him harm — flatly refused to allow him along. He returned to thievery instead and was soon after framed by mutant businessman Sebastian Shaw for the death of the Australian crime lord named Viceroy. With the assistance of Rogue, Storm's team of X-Treme X-Men, and former Triad member Red Lotus, Gambit was able to clear his name. Soon after, Remy was captured and his powers were used to open a portal intended for an alien invasion of Earth led by the interdimensional warlord Khan.
The X-Treme team's enemy, the enhanced human named Vargas, used the invasion as a chance to attempt to kill more of Storm's team, particularly Rogue who was depicted by Destiny as slaying him. Rogue's attempt at rescuing and shielding Gambit got her stuck and Vargas used the opportunity to impale them both. Gambit was seriously wounded, but Beast's surgical skills and Rogue's pleading with Gambit on the astral plane, resulted in both surviving their ordeal. As they lost their mutant powers, they decided to sort out their romantic relationship by retiring from the X-Men temporarily and moving to California.
Rejoining the team
Gambit and Rogue rejoined the X-Men soon after Sage jump-started their powers, and they were placed on Havok's team. In their first mission back, Gambit was temporarily blinded by one of his energized cards that went off by his face. Rogue tried to console Gambit during his recovery, but their romantic relationship became strained once more as he became more and more frustrated with his blindness and their lack of touch after Rogue's powers returned. He started lashing out at Rogue, most of the time verbally. As a result, Rogue took some time away from Gambit.[volume & issue needed] While he lost his vision, Gambit developed an ability to read his playing cards like they were tarot cards and he was able to predict the attack by the Brotherhood. A little while later, during Christmas celebrations, Rogue asked Sage to once again jump start Gambit's powers, in the process, healing his vision.
During the story arc with Golgotha, Gambit revealed some deep insecurities he had about his romantic relationship with Rogue, saying that "Maybe dis no-touching thing is getting to me... more den I thought". He also told Rogue that she should just get together with Logan, thinking that there was a hidden attraction between the two. As a result of the accusation, Logan kissed Rogue, but she broke it off before it caused any major damage. Gambit then began to realize what he was saying, questioning his romantic love for Rogue, but soon after began to suffer from hallucinations that he was fighting Mister Sinister. However, Rogue and Gambit soon realized that Golgotha made them say things they did not mean and before the final battle, they "kissed" through their space suit helmets.
Once back at the mansion, Gambit and Rogue moved into the same room to try rebuilding some intimacy, and began telepathic therapy with Emma Frost.[volume & issue needed] They soon found out that with all the emotional baggage going on in their minds, they were still unable to make physical contact mentally.[volume & issue needed] This would cause even more strain when the new student, Foxx, joins Gambit's team and attempts to seduce him.
Horseman of Apocalypse
Rogue's foster mother Mystique was displeased with Rogue's choice of lovers and infiltrated Xavier's Institute by shapeshifting into a student called Foxx. She joined Gambit's squad in an attempt to ruin his relationship with Rogue. After Gambit resisted her charms, Mystique reverted to her true form and then offered Gambit something significantly more difficult to refuse: she transformed into Rogue and offered Gambit a Rogue with whom he could have a physical relationship, claiming that she was only trying to help relieve the increasing frustrations between the two lovers; "... if one of you could have some physical release...". Rogue eventually discovered her mother's presence in the school and that Gambit knew she was there. Gambit denies that he slept with Mystique.
Upon the return of Apocalypse, Gambit submitted himself to the villain and was transformed into one of Apocalypse's Horsemen, Death. Gambit intended to infiltrate himself into Apocalypse's ranks in order to protect the X-Men from the Dark Lord's eventual betrayal, but he miscalculated, as the transformation process warped his mind as well as his body. After becoming Death, Gambit's hair turned white and his skin turned deep black. Despite having his mind and body twisted, Gambit retained a large portion of his former self, stating to Apocalypse, "I'm both Death and Gambit", and he also remembered his love for Rogue as he could not bring himself to kill her. Gambit and Sunfire then returned to the Xavier Institute to claim Polaris. Gambit, in an attempt to free all ties with his old self, tried to kill Rogue and would have been successful had it not been for Pulse neutralizing Gambit's powers.[volume & issue needed]
After the X-Men defeated Apocalypse, Sunfire left with Gambit to help him clear Apocalypse's brainwashing and live as entirely new beings, only to then be approached by Mister Sinister.[volume & issue needed]
Gambit returned to his original appearance and powers (presumably with the aid of Mr. Sinister) and reemerged as a member of the Marauders. On a mission for Mr. Sinister (involving obtaining knowledge of the future) Gambit and Sunfire encountered Cable on the recently evacuated island of Providence. Before the fight Gambit said, "I dropped that whole new look, wit' the help of a friend." He then asked Cable for use of his super-computer to answer a question referring to the phrase "one minute before dawn," which tied into the then upcoming Messiah Complex storyline. As a result, Gambit and Sunfire attacked him eventually forcing Cable to activate a self-destruct sequence destroying the entire island. Gambit and Sunfire escaped empty-handed.
During the fight, Cable noted that Gambit's accent sounded 'forced' either for comic effect or perhaps to indicate that things may not be as 'back to normal' as they seem with Gambit. As Gambit returned to Mr. Sinister's base to discuss the next step of the plan, he reprimanded Mystique for shooting Rogue when they abducted her, being placated only by Mr. Sinister's assurance that Rogue was still needed and would survive. In a recent confrontation with Cannonball and Iceman, he seemed to sympathize with a beaten Cannonball. He interfered when Scalphunter was about to kill Cannonball by attacking Cannonball and by his actions he was able to save Cannonball from certain death. At the same time, he also destroyed Destiny's diaries, preventing Sinister and the Marauders from getting them.
During the 2007–2008 "Messiah Complex" storyline, Gambit is personally targeted by Wolverine during the X-Men's assault on Mister Sinister's Antarctic base. After being tortured by the Canadian mutant, Gambit reveals that Cable has the baby before Sinister manages to regain the advantage and drive the X-Men off with Gambit later revealed not to be harmed. Later, as Bishop attempts to kill the baby (after immobilizing Cable), Gambit and several of the Marauders quickly stop him with Gambit bringing a section of the ceiling down on Bishop. Knowing the X-Men will arrive in moments, the Marauders depart with the baby, but not before Gambit ponders what could make Bishop turn on the X-Men.
Tracking Gambit using Cerebro, the X-Men find that the Marauders' hideout was on Muir Island. However, what they didn't know is that Gambit let them track him. It appears that Gambit, along with Mystique, have plans of their own for the newborn mutant as evidenced by his lack of surprise when he delivered the baby to Sinister, who then reveals himself to be Mystique as the real Sinister lies on the floor with shock etched into his face, and the fact that Mystique told Gambit that it is time for the next step.
A flashback sequence shows that Mystique used Rogue's intensified powers to kill Sinister. In the present, she explains that everything she and Gambit have done has led to this moment as foretold by Destiny. Mystique touches the baby's face to Rogue's in the hope of sacrificing the child to save her. After an energy burst Gambit snatches the baby, saying that Rogue would never want an innocent life used to save hers. However, the child was unharmed by Rogue's touch. Gambit gives the baby to Xavier and says he wishes to stay with Rogue. Shortly after, Rogue awakens and tries to kill Mystique. However, somehow the baby cures her of her intensified powers, as well as any psyches she had ever absorbed; this leaves her with the psyche of only one other individual: Mystique. She tells Gambit she needs time alone and if he still cares for her, he would not follow.
"Divided We Stand"
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In the 2008 "Divided We Stand" storyline, Gambit, received news that the Assassins Guild of New Orleans was approached to kill Charles Xavier, goes to track Xavier down and save him from possible danger. He manages to head off Xavier's attackers, defeating them in short order before he is joined by Xavier himself. They determine who the Assassins were supposed to kill next from a list Gambit pulls from one of the goons, which includes Juggernaut, Sebastian Shaw, and Carter Ryking (Hazard). Xavier makes the connection between himself, Ryking, and Juggernaut, but is at a loss with Shaw. They go to see Ryking, who was being held in a mental institution, only to find out that he had just died of a brain hemorrhage the night before.[volume & issue needed]
Gambit and Xavier then drive out to the Nuclear Research Facility at Alamogordo, the place where the fathers of Xavier, Juggernaut, and Ryking all worked at some point in their lives and is most likely where Mister Sinister was running his genetic operations on the X-gene. However, Xavier begins to suffer terrible headaches, and he and Gambit decide to wait it out in the desert for a few hours, where they are once again attacked by the Assassins Guild.
Charles Xavier is abducted and taken to the Almagordo facility, where it is revealed that the employer of the assassins was Amanda Mueller, the head of the Black Womb Project, a former lover and protégée of Mister Sinister (as well as direct ancestress of the Summers' line), who plans to use Charles to activate Sinister's Cronus machine, so as to be able to revive herself with Essex's own superpowered essence. Meanwhile, Gambit manages to defeat the rest of the assassins with the assistance of Sebastian Shaw, and they form a temporary alliance of convenience to destroy the Cronus machine, which threatens Shaw as well and rescue Xavier. They ultimately manage to succeed with a desperate last-minute life-or-death gamble when Gambit directly charges Shaw with biokinetic energy, giving him enough power to utterly shatter the otherwise indestructible machine.[volume & issue needed]
He begins searching Australia for Rogue and is again in the company of Professor Xavier. Gambit, however, is unsure of this venture, mainly because of Rogue's request that she be left alone. He and Xavier both agreed that if Rogue did not wish for their help or presence, they would do as she wished and leave her be.
When Gambit and Xavier make it over the plains, they find a completely mismatched landscape. Fearing it is Rogue's doing, they go in and find various parts of Rogue's past being projected around them, including her fight against Nimrod and being captured and beaten at Genosha. Gambit finds it hard to control his emotions seeing Rogue in so much pain, but Xavier reminds him that none of it is real. While in the Genosha prison cells, Gambit and Xavier find the Shi'ar parts hunters and they are told what is happening. They discover that Danger is the one causing the projections and is using Rogue's input from Danger Room sessions. Xavier decides it is better to find Danger first, coming to the conclusion that Danger is trying to push Rogue to some sort of realization.
Eventually, Xavier, Gambit and a group of Shi'ar pirates managed to shut down Danger. However, the Professor reactivates her and she defeats the pirates in turn when they attack Gambit and Xavier. After this, it is revealed that Rogue's powers never truly developed past their initial "nascent" stage, which was the reason why her powers never functioned properly. The Professor, now aware of this fact, uses his telepathy to tear down the mental walls that kept Rogue's powers from developing as well as removing the mental echo of Mystique. Finally Rogue kisses Gambit, with no ill side effect, revealing that she is in control of her absorption power.
Gambit along with Rogue and Danger decide to go to San Francisco in order to regroup with the other X-Men. On their way there they are intercepted by Pixie who teleports them into the city which is in a state of chaos due to the anti-mutant and pro-mutant movements. Cyclops sends all three out in order to locate several missing students and bring them home. Gambit locates Trance, Dragoness and Toad who are being pursued by H.A.M.M.E.R. agents. Ariel and Onyxx appear and take Trance away for safety.
Later on he encounters Erg and Avalanche who attacks Ares. Gambit intervenes only to end up being swatted aside by Ares. Danger and Rogue come to his aid which eventually leads to Rogue absorbing Ares's powers. Gambit then blasts him unconscious. Having for the moment absorbed some of Ares's power, Rogue easily dispatches a small group of H.A.M.M.E.R. agents and proceeds to steal their tank, along with Gambit and Danger, in order to find the rest of the students and Trance who didn't make it back to base. Trance appears to be lost in the city and under the attack of Ms. Marvel from the Dark Avengers team. Gambit, Rogue and Danger team-up to defeat the powerful female warrior, and Rogue eventually manage to calm Trance down. Remy, Rogue, and Danger then depart back to the X-Men's base.
After the battle between the X-Men and the Dark Avengers is over, Cyclops orders Gambit to destroy the Omega Machine chair that Osborn had built to neutralize mutant powers. Gambit makes his way into the H.A.M.M.E.R. headquarters. There, he fights H.A.M.M.E.R.'s mutate guards Hijack and Input. Hijack is easily defeated, however, Input is another story. The input uses his telepathic abilities to enter Gambit's head and discovers there are still left-overs from Remy's "Death" persona. Death re-emerges and defeats Input, and absorbed him into a playing card, which turns black upon doing so. Afterward, Remy somehow returns to normal, with a smile on his face. Gambit then completes his mission, destroys the chair, and returns to the X-Men. When he made it back to Utopia, Gambit got angry at Cyclops for letting Rogue go up against the villain Emplate all alone. Remy tried to argue with Cyclops, but suddenly got trouble with mood swings and left the group. He changed back into his Death persona and remembered how Apocalypse told him he would never be the same after undergoing the changing process. Gambit managed to calm himself down and transform back to his normal self, but he is worried about his condition.
In the 2010 "X-Men: Second Coming" storyline, Gambit, along with Dazzler, Anole, Northstar, Cannonball, Pixie and Trance travel to Limbo to rescue Magik. Things go wrong when the ground starts to tremble and an army of monstrous demons attack the team. Dazzler calls upon Gambit for help during the attack, but Gambit sinks into the darkness, claiming "Remy's not home right now" leading the X-Men to be overwhelmed by the demons and Gambit transforming into his Death persona. As Death, Gambit was able to transform two of his teammates, Dazzler and Northstar, into beings like himself by hitting them with his charged cards. After battling Cannonball, Death-Gambit was stabbed by Magik and Pixie with their magical swords enabling Gambit to reassert control over his form once more.
In the 2010–2011 "Curse of the Mutants" storyline in the X-Men volume 3, Gambit and Storm were called upon to help steal the decapitated body of Dracula in order for the X-Men to resurrect Dracula in their fight against his son, Xarus. He continues to appear as a member of the team as a regular of the series, and also co-stars with X-23 in her self-titled series. He saves her from a burning building after she has been sent away following the events of Second Coming. She decides to pursue a quest to further discover about her past when Gambit decides to follow along to keep an eye on her. After 17 issues of traveling the world together Gambit and X-23 part ways, as Gambit decides to stay at the newly built Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, while X-23 travels to the Avengers Academy.
After the events of the Age of X, Gambit chooses not to wipe his memory. He admits the extent of his feelings to Rogue and tells her that he cannot tolerate her indecisiveness. He decides that they should be apart until she is willing to be with him for good. Gambit later joins the team of Legion, Rogue, Magneto, Frenzy and Xavier, in search of Legion's lost personalities that would not cooperate with him after his troubles in the Age of X. Later on in the series, Gambit, Frenzy and Rogue travel to the Jean Grey High School of Higher Learning to become teachers and mentors of the school. Gambit's role at the school is as a senior staff member.
In Astonishing X-Men #48, Gambit becomes one of the principal members of a new team of X-Men, composed of Wolverine, Iceman, Northstar, Karma, Cecilia Reyes and Warbird.
Kitty Pryde sends Gambit and Rogue on an undercover mission to the island Paraiso. Their mission, as an estranged couple requiring relationship therapy, was to investigate the disappearance of mutants. This results not only in them confronting their past, emotions, and relationship challenges, but also finding that their memories and powers (as well as those of the missing mutants) are drained into their clones by a mutant called Lavish. Although they are severely weak, they fight against Lavish and the clones, restoring their memories and powers. The couple later decide to learn from their past mistakes and reunite. A conversation with Storm and Nightcrawler spurs him into proposing to Rogue at Kitty's and Colossus' cancelled wedding and to take advantage of all their friends being present. They are married by the rabbi who was present for officiating Kitty's wedding, with Nightcrawler and Iceman as Rogue's bridal party and with Storm and X-23 as Gambit's best women.
While in space, their honeymoon is interrupted when they receive a message from Kitty Pryde about a secret package that they must find, however, the unknown package involves the Shi'ar Empire and several others are after it as well. They soon discover that the package is actually Xandra, who is the bio-engineered daughter of Xavier and Lilandra who can take any form at will. The newlyweds are soon caught by the Shi'ar but are able to free themselves, with the help of Cerise and the Starjammers they escape. Having read Rogue's mind, Xandra offers to fix her abilities so she can touch anyone, however, Rogue refuses, when Gambit questions her, she explains that the last time it happens, she never learned to control it herself. The ground is interrupted by the Imperial Guard and by Deathbird and a fight ensues. Realizing they're losing the fight, Xandra uses her abilities to make everything think she and Rogue were killed, after the Imperial Guard and Deathbird leave, they return, only to have Rogue's ability become uncontrollable as she can now absorb memories without touching anyone. Xandra explains that her powers have evolved, Rogue will have to learn to control it on her own, Gambit and Rogue return to Earth.
Gambit and Rogue receive a mysterious gift, when they open it they are teleported into the Mojoverse. Mojo resets their lives by putting them in a Noir setting, however, due to Rogue's abilities she becomes self-aware, her abilities become unstable and ends up killing Remy in the process. This forces Mojo to constantly reset their lives to Fantasy, Western, Horror, Romance, Sci-Fi and Comedy. During a reality talk show, Gambit walks off and into a bar where he meets a mysterious woman who turns out to be Spiral. She restores his memory and makes Gambit an offer that if he steals something for her she'll help Rogue with her powers and help them escape. Spiral meets Rogue in her mind where she explains to her that until she became self-aware of what her abilities should be doing, Rogue was subconsciously controlling her powers.
Powers and abilities
Gambit is a mutant with the ability to convert the potential energy stored in an inanimate object into pure light kinetic energy, thus "charging" that item with highly explosive results. He prefers to charge smaller objects, such as his ever-present playing cards, as the time required to charge them is greatly reduced and they are much easier for him to throw. The only real limitation to this ability is the time required to charge the object: the larger it is the more time it takes to charge. Most charging takes place through direct skin contact. The power of his explosions is dependent on the mass of the object he is charging: for example, a charged playing card explodes with the force of a grenade. Gambit can also use his mutant abilities to accelerate an object's kinetic energy instead of converting its potential energy; for example, he can charge his Bo staff with enough kinetic energy and power to level a house.
Gambit's ability to tap into kinetic energy also grants him incredible superhuman physical attributes (strength, speed, reflexes and reactions, agility, flexibility, dexterity, coordination, balance, and endurance), as his body constantly generates bio-kinetic energy and so is perfectly constructed for constant motion. This gives him an added edge that he has used to his advantage by developing a unique acrobatic fighting style.
The charged potential energy always in his body grants him the ability to build up charges of static electricity, and shields his mind from detection and intrusion by even the strongest and most powerful telepaths such as Emma Frost, Jean Grey, and even Charles Xavier. The shield has the added effect of destabilizing touch-based abilities.
Gambit also possesses an unusually strong and irresistible hypnotic charm that allows him to exert a subtle influence over sentient beings, leading them to believe what he says and agree with his suggestions. This charm is so strong and powerful that if given a chance, Gambit could even charm the Shadow King himself. The hypnotic charm does not work on those who know about it.
During combat, Gambit customarily wears a suit of highly articulated light body armor and uses an extendable metal staff. He is extensively trained in martial arts, particularly Savate and the staff style art Bōjutsu. He is an excellent hand-to-hand combatant, applying street-fighting techniques and acrobatics. Gambit is a skilled card-thrower, so he throws his charged playing cards at opponents with great accuracy. He also excels in all aspects of thievery, as he was adopted by the patriarch of a Thieves Guild.
Gambit was temporarily given the full strength and potential of his mutant abilities to battle his counterpart New Son. At his full strength and power, Gambit can control all aspects of kinetic energy down even to the molecular level, allowing him to manipulate the potency of his bio-kinetic energy to burn, cause molecular discomfort, incinerate, create timed detonations (and manipulate the potency of the energy release), fire energy blasts, defy gravity, heal wounds, charge objects within his line of sight without contact, manipulate the flow of time & space and effectively exist as an energy being. Under such conditions, he holds sufficient power to cause another being to be unable to move—or unable to stop if in motion. He has been able to cause or simulate various energies by manipulating the kinetic energy present, such as infrared and microwaves, by increasing molecular agitation, or cold by reducing it. He was also able to use his powers to travel through space-time, cross dimensions, and remake realities outside of space-time by transforming himself into living energy which joined with the kinetic flow. Finally, Gambit was able to heal himself by stimulating his cellular activity. These enhanced powers were burnt out after fighting New Son, and Gambit has since returned to his original, somewhat lower power levels.
However, after Sage jump started his powers again, he was able to heal his blinded eyes. —thus implying he is again able to heal himself—and is also able again to charge living things with energy, as when he teamed up with Sebastian Shaw to destroy Mr. Sinister's machines. He was also given another boost when he was killed in an altercation with a drug lord and Faiza Hussain managed to restore him before it set in, enabling him to charge a bullet with twice as much explosive force than usual. He has later proven able to delay his explosions again, although this is difficult for him to accomplish.
After Apocalypse used the Celestial Technology to transform Gambit into the Horseman Death, Gambit demonstrates the ability to convert inert materials into toxic substances (such as transforming breathable air into poisonous gases) and has the potential to ingest diseases and plagues. It is apparent that the Celestial Technology never left his system, as seen during a telepathic attack against him that temporarily brought out the Death persona, which eventually killed the attacker. He also showcased new abilities he had not used before in this form – such as his Death Charge, which fueled his projectiles with dark energies that have the effect of either disintegrating or entrapping beings within his cards. His new transformation also affords him the ability to control the trajectory in which he thrown cards fly in, giving him more control over their vector path while in motion. He could also convert people to his mindset like he did with Northstar, Dazzler and several demons while in limbo. Gambit's body did subsequently return to normal, suggesting that Gambit now has the ability to switch between his own and Death appearances.
|Title||Material collected||Publication Date||ISBN|
|X-Men: Gambit & Rogue||Gambit (vol. 1) #1–4; Rogue (vol. 1) #1–4||October 25, 2016||978-1302902483|
|X-Men: Gambit Classic, Volume 1||Uncanny X-Men #265–267 and Gambit (vol. 1) #1–4||May 6, 2009||978-0785137290|
|X-Men: Gambit Classic, Volume 2||Gambit (vol. 2) #1–4, Rogue (vol. 1) #1–4||February 5, 2013||978-0785167907|
|X-Men: Wolverine/Gambit||X-Men: Wolverine/Gambit #1–4||March 19, 2013||978-0785167174|
|Deadpool V Gambit||Deadpool V Gambit #1–5||November 23, 2016||978-1302901790|
|Rogue & Gambit: Rings of Fire||Rogue & Gambit #1–5||July 17, 2018||978-1302911607|
|Title||Material collected||Publication Date||ISBN|
|X-Men: Gambit – The Complete Collection, Volume 1||Gambit (vol. 3) #1–11, #1/2. Annual '99, Marvel Authentix: Gambit #1, material from X-Men Unlimited (vol. 1) #18||March 8, 2016||978-0785196853|
|X-Men Origins: Gambit||X-Men Origins: Gambit #1, Uncanny X-Men #266–267, X-Men (vol.2) #33, Gambit (vol. 3) #25 and material from Nation X #2||September 27, 2016||978-1302902476|
|X-Men: Gambit – The Complete Collection, Volume 2||Gambit (vol. 3) #12–25, Annual 2000||December 24, 2018||978-1302913755|
|Title||Material collected||Publication Date||ISBN|
|Gambit: Thieves' World Complete Collection||Gambit (vol. 4) #1–12; material from X-Men Unlimited vol.2 #3||March 26, 2019||978-1302916053|
|Astonishing X-Men: Gambit, Volume 1: House of Cards||Gambit (vol. 4) #1–6||March 23, 2005||978-0785115229|
|Astonishing X-Men: Gambit, Volume 2: Hath No Fury||Gambit (vol. 4) #7–12||September 28, 2005||978-0785117476|
|Title||Material collected||Pages||Publication Date||ISBN|
|All||Gambit: King of Thieves - The Complete Collection||Gambit vol. 5 #1–17; material from A+X #3||376||May 14, 2019||978-1302917784|
|1||Once a Thief||Gambit vol. 5 #1–7||152||April 2, 2013||978-0785165477|
|2||Tombstone Blues||Gambit vol. 5 #8–12||120||July 30, 2013||978-0785165484|
|3||King of Thieves||Gambit vol. 5 #13–17||112||December 17, 2013||978-0785184133|
Mr. & Mrs. X
|Title||Material collected||Pages||Publication Date||ISBN|
|1||Love and Marriage||Mr. & Mrs. X #1–6||136||March 12, 2019||978-1302913519|
|2||Gambit and Rogue Forever||Mr. & Mrs. X #7–12||136||August 27, 2019||978-1302913526|
IGN ranked Gambit as the 65th Greatest Comic Book Hero of All Time stating "that for some, Gambit's presence on the team has always been redundant, but others have fallen in love with his swagger, charm, and dark past. Gambit is just the sort of tortured soul that X-readers love, and his continued presence in the TV and movie spinoffs cements his status as one of the greats." In 2013, ComicsAlliance ranked Gambit as #4 on their list of the "50 Sexiest Male Characters in Comics".
In other media
Gambit made numerous animated appearances in cartoons such as X-Men, X-Men: Evolution and Wolverine and the X-Men. The character was portrayed by Taylor Kitsch in the live action X-Men Origins: Wolverine. A Gambit spin-off was in development since at least May 2014, with Channing Tatum signed on to play the lead role. After five years of being stuck in development hell, the film was cancelled in May 2019.
Gambit also appears in a large number of video games, such as: Spider-Man and the X-Men in Arcade's Revenge, X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse, X-Men vs. Street Fighter, X-Men Legends, X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2, Marvel: Avengers Alliance, X-Men 2: Clone Wars, X-Men: Destiny, Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes, Marvel Heroes, Marvel Super Hero Squad Online, Lego Marvel Super Heroes, and Marvel Heroes Omega.
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