Written by Angela Rairden
The Ragin’ Cajun has been one of my favorite X-Men ever since I first watched the 90’s X-Men: The Animated Series as a kid. Everything about Gambit, real name Remy LeBeau, was slick and shiny. Not to mention that Cajun accent and his intriguing on again off again relationship with the powerful mutant known as Rogue. Honestly, if any animated comic book character is swoon-worthy, it’s Gambit.
I didn’t start reading comic books until I was an adult. However, that love of Gambit has always stayed with me and I have happily scooped up every issue of any comic with his name in the title. I even cosplayed as a female version of him at Emerald City Comicon one year…however, the costume didn’t turn out quite the way that I imagined it in my head, so I won’t be sharing those pictures here (heh).
This is all to say that, when I heard that Marvel was releasing a new Gambit title, I was immediately on board. When I learned that Chris Claremont would be the one writing this series, I was even more excited!
Uncanny X-Men #266
I had the honor of meeting Claremont at ECCC in 2018 where I had him sign my Uncanny X-Men #266 (the first appearance of Gambit, published August 15, 1990) and I also asked him about the character. He told me that Marvel had given him license to create the character however he wanted to, which was a bit of comic book industry knowledge that I had wondered about at the time (i.e. how much leeway writers have when it comes to creating new characters).
Marvel’s latest Gambit comic picks up during the time frame when Uncanny X-Men #266 was first released. In order to fully understand this current series, it’s helpful if you understand the events that took place around Gambit’s first appearance.
InHyuk Lee variant of Gambit #1
In Claremont and Jim Lee’s Uncanny X-Men #248, an unhinged female cyborg named Nanny captured the X-Men mutant Storm (whose real name is Ororo Munroe) and used a machine to de-age her back to a pre-teen youth. She escaped, but the de-aging process left her memories spotty and her knowledge of her powers (and even that she was a mutant at all) questionable at best. Surviving on the streets as a runaway, Storm eventually attracted the attention of the sinister extra-dimensional being known as Shadow King. Shadow King and his Hounds sought to capture Storm, but she was rescued by the charismatic thief Gambit in his debut comic.
2022’s Gambit picks up after pre-teen Storm, using her given name of Ororo, and Gambit team up to travel together as thieves, stealing from the immoral rich and giving to the poor like a pair of modern day Robin Hoods. Although she spent time as a thief on the streets of Cairo as a child, Gambit takes Ororo under his wing to hone her skills and help her navigate life as a de-aged mutant with amnesia. Along they way, they run into both old friends and terrible foes alike.
With impressive art by Espen Grundetjern, Gambit is a fun trip back in time and a more in-depth look at Gambit and Ororo’s adventures together and is a definite must for any Remy LeBeau fan. Issue two drops on August 31st, so it’s not too late to join these two on their journey.
Chris Claremont and I at ECCC 2018
Angela “LaLa” Rairden is an avid fan of comic books, Star Wars, and most things nerdy. A cosplayer, she loves to attend comic cons dressed as her favorite fictional characters, particularly Harley Quinn. Although her day job is at a grocery store, writing has always been her true calling. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, where she is currently writing her first novel.