After announcing the book at C2E2 a few months back, I was excited to finally pick up the first issue of ‘Gambit’. If you’ve been following my reviews, you’ll know that I haven’t been too big on the X-Men books, but Gambit has always been one of my favorite members of the team, so naturally I had to pick up the first issue of his brand new solo series.
Last week, another fan favorite hero got his own series when ‘Hawkeye’ #1 hit shelves, and in my review of that book, I noted that Hawkeye had taken a page out of Gambit’s playbook when he utilized some playing cards as weapons. Well, ‘Gambit’ #1 somewhat takes a page from Hawkeye now because the Ragin’ Cajun is itching for some solo action himself by breaking away from his team to go back to his old ways momentarily. In the same way that Matt Fraction’s series takes a look at Clint Barton’s life away from the Avengers, James Asmus seems to be doing the same thing with Remy LeBeau. However, the difference there is that Fraction is giving us something new and fresh. It’s a whole new look at Hawkeye that we never really saw in the past, whereas Gambit is just returning to his old ways that have lied dormant in him ever since he became a teacher, role model, and generally a good guy. This is Remy’s life outside of the Jean Grey School For Gifted Youngsters, but it’s the same old thing that we’re used to seeing Gambit do.
In this premiere issue, Gambit infiltrates the mansion of Borya Cich, a collector of supernatural and super-powered items. It’s not really made clear what our hero wants to steal, but I think it’s more about the thrill of the chase more than anything for Remy. The story is very cinematic to me. It reminds me sort of a James Bond type of character, especially during the scene where we see the gadgets that he uses for the self-imposed mission he’s on.
Something interesting to note is some of the positions that Gambit is placed in, art-wise. To better explain, I’ll compare it to Black Widow’s portrayal in ‘The Avengers’ promotional artwork. She was somewhat sexualized in the promoting of the movie even though that’s not really how it was in the movie. Well, there’s a whole lot of shirtless and pretty damn near naked Gambit when the book opens. And similar to Widow, he’s rocking a skintight black catsuit. It’s quite the departure from the trench coat, headgear, and pink shirt that we’re used to seeing him in. It’s interesting to note because I don’t see it too often where the men are sexualized. I’m neither for it nor against it, but I just wanted to point it out.
Overall, the story, as well as the masterful artwork of Clay Mann, was good, but it wasn’t exactly anything to write home about. I think I can see where this series is going and it’s not to a horrible place, but not exactly a place that I’d want to revisit after seeing this tale play out many times before in other stories. If I were going to give it a five star rating, I’d give it three stars because it was so-so. Basically good, but not great. I’ll give it a few more issues before I say whether one should wait for the trade or not.
Written by JAMES ASMUS
Art by CLAY MANN, SETH MANN, & RACHELLE ROSENBERG