Essential Rogue and Gambit - Gambit Series

The following issues are from the 1st, 3rd, and 4th Gambit Series. I don't have access to the second one, which was a 4 issue limited series, and until recently, have only owned 2 issues of the 3rd. As soon as I can, I'll read and post summaries of the rest of the 3rd series. I'll also have to see about getting my hands on the missing issues...

Gambit Limited Series 1995



Issue - Gambit #1
Summary - The issue begins with Rogue and Gambit in the Danger Room, trying to prove their worth as X-Men. They're being observed by Wolverine and Storm, though the former questions the appropriateness of such a test given Rogue and Remy's tumultuous attempts at romance. Gambit is distracted from the task at hand when he senses an intruder, only escaping harm thanks to Rogue's quick reflexes. Storm ends the session, and Gambit leaves them to confront the man who has managed to sneak onto the mansion's grounds without being detected...only to discover that the man is his brother. Henri LeBeau informs Remy that it's Tithing time down in New Orleans - when the Thieves and Assassins Guilds participate in a ceremony in which they present a gift, or tithe, to their benefactress, an external named Candra - and that he is needed. Henri is killed by a group of assassins after telling Gambit that his brother-in-law, who Remy thought he killed during a duel, is actually alive. Remy chases down the Assassins and fights them, at which point Julien Boudreaux makes his presence known. He once again challenges Remy to a duel, then manages to impale himself on the other man's sword...just then, a teleportation portal appears, and the remaining assassins escape through it with Julien, but not before he tells Gambit to stay away from his sister, also formerly presumed dead. Gambit returns to the mansion and tells the X-Men that he needs to go down to New Orleans to find out what exactly is going on...and Rogue insists on accompanying him.
Significance - First of all, there's some great flirting between Rogue and Gambit during the Danger Room sequence...the issue would be worth the read for that alone. But the most important event by far is when Rogue admits to Logan that she loves Remy. He tells her that she better seize the day and tell him soon, because you never know what's going to happen. Although she doesn't have an opportunity to do so, I think she shows him through her actions - she refuses to take no for an answer when she offers to go with Remy to New Orleans...even though he makes it clear that he's going down there to find out if his wife is alive, even though he warns her that she may learn some unsavory things about him. She's ready and willing to stand by him. For better or worse.

 


Issue - Gambit #2
Summary - Gambit sneaks into Belle's mansion and finds her lying comatose in bed. He's attacked by a large group of assassins, and is confronted by Belle's father Marius. Marius, who blames Remy for both of his children's current conditions, challenges Gambit to a duel (like father, like son); when he refuses to fight the older man, Marius orders his Guild to kill him, at which point, Rogue flies in and helps Gambit kick those crazy assassins' butts. Marius then seemingly changes his mind about Gambit and tells him that he must obtain the Elixir of Life from the Thieves Guild to save Belle. Gambit and Rogue make a hasty exit with Bella Donna just as Julien arrives and attacks his father. And so, the unlikely trio crashes the Tithing Ceremony in the Thieves Guild's secret hideout and Gambit demands his father give him the Elixir, but Jean-Luc LeBeau refuses to hand it over. Gambit assures him that he'll get it somehow, and he takes Belle and Rogue to a house he owns in the Garden District. He leaves Belle with Rogue, then goes to see Marius for information about how to find the Elixir. Meanwhile, Julien and some of his followers stage a brutal assault on the Tithe Collector, who is badly injured and goes crawling back to an unconcerned Candra.
Significance - There are conflicting emotions all around in this one. On one hand, Remy calls Belle, "My wife...my love," but on the other, when Rogue comes in to lend a hand, he calls her, "ma cherie," and "m'sweet." He also continues to refer to Belle as his wife throughout the issue. Of course, he never seems to forget the awkward position Rogue now finds herself in...while she is always ready and willing to help him in any way, shape, or form - she not only offers to carry Bella Donna for a while, she also volunteers to stand guard over her while Remy goes off to find a vial of the Elixir - he repeatedly reminds her that she doesn't have to do any of this. He understands how difficult this must be for her, and gives her every opportunity to back out. Although it's a somewhat difficult read for me (I simply can't imagine Remy with anyone but Rogue), I think it's very well written. And I think both of their actions speak towards their characters and their feelings for one another.

 



Issue - Gambit #3
Summary - While Gambit goes to Paris in an attempt to track down the mysterious Candra, Rogue is left behind in New Orleans to protect Belle. Remy succeeds in his quest - after taking on a group of thugs, he is knocked out by the Tithe Collector and taken to her apartment. Upon waking up, he meets Candra, and recognizes her as a woman he had a brief affair with years ago...she seems to be just the teeniest bit pissed off that he left her back then, but Gambit is all smiles and charm. She is not one to forgive and forget, however, and places the Elixir of Life down her cleavage after she waves it in front of Remy's face. She tells him that she'll hand it over if he'll kill his father...he's in the middle of refusing her when Julien and his merry band of psychos crash the party. There's a bit of a scuffle, during which Julien unsuccessfully tries to kill Candra (Remy saves her) and Remy (Jean-Luc jumps in the way of his blade). Candra finally uses her powers to expel Julien from her apartment, and Remy thanks her with a long, passionate kiss...she tells him to get out before she changes her mind about letting him live, and he scoops up his wounded father and leaves. Moments later, she realizes that Gambit stole the vial of Elixir from right under her nose (from right between her breasts, to be more accurate) and becomes furious. She tells the Tithe Collector to tell both Guilds that Gambit has betrayed them - she wants him and everyone connected to him dead. Meanwhile, back in New Orleans, Rogue plays with the idea of absorbing Belle's memories, but changes her mind at the last second. Unfortunately, Belle grabs Rogue's bare hand, and the latter's mind is flooded with memories of the woman who shared a love with Remy...
Significance - This is another tough issue, more so for Rogue than Gambit. Now that he's apart from his two lady loves, he has but one goal - to get his hands on the Elixir of Life. As far as I'm concerned, it's irrelevant how he feels about Bella Donna at this point..she is/was his wife, so he feels a certain loyalty towards her, and will do whatever he can to save her life. But for Rogue...I think keeping an eye on Belle proves to be more emotionally and psychologically draining than she thought it would be. And I don't think anyone would blame her for wondering what it's like to have a normal relationship with Remy...but I also think that the important thing is that she decided not to absorb Belle. The whole mess that results is purely an accident...and it must be a nightmare for Rogue to experience a relationship with Gambit through another woman's eyes.

 


Issue - Gambit #4
Summary - Gambit returns to New Orleans and confronts Julien in a church...it is here that Julien reveals the truth - he survived the duel with Remy because he was given the Elixir of Life, and it has driven him mad. Jean-Luc shows up and explains that insanity and an unquenchable thirst for the Elixir are possible side effects of drinking it...and that every thief is made aware of the consequences before they are given the option of tasting it. Gambit is horrified, both by this terrible secret, and by the idea that he will have to decide whether the risk is worth giving it to Belle. The Tithe Collector brings both Guilds to the church and tells them that they must kill the "traitor" in order to restore peace with their benefactress. Sadly, Remy is forced to fight and kill his way out of the church, all the way back to his house in the Garden District. Friend and foe die at his hand as he tries to figure out if giving Belle the Elixir is the right thing to do. Of course, when he arrives home, the Tithe Collector is waiting for him, ready and willing to kill Rogue and Belle, but Gambit charges his coat and kicks him out of the window. Rogue tries to tell him what happened between her and Belle while he was gone, but Remy is concentrating on mixing the Elixir and doesn't really hear her, or her declaration of love. That's when Julien shows up, spills the Elixir, stabs Remy, and is shot in the back by his own father. Candra appears and makes a big speech about how Gambit is a traitor, but he's sick of her nonsense and says that he's done living under her control...Marius agrees with Remy and refuses to sic his Guild on the thief. Candra disappears, Jean-Luc says his good-byes (he thanks Remy from freeing them of Candra's control, but tells him to leave and never come back in order to keep the peace), and we are left with Remy, Marius, Belle, and Rogue. Gambit squeezes some spilled Elixir (mixed with blood from one of his wounds) from the blankets on Belle's bed into her mouth. She awakens immediately, but can't remember anything. Rather than confusing her any more than she already is, Gambit tells her that he's a friend, and hands her over to her father. After they're gone, he tells Rogue not to feel sorry for him, and tries to look at the bright side of things - they won, after all. He decides that it's time they got serious, but Rogue can't bring herself to kiss him, and flies away. Alone in his house, Gambit says adieu to his past, and a new legend is born in the streets of New Orleans...
Significance - Well, this one pretty much sucks for everyone. Or does it? Remy has been precariously walking a tightrope between Belle and Rogue...he finally makes a decision in the final pages of the series. One could argue that he does it more for Belle's sake than anything else, but while I think that's part of it, I think he knows, deep down, that his life with Belle is over. He may still love her, but he left the Crescent City a long time ago, and he's a different person now. And poor Rogue, spilling her guts to him about what happened, about how she feels about him...but it was bad timing. Very bad. And so it ends with Gambit laughing at the idea if his ever having a lasting relationship. If he only knew what the future has in store...

Gambit Series 1999-2001



Issue - Gambit #16
Summary - Because I haven't read all of the series, parts of this issue were a little hard to follow, so I'll have to stick with the basics. The entire story is a flashback, sandwiched between the present moment, where Gambit is getting his butt kicked by Bullseye. We go from 8 weeks ago to the present time, beginning with Gambit returning from some kind of trip through time, and being able to suddenly kiss Rogue. He tells her that he's "stretched" his mutant abilities, one of the side affects of which include the presence of a perpetual biokinetic field surrounding him, which counteracts her powers. But as good as this sounds, it soon becomes obvious that Gambit is no longer in control of his powers, accidentally singeing his teammates and blowing things up with thoughts, rather than his touch. Meanwhile, Bella Donna, head of the Assassin's Guild (and Gambit's fomer[?] wife) had put a hit on Gambit, though her assassins fail. Gambit leaves the X-Men and returns to New Orleans to where he is now the leader of the Thieves Guild. Then, back in the present, Bullseye stabs Gambit in the gut.
Significance - This was one of those times when you ask yourself, "Are the writers of this series out of touch with other aspects of the X-Men, or is Gambit just being a jerk?" I'd go with a little bit of both. At first things are great...Rogue and Gambit kiss a lot. But when she pushes him to tell her the whole truth about what's happened to him, he gets mad and asks her what her real name is (see X-Men #24 for details). When she refuses to tell him, he starts to rant about how everybody always wants him to tell them his secrets, while they always keep secrets of their own. Later on, when they talk about the ups and downs of their relationship, Gambit says that they've never really worked out as a couple because they've always been running away from their pasts...and that he's done with that, and is ready to move on to the future, but because Rogue isn't ready to do that, they need to separate for a while. What? Has he lost his mind? I think he makes several valid points in this issue, but I don't agree with his final analysis. Of course, this isn't the way they are in the end, so why worry, right? Still...there have been times they've "broken up" or "pushed each other away" that make sense, and I can accept. This one didn't feel quite right.

Gambit Series 2004-2005



Issue - Gambit #3
Summary - In an attempt to lure guards away from Morgan Penrose's house, Remy steals a bowling ball and uses it to cause an explosion down the street by charging it and rolling it towards cans of gas that he planted. It works, and allows him relatively easy access into the house during a dinner party. Inside, Morgan is explaining the significance of the Inficio Aquilus (the cards Gambit has been hired to steal) to his guests...designed by monks who spent hundreds of years studying the madness of others before trying to harness the power behind their insanity, this is supposed to be one of the original tarot decks - one that is considered powerful to the point of being dangerous. Just as Gambit deactivates the security cameras, Lili Penrose, Morgan's niece and the one who hired Gambit to steal the cards, discovers him. After a brief flirtation, she takes off all her clothes and tries to seduce him...a few panels containing nothing but a closed door later, Remy returns to the task at hand. He knocks out the remaining two security guards, makes his way through an elaborate pattern of lasers, and picks the lock of the case containing the cards just as someone turns the security cameras back on. Morgan and his guests arrive downstairs to discover the cards have been stolen, and outside, Gambit is knocked unconscious by an electric bolt by his competition, a thief named Jack Jessup.
Significance - This issue includes the infamous "Lili Penrose incident." Did he sleep with her? Did they just make out a little? Did he just club her over the head and go on with the heist? Oh the possibilities...I've wrestled with all of them. As much as I adore Gambit, and as much as I'd like to think he wouldn't cheat on Rogue, I think the evidence presented throughout the rest of the series implies that something happened. What that something was, I'd rather not know. For more on my opinion of this particular situation, click here to access my Rants section, then choose LeBeau, Remy LeBeau.

 


Issue - Gambit #5
Summary - Captured by members of the Assassins Guild, Remy is being tortured...but, being an X-Man who has been well trained, he manages to send his mind to a "happy place" while his body is being put through hell. He keeps it up until he's rescued by Wolverine (who was called by Gambit's now-dead friend in the previous issue). Meanwhile, Orlean Cooper (a gangster who also wants to get his hands on the Inficio Aquilus) has an argument with Jack Jessup since his employee (Alphonse - also a member of the Assassins Guild) just retrieved the tarot cards from Remy, who had previously stolen them from Jack. During the conversation, Cooper gets a call that the assassin who was torturing Remy has been killed by some short hairy main with claws...as someone who admires the X-Men, Alphonse immediately realizes that the mystery man is Wolverine, and starts to get nervous. While Madame Camille, one of Remy's old friend, and her daughter tend to Gambit's wounds, he comes up with a plan that involves Logan's help - using a variety of disguises, they rip apart club after club, making it seem like a group of the X-Men have come to help Remy. They do enough damage to scare Alphonse into doing Remy a favor...
Significance - Gambit's happy place consists of escaping to New Orleans for some rest, relaxation, and a robbery...topped off with a night on the town with his best girl, Rogue. Of course, at first, he imagines Lili by his side...but he's quick to correct himself. I guess it's good to know that he still considers Rogue his best girl, even if his actions are to the contrary. It also doesn't hurt to mention that this is the first time the subject of the videotape comes up...the one that apparently shows whatever it is that happened between Remy and Lili. When Madame Camille's daughter Ginny practically slugs Gambit with an ice pack, Madame Camille brings up the fact that their actions were taped.

 



Issue - Gambit #8
Summary - The story begins with a group of people on a haunted swamp tour...who are unexpectedly attacked by real zombies. Elsewhere in New Orleans, Remy is having coffee with Ginny to thank her for her help on the Penrose heist, but their conversation is cut short with the appearance of zombies. After Gambit takes care of the one inside, he runs into the street starts fighting the large crowd of zombies outside. In the process, he comes across another man with super powers (in this case, voodoo powers) named Brother Voodoo. After arguing briefly, the men realize that they're on the same side and work together to "kill" the zombies...until they are faced with one that can't be touched (a mutant boy shot to death during a bank robbery - Gambit had just convinced him to power down and come with him to the Xavier Institute when a dirty cop shot him in the back).
Significance - Zombies, zombies, everywhere and not a drop to drink! Ha ha...all kidding aside, the scene in restaurant between Remy and Ginny is important. She's made it quite clear that she's interested in him, and he finally has a chance to sit down with her and try to let her down gently. He corrects her when she refers to their get-together as a "date," then explains that he's "not exactly on the market." He also admits that...um...whatever it is that he did with Lili was "a mistake." While he's out fighting zombies with Brother Voodoo, a very angry Ginny then puts into motion something that will continue through the next couple of issues - she will make copies of the mini-disc she has of Remy and Lili, then sends them to both Rogue and Bella Donna.

 


Issue - Gambit #10
Summary - After Ginny calls Remy (under duress - her mother forces her to before grounding her) to tell him that she sent a copy of the disc of him and Lili to Rogue, he heads to the mansion in an attempt to confiscate it before Rogue can see it. Unfortunately for him, Kitty Pryde ropes him into mentoring three students who were caught stealing the answers to an upcoming exam. Unable to refuse, he decides to use the situation to his advantage by recruiting the boys in his quest to break into Rogue's room and lift the disc. But security codes have changed, as has the construction of the building itself (which should not be surprising since the mansion has been blown up God knows how many times), leaving Gambit without a plan. He tries to think one up during a training exercise, but calls it quits when the kids, who are watching, are almost hurt. So he takes a break from trying to break in and walks the boys through the mansion, giving advice on the way...until Cyclops pops up out of nowhere and orders him to come along on a world-saving mission that conveniently only takes a few hours...upon returning to the mansion, Emma warns Remy that Rogue has come back early her thoughts are so strong that they could cause major headaches in any nearby telepaths. Defeated, Gambit sits on a bench, trying to figure out his next move, when his three protégés find him and hand over the disc. They explain how they hacked into the mansion's computer system and broke into Rogue's room, and are rewarded with the answers to their next three quizzes in Kitty's class, which he lifted in the beginning of the story. That's when Rogue appears, thanking him for the flowers and chocolates (which we must assume the three boys left on behalf of Remy), and the two of them get on his motorcycle and speed off into the sunset. Meanwhile, down in New Orleans, Bella Donna's new boyfriend walks into her living room to find her watching another copy of the mini-disc, seemingly upset.
Significance - This entire issue revolves around the idea of keeping something from Rogue. I don't like it one bit. Regardless of what happened between Lili and Remy, I think he has a responsibility to tell her about it...instead of stealing the disc from her room and pretending that it never existed, he should have confronted the issue. Especially when Rogue shows up acting all sweet towards him....and especially since, unlike some people, she doesn't go following him around when he says that needs space...she trusts him, and this issue makes me wonder if that trust is unfounded.

 

Uncanny X-Men X-Treme X-Men X-Men: The End Ultimate X-Men X-Men Misc Rogue X-Men: Evo