No one gets around better than Gambit… Pun intended.
Once upon a time, former Marvel darling, Rick Remender made one of the most ridiculous statements I’ve ever heard come out of comic-dom. When asked about the chance of utilizing Gambit in one of his series (Uncanny X-Force/ Uncanny Avengers), he sheepishly replied with something along the lines of; “I don’t see the worth in a character like [Gambit].” As a Gambit die-hard, I found this strange. Mostly due to the fact that Remender had been shoving Fantomex into the limelight for the better part of two years. Fantomex. A blatant and shameless rip-off of the Ragin’ Cajun with a dash of the Merc-with-a-Mouth. Not to mention the matching trench coats he put on future (and married) versions of Rogue and Havok during the Age of Ultron crossover event. No worth, indeed. What chiefly is wrong with his statement is the contradictory actions of the company that signed his checks. Gambit has been one of the most prolific characters in X-Men history. His lore is so rich, in fact, other characters such as the Scarlet Spider/ Spider-Man borrow from it. With so much exposure came lots of material to mine. He’s starred in, or been part of no less than 10 one-shots, solos, minis, on-going or duo books! Here are Gambit’s Top 10 partnerships, plus a few extra tidbits!
Honorable Mention: The Thing | A+X
Gambit and the Fantastic Four’s Thing hustle their friends during a poker game!
Honorable Mention: Daredevil | Gambit Vol. 1 #11
The man without fear and the Raging Cajun take on the Constrictor after exchanging hello-punches.
Honorable Mention: Blade | Gambit Vol. 1 #4
After the pre-requisite hero vs. hero brawl, Gambit and the Day Walker team-up to stop a vampire threat!
10. Hawkeye | A+X #3
Less a partnership and more of an arrangement of convenience/ friendly-ish rivalry, Clint and Gambit were paired together in one of the A+X books that followed the company-wide crossover, Avengers Vs. X-Men. In it, the two are forced to team up (sorta) to defeat a monster during a parade. But that wasn’t their only focus. Whilst saving the day they were attempting to impress a woman they were both pursuing! The two marksmen prattled, quipped, and bantered all the while one-upping one another with trick shots. In the end, Hawkeye won the girl’s affection but lost her number and his wallet to Gambit’s nimble hands. Gambit would later utilize Hawkeye’s Avenger identification card in his solo book.
9. Spider-Man | Web of Spider-Man #113
Joining forces for a single issue, the two heroes would, of course, start out their partnership in true superhero fashion. That is, of course, with a fist fight! In a case of mistaken intentions, the two duke it out as they at least attempt to stick it to each other. Their combined agility and quick-thinking placed them on equal ground long enough to straighten things out. Before the end of the issue, the two team-up with Black Cat to stop the real threat, that being the Silencers as they attempt a museum heist. After the day is saved, the adventure culminated with Gambit and Black Cat swinging off into the night to do goodness knows what.
8. Fence | Gambit Vol. 3
Fence was introduced during his most recent solo on-going written by James Asmus, he was also co-created by stellar artist, Clay Mann (before Marvel let him walk to DC to avoid the creation of the “rock-star” comic book artist which hurt them so when many left to form Image Comics, back in the early ‘90s). His function is revealed within his name. His job was to analyze, repair (if necessary), and find buyers for the objects Gambit would, uh… acquire. Fence was also a broker of information when he had to be.
From what I can tell, he was human but had several cybernetic enhancements/ replacements. When you look at him it’s hard not to see actor John Goodman, and you’d be right to. Clay intentionally modeled the character after him. Fence was a staple throughout the 17-issue run with at least one or two books directly affecting him. He wasn’t just Gambit’s link to the underworld, but his friend and confidant. Probably Gambit’s only true one at the time.
7. Courier | Gambit Vol. 1
Another that was chiefly (but not exclusively) seen in a Gambit solo, Courier, or Jacob Gavin Jr., was a delightful recurring character during the first Gambit ongoing series written by Fabian Nicieza. He originally debuted in a Deadpool book, also written by Nicieza. He functioned as something of a side-kick for Gambit during his adventures. He’d often play both sides of the street, as he passed information between him and the book’s villain, New Sun. Courier himself is a mutant metamorphic-shapeshifter. What that means is, unlike shapeshifters such as Mystique, his transformation isn’t just skin deep. If he turned into a dog, he’d be a dog down to the bone.
So, when he transformed into a woman during Gambit’s series, Courier physically became one to go undercover, as “Jackie”. Of course, Gambit had his fun with him/her, but things got serious when Courier became permanently locked in the feminine form. The two made the mistake of not being 100 with Mister Sinister, of all people. The super-genius suspected foul-play and forced Courier into a gelatinous state. Gambit was able to clear up the misunderstanding and Sinister reversed his act. However, he was unaware that Courier’s true state was that of a male. Whether Courier was ever able to morph or regain his true sex is beyond my knowledge. But I doubt it.
6. Deadpool | Deadpool V Gambit: The “V” is for Versus
Having shared a mini-series, Gambit and Deadpool’s partnership should be ranked higher on this list. The Deadpool V Gambit book started out well enough. Heck, I’d say it was darn entertaining for the first couple of books. We start out with the two randomly encountering each other in the streets of New York. It would seem that they aren’t on good terms. From the reader’s standpoint, these two haven’t seen each other since Gambit’s first ongoing. However, we soon learned they’ve had a dealing that didn’t end too well. Working with another gentleman (that turned out to be someone else entirely), the two go in together on a heist, Deadpool pretended to be Spider-Man while Gambit took on Daredevil’s get-up.
They came out on top but soon turned on each other as each thought the other had pulled a double-cross. After a fairly amusing fight, the two discovered that their third partner was indeed the one that betrayed them. The rest of the story was less than methodical. I would explain the series in more detail if I could make sense of it. The two would have their powers scrambled by the villain Scrambler. Gambit would engage in a foursome and accidentally blow-up one of the women’s arms. The two then got into a fight with Fat Cobra and their former partner was revealed to be Loki the entire time. It’s really not as interesting as it might sound. Save yourself the headache.
5. Bishop | Gambit/ Bishop: Sons of the Atom
To say that Gambit and Bishop’s relationship began as tumultuous would be a severe understatement. In the distant (or near, depending on how you look at it), Bishop is born into a world where mutants and their human sympathizers are relegated to concentration camps. After the deaths of his parents, Bishop is taken in by an elderly man known as “The Witness” (Bishop believes this to be Gambit). Bishop would eventually travel back to present day with the intention to stop the deaths of the X-Men at the hands of a traitor. Of course, he believes this to be Gambit but eventually, that theory is disproved as it turns out to be Professor-X himself.
In Gambit/ Bishop: Sons of the Atom, the duo investigates the sources of both men’s visions of the future. Bishop sees himself and Gambit fighting against the X-Men, while Gambit envisions the destruction of the mansion. Taking place just before the events of X-Treme X-Men, the two are wrapped up in a dizzying tale involving telepathic illusions, the Legacy Virus, the Phoenix Force, time travel, Cable, and his evil clone Stryfe. By the end, Gambit and Bishop have a new appreciation for one another which prepares them to be teammates in X-Treme X-Men and more recently, a small personable moment at Gambit and Rogue’s wedding.
4. Pete Wisdom | Gambit Vol. 3 #5-8, 14 & 17
The James Asmus solo had Gambit crisscrossing the globe more than once. During his travels, he found himself sometime in the UK. While working to square his dealings with the crime boss Ciche, Gambit put himself in touch with MI13, but not in a good way. You see, Gambit’s mere presence creates chaos, and chaos shines a poor light on Wisdom’s operations. Especially when Gambit’s intentions were focused on stealing the fabled sabre Excalibur from one of Wisdom’s agents, Faiza. These two don’t make a great team, to begin with. Heck, one of the first things Pete made sure was crystal clear right after he had Gambit shot, was that he didn’t care how many friends they had in common.
The two do eventually make nice and get the job done by putting Ciche behind bars. What made these two X-People’s interactions so memorable was the banter Asmus created. Gambit and Wisdom played off of each other like Robert De Niro and Al Pacino in the movie Heat, but with a James Bond sort of twist.
The two would partner up a couple more times within the series. Pete would later call in his favor with Gambit and have him steal back a mystical book stolen from him by fairies. Gambit would, in turn, bring Pete and MI13 to help him out of a prison riot he created. Turned out to be a great decision. Pete brought Faiza along with him and her magic is the only thing that saved Gambit’s life when Ciche put a bullet in his head!
3. Storm | Uncanny X-Men #266-267, X-Men: Curse of the Mutants – Storm & Gambit #1
The relationship between Storm and Gambit is a… complicated one. For all intents and purposes, Storm is the reason Gambit ever became an X-Man! Following being de-aged by Nanny, Storm was an amnesiac and being stalked by the Shadow King. Gambit, being the swashbuckling gent that he is, came to her aide. Sharing similar thieving backgrounds, the two forged a relationship that would endure to this very day. She even functioned as his ‘best woman’ at his wedding, despite possibly having had a more romantic relationship in the past.
Their second team-up went down during the Curse of the Mutants story arc. The two were given their own tie-in one-off book titled, X-Men: Curse of the Mutants – Storm & Gambit. In the story, San Francisco had been attacked with a vampire-virus bomb. It instantly transformed anyone infected into a bloodsucker, including the young X-Man, Jubilee. Storm and Gambit were tasked with infiltrating a vampire stronghold and stealing a key to stem the tide. Another story to keep in mind took place in the 90’s alternate reality ongoing title, Mutant-X. In it, Storm and Gambit were vampire lovers!
2. Wolverine | Wolverine/ Gambit: Victims
Similar to our #1 selection, Wolverine and Gambit’s relationship transcended the comics. Though they don’t always get along, when they do, it’s nothing but fun! Fans of the 90s animated series will recall several instances where the two clashed and also found common ground. Examples of each can be found with the brick incident and then when they were locked in a chamber filled with killer sentinels. The two would also make an entertaining duo in the movie X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Though it was a couple of small parts within the feature, IMO they were the only bright spots.
In the Wolverine/ Gambit: Victims mini-series we find the two in London investigating the murders of some of Gambit’s former flames. However, Gambit suspected it may be Wolverine himself committing the very Jack the Ripper-esque acts. The story had more potential than what it actually yielded in results. It did demonstrate how the two wild-card X-Men relate to one another. Their team-ups wouldn’t end with the mini-series either. The two would be paired together several more times over the years. Quite often Wolverine behaved as a voice of caution to the Cajun. That means something because Gambit rarely listens to anyone.
1. Rogue | Rogue & Gambit, Mr. and Mrs. X
You probably guessed it by now. #1 on our list of Gambit’s Top 10 Team-Ups is none other than Mrs. Lebeau herself. This isn’t some glamorization of married life. And you can call it favoritism if you want, but you can’t deny the fact that the two are on their second duo-book together! Almost since his debut, Gambit has remained in Rogue’s orbit. She’s been included in most of his mini’s and vice versa. Matter of fact, in Rogue’s first mini-series Gambit’s ex-wife, Bella Donna, was her main villain. Not to mention, their interactions in the XTAS and X-Men: Evolution, and just about every other Marvel continuity. One of the biggest draws for the duo is how much fun they are together when written well.
This has been most evident over the last year or so. Under Kelly Thompson’s pen, Gambit and Rogue have starred in the mini-series Rogue & Gambit and their post-nuptial endeavor, Mr. and Mrs. X (I’m not crazy about the name either, but the book is great). In R&G we saw the two begin to reconcile, and quite literally have to combat their past together. After the events of X-Men Gold #30 saw the two X-Men hijack Kitty and Colossus’ ruined wedding, the newlyweds took to space for their honeymoon, but found it as intrusive as any Earth-bound locale. In terms of sheer volume and effect, there really is no comparison as to whom is Gambit’s best team-up.
With the Disney acquisition of 21st Century Fox being 100% finished, I believe that’s about the same chance that Tatum’s Gambit movie isn’t happening. Perhaps we can look forward to new possibilities. Taking into account Gambit’s popularity, it’s a safe bet we’ll see him on the big screen eventually. So, which is your favorite Gambit team-up? Let us know!