At this point, there are so many X-Men comics out and coming down the pipeline, why not another?
While on Twitter, acclaimed Marvel Comics writer Donny Cates (Venom, Thor, Guardians of the Galaxy, Cosmic Ghost Rider, Thanos) responded to a question from user @ThomCich, who asked him, “If you could pick one X-Men character to write a solo series for, who would it be?”
If you could pick one X-Men character to write a solo series for, who would it be?
— Thom Servo (@ThomCich) February 3, 2020
Cates responded with a single name.
— DONNY⚡️CATES (@Doncates) February 3, 2020
This would be monumental for several reasons… at least for me. At the moment Gambit is part of Excalibur – a book being headed up by Tini Howard. While the title may entertain some, I’m nowhere near satiated by its depiction of the Cajun (among other problems I have with it). It’d be a welcome reprieve to have him in another book, especially if he’s starring.
Outside of scoring freedom for my favorite X-Man – Cates may truly have something to offer the Gambit mythos. With more than 5 solo projects under Gambit’s belt – not including several duo-series – Gambit is no stranger to adventuring away from the X-Men. It’s actually where his best stories are told.
Cates has shown a knack for writing anti-heroes like Venom and Ghost Rider – and even straight-up universe-razing villains like Thanos. If on one end of the X-Men spectrum is Cyclops, and Wolverine is on the other – Gambit is probably closer to Logan in terms of morality. Gambit’s duality is one of his best defining attributes and what makes him so interesting to read.
Outside of being the husband of arguably the most popular X-woman – since the end of the James Asmus series in 2013, Gambit has been the head of the International Guild of Thieves. It’s like the Federation of Planets for thieves across the globe. It means he has (or should have) a heavy influence over large swathes of the black market and underworld activities.
At the end of Kelly Thompson’s Mr. And Mrs. X series, the Assassin Guild was folded into their ranks, unifying the guilds and also bringing them under Gambit’s control. The two historically warring factions are now one and the same. If Cates were allowed to tackle the Cajun, he’d have a fairly large sandbox to play in and more than enough intrigue to explore.
With the current state of affairs with the arrival of the mutant island nation of Krakoa – the world is ripe in opportunities for less savory types on both sides. It’d be a great chance for readers to get another look at the world Xavier and company have created. This is another reason why Gambit may have been better suited for Marauders. With so many renegades and shadow organizations against mutant-kind, it wouldn’t hurt to have one of the largest on their side.
Cates is a rare breed of Marvel creator that seems to actually appreciate Gambit. For too long now, Gambit has been at the mercy of creators seemingly hellbent on humiliating the character every chance they get. It’s become something of a running joke. Luckily, the numbers of that pedigree appear to be decreasing as the generation of X-Men: The Animated Series fans slowly come into comic book prominence.
There’s more to Gambit than pining after his wife or jobbing for villains and other superheroes. To write him properly, he must be understood. He’s heroic, but definitely still a thief. He’s confident, yet utterly self-deprecating. A balance has to be struck and not many can do it. Perhaps someday soon Mr. Cates will be given a chance on the tight rope.
What do you think about the idea of Donny Cates writing a Gambit solo book? Let us know below.