Review: Gambit #1

It’s the comic you’ve been waiting for! Gambit is back in his own book called…”Gambit!” Let’s take a…gambit to see how good it is. Let’s also see how many gambit puns I can make in one review.

Written by James Asmus
Illustrated by Clay Mann

  • When Marvel’s premiere thief sets his sights on his biggest score yet, he may just end up over his head. It’s going to take more than just playing cards and southern charm to get out of this one!
  • BONUS! Bella Donna is NOT in this issue!

It was a gamb…le as to whether or not this book was going to be any good. The creative team, James Asmus and Clay Mann, certainly had the pedigree and the Ragin’ Cajun was popular enough, but the need for a book starring him felt a little out of place. There aren’t many characters on the X-Character Roster who get solo titles if their name doesn’t rhyme with “Molverine” or “Meddpool,” but now we can once again add Gambit to that select group.

Clay Mann was the horse that brought me to the book. I wasn’t too enthusiastic about it, but due to his immense talent, I was drawn to the title. Thankfully, Mann’s pencils deliver the quality in spades. There are certain comparisons that could be made to Olivier Coipel, and they’d all be apt. As a matter of fact, if this book were to maintain any sort of consistency that most books outside of Daredevil lack, this book, provided it sticks around, would be served by having Mann and Coipel working together as the rotating art team. As unlikely as that may be, it’s something that Marvel would do well to consider in the future, given their penchant for double shipping books.

Other than that kind of wish making, Mann’s pencils look stunning. His art has never disappointed, and this book is no different. His Remy is as much of a lady killer as he ever was, and to their credit, both Mann and Asmus don’t have a problem putting in a little beefcake in a comic when there’s so much cheesecake in nearly every book. The action is well thought out and it has the feeling of a book that was crafted with much care. If there is one thing Mann could improve on, it’s letting his character emote a little bit more. Everyone in the issue is pretty stoic comparatively, but that’s merely one complaint about his otherwise gorgeous work throughout the issue. It could also be argued that unless Rogue is directly involved, Gambit is pretty stoic anyway.

Moving on to James Asmus’ words on the page, it’ works out to be pretty average. It’s certainly not a train wreck, but there are some suppositions you’re meant to make as to how Remy would be able to get his hands on so many gadgets seemingly out of nowhere. Does Wolverine allow this kind of malarkey to be checked out of the school library like a book? Is Remy a James Bond-level secret agent? In fact, the book reads a bit like James Bond-meets-Indiana Jones-meets-Gambit (obviously). The idea of Gambit having these sorts of adventures is definitely intriguing, albeit unexpected. Our “Bond Villain,” Borya Cich, is a Croatian philanthropist who has a dark secret of his own. There’s a lot of potential for a fun series here, if some of the goofier elements were dropped in exchange for some more, shall we say, less “hentai” concepts. (Read to the end, you’ll see what I mean.)

I didn’t expect to enjoy this book as much as I did, and would call it one of the biggest surprises of the year so far. However, it still has some of the kinks to work out before it reaches some of the higher quality books on the market. If you’re looking for a fun, innocuous book with plenty of intrigue and cool dudes being suave, you should at least give the book a shot.

Final Score: 7.5 – Buy

About The AuthorGilbert ShortGilbert Short. The Man. The Myth. The Legend. When he's not reading comic books so you don't have to, he's likely listening to mediocre music or watching excellent television. Passionate about Giants baseball and 49ers football. When he was a kid he wanted to be The Ultimate Warrior. He still kind of does. His favorite character is Superman and he will argue with you about it if you try to convince him otherwise. He also happens to be the head of Social Media Relations, which means you should totally give him a follow onTwitter.

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