Remy Etienne LeBeau (Gambit)

gambitfilmAnother popular mutant right from casualgamer‘s list: this time it’s everyone’s favourite Cajun, Gambit! So far, the character only had one live action appearance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, portrayed by Taylor Kitsch. In the movie, he is the only mutant to ever escape William Stryker‘s facility on Three Mile Island, and Wolverine tracks him down in order to convince him to help him enter the facility…something that he does, after the usual brawl. A new version of the character is set to arrive on the big screen this year (?) in a solo movie exploring Gambit’s origins; this time, Channing Tatum will portray the cajun mutant, and it’s more than likely that the Origins portrayal will be completely ignored…as it happened to most elements in the film. Waiting to see Tatum’s take on Gambit, let’s take a look at the original one.

Remy LeBeau was born in New OrleansLousiana; his parents abandoned him in the hospital the moment they realised he was a mutant, born with red eyes. The local Thieves Guild, upon hearing of the “cursed” baby’s birth, believed him to be Le Diable Blanc (the “white devil”), the prophesied child who would have brought peace among the Guilds, engulfed in a neverending war; that very night, the thieves stole the baby from the hospital, and entrusted him to the Fagan’s Mob, one of the street gangs affiliated to the Guild. The child grew up as an orphan in the streets, and arrived at ten years old with no name and no family, trained as a thief by Fagan. One day, he tried to pick the pocket of a man who turned out to be Jean-Luc LeBeau, the patriarch of the Thieves Guild. The man obviously managed to stop the kid but, impressed by his skills, he decided to adopt him as his own son: he named him Remy LeBeau, and brought him to his house, raising him as a member of his own family. Living with LeBeau, Remy also developed his mutant powers, but he kept them hidden from his family and friends, practicing in secret. At 15 years gambitcomics1old, Remy participated to the Tithing, the initiation test to enter the Guild, along with his cousin Etienne Marceaux; the two were ordered to steal an item from Candra, an immortal mutant. Candra, however, proved to be a tough cookie for the boys, and they were soon captured by the woman, who sold them to The Pig, a mutant slaver. The Pig, in turn, recognised the boys’ skills and decided to sell them to HYDRA as recruits, but Remy managed to escape his cell, and to free his cousin in the process. Risking to be caught again by Pig, Remy for the first time grabbed a playing card and used his powers to charge it with energy, then threw it to the slaver and took out his eye: in the following escape, Remy and Etienne dove into the ocean, but only the first emerged alive, while the second drowned. Back to the Guild, Remy continued his training, until Jean-Luc told him he was the one meant to bring peace among the guilds…by marrying Bella Donna Boudreaux, the daughter of the patriarch of the Assassin’s Guild. Remy and Bella Donna accepted, but Julien Boudreaux, the girl’s brother, didn’t, and challenged LeBeau to a duel. Remy was forced to kill his adversary in self-defense, but after that, he was forced to abandon the Thieves and New Orleans, always in order to ensure peace among the Guilds.

Wandering the world Remy, who now went by the name Gambit, became an even more skilled thief, and he even learnt to master his mutant power…which however proved to be hard to control. In order to be able to charge objects with energy without destroying them upon touch, he seeked the help of Mr. Sinister, a geneticist he had worked for during his time in the Guild. Sinister removed a part of Gambit’s brain, making him less powerful, but fully able to control his abilities. In return, the geneticist asked Remy to gather for him a team. Gambit obeyed, and formed the group that would have become the Marauders; he even accompanied them in the underground tunnels of New York City, where the Marauders, following Sinister’s orders, started slaughtering the mutant outcasts known as Morlocks. Horrified by the massacre, Gambit tried to stop the mercenaries, but he nearly got killed by Sabretooth; barely escaping with his life, he nevertheless managed to save Sarah, a Morlock child. Gambit ran as far as he could from Sinister, and he stumbled upon another child, Ororo, a young thief he became the mentor of. gambitcomics2The two formed quite a formidable couple, and Gambit helped the girl survive in the streets. Ororo, however, was followed by a powerful mutant, the Shadow King, and only Gambit’s intervention allowed her to survive the encounter. Gambit and Ororo travelled to the Gulf of Mexico, but they were eventually found by Charles Xavier, the leader of the X-Men, who had just come back from a long adventure in space. Xavier revealed that young Ororo was actually one of the X-Men, Storm, reduced to an amnesiac child by Nanny and Orphan-Maker, two evil and deranged scientists. Back to herself thanks to Xavier’s powers, Storm convinced the professor to invite Gambit to join the X-Men…an offer that the cajun thief surprisingly accepted. The other X-Men, upon hearing what he had done for Storm, welcomed Gambit in their ranks…with the only exception of Wolverine, who challenged the thief to a duel in the Danger Room. Gambit defeated his opponent (albeit cheating…), thus winning even the last resistance. Within the X-Men, Remy found something he never truly experienced: a family…and even something more, as he soon fell in love with teammate Rogue, blessed and cursed with a power that prevented the two of them from ever touching each other.

Apparently, Remy LeBeau is an easy-going, carefree ladies’ man, a charming and arrogant adventurer with a taste for risk; his most vulnerable and fragile side is visible only to a few people, and the many scars he hides have made him a good and somewhat noble man, always ready to protect the ones unable to defend themselves. As Gambit, his mutant powers allow him to take the potential energy of any inanimate object and to convert it into kinetic energy through skin contact, usually with the result of making it explode; this ability, mixed with his training as a member of the Thieves Guild, make him an extraordinary combatant, an acrobat and martial artist who can use anything around him (usually his trademark playing cards) as weapons. Gambit can also use the energy on himself to enhance his physical condition, his strength, speed, balance and durability, or to heal faster. A fascinating scundrel, an irresistible and irritating braggart, Gambit is an essential member of the X-Men, a mutant adventurer who has always an ace up his sleeve…as well as the rest of the royal flush.



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  5. […] senses. When he woke up, he was with two people he had never seen before: they were Phoenix and Gambit of the X-Men, mutant superheroes and teachers in a school specialised in young mutants. The two […]

  6. […] the matter, but two of his most trusted officers, Legacy (an alternate version of Rogue) and Gambit, disobeyed him and kept trying to figure out what was happening. Magneto ordered Moonstar Cadre to […]

  7. […] to the team, and she saved the lives of many teammates, even forcing another evolution for Beast, Gambit, Slipstream and Rogue. Finally, she could use her talents for the cause she had really been […]

  8. […] Rogue: Mystique, in fact, apparently (we can’t be sure of her true motivations) believed that Gambit wasn’t the right man for Rogue, and she wanted to set the two apart. First, disguised as the […]

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