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Machetes! Supercharged Cards! SKULLS! Curtained hair!

Gambit #3

Written by James Asmus

Pencils by Clay Mann w/ Leonard Kirk

Inks by Seth Mann w/ Leonard Kirk

Colors by Rachelle Rosenberg

Review by Joey Braccino

This is not where I expected James Asmus’ Gambit series to go. What started as a grounded, cavalier caper-action comic has quickly escalated to ancient underground caverns, pagan temples, and dragon monsters. And it’s all freaking crazy incredible! I mentioned in my review of Gambit #2 that I welcomed the new direction for our Cajun X-man, and James Asmus reveals the scope of his new direction in this issue. As Gambit states in his opening narration, “Y’ever had the urge ta just step out a’ your life—your responsibilities? Just ta go do something dumb, reckless—and fun?” This first arc has followed this mission statement perfectly, and it’s a welcome change from the angst-ridden, four-colored mutant action from the standard X-Men line.

First of all, Asmus and Mann’s Gambit is still sexy, charming, and capable. He spends a large portion of this issue shirtless or wearing a fitting, ironic, pink t-shirt. He also continues his spontaneous partnership with “La Femme Mysterieux” from the last 2 issues. No, she doesn’t get a name just yet, but their interactions over the course of the issue are delectably tense (sexually and otherwise) and a surprisingly welcome change from Gambit’s well-trodden partnership with Rogue.

The story follows La Femme and Gambit as they travel through Guatemala in search of an ancient pagan temple and the partner to the artifact embedded in Gambit’s abdomen. The action picks up once they’re in the temple, and there is one wonderful double-page spread that is comics storytelling at its finest. Leonard Kirk illustrates that particular spread, which I had to look back to the cover page to discover, because his artwork blends perfectly and seamlessly into Clay Mann’s pencils. Mann’s pencils for the rest of the issue are razor thin and sharp, creating a more naturalistic image than the heavy inks and character designs of other books on the stands. Again, this book is sexy, and that quality carries through the quiet moments into the explosive (literally) action sequences.

Verdict

Check it out! I’m digging this series so far precisely because it’s a new direction for good ol’ Remy. I’d love to see the trenchcoat and the Assassin’s Guild just like the rest of the Gambit fanboys and fangirls out there, but I’m also pleased with how Asmus has quickly escalated the scope of Gambit’s new solo series. Jump on board!

One Response

  1. RepStones

    I’m going to start with the negatives. First off, im still not sold on the art style for this title. Don’t get me wrong, Clay Mann has talent but being a fanboy of ole Remy since my childhood, this particular rendering of the coolest Cajun, just isn’t my cup of tea.
    This new look the creative team have given Remy isn’t working for me either. I realise that a skintight black catsuit might be more realistic for a master thief than a weathered full length trench-coat – but as i said on Bobby’s review of #1, Remy without his trench-coat is like Logan without his mutton chops, it just doesn’t work. If it’s an attempt to make Gambit sexier, well thats just foolish. Gambit doesn’t need to be made more sexier or cooler, thats like trying to make the Pope more Catholic.

    To get fussy for a moment, the bottom panel on the right middle page is really bizarre looking. Gambit’s head is far too big for his body and that continues for most of that action sequence. Not sure if this was down to Leonard Kirk taking over pencils for that part, but its just odd looking.

    Now for the positive – this is most definitely a Remy story out of left field. What seemed to begin (as you say) as a great caper and heist storyline has metamorphosed into something altogether more intriguing. I don’t know if you played the Unchartered video games, but this issue brought back fond memories of those games.
    I was also initially going to complain about the lack of background we’re given about Gambit’s female acquaintance here. But then taking the 3 issues as a whole, i realised I’m actually enjoying Asmus’ pacing and whilst there was a lot of action in this new issue, I do hope this storyline continues for a few more issues yet, so the Femme Mysterieux’s background can wait. The final panel is a single page splash which is just gorgeous and sets up the next issue perfectly.
    As i said, this rendering of Gambit isn’t my cup of tea, but Clay Mann does have talent in those fingers and colourist Rachelle Rosenberg’s abilities are beautifully demonstrated on that last page. Finally, how about that cover? In my opinion probably the best of the week. Steve must have missed it 😉

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