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.
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!