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
James Asmus’ first Gambit arc comes to a close with some more steamy intrigue, some more giant snake monsters, and some more shirtless Remy LeBeau (oh la la!). James Asmus delivers an exciting, action-packed script for the end of the first story arc, but some stark inconsistencies between Clay Mann’s pencils and Leonard Kirk’s relief artwork bump this issue down on the meter of awesomeness–or the awesometer.
The discrepancies in artwork are surprising considering Kirk and Mann’s near perfect synergy on issue #3. Whereas last issue, Kirk was able to mimic Mann’s fine pencilwork to a tee, this issue sees Kirk almost simulate Howard Chaykin’s rounded figure designs rather than Mann’s fluid character work. For some reason, the color seems to shift palette between the two artists, despite the fact that Rachelle Rosenberg pulls color duty for both artists. There is at least some attempt to divide the sequences/scenes logically between the two artists—Mann has the ancient Aztec cavern; Kirk gets the fire-and-brimstone alternate reality—but there really aren’t any substantial (or intentional) variations in style to justify the distinction. It’s a disappointment, especially considering the caliber of the artists at hand. Mann provides a stunning double-page spread early on in the book of the mythical snake-monster summoned at the cliff-hanger of issue #3, while Kirk imbues the fight sequence with his trademark kinetic energy (get it?), but they never really click together perfectly.
Art issues aside, James Asmus continues his new rendition of Gambit by invoking some of his past. A small moment in the script—“May as well die the way I lived… Tryin’ ta impress a pretty girl who don’t seem ta care”—speaks volumes to just why Remy has retrogressed to his old cavalier lifestyle. And La Femme Mysterieux finally gets a name and, in doing so, somehow manages to get even more mysterious. The cliffhanger brings the arc full circle, and I’m excited to see Remy move on to his next adventure.
Check it out! Asmus’ Gambit has been a fun ride so far. Once Clay Mann gets back into gear on art duties, the book should return to a consistent level of cool cavalier caper comics action! Also, Pete Wisdom and MI:13 for the next arc (or so the solicits say…)!