Written by James Asmus
Breakdowns by Clay Mann
Finishes by Clay Mann, Jay Leisten, & Ed Tadeo
Colors by Rachelle Rosenberg
Review by Joey Braccino
When James Asmus’ Gambit solo series dropped last summer, there was a lot of promise in the “new direction” mission of the book. Whereas a previous Gambit books focused on either the thief background or the superheroic angle, Asmus’ book blended the two into a caper comic in the vein of Ocean’s Eleven and Entrapment. It was charming. It was high-concept. It was fantasy. Later issues worked in mystical elements and hard sci-fi. All the while, our eponymous Cajun was searching for who he was supposed to be—the thief, the hero, the lover, or the teacher.
For the most part, Gambit has been a fun ride. Asmus has demonstrated a strong grasp of Remy’s voice and the central conceit of self-discovery has driven each of the story arcs. The diverse ensemble—from Big Bad Borya Cich to Peter Wisdom and MI:13 to Rogue’s Avengers Unity Squad—has helped expand the scope of the book past just Gambit and his heists. This final issue brings all of the threads and players together as Gambit fights his way out of his Thieves’ Guild trial.
Unlike most grand finales, the ultimate resolution to this issue (and the series proper) provides a sense of closure to all of Asmus’ dangling threads—both plot- and character-related. The cliffhanger at the end is an enticing tease, and I wonder how future writers will handle the development in other series.
Despite Asmus’ stellar work over the entire run, the artwork simply has not maintained any level of consistency or quality. Clay Mann’s promising work during the first story arc was sexy and natural, but starting around issue #5, art duties started getting split between multiple artists. Since then, rarely has an issue of Gambit been handled by a single-artist. Unfortunately, even the final issue features a team of artists. Clay Mann handles breakdowns, but he is joined by Jay Leisten and Ed Tadeo to finish out the visuals. One glimmer of consistency has been Rachelle Rosenberg’s colors. Her color palette maintains the realism of the book, regardless of whose pencils/inks she’s painting over.
A proper ending to a promising series. James Asmus provides an excellent sense of closure to his Gambit run. If only the artwork could have kept up along the way…