Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Gambit, Volume 1: Once a Thief... Review (James Asmus, Clay Mann)

Gambit has his own Marvel NOW! series? They kept that quiet! But it’s true, there are 3 volumes of Remy Lebeau’s antics from James “Quantum and Woody” Asmus, and, after reading the first one, I can see why no-one’s talking about it. It’s Gambit repeatedly doing his rogueish thief thing while a bunch of two-dimensional characters take him through some unengaging storylines. 

Gambit appears at a rich businessman’s private party to lift some expensive gear, just ‘cos he’s bored of being a teacher at the Jean Grey School, and meets a femme fatale who leads him on a bizarre journey into another realm, or something. The second and final storyline sees Gambit forced into working for the rich businessman to steal Excalibur - enter Pete Wisdom and MI13 (paranormal British intelligence agency). 

James Asmus is doing great stuff over at Valiant but he can’t find a pulse with Gambit. I don’t think that’s entirely fault - Gambit simply isn’t a lead character who’s much better in an ensemble cast (like a lot of X-Men characters, Wolverine included). Asmus tries to give Remy a personality but besides the raffish ‘tude and occasional dips into French (oh-ho-ho mon ami!), there isn’t much to him. 

None of the supporting cast, from the generic evil businessguy to the bad girl with the rad ink and everyone in between, are particularly interesting either, so there’s no-one here to really become invested in. The first storyline didn’t make sense in where it headed while the second was easier to follow but still wasn’t very enthralling. 

My default mood when reading Gambit was basically unattached boredom, occasionally rising to mild interest (like when Gambit’s thrown out of a plane with his arms and legs tied and has to figure out how to survive), but its not enough to recommend and definitely didn’t interest me in wanting to pick up volumes 2 and 3. 

It looks like Marvel are giving every single character they’ve got a shot at their own series which sometimes works - take Magneto, Loki and the forthcoming Doop series which I’m sure will be mega-awesome - but in the case of Gambit, it’s a gamble that didn’t pay off. Au revoir, Remy and your weird hot-pink attire!

Gambit - Volume 1: Once a Thief... (Marvel Now)

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