Gambit is a Marvel Comics
character created by Chris Claremont
and Jim Lee first officially appearing in Uncanny X-Men
#266 (August, 1990), due to the comic of his second appearance being released weeks earlier. Not too long after his birth in New Orleans, Louisiana
, Remy LeBeau was kidnapped from the hospital by the LeBeau Clan Thieves' Guild. During this time he was both sought after and feared because of his unusual black-on-red eyes
. In part to protect him from a child trafficker, Jean-Luc LeBeau, the leader of the Thieves' Guild, secretly sent Remy to be part of a gang of young pickpockets before adopting him as a Guild member and his son.
As a teen, he honed his thievery skills, learned acrobatics, Savate (a French martial art) and Bojutsu (bo staff fighting) and learned he had a mutant power. Remy has the ability to force objects to explode by "charging" them, converting their potential energy into kinetic energy. The bigger the item the longer it took to charge, so he preferred to use smaller items like his Weapon of Choice
, a deck of playing cards. Around this time he also gets mixed up with Mr. Sinister during a mission.
To placate and attempt peace between the Thieves' Guild and their rivals the Assassins' Guild, Remy married his first love Bella Donna, the granddaughter of the Assassins' leader. After the wedding, he was challenged by her brother Julien to a duel. Remy kills Julian and Jean-Luc has no choice but to exile him. Striking on his own as a thief for hire, his powers grow beyond his control
. Mr. Sinister fixes the problem, but it comes with a cost. Gambit formed the Marauders
and led them into the New York tunnels on Sinister's order. The Marauders were responsible for the Morlock Massacre, killing many of the mutants in the group, Gambit unable stop it. He was only able to save one child, who later became Marrow.
After that he travels the world, saving a thieving de-aged Storm
with Laser-Guided Amnesia
from the Shadow King. Storm gets her age and memories back and becomes responsible for Gambit joining the X-Men. After helping the X-Men save the day many times and forming a long-running relationship with Rogue, he remained a mysterious figure in the group with Wolverine
never completely trusting him. Eventually, his secret involvement with Mr. Sinister and the Marauders was outed by Magneto
and once the truth was revealed through a kiss from Rogue, the X-Men abandoned him in Antarctica effectively kicking him off the team.
Surviving the ordeal with the help of an energy-based mutant named Mary Purcell, Gambit would rejoin and leave the X-Men several times after. At one point, both Gambit and Rogue lose their powers and they could finally touch and explore their relationship. Despite this, Gambit goes through several misfortunes including being blinded, being forced to being one of Apocalypse's horsemen and being defeated in battle by Captain America
. He currently serves on the X-Men. His and Rogue's relationship remains rocky as Rogue still has trust issues and, of course, Rogue has her powers to worry about. They have seen Emma Frost for psychic therapy, but things haven't worked so far. Mystique attempting to seduce Gambit to prove he wasn't good enough for Rogue in the 2005 "Bizarre Love Triangle" story certainly didn't help matters.
In other media Gambit became popular due to the '90s X-Men
animated series, two years after his debut in the comics. In X-Men Origins: Wolverine
he was played by Taylor Kitsch.Comics
FilmVideo GamesWestern Animation
- Gambit Vol. 1 (1993)
- Wolverine/Gambit: Victims (1995)
- Gambit Vol. 2 (1997)
- Gambit Vol. 3 (1999)
- Gambit & Bishop (2001)
- Gambit Vol. 4 (2004)
- Gambit Vol. 5 (2012)
No releation to anything in the Gambit Index
Tropes associated with Gambit include:
- Anti-Hero: He was raised a thief and his morality is still very... flexible, in some areas. However he does fight for what he considers a good cause and on other matters, his morality is set in stone about what is and isn't right.
- The Atoner: He joined the X-Men due to unwittingly helping the Marauders commit genocide on the Morlocks. Admittedly, Gambit never intentionally took part in said genocide and continues to be a much loved thief with a heart of gold to (some) fans, but still...
- Badass: He takes out a Sentinel single-handedly. With a piece of chewing gum.
- Big Brother Mentor: Gambit used to be protective of the de-aged Storm and both of them became thieving partners before she had turned back to normal. He later becomes a mentor of Laura Kinney (aka X-23) during her solo series.
- Butt Monkey: Not only that Gambit had a dark past, he also has bad luck with his love life - his first childhood friend Belladonna is crazy, his French girlfriend was murdered by Sabretooth and he is suffering in a Masochism Tango relationship with Rogue. He is also shunned by his own teammates after learning his small involvement in the Morlock Massacre.
- Cane Fu
- The Casanova: Largely considered to be a reformed example, having given up his whoring ways since meeting Rogue. Until they broke up anyway.
- The Charmer
- Charm Person: Depending on who's writing at the time, he has a degree of "hypnotic charm" that even works on men. However, it doesn't work if the charmee knows about it.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: He has switched sides so many times that it's a wonder that any team, let alone the X-Men, take him.
- Combat Pragmatist: Gambit fights dirty or he doesn't fight at all.
- Combo Platter Powers
- Conspicuous Gloves: Gambit also wears gloves. His touch allows him to change the potential energy of objects he touches into kinetic energy; his gloves have a few fingers open or missing so he can "charge" and manipulate his cards (one of his weapons of choice). That said, the gloves' design is also cool.
- Cool Old Guy: Considered one by the teenage X-23.
- Dark and Troubled Past
- Deadpan Snarker
- Death Dealer: One of the most iconic examples.
- Depending on the Artist: Some artists and/or colorists cannot get his eye colors right.
- Everything Sounds Sexier in French
- Evil Costume Switch: When Gambit was made into Death by Apocalypse, not only does his hair turn white and his skin blue-black, but he finally gets the memo that black cloaks are cooler and wears a black bondage cloak instead of his usual, shabby trenchcoat.
- Face Palm: His icon in Marvel vs. Capcom
- Fake Defector
- Fingerless Gloves: Gambit wears gloves that are missing fingers, perhaps as a nod to his past as a thief. Also a necessity for his powers, since his mutant ability to kinetically charge (i.e. blow up) objects depends on him touching the object. If he wore full gloves, he would only be able to blow up his gloves.
- Flight, Strength, Heart: Gambit used to have a power which had no practical applications but meant he could touch Rogue. Though this was useful as the two were lovers. He lost it, of course.
- He also had a "charm" power, which everyone except Chris Claremont completely ignored.
- It might have helped if he used it more than a couple times a year.
- Foreshadowing: Sabretooth (who was also a Marauder) recognized and casually talked to Gambit during his first encounter with Gambit as an X-Man. It would be years before Gambit's role in the Morlock massacre was finally revealed.
- Funetik Aksent
- The Gambler
- Gentleman Thief/Lovable Rogue
- Glowing Eyes of Doom
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Used to smoke in the early '90s.
- Having a Blast
- Improbable Weapon User: The exploding playing cards, not the bo staff. Due to the nature of his powers, he's also been known to use anything in reach if he's somehow unable to reach his cards.
- Insane Forgiveness: Toward his father, the Thieves and Assassins Guilds, the X-Men and, depending on your opinion, Rogue.
- Long Lost Sibling: In some continuities, he's the third Summers brother.
- Like Brother and Sister: Him and Storm, more so early on in his tenure than now, but they are still very close.
- Love Triangle: Him with Rogue and Bella Donna then him with Rogue and Magneto.
- Made a Slave: He was sold into slavery as a child. Twice.
- The Magic Touch
- The Masochism Tango: With Rogue.
- Master of the Mixed Message: He and Rogue take turns on this. Early on, Gambit was the one hot for Rogue, with her being extremely wishy-washy about her desire to be with him and angsting about her powers and past. Then, when she got over it and finally returned his feelings, his Dark and Troubled Past came to light and he became the wishy-washy party. From then on, it's continuously jumped back-and-forth between the two. In particular, during his 2012 series, Rogue becomes hostile to Gambit's new lover as the three work together, and when he calls her out on her attitude, she says she still loves him.
- Morality Pet: Becomes one for X-23 in her solo series.
- Mr. Fanservice: Back in the '90s and especially in his current solo series.
- Mundane Utility: While it varies from story to story, he's been shown to have control over how quickly objects release their energy once he charges them. He's occasionally used his powers to turn an object (naturally, typically a playing card) into a light source, and he's also used charged objects to light his cigarettes.
- Outdated Outfit: Gambit's trademark outfit is very '90s in terms of style. He's had other costumes afterwards, but still wears this one the most.
- Out of Focus/Demoted to Extra: He suffers of both tropes since the earlier-mid 2000s thereafter.
- Paper Master: His playing card ammo.
- Perma Stubble
- Person of Mass Destruction: If Gambit had not gone to Mister Sinister for surgery to remove a portion of brain tissue to control his powers, he would have been too dangerous to live. On the other hand, an alternative version of Gambit aptly called New Sun was a very destructive force.
- Pie in the Face: A kinetically charged pie in the face...to Rogue.
- Planet Eater: A great number of events from Gambit's life were the direct result of an alternate version of himself called New Sun trying to prevent him from bringing to fruition a prophecy that forsaw him losing control of his Omega-level powers and unitentionally consuming everything on the Earth616 like a living Sun. In a great number of universes visited by New Sun, various versions of "Le Diable Blanc" had already distroyed their own worlds.
- Playing Card Motifs: He has a playing card theme, with particular fondness for the Joker and the Ace of Spades. When Rogue appears as his love interest, it's common to see her represented in his motif as the Queen of Hearts.
- Poirot Speak: His Caijun French dialect.
- Pretty Boy
- Progressively Prettier: He wasn't all that good-looking in his first appearances, but became steadily more attractive from artist to artist.
- Psychic Static/Psychic Block Defense: Gambit has been known to employ the intentional version, at one point revealing to several Xavier Academy students that he pictures the Blob naked in order to make sure that telepaths like Rachel Summers and Emma Frost aren't eavesdropping on his thoughts.
- At one point, he could also block telepaths simply by keeping a charged object with him, but this ability seems to have been dropped.
- Ragin' Cajun: Also his nickname.
- Real Men Wear Pink: Under his trenchcoat, he wears a magenta vest as well as lots of magenta stripes on the sleeves and pants.
- Rule of Cool: Gambit can make any item explosive by “charging” it. If he wanted he could use more dangerous material to charge, but sticks with playing cards in part because of this trope.
- Shout-Out: Has cats named Oliver, Lucifer and Figaro.
- Simple Staff: His collapsible adamantium bo staff.
- Southern Gentleman: Especially towards Rogue... who often appreciates this.
- Stepford Snarker: Usually Gambit doesn't like to talk about his past or anything personal. Instead, he hides his negative feelings by using snark and charm that he could pass himself off as laid-back and charming to others.
- Street Smart
- Street Urchin
- Stuff Blowing Up: His main power.
- Sympathetic Murder Backstory: Both his duel with Julien and the Molock Massacre.
- Technicolor Eyes: He has red irises with black sclera.
- Technicolor Ninjas: Look up at Real Men Wear Pink's description. Now bear in mind that the character is a thief.
- Hey, you try seeing a goddamn thing on the bayou.
- Third-Person Person: In the '90s X-Men cartoon.
- Trickster Archetype
- Twang Hello: And then it explodes.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Gambit with Cyclops and Wolverine. Seems to be slowly developing this with Pete Wisdom as of late, too.
- Wimpification: His usual fate in the Slash Fic for the fandom.
- Wolverine Publicity: Not as bad as Wolvie himself though.
- Your Cheating Heart: He'd been hitting on Rogue for half-a-dozen issues before his wife Belladonna suddenly turned up - although in fairness, he did have good reason to treat the marriage as effectively over.