Gambit #2 Review

Writer: Chris Claremont

Art: Sid Kotian

Colors: Espen Grundetjerk

Letters: VC’s Clayton Cowles

Cover Artists: Whilce Portacio & Alex Sinclair

Variant Cover Artists: Russell Dauterman & Matthew Wilson

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Price: 3.99

Release Date: August 31st, 2022

He may be a charming and mischievous Cajun thief, but Remy LeBeau is still a good guy–especially when he has the chance to help a lovely woman in danger.

If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the Gambit #2 Review.

 The Dispatch

Thieves, women warriors, the Shadow King, and an interstellar bounty hunter–GAMBIT #1 roared out of the gate with a lot of high-stakes balls in the air. GAMBIT #2 charts a quieter course, dialing the story’s stakes back down, and even separates Gambit and ‘Ro from the issue.

Though elements of the Shadow King storyline remain, Claremont changes course in GAMBIT #2 and in the opening pages Gambit and ‘Ro are injured when they are run off the road by two onrushing cars, both of which are slamming against each other as they drive. After the crash, the woman driving one of the other cars lends aid which leads to an unconscious ‘Ro being tended to in the woman’s mother’s home clinic and Gambit getting embroiled in a real estate scheme to take the mother’s house away.

The strength of GAMBIT #2 is the titular character. Claremont’s return to Gambit’s early days lets him dial up Gambit’s recently subdued mischievous danger and charm. This portrayal of the character will continue to appeal to fans of his earlier years. If you’re looking for a reason that this GAMBIT mini-series should exist, Claremont’s choice to feature this version of the character is definitely a good one.

Unfortunately, the character element is just about the only reason to read GAMBIT #2. The storyline has precious little to do with the first issue. The issue does include a couple of mentions of ‘Ro’s connection to the Shadow King. But the story mostly follows Gambit as he gets involved with a fairly small-scale plot involving characters we’ve known for less than a full issue that, while a reasonable vehicle to showcase Gambit’s old habits, isn’t especially compelling in its own right.

The other area where GAMBIT #2 stumbles is the lack of interaction between Gambit and ‘Ro. Gambit is the series’ titular character. But it’s undeniable that the first issue’s success is largely due to how Claremont wrote the two characters and delved into a previously unexplored aspect of their relationship. There was a fun give and take between the two. It had equal parts humor and compassion that even included hints of a mentor/mentee relationship. We keenly feel the absence of that interaction here. And while the time the issue spends with Gambit and his new lady friend is amusing it isn’t nearly as engaging.

 The Art

While GAMBIT #2’s narrative may be a step down from the first issue, its art doesn’t miss a step. Kotian keeps the fun factor going throughout by drawing a very expressive Gambit. He constantly looks like he’s having fun in all but the most dire of circumstances. This contributes nicely to the success of Gambit as a character and makes the issue more enjoyable. And no doubt many readers will like Gambit in a Speedo.

The issue includes some nice dream sequences depicted largely in grayscale with hints of accent colors. Given how vibrant the rest of the issue is, this is good work from Kotian and Grundetjern to set them so very much apart from the rest of the issue and emphasize their importance.

 Final Thoughts

GAMBIT #2 isn’t a bad comic. In fact, it’s perfectly fine. But that’s essentially its problem. It isn’t particularly gripping as a narrative. As a result, it relies on the reader’s affection for a particular character existing in a specific slice of time. This story never feels like it needs to be told nor does it say anything particularly new. It’s possible that that’s nothing more than a side effect of needing to transition into a new part of the arc. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make you want to stick around to find out what that might be.


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