When he first appeared in the 1990s Uncanny X-Men comic #266, Gambit seemed like a bit of a ladies man, but he was also far more brooding than he has appeared over the years since. He has gradually evolved into a much more flirty, playful character. Created by Chris Claremont, Remy LeBeau is the resident Cajun charmer of the X-Men, and he’s fought on both sides of good and bad over the years. In most cases, he’s a fairly popular hero made even more popular by his handsome looks and charm, but when he’s on the side of evil, he’s also left a long trail of damage in his wake.
Named after a chess strategy in which a player sacrifices a piece to gain an advantage over an opponent, Gambit’s known for taking chances and using unconventional weapons, to say the least. He’s also made his share of poor choices, ranging from the cowardly to the sheer idiotic. Those moments are the fodder for these 15 Most WTF Gambit Moments.
15. He Was Abandoned As A Baby Due To His Eye Color
Poor baby Remy. As most fans of Marvel already know, living a mutant life is far from easy, and it’s full of discrimination and fear. In many cases, a mutant’s own parents are the sources of this negativity, which was the case for Gambit. He was abandoned as a baby because of his red eye color, which made him seem like a demonic monster to his parents. Had he not been dismissed by his fearful biological father, he may have had a very different life.
Speaking of Gambit’s eyes, he also used to shoot these wild and wiggly-looking green energy blasts from them when he was first introduced to the comics, making him a less impressive version of Cyclops for a few issues. Fans are happy to not only no longer see Gambit’s wonky eye lasers streaming from his red eyes, which gave him a weird Christmassy vibe, but to also no longer have that strange shade of neon green associated with his character, period.
14. He Got Married To Unite Two Rival Gangs
Believe it or not, Rogue was not always Gambit’s main squeeze. His first true love went by the name of Bella Donna Boudeaux. The two grew up together as childhood friends and fell in love, but their marriage was arranged to unite the warring LeBeau Clan Thieves’ Guild and Assassins’ Guild, a match that sounded as if it might be made in heaven before it took a turn toward Shakespearean tragedy. Gambit killed Bella Donna’s brother and started another rift before living a life in exile. The storyline, while seemingly over dramatic (what X-line isn’t?), really defines Gambit’s character, highlighting his status as a Romeo-like figure.
In Gambit’s defense, Bella Donna’s brother, Julien, did challenge him to a fight to the death. Bella Donna gained psychic powers and apparently died in Gambit’s arms while fighting the Brood, but woke from her coma years later still in love with him.
13. He Was Adopted By The Thieves Guild
When people hear that Gambit made his start as a thief, sometimes the news is met with disdain. What hero turns to the side of good after a life of crime? (A lot of them, actually, but that’s another list.) In Gambit’s defense, it was his abandonment as a baby that led to his kidnapping and being raised by the Thieves Guild of New Orleans in the first place, making his story a defense attorney’s wet dream. He may not have been a thief on his own had he not been rejected from birth.
Created by the External Candra, the Thieves Guild acted as her personal line of thieves, paying tribute to her in exchange for the Elixir of Life every seven years. This means that not only was Gambit trained at an early age to be a thief from the best, but that his gang was more like a supernatural mob, getting him even deeper in over his head.
It was his arranged marriage to Bella Donna through the Guild and their subsequent ruling on his exile that held Gambit to really decide to be on his own and never follow other people’s rules unless he agreed with them– forging his identity as we know it.
12. He Almost Slept With An Underage Student
Comic readers, remember that time in X-Men #173 when Gambit found himself tempted to sleep with one of his students? Foxx attempted to seduce her teacher in the shower, despite knowing that Gambit was with Rogue and unwilling to cheat on her. She even told him that he should have sex with her because of his inability to touch his girlfriend. Of course, later we learned that it wasn’t a teen student at all but Mystique in disguise, making this moment even more of a WTF bomb: what mother tries to seduce her daughter’s man as a teenager only to, as she put it, “prove what a piece of garbage he is“?
Even though he managed to reject Foxx’s advances as she came to him all naked and wet in the shower, the last panel of the comic revealed him clutching the shower knob. The panel before it reveals him leaning back making a face, so we’re left to imagine that the Cajun at least had a romantic encounter with his hand afterward, which is fortunate enough for him, considering the time he…
11. He Almost Blew Off His Own Hand
Gambit may be able to lay the charm on thick, but that doesn’t mean that he’s impenetrable from the opposite sex. On the contrary, the ladies of Gambit’s life have always been able to distract Remy– sometimes with deadly consequences. When Gambit is just let back onto the team in X-Men #81 after a mistake so big it cost hundreds of lives (see #3), he nearly blows off his own hand at the sight of his old flame, Rogue. He starts to fire up the cards as usual when he hears someone approaching, but when he realizes it’s her he hides them behind his back and awkwardly tries to have a conversation with her.
Rogue won’t have it, and when he pleads with her to talk to him, to say anything, she leans in and whispers, “Gambit, you’re about to blow off your hand… and don’t call me Chere, sugah.” Double ouch. Wolverine shows up and hints that, while Gambit deserves a second chance, if the Cajun hurts Rogue he’s going to go all big brother on his fellow X-Man.
10. One Punch From Captain America And He’s Down For The Count
Gambit has made a few major blunders when it comes to battle. Most of the X-Men have, which is normal, but several of Remy’s have been downright embarrassing. There was the time when Captain American and Gambit went head to head with no one else around and Cap whooped the crap out of ol’ Remy with a single punch. What added insult to injury was that Gambit not only sent a charge into Cap’s shirt, blowing his costume to pieces (which Cap himself remained pretty unscathed from), but he also threw three cards at him and fought hard while Steve just kept coming at him, ending the fight with one single punch!
We all are well aware of what a badass Captain America is (no matter which side he’s on… sniff) but this just makes Gambit look like a newb with a low skill level and not much to bring to the table at all. Luckily he’s usually much more skillful with his powers, which makes it so odd that Cap put him down so fast and yet…
9. He Beat Wolverine Twice
It makes exactly zero sense that, although Captain America knocked Gambit out with a single punch, Gambit was able to take down Wolverine not once, but two times. Granted, the Cajun did trick Wolvie… both times. In the first instance in Uncanny X-Men #273, Remy decided to program the Danger Room to feature a fight with Lady Deathstrike to distract Wolverine, which let him knock Wolvie out with his staff. It wasn’t very sportsmanlike or fair, but it got the job done in a fight that Wolverine would’ve easily won otherwise.
The second time that Gambit wiped the floor with Wolverine happened when he tricked him during the Contest of Champions II, this time with the Brood Queen appearing in Rogue’s body as a major distraction. But given that all of the mutants were drugged to even allow this battle to occur and that Wolverine wasn’t even in his right mind, it barely even counts as a win. In any fair fight, Wolverine would best Gambit and most fans, even die-hard Remy fans, know this.
8. He Blinded Himself With His Powers
If you think that Remy almost blowing off his whole hand sounds bad, there was another time when he blinded himself with his own powers. During a fight in China, Rogue hits a villain, causing a weapon to discharge and barely graze Gambit’s charged playing card, which does go off this time, blinding him in the process. Rogue stays by his bedside while he whines and complains about this lack of sight, blaming her for it. “I finally get my powers back and you cost me my eyes, Rogue. Maybe next time you can amputate a leg or two, then laugh when I fall over.” This is a Remy that nobody likes very much, and Rogue takes off while he’s still talking to her.
Remy’s lack of sight led to him developing some kind of precognitive abilities that he used in a couple of fights, then his eyesight was inexplicably restored, quickly and cleanly, by Sage, making the whole thing seem pretty pointless. Speaking of his powers, many people assume that they are limited to kinetic energy, but there’s more…
7. His Charm IS One Of His Powers
Plenty of people think that Gambit is a smooth talker just because he’s, well, a sexy fella. There is a reason why Channing Tatum (aka Magic Mike) is playing him on the big screen. But the truth is that his charm is one of his several powers. It’s a hypnotic and suggestive power that makes him seem more irresistible than he would be otherwise; a power that’s usually reserved for women in comics. The influence he wields is subtle but solid. He has employed it over and over again to his advantage, gaining the team access they would have to fight for otherwise in many different situations.
Given how vulnerable he is when it comes to Rogue, it seems unlikely that he would employ his abilities when it comes to his love life, but that has not stopped many from wondering if he uses the power among his various conquests, which might explain…
6. His Long, Crazy History With Rogue
When a relationship is built on lies, it’s bound to fail. Add the fact that you can’t touch the person that you’ve fallen for to the equation and you have a match made of doom. That’s pretty much the whole Gambit and Rogue story in a nutshell, and although he’s lied to her, started a relationship with her while still married to Bella Donna, and had so many weird twists and turns along the way throughout their history, they are still one of the biggest fan-favorite couples in the history of the X-Men.
Some of their history has been pretty run of the mill couple conflict, but between Gambit’s deceit and toxic actions, Rogue has left him quite a few times. He has even kidnapped her in a couple of different timelines. Once was in X-Men: Evolution, when he claims he’s trying to help her when he’s actually only using her to help him locate his dad, and it happened again in Ultimate X-Men when he took her to the von Strucker twins, who also wanted to use her powers. That time, at least he did manage to help save her (from the predicament he put her in), which resulted in his death.
5. He Hit A Gas Pipe And Knocked Everyone Unconscious
When you’re doing your job and it results in everyone being accidentally being knocked unconscious, it’s pretty much time to start visiting the Danger Room on a daily basis to build up your skills. In one of his most inept moments during Black Panther #8, the X-Men are attempting to escape some seriously dangerous knockout gas. The team works really well together to put a stop to the attack, and after Havok instructs Iceman to freeze the vents from which the gas is escaping, it momentarily seems like the team will be safe from the onslaught of fumes.
Not so, says Gambit! In what can only be described as a showoff move, the Cajun says that he’s got the whole thing covered while he blows a hole right into the vents holding the knockout gas, which renders nearly the entire team unconscious in the process. Rogue does manage to admonish him for it right before she’s knocked out. Way to go, Remy.
4. He Became The Horseman Of Death
It’s bad enough when Apocalypse makes you an offer that you can’t refuse, but when you become one of his Four Horseman on purpose, it speaks pretty poorly of your character. In what seemed like a self-pitying act of a whiny child, Gambit decided to join Apocalypse and become his agent of Death because… nobody listened to him anymore. Yeah. It didn’t help that Rogue had just broken up with him (again), but you don’t just go off and become an apocalyptic monster because your girlfriend dumps you.
Later it’s explained that he’s doing it for the X-Men because he loves them and he thinks he’s going to get Apocalypse to help them, but it’s complete baloney, especially after he takes the serum that turns him into the deadly (but admittedly cool-looking) Death.
It took Gambit remembering Rogue’s love to snap his head back into reality. Of course, he had a relapse that made him not only slip back into his role as the Horseman of Death but also turn some of his fellow X-Men into similar creatures, but Magick was able to return him to normal.
3. He Helped Create The Mutant Massacre
When he formed the Marauders at the request of Mister Sinister, Gambit had no idea that it would lead to what would forever be known as the Mutant Massacre. Hundreds of morlocks were murdered by the Mauraders during the massacre. Their entire population could have easily been demolished had the X-Men and X-Factor teams not made it there in time to save some of them.
Gambit’s role in this devastating day, no matter how reluctant, remains a disastrous one nevertheless. It also caused him to be exiled from the X-Men for a while, which is pretty understandable given that Angel was crucified during the massacre and several X-Men, including Colossus, Nightcrawler, and Shadowcat, were injured badly in addition to the hundreds of mutant deaths that day.
Gambit’s original planned identity was an artificially and aged version of Mister Sinister, a character designed to seduce Rogue. In this scenario, Mister Sinister is in love with Rogue. That may have been a scrapped story line, but Gambit still has ties to the villain.
2. He Has A God Form That Can Best The Phoenix
Gambit the god. While it has a nice alliteration to it, his history does not exactly render Gambit the godly type. Even so, when Gambit developed powers as New Son on Earth-9921, his godlike form was even more powerful than the Phoenix. In this version of reality, Gambit’s parents don’t just embrace his powers; they are paid by the government to develop them in the Alpha-1 project. This Gambit did work with the X-Men for a short period, but killing the Phoenix caused him to abandon the team. His own hubris caused him to destroy all life on the planet when he created a mystical and kinetic energy shockwave.
After Gambit the “god” overcharged and blew up his own world, he went on a power-hungry quest to seek out all of the Gambits in the multiverse and wipe them out in order to ensure the protection of the planet in every reality. He hired assassins to kill these versions of himself, but later he revealed that he truly wished to just push the different Gambits to use their powers to their full potential.
1. He Fights With Playing Cards
Once upon a time, Gambit fought with small but effective daggers. Daggers are weapons. Daggers make sense. So when the Powers That Be replaced them with playing cards, it sure seemed like a weird decision at best. They have to be in the top 10 weakest weapons category easily. Why not keep the daggers? Sure, the cards are flashy and they go with his name and his whole take chances modus operandi, but they don’t exactly inspire fear in the hearts of villains, do they? In fact, if you watch the X-Men animated series, his cards always seem so weak and ineffective when shown against the likes of, say, Storm or Wolverine or even, let’s face it, Jubilee.
The only way Gambit’s weapons really work is when you look at them as an extension of his personality rather than his powers. He does fight admirably with a staff a la Donatello, but there was also the time he used a broomstick instead of a staff. It makes you wonder what exactly were the writers thinking… Gambit the witch?
Do you have any crazy Gambit moments from X-Men comics to share? Let us know in the comments!