stephaniebrite's Gambit #12 - Tombstone Blues review

An ending with more questions

This story arc of Gambit has been full of what I like to call "wait, what?" moments*, and this issue is no exception. We learn a little bit more about Joelle's past as well as about Joelle herself, yet only the very basic questions about her are answered. We see the Zero Compound in action, but if these previous issues have been any indication, we still haven't been shown the full extent of what it is or can do - only the merest hints. The end of the issue seems to bring the current story arc to a close, but in reality it only ties off the immediate, main plot thread - the rest are left dangling, hopefully to be picked up in future issues.

Luckily, as in the previous issue, we have the stability of the relationship between Gambit and Rogue to hold the issue together. Not that their relationship itself is stable, but there exists a camaraderie that whatever else, one will always have the other's back - even if one is not happy about it. Asmus lets that aspect of their relationship shine through dialogue so even if you are unfamiliar with Gambit and Rogue's background you can pick up on their long and not-always-easy (not-ever-easy?) history together.

The art helps the story along well and some panels in particular stand out on their own, such as the panel of Joelle and Gambit in silhouette towards the end. The coloring might be my favourite part though - the palettes chosen for different settings are great, and the overall effect gives off a saturated, gritty feel that really fits the story.

Overall, I'd give this a solid 4/5 stars. I'm still really happy with this series, although I hope the "wait, what?" moments calm down for a bit and we can really dig deeper into the questions posed in the past few issues. Much more of them and it's going to get gimmicky, fast. Gambit's charm only carries him so far. Given that last panel as well as the B&W preview panels for the next issue, though, I think things are about to get quite a bit more interesting.

*A "wait, what?" moment is when we get a reveal about some mysterious issue or person that tends to jerk us in the opposite direction of what was expected, and leaves us wanting to know even more. I'm sure there's a technical name for this technique, and if anybody knows it please drop me a line.

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