Comic Vine Review


Gambit #1 - Once a Thief..., Part One Review


Monsieur LeBeau returns in an ongoing series, and we give you a spoiler-free review of the issue before it hits stores tomorrow.

The Good

We got an early look at the first issue of GAMBIT's ongoing series, (thanks Marvel), and per their request, this will be a "spoiler-free" review of this issue that hits stores tomorrow.

GAMBIT: Once A Thief, Part 1 opens up with a recap of what we already know: he's a superhero and a mutant fighting alongside the X-Men, he's recently appeared in WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN as a teacher, and his relationship with a certain ex-girlfriend (Rogue) is a lot different than it had been in the past. It kicks off to a good start by giving the reader a basic idea of what the character has been going through. The dialogue reads like Gambit is shedding pieces of his identity, breaking down the man he's become over the years in order to get to his core. Coincidentally, he's also literally shedding (clothing) in the scene too, which I saw as symbolism for what's really happening.

I think the title of the first arc, "Once A Thief," is very important because Gambit has moved so far away from that identity -- it's been a long time since he's been just "a thief." It will be interesting to see whether the character makes his return to those roots in this series, or if Asmus will develop his character in an entirely different way. The pacing in the issue is good, as is the overall story. It's a fun book (albeit, a little bit corny in some parts but hey, that's all part of Gambit's charm).

Clay Mann does a fantastic job penciling this issue. Gambit looks as debonair as ever in this book, and his dialogue is equally as charismatic. You can tell that writer James Asmus made a point to depict him as a little bit clumsy in some scenes; as if he's been out of the game and out of his element for a long time and is only now just getting back into the swing of things, which I found important to the overall plot.

The Bad

There were some scenes involving some high tech instruments that probably sounded like they would be really cool, but just weren't executed very well. They were a tiny bit corny. In addition to that, I think it would have been more interesting to see Gambit put more thought into the process of preparation for what happens in this issue -- some things just seemed to come too easily for him.

While I really loved Clay Mann's pencils (he does a great job executing Gambit's chiseled, handsome features) I was not at all a fan of the colors. I didn't feel that they added at all to the pencils and made the art in this book look dull. Mann's lines are so crisp, I think that stronger colors and heavier inking would have better suited the art in this book.

We're also introduced to a new character who, according to writer James Asmus, may appear later in Gambit's series. Unfortunately, nothing about her interested me and made me think "wow, she seems interesting; I can't wait to learn more about her."

The Verdict

Overall, this wasn't a bad issue. I think it was great to see the character doing things we haven't seen him do in a long time. I think that it's great to see Asmus play up certain aspects of Gambit's personality; I think that's important. There are some great scenes that highlight Gambit's athleticism and they were portrayed by Mann really well.

The colors made the art look a little bit sloppy and muddled, which I found disappointing since I'm such a fan of Clay Mann's angular lines and pencils. I think with heavier inks and more distinct and detailed coloring I would like this a whole lot more.

The ending was great; it really leaves the reader with a cliff hanger and you will likely find yourself wanting to read a lot more.

Posted by zackattack529

mmm i guess i wont be gettin this issue afterall.

doesnt sound good even thought you gave it 4 stars.

i think ill wait for a TPB

Posted by Mandrewgora

ehh I guess I'll check it out.

Posted by hunter5024

They should put x23 in this book instead.

Posted by Dernman

I'll read a friends copy.

Posted by Blood1991

Will be reading this.

Posted by kittyloveslockheed

Can't wait to pick this up tomorrow.

Posted by the_fallen11

Does Gambit still have his Deathie powers? Has that ever been addressed since the idea was abandoned?

Posted by SavageDragon

Everyone in the comments is like ehhh on this book. Well I say...


Posted by Mercy_

I've been saying the same thing about the colors ever since the preview came out! I'll be getting this regardless, but those takes a lot to make me not love Clay Mann's art and these colors are just so off that the art is verging on bad, imo.

Posted by The Poet

I don't usually read marvel, but this is one I want to read...

Posted by Omnicrono

@The Poet said:

I don't usually read marvel, but this is one I want to read...

Agreed. And this first issue was solid; a promising start.

Posted by Danial79

I've loved Gambit since the 90's animated series, so I'll definitely be checking this out.

Edited by Mypasswordisnotpassword

Getting this

Posted by xAnimosity

@Danial79 said:

I've loved Gambit since the 90's animated series, so I'll definitely be checking this out.


Posted by GreenFuse

@Danial79 said:

I've loved Gambit since the 90's animated series, so I'll definitely be checking this out.

You took the words out of my mouth parts...GIVE THEM BACK!

Posted by SarahB

I'm definitely going to pick this up.  I love the character and Marvel's used him poorly for half a decade now.  I'm a bit worried that Asmus seems to be pushing Gambit as out of touch skill wise when he was stealing just fine in his last series and was on his own when Rogue was off running around in Australia.  I just don't see him as that out of practice nor that the X-Men should have any issue with him keeping his skills up.  They don't come down on Wolverine for it.  More I don't like the hinted idea that Gambit was trying to be a "better man" when he was with Rogue than now that she's treated him badly.  He was a better man before he met Rogue.  Unlike most of the X-Men's characters with dark pasts who never have to apologize at least he did and was remorseful. Just slding back to being just a thief just confirms Magneto's bs comments by Carey.  That said,  the X-Men sure as heck don't seem to know how to use someone with his skills well though which is stupid on their part and i'd love to see Gambit become the hero the X-books never let him be so I hope this is going to be more than just a Gambit steals stuff book and gets on the wrong side of other heros.  Thats what his last book was and it got old fast as we've seen it too much though this one seems like more fun than it was.   

Posted by LadyLigeia

I can hardly contain myself. I will be the first one through my LCS tomorrow morning to get my two copies.

Posted by BaBaBoom

@hunter5024 said:

They should put x23 in this book instead.

I'll hate this book if they did that, then again this is one of the books that I'm not going to buy so I guess it doesn't matter.

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Actually read this aloud to a female friend of mine who's a big Gambit fan. Awesome!

Posted by illegal

Definitely getting this today. GAMBIT ROCKS

Posted by kagato

Just picked this up, its a long time until home time....

Posted by Iron Fist Angel

I've always liked Gambit but I'm more into team books than solo ones to be honest. I am not even sure this one will be around for long. His last solo series went what...two years maybe? I guess that would be pretty long in this age of many series seemingly being unable to get past issue 12 or so.

I am going to have a gap in my pull box with several of my regular comics being axed this October. I guess it could be worth a look.

Posted by Gambit1024

Just read it. I really liked it! :D

Posted by natejoseph09

The story was pretty good, art is slightly dodgy but i heard it's being fixed next issue, Everyone should buy it though :)

Posted by shrmntnk62

While I didn't love this, it was the coolest my favorite X-Man has been in years.

Posted by Jean_Luc_LeBeau

I loved this issue and surprisingly the coloring was better then early previews depicted. No Rogue, No silly headband, no Trenchcoat. All swagg. Gambits back mon ami

Posted by lukin42

Gambit is fine for the young girls in the audience but his character is so out of date and such a product of the 90s that I can't see how anybody over the age of 12 could be interested in a solo book starring this Cajun cliche. Maybe it's just the cantankerous old man in me but I think Gambit is best relegated to the B team in some X-Book nobody reads.

Posted by KMART4455

Ill give it ONE shot..

and one shot alone..

Gambit is a character that needs to be done a certain way to be right...


Posted by Cavemold

Pretty good issue , a major cliff hanger I'll be back

Posted by Smurfboy

Just picked this one up and finished read it a while ago. I loved it! The art is great and I'm enjoying the story thus far. The story is bit simple but fun and easy to read/follow. I am definitely looking forward to the next issue to see what happens to Gambit, based on what I saw in the last page of first issue.

Posted by rawr

I am going to eat my crow and say while the issue started on the boring/expected side... by the end it introduced a compelling villain and a really cool cliffhanger. No idea where it is going to go from here. Chalk me up surprised.

Posted by Dernman

This was actually better then I thought it would be. I'm not going to put it on my pull list but it's still worth a read.

Posted by Yai_Inn

It was good, but I wasn't a fan of all the gadgets... felt like I was reading a catwoman story...

Posted by sparty-dbq

I'm not sure I was feeling it with this first issue. I'll still give it a few more until I know what I'm dealing with, but I just wasn't wowed.

Posted by Ramier

as u can see from my icon i am a huge gambit fan. It didnt vow me this didnt feel like gambit, i found this more of a james bond type of read. I'm still going to get the second issue because it might get better. The book wasn't the best but it wasn't bad. I wasn't really a fan of the art work, it made him look soft

Posted by saoakden

Yes a Gambit series. Gambit is one of my favorite X-Men characters and I'm glad he has his own series. Now bring back X-23.

Posted by LadyLigeia

Amazing. Just amazing. I loved the art, and especially the colours so I'm a bit confused over this review. And the only Rogue appearance was in a photo frame at the beginning.

I can tell Gambit will be just fine in this series. Excellent beginning.

Posted by nikocb

Loved the art. Loved the story. Love Gambit!

Posted by PrioritySeven

I was really skeptical about ongoings for Hawkeye and Gambit, but they both delivered big time.

Posted by bigaza2151

this had some crazy good artwork reads like a james bond flick or the opening scene from true lies