Gambit's time with Tombstone been a huge improvement over the previous story arcs in this book. Despite being a total fanboy for Remy ever since the '90s animated series, I wasn't really digging this series all that much. But this latest story? It's exactly what I'd want from a Gambit book. Man, if this is the kind of quality I can continue to expect from writer James Asmus, then I pray he's granted all the time he wants with the Ragin' Cajin!
While a fair amount of the action goes pretty much as expected, that doesn't detract from the adrenaline rush one bit. Gambit desperately holding onto a car's rooft as Tombstone fires a pistol through it is something we've seen countless times before yet it still manages to be totally thrilling here. What I especially love is the amount of character Amsus breathes into the two leads. The snark between Remy and the Spider-Man villain is hugely amusing and it's nice to see Tombstone as a legitimate threat (though, it does suck to see he's probably dead now).
Asmus does manage to wrap up the X-Man's involvement with the villain and Joelle quite well. The twist is expected if you've been paying attention (and you are, right?), but it was still fairly heartfelt. However, what really sells the scene and other critical moments are the numerous people lending their talents to the art. It's a full house when it comes to the visuals and while transitions are easily noticeable, they're mostly reserved for entirely different scenes. Only once was the pace interrupted by a switch-up and was truly jarring.
I suppose you can chalk it up to arrogance or attitude, but the brief scuffle between Rogue and Joelle felt forced (even if it did look great) . Regardless, it was nice to see that matter was quickly resolved. While most of the art ranges from good to great, there's one instance where's there's a considerable lack of detail and it takes away from what could have been quite a cool scene (the helicopter blades striking Tombstone). Honestly, part of me wishes Gambit used his powers more during his battle with Tombstone. His agility and powers have the potential to make that really enthralling, but the battle plays out in a totally different manner.
Aside from those minor issues, nothing else really hindered the experience for me.
This issue's big on fun, serves up plenty of solid banter and character interactions, and is loaded with just the right amount of heart. Throw in terrific yet diverse visuals and I can confidently say this story arc is without question the best one from the series thus far. Does my love for Gambit boost my enjoyment of this book? Absolutely and I won't deny that for even a second. I imagine if you're not a big fan of the character, this chapter will likely fall more into the 3.5-4 star range for you. I haven't been all that enthusiastic about this book for awhile now, but thanks to the last few issues, my opinion has done a complete 180. Nice to have you back, Remy!