Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Gambit #1 review

When Gambit needs some me time, it's time for a bit of thieving. But given he's an X-Man these days, he steals from criminals. In this debut issue the mark is Borya Cich, who finances costumed bad guys' schemes and, if their plans don't come off, takes their scientific or magical gimmicks. So it's off to a party at Cich's house, where a mix of wits, weapons and feminine wiles (er, someone else's) helps his heist come off.  Gambit doesn't want anything in particular, just the challenge. He has to take something, of course, which makes for a killer ending.

Writer James Asmus gives us a Gambit for today. Gone is the Pepe Le Pew soundalike, instead we have an instinctively intelligent guy who'll be whoever people want him to be if it'll help his goal. And today, no one wants him to be a heavily accented cartoon skunk.

Which isn't to say he doesn't employ the old charm, but the guest with whom he flirts obviously has her own agenda - he'd have had to work pretty hard not to have her 'fall' for him.

And I'm not wholly convinced Cich isn't playing Gambit too - the heist goes far too smoothly, considering the mutant uses his own name for the party and Cich knows Gambit's reputation.

All of which is a matter for future issues. This one, despite a cliffhanger, is pretty much a done-in-one. Like last week's Hawkeye, it features a hero out of costume, away from his regular team. Current storylines in the main book don't impinge one whit, allowing us to relax and just enjoy the comic at hand. There's a terrific panel of party guests talking about life in the Marvel Universe, but it adds texture and humour without demanding special knowledge on the part of the reader.

This opener is enjoyable. Remy is cocky without being arrogant, smart in the use of his powers. He's a good-looking chap too, as drawn by Clay Mann - fans will be delighted at the opening page's cheesecake. Slug-like criminal aside, penciller Mann and inker Seth Mann drew everyone real purty. The problem is that their action sequences aren't always clear. What, for example, is Gambit tossing an explosive tiepin at in this sequence?
                                   
A car presumably, but there's an establishing shot missing.

Later in the book there's a sequence of panels in which Ganbit is preparing to steal what looks to be a metal scarab beetle, but it's not at all clear why he's putting a metal clip on the stalk holding it up.

If Asmus and Mann can keep the storytelling tight, and the book away from crossovers. this could be a very enjoyable series. It's definitely off to a great start.

17 comments:

  1. Uhm...it's a toothpick. And he's thrown it at the giant propane tank shown in the picture...

    Those tend to 'splode when effectively 'shot'!

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  2. See, now you say it's a toothpick, I see it as a toothpick. But without the context of, I dunno, teeth or a toothpick packet, who's to say isn't a pin he's plucking from his shirt.

    Mind, I can now pop a couple of panels back and work out that it's a ruddy cocktail stick that had a bit of cheese or something on.

    A giant propane tank, set among bushes. I feel such a fool!

    Anyway, thanks - sometimes a lad needs help.

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  3. Good review mart and it seems and interesting series, but how long will gambit sustain this serie
    P.S. check out archer & armstrong it's hilarous and a and action with a lot of heart

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    1. Cheers. I nearly bought A&A, had a look in the shop, but couldn't find a hook - I might buy it online later when it's cheaper.

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    2. at least give it 3 more issues mart, it may grow on you

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    3. You've certainly been the cheerleader for this book, Anon, even before it came out. Are you one of the creative team?

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    4. No I just thought it was interesting was and gained the reward of being right. plus here's something interesting about the book, the creator says in the book that all the conspiracie we have been led to believe are true even the ones that contradict each other.

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  4. I kinda liked Gambit when he was introduced as Storm's buddy but that went downhill quick and since he was noneffectively shackled to Rogue it became active loathing. This book didn't trigger my dislike but gave me no reason to come back next issue. I'm looking more forward to Spurriers' Legacy starring Legion!

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    1. I never read those first Gambit appearances - I packed in for a few years after #200 - so missed the Storm years. I may have to seek a few of them out; maybe then I'd see why he became so popular.

      Now Steve, you'll have to advise me - Spurrier's Legion?

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  5. X-Men Legacy is getting renumbered with Legion as its main character. I love Legion for his potential, potential only a writer I usually dislike has used well, and is written by the same insanely talented writer that gave us that amazing Science Club mini. I doubt it'll last longer than Daken or X-23 but I'll enjoy the HELL out of it while it lasts!

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  6. Aha, thanks. I've been off work this week, reviewing Edinburgh Fringe shows, so am behind with the comics news. The prospect of Legion is indeed enticing, though I do get a bit tired of X-Men antagonists so often reforming (if only for a while).

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  7. Saw this at my local Barnes and Noble, so I gave it a shot. Very new reader friendly (unlike my experience with Defenders) and does good at setting up this character quite well. Not enough for me to buy the comic per say, but I will keep reading it when I see a copy and if it continues to be good I will pick up the trade paperback later on.

    Out of curiousity, are you interested in Marvel NOW! line? For the first time ever, I will be buying a Hulk book. I like the idea of exploring his heroic side since from what I heard about previous Hulk comics, they wouldn't be my sort of thing. Also, I'm in for FF if only for the artist and to see She-Hulk in another comic.

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    1. I'm certainly vaguely interested in Marvel now. The bigger Avengers, certainly. The Allred art on FF. Er ...

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    2. I like the guy, especially his work on iZombie.

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    3. Thanks for the reminder, Firingwall - I have a couple of issues of iZombie knocking around my ComiXology account - I must buy more,

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  8. I really enjoyed this issue--a solid reboot of a standalone series for the ragin' Cajun. Because it came out so closely to "Hawkeye #1" I found myself comparing the two number ones. On the whole I liked both, but Hawkeye takes the grab on this one due to the overall finesse. That x-factor (no punned intended) was just absent from "Gambit #1," and it bumped it down a notch for me.

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