Wednesday, January 9, 2008

GAMBIT #2 – January 1994

Honor amongst Thieves
Credits: Howard Mackie (writer), Lee Weeks (pencils), Klaus Janson (inks), Steve Buccellato (colorist), Richard Starkings (letterer)

Gambit sneaks into his father-in-law’s home to find Bella Donna, now comatose. He fights the Assassins with Rogue and escapes with Bella Donna. Gambit plans to revive her with the “Elixir of Life”, the reward the Thieves Guild receives for offering tithes to the External Candra. His father has the first vial of the Elixir but refuses to give it to an outsider. Gambit leaves Bella Donna with Rogue and goes on a search for the rest of the Elixir. Julien, Gambit’s brother-in-law, kills his father and turns against the established Assassin’s Guild to create a new guild. He hires Thieves Guild member Pierre to help him steal the Elixir from Candra’s agent, the Tithe Collector. They steal one of the three vials of the Elixir before the Tithe Collector escapes.

Continuity Notes
Gambit’s father, Jean-Luc, appears for the first time. According to Gambit, he grew up on the streets and met Jean-Luc when he tried to pick his pocket. Jean-Luc took a liking to him and brought Gambit into the Thieves Guild. Gambit’s first ongoing series would offer more details on this.

Bella Donna’s father says that the Thieves Guild receives life from their tithes to Candra, while the Assassins Guild receives power.

Gambit’s accent is starting to get thicker with this issue, with more and more “dis”s showing up.

After a competent first issue, the Gambit limited series starts to go off the rails. Rather than creating a story that focuses on Gambit’s appeal as an affable scoundrel, he’s placed in a story where he’s running around holding his comatose wife and yelling at a lot of people. His continuity becomes more convoluted as new information is given on the Guilds, creating a connection with another piece of forgotten X-continuity, the Externals. There’s a lot of stuff about tithes, vials, and elixirs that’s never explained very clearly, and is pretty boring even when you do manage to piece it all together. Gambit’s efforts to revive his wife could provide a strong personal motivation for the character, but it’s buried underneath too many characters and too much continuity. How exactly Bella Donna is still alive is never explained, either. She was dead in one issue and now comatose in another (just like the White Queen, which almost makes you wonder if Marvel couldn’t tell the difference during this time). The dull story isn’t helped by the bland dialogue and repetitive narrative captions, either. My first thought after finishing this issue was, “I’ve got to read two more of these?”

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