Thursday, January 10, 2008

GAMBIT #3 – February 1994

The Benefactress
Credits: Howard Mackie (writer), Lee Weeks (penciler), Klaus Janson (inks), Steve Buccellato (colorist), Richard Starkings (letterer)

Gambit travels to Paris to find Candra, who has the elixir he needs to revive Bella Donna. After fighting the Tithe Collector, Gambit is shocked to learn that he already knows Candra from his past. Candra explains to him that she created the Guilds years ago, setting the groups against one another and benefiting from both. She’s bored and now wants a new organization. To taunt Gambit, she offers to give him the elixir if he kills his kidnapped father. Julien and a group of Assassins arrive to take the elixir from Candra, too. Gambit saves Candra from Julien, so Candra calls things even and lets him leave with his father. During their farewell kiss, Gambit steals the elixir vial from her cleavage. In New Orleans, Bella Donna suddenly grabs Rogue, giving Rogue her memories of Gambit.

Continuity Notes
Gambit used to work for Candra, and had a romantic relationship with her, but didn’t know about her connection to the Guilds.

Candra revived Julien after he died in his duel with Gambit. She did this to cause more friction between the Guilds.

The only explanation for Bella Donna’s revival is that her father used magic to keep her alive. That’s right – IT’S MAGIC. Don’t ask any questions.

This is an improvement over the previous issue. At the very least, Gambit is consistently charming and sneaky throughout the issue, the two traits that differentiate him from most of his teammates. Candra never became an interesting villain, but I like the idea that she’s been setting up these games between people for her own amusement for years. Asking Gambit to kill his father is pretty cold, and it establishes her level of nastiness pretty clearly. Even though it’s kind of a cheat, having Rogue absorb Bella Donna’s memories is a nice idea. Not only is she jealous of Gambit’s wife, but now she has to live with someone else’s memories of a life she can never have. Lee Weeks’ layout of this page is great, and the rest of his art in this issue is strong, too. Now I don’t know what to think about this miniseries. It alternates between average, awful, and not that bad.

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