Thursday, July 12, 2012

GAMBIT #8 - September 1999



Destined to Repeat It
Credits: Fabian Nicieza (writer), Mat Broome (penciler), Sean Parsons (inker), Joe Rosas/Gina Going/Matt Hicks (colors), Comicraft (letters)

Summary: After stealing information from the X-Men concerning Xavier’s secret plan, Gambit travels to Millstone, Arizona, searching for Scalphunter. Later, the Courier arrives and forcibly sends Gambit to meet with New Son. He warns Gambit of Apocalypse’s coming attack before sending him back to his hotel room. Meanwhile, Gambit and Scalphunter’s mutual friend Claire de Luc leads the Marauder to Gambit’s room. Gambit wants Scalphunter to take him to Mr. Sinister, but he claims that he can’t. However, he does send Gambit and Courier on the path of the one Marauder who can help. In the Andes Mountains, they discover a frail Sabretooth, who’s being cared for by a cult that worships tigers.

Continuity Notes:
· The relationship between Gambit, Claire de Luc, and Scalphunter was first hinted at, very obliquely, in Uncanny X-Men #324. This issue confirms that Scalphunter is the mysterious “Grey Crow” mentioned in UXM #324.
· According to Scalphunter, none of the Marauders’ original bodies exists, save for Sabretooth’s.
· Fontanelle visits Gambit’s dreams and sees more visions of an alternate reality.
· This story ties in to the “Shattering” crossover, which had Xavier forcing the X-Men away from him so that he could investigate which team member was an imposter. This story claims that Xavier “fired” the X-Men, while the actual story in X-Men #92 had the team voluntarily leaving after growing tired of Xavier’s abrasive attitude.

Review: Hmmm…a cover that ruins the last page reveal, rushed fill-in art, not one but two unrelated crossovers barging into the main storyline…this isn’t Gambit’s finest hour. Nicieza still tries to get something out of this, using this loose crossover tie-in as an excuse to resolve one of those patented Vague Scott Lobdell Mysteries from UXM and finally reveal who or what “Grey Crow” was supposed to be. Since Gambit’s already been retconned into the Marauders’ past, I suppose revealing that he had a friendship with Scalphunter during his late teens isn’t that much of a stretch, and it does give Nicieza an opportunity to flesh Scalphunter out as a character, which is something no one had bothered to do before (the same goes for all of the Marauders, really.) What exactly this quest has to do with Gambit’s investigation into Xavier’s odd behavior isn’t clear at this point, but Nicieza’s plotting on this book has been extremely tight, so it’s very likely the next issue will have the answer. Overall, though, this issue suffers from too many diversions and some incredibly weak art, so the next installment will have to be a noticeable improvement in order to justify this crossover tangent.

6 comments:

Teebore said...

According to Scalphunter, none of the Marauders’ original bodies exists, save for Sabretooth’s

I've always loved the sheer "behind the curtain"-ness of that fact. Since Sabretooth is the only Marauder with any significant character development and appearances independent of the Marauders, of course he's the only one still in his original body.

wwk5d said...

Sabretooth's first appearance was also years before the Marauders first appeared. He was an Iron Fist villain.

Teebore said...

@wwk5d:He was an Iron Fist villain.

With a face Byrne would later use as inspiration for his depiction of the mask-less Wolverine, hinting at the relationship between the two characters that Claremont and Byrne never got around to establishing.

Anonymous said...

He was barely recognizable as the character he would become in The X-Men during his initial appearances though.
I remember the issue of Peter David's Spectacular Spider Man that had Sabretooth as the villain, and Black Cat ended up hospitalizing Sabretooth.

wwk5d said...

"and Black Cat ended up hospitalizing Sabretooth."

Yowza. Now that's just embarrassing.

I do remember reading somewhere that Claremont had planned for 2 Sabretooths...the original was the one from Iron Fist and the one who would torment/beat the crap out of Wolverine each year on his birthday, while the one who was a member of the Marauders was his clone (kind of like how they have 2 versions of Vertigo, the Marauder version and the one who lives in the Savage Land)...

Teebore said...

@wwk5d: the original was the one from Iron Fist and the one who would torment/beat the crap out of Wolverine each year on his birthday, while the one who was a member of the Marauders was his clone

I remember reading that as well, most recently in some of his interviews for X-Men: Forever, in which he returned to that idea.

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