Remy Etienne LeBeau, created by Chris Claremont and Jim Lee in
Uncanny X-Men #266 (Aug 1990)
know how we've done a lot of characters whose circumstances have
come back around to "it's not his fault, but it is his problem"?
Gambit's definitely a twist on that. Let's run down the list.
Kidnapped as an infant and raised by a society of thieves who
brought him up with a moral compass that was most certainly not in
line with the rest of the world, wound up homeless, captured by an
immortal mutant and sold into slavery, got roped into an arranged
marriage with Belladonna to end a centuries-old blood feud between
the Thieves' Guild and the Assassin's Guild and wound up killing
the brother of his bride-to-be in a duel on his wedding day, was
exiled from his home in New Orleans, found out he had a mutant
power that grew so powerful it wouldn't let him touch anything
without blowing it up, had no choice but to go to Mr. Sinister to
give him brain surgery to save his life, gets a simple innocuous
job to do in return, assemble some mercenaries to locate the
Morlock community, has no idea the mercenaries have orders to kill
all the Morlocks
Encounters a powerless Storm, who brings him to
meet the X-men - Logan didn't trust him, so the two had a duel,
which Gambit won
as a X-Man for some time, until he was captured by Magneto and
Sabretooth, and Rogue's kiss revealed the memory of the Morlock
Massacre - the fallout led to him being kicked off the
rejoined the team after Rogue went searching for him
battle with Destiny, he and Rogue were depowered, so they moved to
California to explore their relationship
regained the powers and joined the X-men, but when Gambit was
temporarily blinded, he began lashing out at Rogue, who left
Mystique joined the team undercover as another
shapeshifter, and revealed herself to Gambit as a version of Rogue
that he could actually touch - although Rogue was angry, Gambit
never pursued it
submitted himself to Apocalypse in an effort to infiltrate the
team, but the transformation brainwashed him, and he became the
Fourth Horseman, Death - after Apocalypse's defeat, he is returned
to normal with the help of Mr. Sinister
yada yada, he & Rogue get married after Kitty backs out of her
wedding to Colossus, and Gambit proposes on the spot - they spend
their honeymoon protecting the bio-engineered daughter of Charles
Xavier & Lilandra, and then get teleported to the Mojoverse, where
they have to fight their way out for the amusement of Mojo & his
a lot of really bad luck for one person. But Gambit tortures and
blames himself for way more of it than he should. He didn't want to
fight Belladonna's brother, but was bound to by the traditions of
the clans. He didn't want to leave Belladonna and New Orleans, but
had to or there would be all-out war. He didn't want to get in bed
with Mr. Sinister's, but he was the only person he knew that could
save his life. He certainly didn't want to play any part in a
genocide and tried everything he could to stop it when he was
happening, but at the time, he genuinely believed the job was just
to locate them. With regards to everything he did in his past, most
of it is not his fault, and way less of it is his problem than the
amount he tends to torture himself with. On a scale of zero to
Cyclops, his moral culpability for the things he's done with his
life doesn't even come close to the level of guilt he feels for
issue, deflection and evasiveness. Oh my goodness, Remy Labeau
raises keeping people at arm's length with deflection and
evasiveness to an absolute art form. And when you're a monument to
male fanservice streetwise slick-talking bad boy with a mutant
power that lets you kinetically excite the heart rate and
neurotransmitters of other people and charm the metaphorical and
often literal pants off of them, that is really not a hard thing to
do. Remy is one of those people you can have a hours-long
conversation with, tell all sorts of personal details, and walk
away not even realizing he didn't tell you a single thing about
himself. His teammates (Wolverine and Bishop in particular) are the
wisest to the act and treat him with the most suspicion. But
really, all of the X-Men know it to some extent. He's closer to
some of them than others, everyone likes him, no one really seems
to have a problem with having him on the team, but apart from
Rogue, obviously, no one really implicitly trusts him, especially
after the truth about his connection to Mr. Sinister and the
Marauders comes out.
issue is related to the second one, Remy's own massive trust issues
with other people. It's completely, 100% understandable given
everything Remy went through in his childhood and teenage years
that he'd be extremely wary about making himself vulnerable around
anyone. It's a lot. The man didn't have the loving supportive
upbringing most of us have. He's understandably a jaded cynical man
who expects the worst from people until they show him otherwise.
But the only person he's ever really, genuinely let into his life
is Rogue, and it was a long, very rocky, and very painful road
getting there. Gambit guards his heart tighter than Fort Knox, and
seems very comfortable with the fact. (24:42)
for Bedknobs & Broomflicks, Geek Peak, and Jeremy
Treatment (Theme: Truth in
In-universe - I have to play games
universe - Not really a stretch to find real-world equivalents to
this man, I imagine most people who go to treatment can be
intensely guarded and wary about sharing details about themselves.
I imagine a lot of patients have things in their past they're not
proud of and that they torture themselves with. I also imagine it
can be like a chess match where one person is playing for a
stalemate and trying to frustrate the other person into surrender
when you're trying to get through to them. (37:22)
Gambit, I’m Dr. Issues. - Bonjour, doc.
what can I help you with? -Nothing. *pause* haaaa, just joshin’, I
figured you’d like that one.
*playing straight* Sometimes. -I was told you
exactly the life of the party, sorry. -*pause* Something’s
off…*whispers* you wearing a wire or something? I can short it real
No…no, I’ll admit, you’re right, but not for any nefarious reason.
I was told things, too. - *wary* Nah, she told me she told you
anything bad…this is tough. I’m being vague because lately I’ve
been too loose in my descriptions of others, and in your case, I
was told to keep quiet, but then I can’t discuss a relationship if
I don’t talk about the other person, but THEY probably don’t want
me telling everything, but I know that you know so…it’s
complicated. -Cher? She knows better. If you tryin, I’m buyin.
That’s why I’m here. She clearly only told you what you needed to
know. Sorry for snappin like dat.
trying to say that I’ve been told you value your privacy. I should
have just done my usual introduction about confidentiality, but
noooo, I had to play it off like I’m some sort of mastermind
interrogator. I get like this when I don’t think someone will open
up to me. -You got me in the door, that’s more than most. You ain’t
comin round my parts anytime soon. I just got things on my
ahead. -How do you get things out of your head without
Say again? -I don’t like talking about all of the…evil business, if
you know what I mean. I just gotta get rid of it. So if Mister
can’t get it done *quick angry tone* an he aint tryin again yahear!
*back to calm* then I figured I should go to someone…of the mind,
but not REALLY of the mind like Charles,c’est tou?
*misunderstands* I’m not sure I say anything…in
fact, I tend to listen. -Nah I mean it’s simple. I need you to help
me so I don’t let stuff I want to forget bother me so much. Or make
me forget it. Either way, I’ll be happy.
were that simple, would you have gone through all of the effort to
deal with it in the first place? -Touche
your natural tendency seems to push things down, suppress them so
much that it accomplishes the opposite effect; you don’t have the
memory itself in your daily conscience, but the amount of energy
necessary to keep it that way with even the tiniest reminder has to
go somewhere. It builds up until -*finishes the sentence* Boom.. I
know. Just like my powers. It’s funny how the physical and the
mental come together like that. Synergy.
off with laughter, then pause* Man, I think we just added to the
mental health lexicon. -Glad I could help. What else can I do for
work has been…wait, YOU want the help, not me. Why are you trying
to make it sound like you’re giving me therapy? -I’m just trying to
loosen you up. You’re so uptight, man. It’s good to see you laugh.
You should do it more.
realize that for you to make progress you’re not going to be able
to rest on a good moment with a stranger as the ultimate win.
-*pause* Worth a shot.
Alright, it’s obvious you came to that
conclusion about your powers and your psyche a long time ago, and I
gave it validation. You’re trying to play me like a puppet and just
get along with you so I can rubber stamp your style. Don’t get me
wrong…your style has flair, charm, and wit. But there has to be
more. -Man, and I thought you had no gator in you, tryin’ a bite my
head off. Look atcha! A real backbone.
serious! *exasperated* are you always this…way? Just charming and
conning your way through life? -It’s only a con if I don’t believe
So…you’re happy anyway. Then what’s the point of
forgetting something that you’re now acting like it doesn’t bother
you but then you said it’s what really does…I can’t play games like
this… -You need a better poker face.
You know, I actually enjoy poker. The logic, probability,
psychology, uncertainty…only way the story gets told is if at least
two people are willing to see the hand through to the end. -That’s
deep, really philosophical. You have a sharp mind on ya,
do you. That’s why I know you’ll let me lose a few hands to you.
-*surprised* You…what, you? Me? Play? *belly laugh* COME ON, you
know you don’t want the smoke! You gonna lose your office, you
ain’t careful. I figure it’s fake chips?
-All right, low stakes, I’m in. I hope you keep up with Omaha Hi-Lo
*interrupting* Nope, you don’t choose, I choose.
Blind man’s bluff. -So it’s just face reading, one card, on the
forehead each, huh? Well…let’s see it.
of card shuffle* Just to let you know, 2 rounds of betting. Each
turn, you have to give me one fact about yourself. -Cool, because
I’ll get to know you mo
*interrupting* and I don’t say anything. -
*pause* that’s not fair. For real, that’s not FAIR! You can’t rig a
game and expect me to play.
real pot isn’t the chips; if you win, you can end the session, and
never come back. After all, you wouldn’t want to hang out with a
loser like me, right? -Bet. And if I lose?
you feedback on what may actually help you, because I’ll take your
information as genuine. -So no matter what, if I play this the way
that I want, I’ll get what I want, even if I lie and it hurts?
Laissez les bon temps roulez.
how that works out. -*sound of chips* All in, no second bet.
*pause* Fact for the only round is, if I didn’t trust her, you
would see you put the equivalent of a bomb in my hands.
*immediate* Call. And…I had a Queen -Jack.
*annoyed grunt, pause* you would have called with anything, right?
Even with a threat like that?
threat? It was the truth. And yes, I would have. -*snaps fingers*
see, I KNEW it. You have too many tells.
we have a lot to learn from each other. Want to call the next game?
- We really gonna make this a thing, huh?
you’re willing to be a regular at the table -Better than a couch,
you can bet on that
Huh, I thought you’d say “I guarantee” or something -Doc, no Cajun
says that. ‘Cept mebbe Justin Wilson, res’ his
Recommended reading: Mr. & Mrs. X, or any of the
Rogue & Gambit minis
Saving the world doesn't necessarily mean you go home happy. How's the mental health of your favorite superhero? A comic aficionado and a board-certified psychiatrist look at the various neuroses of your favorite heroes and villains and provide options for treatment.