GAMBIT: Page 2 of 12

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1st November 2011

Gambit’s origins are shrouded in mystery. Born with red pupils on black eyes, he was presumably abandoned at birth. The baby was stolen by the New Orleans chapter of the Thieves Guild - one of several guilds that traced their ancestry back to a mythical, old kingdom, predating known history. The Thief Guild of New Orleans referred to him as “le diable blanc” – the white devil - and were aware that he was prophecied to play an important part in their future and, strangely, also in their past. The child was stolen for the Antiquary, a powerful guild member and historian. Jean-Luc LeBeau, patriarch of the New Orleans Thief Guild, hated the thought of a child having to grow up a slave of the Antiquary, so he made a deal with him (before he was eventually exiled from the Guild) and freed the boy.

Jean-Luc placed Remy with Fagan’s mob instead – a group of child thieves led by an expatriate guild member named Fagan. Remy grew up to be a skilled pickpocket. When he was about eight years old, he saw a few men threatening a beautiful blond girl his age and hurried to help her. There was actually no need, as the girl – Bella Donna Boudreaux – was the daughter of the patriarch of the Assassin’s Guild and trained in the killing arts. Bella Donna and Remy would become best friends and eventually fall in love with each other.

Remy tried to rob Jean-Luc LeBeau one day when he was about ten (a meeting that had, no doubt, been orchestrated by Jean-Luc) and was caught. LeBeau adopted the young boy into his own family. As Bella Donna and Remy were in love with each other anyway, their fathers intended to have them marry to ensure lasting pace between the two guilds. The teenagers were reluctant, feeling they were too young, but agreed to marry when they turned eighteen. [Gambit (3rd series) #1]
Sometime during his teens, Remy’s mutant talent to charge inanimate objects with kinetic energy became active. At the age of fifteen, Remy tried to shepherd his cousin, Etienne, through the tilling, the Thieves' Guild rite of passage. In Spain, Granada, they were captured by the gorgeous but cruel Candra, who mysteriously claimed to have met Remy before. She was buying a shipment of children from a monstrous criminal called “the Pig”; and he took Remy and Etienne to his Pig Pen training facility, intending to sell them to the Viper. Still learning about his own powers, Remy blew their way out of their cells and then blew up the Hydra airship. The Pig caught Etienne and beat on Remy, who picked up a spilled deck of cards and found his motif of throwing charged cards, taking the Pig’s eye out in the process. Both boys fell into the ocean. While Etienne drowned, Remy was rescued by a fishing trawler. [Gambit (3rd series) #6]

A few months before his arranged marriage, Remy visited Paris with his adoptive brother, Henri. It was time for Remy to earn his place as a member of the Thieves Guild through his own rite of passage. He was supposed to steal a valuable jewel – l’Etoile du Tricherie - from a young jewel thief named Genevieve Darcenaux, who had purloined it from its rightful owner, Herzog. Herzog, in turn, had put Victor Creed, aka Sabretooth, on the young woman’s trail. Saving the young woman from the feral mutant, Remy earned Creed's enmity.

The killer watched as Remy used his wiles to beguile Genevieve, making her fall in love with him and finally stealing the jewel from her. It was then that Sabretooth kidnapped both Genevieve and Henri. He not only forced Remy to give him back the jewel, but he cruelly made him choose between his brother and his lover as he dropped both of them from one of the spires of Notre-Dame. Remy leapt after them and grabbed his brother, sealing Genevieve’s fate. Remy realized too late that she had truly loved him. [X-Men (2nd series) #33]

On the day of Remy’s wedding to Bella Donna, her brother, Julien - who opposed any kind of peace between the Guilds - challenged Remy to a duel. Remy won, apparently killing Julien, but the incident threatened the delicate truce. Although he had done nothing to be blamed for, the Guilds demanded that Remy be banished from New Orleans in an attempt to restore balance. Remy departed, not even asking his new wife if she wanted to join him in exile. [Gambit (3rd series) #1, X-Men (2nd series) #8]

Remy left New Orleans and began operating under the alias Gambit. Before long, though, his control over his still growing mutant powers slipped, making him a danger to everyone around him. Help came from an unexpected quarter: the evil scientist, Mr. Sinister. Sinister had studied mutants for the better part of a century and he managed to limit the young man’s power to a controllable level by perform surgery on Remy’s brain, excising some grey matter. [Gambit (3rd series) #14]

Little is known of Gambit’s actions and adventures over the next years, only that he became a superb thief and made many contacts (and quite a few enemies) during that time. At least once he met a fellow mutant mercenary in his line of work, an Afro-American female by the name of Joanna Cargill, aka Frenzy. The details of their encounter have yet to be revealed, but apparently they spent some time in each other’s company, given that they referred to each other on first name basis and seem rather familiar. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #298, X-Men Legacy #249-250]

Since he was indebted to the man, Gambit also undertook several missions for Mr. Sinister. Eventually, though, Gambit no longer wanted to serve the evil scientist and Sinister declared their debt would be settled after one last mission. As symbolic payment his final last job, he handed Gambit a vial containing his excised grey matter. This last mission involved Gambit gathering a group of super-powered mercenaries, among them his deadly enemy, Sabretooth, and one good friend in Grey Crow aka Scalphunter, who actually had worked with Sinister before. Once he had recruited all the people Sinister wanted to be part of the so-called

Marauders, Remy lead them into the tunnels of the subterranean mutant tribe called the Morlocks. Gambit was under the mistaken belief that Sinister just wanted to gather knowledge on mutants or capture them. However, he was horrified to learn the truth, as the Marauders started slaughtering all Morlocks as soon as they got hold of them. Hopelessly outnumbered by the skilled mutants he had hired, Gambit knew he was unable to stop the killing. At least he managed to save one little girl named Sarah from the Marauders and took her to safety. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #350]