Gambit (1st series) #3

Issue Date: 
February 1994
Story Title: 
The Benefactress

Howard Mackie (writer), Lee Weeks (penciler) Klaus Janson (inker) Steve Buccellato (colorist) Richard Starkings (letterer) Bob Harras (editor) Tom DeFalco (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

Gambit moves over to Paris, where he enters the Petit Chou club. He looks for Candra, but nobody seems capable of helping him out. Security guards show up and take Remy with them, claiming that they’ll take him to Candra. They lied, and take Remy to the underground parking lot, where they try to kill him. Gambit fights his way through. As he wants to continue his search, he gets ambushed by the Tithe Collector, who knocks him down. Meanwhile, Rogue has gotten the assist of Tante Mattie, who helps her take care of Bella Donna and tells Rogue a little bit more how Gambit was when he was young. As Mattie leaves, Rogue becomes interested and plans to absorb Bella Donna’s memories she has about her shared life with Remy. She hesitates and withdraws her hand, but suddenly Bella Donna gets a reflex and grabs Rogue hand. Rogue absorbs Bella Donna’s memories, when she was young and in love with Gambit. Gambit himself wakes up and finds out he’s a prisoner of Candra. As he tries to escape, Gambit is attacked by the Tithe Collector but he defeats him. Afterward, Candra confronts Remy. They catch up on old times when they worked together and Candra wants to make a deal. She has captured Gambit’s adoptive father and, if Remy kills him, he can have anything he wants. Julien and some Assassins attack and Julien wants to kill Candra for what she and the Externals did to him. Gambit defeats Julien and his minions, saving Candra’s life. She thanks him and lets him and Jean-Luc go, without killing them. Gambit thanks and kisses her and leaves. After Gambit is gone, Candra is pleased, as events didn’t go as badly as she feared. Candra wants to consolidate her powers anew but, as she reaches for the vial of the Elixir, she finds that it’s gone. Candra realizes that Gambit took it from her when they kissed and gets pretty mad at it. Candra orders the Tithe Collector to follow Gambit to New Orleans and spread the word to the Guilds that Remy betrayed them all, plus Candra wants everyone Gambit cares for dead!

Full Summary: 

Gambit, in civilian clothes, pays a visit to the wealthy club, Petit Chou, in Paris. Gambit asks, in French, a table dealer where he can find Candra. The dealer claims not to be at liberty to tell him that but, instead, offers Remy to gamble a little. Gambit isn’t interested. A beautiful woman at the gambling table finds that odd, since she thought American people loved to gamble. Gambit convincingly claims that he never gambles; he wins. “At everything,” Gambit smilingly says, as he takes and kisses the hand of the beautiful female. Remy corrects the woman that he isn’t an American; he’s a Louisianan. Remy continues to sweet-talk the woman and she agrees to join him on an ‘adventurous’ night.

As Remy and the woman walk out, they are blocked by a security guard, who says that the manager of the club would like to have a word with him. Gambit isn’t interested, but more security guards show up and surround him and the woman. Gambit realizes that he has found the one he came looking for in Paris. He apologizes to the woman that he must go now. The guards take Gambit to an elevator and go down to the fourth floor, to the underground garage. Gambit says he thought they were going to take him to Candra, but now believes he best comes back another day.

The guards take out their guns and Gambit realizes that they want to kill him, and that he’s outnumbered. Gambit wants a last wish and asks if he can have one final smoke. One of the guards tosses his cigarettes and lighter to Remy, who lights one up. Gambit charges the cigarette pack up and throws it at the guards and the pack explodes in their faces! Remy defeats the last standing guard himself, thanking him for the cigarette. As the guard is defeated, Gambit continues his way to Candra.

Gambit walks over to his car. He opens the trunk and takes his costume out and puts it on. Remy remembers why he is there: to safe his wife, Bellea Donna, and to do that he must get the Elixir of Life, which is in the hands of Candra. And nonetheless that he is betraying his family if he safes Belle, he is going for it.

When he’s finished putting on his costume, Gambit realizes that he is not alone. The Tithe Collector shows up from behind and attacks Gambit, rendering him unconscious and saying that Candra will see him now. Meanwhile, Rogue has gotten the help of Tante Mattie, who takes care of the still comatose Bella Donna. Mattie tells some things about Gambit to Rogue. Mattie remembers how a young Gambit came to her when he had first met Bella Donna. Gambit asked Mattie if she had a love potion he could use. Mattie simply told Remy that she’s a healer and he should win Bell’s love through the proper way.

Rogue asks Mattie if she’s a doctor. Mattie informs that she is a healer, which is much better than just a doctor. Mattie says that she also knows that Rogue loves Remy; you don’t need special powers to see that. Mattie feels sorry for Rogue that she is guarding Remy’s wife and hugs her, saying that the Lord wouldn’t give us a bigger burden than we can carry. Tante Mattie says that she has to leave now, but she’ll come back every day to check how Belle’s doing. Mattie informs Rogue that Belle’s father tried to use magic to keep her alive, but that she’s slipping. Tante Mattie tells Rogue to call her when Belle’s state changes. Rogue promises that she’ll do that and says good-bye.

Rogue makes a serious look on her face, and says that she believes that Belle is probably dreaming about all the good times she had with Gambit. Rogue wants to know for sure and takes off one of her gloves, and plans to absorb the memories. At the same time, Gambit wakes up in a beautiful room. Though he realizes that Candra captured him, Remy claims that he could get used to this. Gambit wants to escape, but the Tithe Collector shows up again and wants to make Remy pay for the damages he had to endure last night, believing he was attacked by Thieves. Gambit doesn’t care and picks up a picture frame, charging it up and throwing it to the Tithe Collector. Though the Collector ducks, the explosion takes place, nonetheless, and smashes through the bedroom window.

Candra shows up and stops the fighting, claiming that she needs this “creature” alive. Gambit is surprised by Candra’s appearance. Candra tells Gambit that it has been a very long time since he left Paris and, when they worked together, they never used names. Gambit remembers. Candra found their time together a good one, and so does Gambit. He and Candra kiss. Meanwhile, Rogue is doubting if she should absorb Bella Donna. She withdraws her hand, not knowing what she was thinking, realizing that she could have killed Bella Donna. Rogue gently puts her hand next to the bed and apologizes to Belle. Suddenly, Bella Donna gets an involuntary reflex and grabs Rogue’s arm and starts to absorb!

Candra attacks Gambit, saying that he never should have left Paris and certainly should never have returned. Gambit survives the blast, noticing that Candra hasn’t changed and is as eager as ever to use her telekinetic powers. Gambit tries to charm her, but Candra isn’t fooled, claiming that it doesn’t mean anything to her. “Maybe not,” Remy says, but it did once. “In a time that has long past,” Candra angry replies. Candra says that Remy never was good at commitments. No loyalty to anyone but himself. Gambit explains that he is doing working for her. Candra isn’t so sure, and reveals that she has the Elixir of Life.

Gambit commands that she gives the Elixir to him, but she tells him not to be so fast. Candra wants to make a deal, like the Thieves Guild does. Gambit wants to tell Candra about his Guild. Candra claims to know all about her Guilds, as she set them up centuries ago and gave them the Elixir and the powers in return in return for their services. Candra says that she now has need for a new organization to fulfill her needs. She snaps her fingers, and a bounded unconscious man falls out of a closet. Gambit promises that, if Candra gives him the Elixir, he’ll do anything for her. Candra doesn’t quite believe that. She says that she had such high dreams for him and her together, but that Gambit now seems to struggle between the love for his wife and his X-girlfriend.

That he always has to play it in the middle. But no more, Candra says. Not with her. Candra gets the bounded man up and reveals him to be Jean-Luc, Gambit’s adoptive father! Candra wants Remy to kill Jean-Luc, and then he can have anything he wants. Remy gets angry and promises that he’ll kill Candra for this. But then, a huge explosion takes place.

Meanwhile, Rogue has absorbed Bella Donna’s memories and learns how Belle felt about the privileges she had as an Assassin. How a young Bella Donna felt like when she dates Gambit, and how they kissed and held hands. Rogue tries to make these memories her own, but stops. She realizes her mistake and cries.

Julien and some Assassins have broken into Candra’s place and Julien wants the Elixir. Candra orders the Tithe Collector to stop them. He does as ordered and attacks, explaining that he let the Assassins defeat him earlier, as Candra ordered him to. The Assassin members defeat the Tithe Collector and Julien moves over to Candra. Julien grabs her by the throat, not allowing her to use her powers against him. Julien promises Candra that he’ll come after her and her kind, the Externals, for what they did to him. For what they have turned him into. Julien wants to kill Candra, but Gambit stops him. Julien fights back, telling Gambit that, if he knew how Candra used his Guild, he would be helping him. Gambit kicks Julien in the face, noticing that he still allows Candra use them.

Letting Candra use them so that they kill each other so that Candra has no more use of their kind. That Julien and his minions are still doing her dirty work. Julien gets mad and orders Gambit to give him his sister back. Gambit calls Julien sick. Julien takes out his claws and prepares to kill Gambit but, before he can strike, Jean-Luc takes the bullet! Gambit panics, but Jean-Luc is still alive and finds it nice to see that Remy still cares. Jean-Luc tells Gambit to do anything it takes to save his wife. Gambit quickly moves and attacks, making Gambit remember that it was he himself who challenged him to a duel, which caused him to leave New Orleans… and his wife! Gambit says that he knows that Julien says he wants to help Belle but, in reality, is only interested in himself.

Gambit charges up some cards and the explosion makes Julien and his helpers fall through the window. Candra approaches him, knowing that she owns her life to Remy and, for this, she won’t kill him. Gambit kisses Candra, noticing that there’s still a spark between them. Remy picks his father up, saying that they’re going back to New Orleans to settle things.

As Remy’s gone, Candra is pleased as events went pretty well. She orders the Tithe Collector to get the messy room cleaned up. Candra realizes that Julien will be her wild card and keep her and her fellow Externals on their toes. But at least the Guilds will be broken. Candra is happy that she can begin to consolidate her powers anew.

Candra reaches for her vial of the Elixir, but it’s gone. She realizes that Gambit charmed her when they were kissing and took the vial from her. Candra becomes enraged and orders the Tithe Collector to follow Gambit and Jean-Luc to New Orleans and to spread the word to the Guilds that Gambit has betrayed them. Plus, Candra orders that she wants Gambit’s family, his wife and girlfriend… all killed!

Characters Involved: 

Gambit, Rogue (all X-Men)

Jean-Luc LeBeau

Tante Mattie Baptiste

Bella Donna Boudreaux

Julien Boudreaux

various unnamed Assassins


The Tithe Collector

various partying people at the club Petit Chou and security guards

Story Notes: 

How Candra ambushed the Thieves is eventually explained in Gambit (3rd series) #12-14.

First appearance of Tante Mattie.

Issue Information: 

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