Gambit (4th series) #11

Issue Date: 
July 2005
Story Title: 
Thieves’ World

John Layman (writer), Roger Robinson (guest penciler), James Pascoe (guest inker), Tom Chu (colors), VC’s Cory Petit (letters), Georges Jeanty (cover artist), Sean Ryan (assistant editor), Nick Lowe (associate editor), Mike Marts (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

A jewel heist takes place in New Orleans, the culprit being a super-powered individual calling himself Bandit. Detective Noreen Tanaka sincerely hopes the security guard she’s interrogating is mistaken. Her vendetta against Gambit has barely gotten started. She is told to take a personal day by the captain, and returns home. She opens her door to a living room filled with photographs of Remy LeBeau. Meanwhile, Remy is out to steal a gun used in the civil war, which has on it a key to stolen gold. When he arrives at the museum, he finds Bandit has gotten there before him. The two men fight, before Belladonna arrives and breaks it up. She explains that Bandit is her boyfriend. They quickly escape from the museum and head to a café, where he and Belladonna chat, after Remy removes the firing pin key from the gun before Bandit can discover its true value. They chat amiably, and Belladonna has hopes that he and Bandit can become friends. Elsewhere, Detective Tanaka volunteers herself and her partner for a babysitting job, watching over a truck filled with seized A.I.M. weaponry. She murders her partner, before heading to the warehouse district. There, Bandit is trying to rally the guild members to his cause. He wants Gambit dead, so he can continue his own good work leading the guilds. They are quite unwilling to go after Remy, as they’ve failed before. Suddenly, Tanaka crashes the party with the truck, and offers them its contents.

Full Summary: 

(New Orleans)
Detective Noreen Tanaka is at the police station, interviewing a security guard. A robbery has lost his company two hundred thousand dollars worth of diamonds, and the guard has got a pretty big lump to show for it. He tells Tanaka that he tried to fight the thief off, but he wasn’t an ordinary thief.

She asks about him, and the guard explains that he was able to bypass the mall security system and get into the jewelry store without breaking a sweat. He wasn’t afraid of guns. He unloaded his weapon on him, but he was as fast as a whip. He had some sort of crazy energy superpower. After he got zapped, everything since is pretty much a big blank.

Noreen holds up a photograph of Remy LeBeau, and asks the guard to make a positive I.D. She wants him to tell her that this is the scum who attacked him, but he replies that it isn’t. The thief told him, when he was shot at, that he wasn’t going to take down Bandit that easy. “Bandit, not Gambit. And he was a black guy, you know… African-American?”

Tanaka is sure Gambit was behind it. She wishes to purse the matter further, and asks him to start again at the beginning. Watching from an observation room, Tanaka’s partner, Detective Fredrickson, is watching the interrogation with his captain. The captain isn’t sure he likes what he’s seeing from his partner. Ever since the zombie incident, Tanaka’s been acting erratic and temperamental. She’s been more than a little sloppy. As far as they can tell, LeBeau doesn’t even have a jaywalking violation on file. Tanaka’s little crusade against him needs to stop. He wants Tanaka to take a personal day; go home, and get her head together. He asks Fredrickson to tell her she needs to figure out her priorities. Does she want to be a cop, or does she want to get revenge?

Noreen Tanaka does indeed take a personal day. She returns home. Her living room is a mess. Countless photographs of Gambit are spread over the table, all over the floor and plastered on the walls.

(one week later)
Gambit has arrived at a museum where they are exhibiting the Loomis collection, on loan from the Smithsonian. Rutherford E. Loomis was Remy’s kind of guy. Back in 1867, he was one of the more colorful characters around New Orleans. He not only was supposed to have sired twenty-eight children, but he was a bona-fide civil war hero. It was a bullet from his musket that put a stop to Brigadier General Alfred Ellis in the Battle of Goodrich Landing. He was a scoundrel and a thief - definitely Remy’s kind of guy.

Loomis secured his place in history by sneaking over enemy lines and stealing a payroll of Union gold. After the war, Loomis lived large in New Orleans, until he was killed in a knife fight by a member of the local constabulary. The stolen gold was never recovered. His legacy is his gun. A U.S. Flintlock musket model 1799-A. It’s one of forty-five ever made, and even today it’s in pristine condition. Loomis loved his gun more than his dog or any of his wives. He customized it with invalid gold and is worth thousands to historians and gun collectors. Of course, what intrigues Remy even more is that are the rumors that a map to the rest of the gold is hidden somewhere on the gun. If this is true, then the musket’s worth considerably more than a few hundred thou.

Remy climbs to the museum roof and using ropes, he slides his way inside, hanging from the ventilation ducts. He finds a photograph of Loomis, holding his rifle and smiling. Gambit knows that there’s no map at all. On his last job he learned the truth. A guy hired him who couldn’t pay him cash. They settled on information instead. Remy received this info in exchange for Fantastic Four (1st series) #1.

The gun’s firing pin, it seems, is the key to a strongbox, concealed in one of the cornerstones in Jackson Square. It contains a whole mess ‘o civil war gold. Tomorrow morning they ship the entire Loomis collection back to the Smithsonian, or so they think.

Remy makes his way to the exhibit, only to find someone has beaten him to it. The culprit takes the rifle in his hands, and turns to see Gambit standing behind him. Before pleasantries can be exchanged, the man turns and fires a blast of energy from a device on his wrist. It catches Remy full in the stomach, but he recovers quickly and charges his own fist, smacking the guy in the face with it. He picks himself up, and figures they should finish this the old fashioned way. It’s fine by Remy.

The guy punches him in the face, but Remy counters by hammering his wrist into his jaw. He follows this up with a deft boot to the chin. Remy grabs him by the collar and is about to make the guy talk, when a voice from behind calls for them to stop it. Remy turns to see his ex-wife, Belladonna, standing before him.

She asks what exactly they’re doing. Simultaneously, they say her name. The thief tells her that this clown is trying to steal his rifle, but he was there first. Remy grins, and adds that he was there better. This clown set off the alarm. Belladonna leads Remy by the hand and says they ought to get out of there. Remy agrees, but first he asks who this guy is. She introduces him as Donyell Taylor, Bandit - her boyfriend!

Suddenly, over half a dozen security guards appear brandishing pistols. The three guild members charge them and take them down with physical prowess. Belladonna turns to Remy and tells him he told her to move on. Well, she’s moved on.

Detective’s Tanaka and Fredrickson wait outside a warehouse, late at night. Fredrickson isn’t too keen on escort duty. It’s the sort of assignment they usually give to rookies, not detectives. Tanaka reveals that she volunteered them for this gig. Fredrickson thinks she’s doing this to get back on the captain’s good side; taking on chump assignments nobody wants. It’s a pretty smart idea, he says.

He asks if they have to babysit the shipment all the way back to Shreveport, and asks what the payload is, anyway. Tanaka replies that it’s an A.I.M. munitions cache. It includes guns, armor, rockets and lasers, plus a couple doohickeys the lab guys don’t have a clue about. Some stoolie gave up their location when he turned State’s evidence, and it ended up in their laps. She adds that before anybody comes looking for it, they’re supposed to haul it over to Barksdale Air Force base, where it’ll be airlifted to the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier for safekeeping.

Fredrickson pats her on the shoulder, and tells her he’s proud of her. For a while it felt like her vendetta against Gambit was spiralling out of control. He’s got no love for muties, but it doesn’t seem like Gambit is worth the effort. After all, he adds, he did save the city when he put a stop to all those zombies. Even though he humiliated her, maybe he’s not quite the villain she’s made him out to be. Fredrickson suggests they concentrate on tracking down the new super-powered thief in town - Bandit.

Tanaka thinks it’s funny he should mention him. She’s been doing some of her own investigating in her own time. He asks if she found anything interesting, and she replies, “You might say that.” As they wait for the shipment to get on the move, Fredrickson admits that if things had kept going as they were, he was gonna request a new partner. The captain said he wanted her to get her priorities straight, and it sounds like she made the right decision. Tanaka replies that she’s made a decision; that’s for sure. She pulls out a gun and aims it at the back of his skull. “And talkin’ to you just made it a whole lot easier.”

(not too far away)
Gambit, Bandit and Belladonna head to a café and catch their breath in the car park. Bandit thought he recognized Gambit, and Remy hopes there are no hard feelings. Not so long as Remy doesn’t have any ideas about splitting the profits on the gun, he doesn’t. He got it first, fair and square. Remy tells him to keep it. It was never about the money, anyway. He just wanted to swipe it to see if he could. “Hmph,” remarks Belladonna, “Same ol’ Remy.”

Gambit asks if he can borrow his ex-wife for a spell. They have some catching up to do. It’s fine by Bandit. He then checks the gun properly and realizes that the firing pin is missing. He thought the gun was supposed to be in perfect condition. Remy coughs, but admits nothing.

Inside the café, the former husband and wife sit across from one another, nursing hot drinks. Remy comments on Bandit’s super powers and trench coat, and with a little friendly sarcasm, asks her about how much she’s moved on. Didn’t he hear this guy was supposed to be a super hero; a New Warrior or something? “Call that moving on do ya?” Belladonna asks him to shut up. She thought he might at least have called, or contacted Mattie or Luc to let them know he was back in town. Instead, she finds a mini-disc with some of his extra-curricular activities anonymously dropping in her mailbox. Remy’s face drops. He can’t believe it. “Ginny! Dang that girl!”

He informs Belladonna that he just came to town to do a couple of jobs. He was supposed to be keeping a low profile, but one thing led to another. She asks how being ‘low profile’ is going. Remy recalls his adventures with Orlean Cooper and Brother Voodoo and replies that it’s going about as well as she’d expect. She asks if he’s gonna stick around New Orleans, because she hopes so. It seems to her that once he gets to know Bandit, they might actually end up as friends.

At the Reynolds Meat Packing warehouse in the industrial part of town, Bandit speaks to dozens of guild members. He tells them that he wants Remy LeBeau dead. He’s prepared to make sure each and every one of them is rewarded handsomely when he is. He’s invested too much time in this, and worked too hard to get to where he is - calling the shots for the New Orleans thieves and assassins’ guilds. He’s not about to allow Remy to stroll back into town and take it back.

One of the guild members replies, with all due respect, that it wasn’t so long ago that LeBeau was voted to lead the guilds. Bandit asks him what happened after that. He disappeared back to his little band of mutant heroes. “You call that leadership? You call that responsibility?” He informs them that since then, Belladonna Boudreaux’s been running things, but who’s really in charge? Him, that’s who. Since he has been in charge, things have been good for all of them. They take care of Gambit, quietly, without Belladonna knowing, and he guarantees things will get even better. He raises his arms triumphantly, and shouts, “C’mon now! Who’s with me?”


The guild members um and ah, before one replies that this wouldn’t be the first time the guilds have gone after LeBeau. Another adds that they’ve never been able to defeat him, not ever. A colleague hears something behind them.

Suddenly, a truck comes crashing through the wooden walls, lights ablaze. It comes to a screeching halt, and out steps Detective Noreen Tanaka. She holds her badge up and orders them not to shoot. She’s a cop. Everyone points their weapon at her, and one of them tells her that saying, “I’m a cop,” is exactly what you say if you want to get shot. Noreen doesn’t think so. She climbs down from the cab and informs them that she knows what they’re planning. They want to kill Gambit, and she’s here to help. She opens the back of the truck to reveal the boxes of A.I.M. weaponry which she puts their disposal.

Characters Involved: 


Detective Noreen Tanaka
Security guard
Police Officers and detainees

Bandit/Donyell Taylor
Detective Fredrickson
Police Captain

Comic book guy
Smithsonian Museum guards
Warehouse workers
Diners and waitress
Guild members

(in flashback)
Rutherford E. Loomis
Civil War soldiers
Train driver

Gambit, Wolverine (both X-Men)
Brother Voodoo

(in photographs)
Rutherford E. Loomis

Story Notes: 

Remy LeBeau doesn’t have so much as a jaywalking violation on file, as Noreen Tanaka destroyed his records in Gambit (4th series) #7.

The comic book that Gambit holds up is Fantastic Four (1st series) #1 (1961), which, if in mint condition, is worth a small fortune.

A.I.M. stands for Advanced Idea Mechanics, more often seen in the pages of Captain America.

Bandit first appeared in Night Thrasher (2nd series) #3 and made several appearances in the pages of New Warriors. He is the half brother of Dwayne Taylor, better known as Night Thrasher.

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