Gambit (5th series) #1

Issue Date: 
October 2012
Story Title: 
Once a Thief (part one)

James Asmus (writer), Clay Mann (penciler), Seth Mann (inker), Rachelle Rosenberg (colorist), VC�s Cory petit (letterer), Mann, Mann & Rosenberg (cover), Chris Bachalo (variant cover), Daniel Ketchum (editor), Nick Lowe (group editor), Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer) with special thanks to Irene Y. Lee and Manny Mederos

Brief Description: 

Gambit has managed to get himself an invitation to a charity fundraiser organized by the crooked but extremely rich Borya Cich. He heads over there with more than fundraising on his mind. Knowing that Cich probably keeps all kinds of unusual things in his estate, he soon mingles with the other guests and decides to go into action. He explodes a propane cylinder which causes a distraction. He leads a young lady whom he met earlier to safety, but as soon as the guards are off his case he heads to the opposite end of the house. There, he finds an invisible room and heads inside. After breaking the security measures with ease, he enters a massive room where all kinds of booty can be found. He soon discovers a small object which attracts his attention. However, when he tries to grab it, the object sparks and explodes the glass container it is housed in. It bounces across the room and explodes a statue as the security measures kick in. This comes in the form of a Sentinel, which prepares to kill Gambit. By the time the guards arrive, Gambit is gone, the Sentinel is destroyed and the place is a smoking mess. Cich�s head guard goes after Gambit but fortunately, the young lady he met earlier provides him with an alibi. As she and Gambit depart, Borya Cich assures his right hand man that they will settle this later. Back at his apartment, Remy tries to touch the object again but this time he is attacked by a strange five-legged creature, which burrows itself painfully into his chest.

Full Summary: 

Remy LeBeau, the adventurous X-Man known as Gambit, is in the shower at his New York City apartment. As he dries himself off, he reckons it says a lot about himself that he can pull off a pink costume. He finds it funny to catch himself thinking of it as a costume. Once upon a time, it was just something he wore. But, he guesses after a few years of running round with super heroes your perspective gets changed. A whole lot has changed lately. Love, life and livelihood all hit the rocks in short order and now he�s picking up the pieces. It feels like he�s getting someone else�s life by mistake. He�s a teacher? A security guard for mutant teenagers? Sympathetic ex-boyfriend? It�s gotten to the point where he can�t tell what part of him is the costume.

He grabs a suit from its hanger and reckons there are plenty of things keeping him from going home, but that doesn�t mean he can�t get back to his roots another way and have a little fun. He grabs a card inviting him to the home of Mr. Borya Cich for a fundraiser benefiting students of Empire State University.

He arrives at Borya�s private estate, thinking that it�s not every day the newest resident of the most expensive zip-code in the country throws his doors wide open. He immediately clocks the guards who are armed and organized. That�s good, he thinks, because if this was going to be easy he wouldn�t enjoy robbing the place.

As he climbs the steps along with several other glamorous guests, he finds that he isn�t on the list. The guard recommends he doesn�t try entering if he isn�t invited. Remy suggests he look under �Jean Grey School for Gifted youngsters.� He�s there to show support for his fellow educators. He is then allowed through and soon finds the guests mingling in the gardens.

Remy has heard two persistent rumors about Borya Cich. First is that he makes a tidy business out of bankrolling the crooked plans of costumed bad guys. The second is that if and when their plans go belly up, Cich takes their gadgets or magical mojo goodies as his repayment. Supposedly, Cich believes that being surrounded by Gods, aliens and mutants like himself means the whole world�s become an arms race. But, what really piqued Remy�s interest is the third rumor. He�s heard that Cich keeps his prized collection of ill-gotten artifacts hidden somewhere in his estate.

As he wanders around carrying a glass of bubbly, an attractive woman approaches him. �Nice specs,� is her opening line. Remy says he hates to lose points, but they were given to him by a friend. She tells him he shouldn�t be so honest. Remy isn�t sure anyone�s ever said that to him before. The woman tells him that a lot of women are attracted to the money that buys those kind of toys. Remy asks if she�s that kind of girl. She replies that she�s not �any� kind of girl. Besides, she adds, since they�re being honest, she is much more attracted to power than money. Remy says he can�t begin to tell her how glad he is to hear that. Maybe they should find a cozy little corner.

As he speaks, one of Mr. Cich�s bodyguards calls his name and informs him that his boss would like a word with him. Remy approaches Mr. Cich, who is seated on the edge of a fountain. �Remy LeBeau, or do you prefer Gambit?� he asks. �How fortunate that your school for wayward mutants could give you the night off.� Gambit asks him to call him Remy. He says he tries to keep a life separate from the tights-and-fights friends that he�s acquired. But, he wouldn�t know anything about that, would he? They shake hands and Cich informs him that it�s pronounced Sitch - Bao-Rya Sitch. He assures Remy that he has quite the reputation in the circles he inhabits. Remy apologizes, what with all the revelry and fal-do-do, but that almost sounded like �reputations�� plural.

Cich tells him that he�s heard that his name appears in some unsavory tales that seem at odds with his more colorful and more public appearances. Remy admits that life would be easier if they could rewrite their reputations� which reminds him. He tells Cich he has a nice place. Cich stands and asks him to enjoy his evening. His men will be on hand in case he has any special requirements. As he walks away, his head guard, Mr. Remlik, whispers under his breath in his native Croatian, �Filthy mutants.�

Remy flirts with the waitresses and figures that all eyes are on him. At least as long as he�s top of their list of priorities. He charges up a toothpick which glows with pink energy. He reckons the funny thing about priorities is that they can change in a second. He almost forgot how much he enjoys this job. He flicks the toothpick towards a propane tank and watches it explode. Everyone�s attention is diverted, so Remy uses the moment to dash up the stairs towards the house. He tries not to scare regular folks too often, but he loves this kind of improvisation and the cat-and-mouse games. He grabs the hand of the woman he flirted with earlier and she asks what�s going on. He replies that hopefully she�s about to stay cool and friendly.

As they run, Mr. Remlik places his hand on Remy�s shoulder and asks where he�s going. He tells him that he�s getting the lady somewhere safe. Isn�t that the biggest concern security should have right now? Remlik pauses a moment before pointing to his left, telling Remy to take her and follow the others. With everyone dashing into the house, Remy apologizes to the woman and asks if she�s all right. She replies that she�s fine, but she didn�t know what was happening there for a minute. Did he? Remy replies that he should go back and see if anyone else needs help. Before she can respond, he takes off in the opposite direction.


Remy has lost the dinner jacket and is in a more stealthy all-black outfit. He guesses his distraction will buy him fifteen minutes, so he wants to get this over in seven. If Cich�s right-hand man was dead set on sending them away from this end of the house, then anything worth his time will definitely be at the other. He spots another armed guard but bides him time until he wanders away down a corridor. Using a special feature in his glasses, he brings up blueprints of the house and realizes that somehow Cich has put in an invisible extension on the place. He reaches his hand out and it goes through some kind of hologram. He doesn�t care about how fancy the disguise is, he just wants to see what�s inside.

He slowly walks through the hologram and into a strange room, light but cramped with deadly robotic arms coming out from the sides. He knows he�s been out of the thieving trade for a little while, but since when did locks become so complicated? A computer asks for voice-print verification. Fortunately, Remy recorded Cich earlier saying his name and he plays this at the computer which verifies his voice. It then asks for a fingerprint scan. It seems that Remy�s gloves are specially designed to hold fingerprints, which is why he shook Cich�s hand, so he places his hand on the computer and it verifies them. It then asks for a retina
scan. He flicks a switch on the glasses which scanned Cich�s retina when Remy spoke to him face-to-face. The computer verifies that too before finally asking for a password. Remy pauses a moment before replying, �Please?�

The computer accepts the password and a door slides open. �Mon dieu,� exclaims Gambit as he sees what is inside. Littered around the massive room are Sentinels, Doombots, flying saucers, dinosaur skeletons and all manner of the weird and wonderful. The computer welcomes �Mr. Cich� back. Remy reckons he should say please more often. However, he knows that he has no time to gawk so he heads inside. He probably has less than five minutes before his cover wears thin.

He leaps down into the room and soon comes across a small silver object seated on a pole. �C�est magnifique,� he remarks. He knows there�s something special about it and thinks it�s almost an insult leaving it just lying around. As he cuts a hole in the glass container it sits in, he reaches for the object and a spark of energy zaps between his hand and the object. A small explosion follows and the object bounces away from him. The security computer systems kick in, recognizing an unauthorized removal and it initiates measures against him. The object bounces towards a statue and Remy whispers, �Please don�t,� as another pink spark comes from the device and explodes the statue.

As the alarm sounds Gambit manages to grab the object and secrete it into a pocket. Cich and his men wonder what�s happening inside, as Remy leaps from place to place trying to avoid the Sentinel which has woken up. Its giant hand glows in readiness. Soon after, the guards led by Mr. Remlik enter the hidden room and sees the Sentinel lying on the floor, smoking and sparking away. The place is a mess. The guards want to go in, but Mr. Remlik knows that Gambit will have gone by now. He rushes around the grounds trying to locate Gambit but finds him chatting with the woman he was with earlier. Remlik approaches him and calls him a filthy mutant who should have run when he had his chance. Remy tells him he must be confused. He�s been with this young lady for the last hour! Remlik turns to her and asks if this is true. She replies that it is, and what makes him think he can treat Mr. LeBeau like that? They came out of charity and he attacks the man?

Mr. Cich appears and asks Remlik to calm down. He finds this scene unnecessary and apologizes to everyone in the vicinity on behalf of his security staff�s overzealous reactions. They have had some unexpected troubles tonight. He tells them that he deeply regrets giving them this unsavory first impression and understands if any of them wish to end their evening early. But, he adds, he hopes this will not let it affect their support of the fine ESU students they came to help. Remy puts his arm around the woman and reckons they should leave while they have the chance.

Outside, she opens the door on her red supercar and Remy tells her he can�t thank her enough for covering for him back there. �You can�t?� she asks. �That mean you won�t even try?� Remy asks if she means tonight, but she feels that he�s had enough action for one night. As she climbs into her seat, Remy says he doesn�t even know her name. �I know,� she replies with a smile. As she drives away, Mr. Cich watches from the window and assures Mr. Remlik that they will settle this in time.

Remy returns home and grabs a beer. He nearly forgot how much a little fun can be now and then. He hasn�t felt this much like himself in a long time. But, he can�t go back to pulling these types of mischief all the time� can he? He sits down and reaches for the small object he stole. He always used to say that even a good thief always ends up with something extra in his haul� trouble. As his finger hovers over the object, the pink energy spark appears once again and he looks up to see a five pointed creature leaping towards him. It lands on his chest and quickly burrows itself underneath his skin. Remy grits his teeth and then cries out in pain as energy pours from the hole.

Characters Involved: 


Borya Cich, bodyguards and guests

Mr. Remlik


Story Notes: 

This is the first appearance of Borya Cich and Mr. Remlik.
The woman Remy meets, Joelle, is named in issue #4.

Issue Information: 
Written By: