Gambit (5th series) #9

Issue Date: 
April 2013
Story Title: 
A Man Walks Into a Bar…

James Asmus (writer), Clay Mann (penciler), Seth Mann with Clay Mann & Allan Martinez (inkers), Rachelle Rosenberg (colorist), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer), Clay Mann with Rachelle Rosenberg (cover), Jennifer M. Smith (assistant editor), Daniel Ketchum, (editor), Nick Lowe (X-Men group editor), Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Gambit heads off to find Joelle at the Club With No Name, a super-villain hang out where they can spend time with ladies who like bad boys. His friend Fence watches from his car after hacking into the club’s video feeds. As Remy approaches the club, Rogue calls him for a chat but he doesn’t really have time to speak to her at the moment. Once inside, he mingles with the likes of Batroc and Tiger Shark but manages to finally get the chance to speak with Joelle. She is there on business with Tombstone. She has something for him and in return he is paying her well. Gambit tries to talk to her but Joelle tells him in no uncertain terms that this is none of his business. She’s a grown woman and can handle herself. She finds her nervous business partner, Shakey, and takes him to see Tombstone. Shakey has a memory chip with information about Baron Von Strucker that Tombstone requires. Gambit, desperate to get her out of there, informs the villains present that she is there to rob them. They react by wishing to tear her apart, a reaction Gambit wasn’t quite expecting. He is forced to fight alongside her and leave the club by blowing a hole in the wall. He manages to get Joelle to safety, but she is upset that he’s ruined her business plan. He asks if she’s out for some kind of revenge, but she admits that it’s all because she has a daughter… and she’s dying.

Full Summary: 

(Fence’s black market warehouse (and cupcakes shop), Brooklyn, New York)

The shop is closed. Inside, Fence, wearing a ‘I Heart Labrapoodles’ apron, tells Gambit that, for all the years he’s known him, he still doesn’t understand his definition of a ‘good idea.’ Remy replies that his techno-voodoo found Joelle’s regular gin joint and he’s going to get her. It’s as simple as that. The girl is on a mighty dangerous path and he has enough on his conscience without leaving another pretty girl to the cruelty of fate. Fence replies that he was actually questioning his choice of ensemble. Changing clothes, Remy tells him that given the kind of company she’s keeping, if he goes in all subtle they’re gonna think he’s up to something. But, if he shows up in his old coat and pink & grey costume, then he’ll fit right in.

(The Club With No Name, Manhattan)

The place is filled as usual with low-brow criminals and pretty girls looking for a little adventure. Agents of A.I.M. mix with members of the Wrecking Crew and Boomerang. Villains try and impress the ladies with their anecdotes whilst Fence hacks into their video feed and reports back to Remy. He admits that their interior design is surprisingly tasteful considering the clientele. Remy replies that interior design isn’t his prior concern at the moment. He asks Fence to just keep at the ready. There’s a chance that he might not have thought this all the way through.

Sitting in his car watching the video feed, Fence informs him that the good news is that only a quarter of the people inside are psychopaths. Remy jokes that it’ll be like being back in New Orleans. His phone then rings and he says he has to take it. Ain’t that just the way with ex-girlfriends, he thinks. They always turn up just as you’re about to find yourself another girl. He picks up. “Hey, Chere. What can I…” Rogue breaks him off and tells him not to call her chere. Sitting at a computer whilst Thor, Captain America and Wolverine play rock, paper, scissors, Rogue asks how come the only way she gets to see him these days is on crime reports. Switzerland, London, wanted for questioning in Guatemala? Remy admits that it looks bad, but there are good explanations… for most of it. But, he doesn’t have time to explain right now.

She asks what kind of damn fool game he’s mixed up in now. He replies that he has a tight window of opportunity here. Rogue says she may not be the person he feels like talking to, but they have to sort this out before someone less friendly comes after him. He asks her to trust him but understands how it gets when somebody’s actions make ya nervous. As he heads to the club, he concludes the conversation by assuring her that she’ll hear from him in the next twenty-four hours, unless he’s captive or in some nut-job’s volcano base somewhere. But, he really has to go.

He approaches the doorman who asks ‘tight pants’ to hold up. Is he on the list? Remy replies that he’s probably not, but he’s sure he could call whoever they all need him to call. The doorman corrects him. He doesn’t mean a guest list. He means the ‘most wanted’ list. Inside, Stilt Girl points Gambit’s arrival out to Boomerang, wondering if they should cut out of there before the place turns into a war zone. Boomerang reckons the only trouble he’ll have with Gambit is having a nineties flashback! An A.I.M. agent asks his colleague if the person he sees is Gambit. He replies that it is, and it may prove to be a curious case-study in the establishment’s policy on anti-heroes. “Pff, You nerd,” replies his friend.

The doorman soon apologizes to Gambit. He hadn’t checked the international lists. If he may say, he’s had a helluva week. Remy replies that its true and it ain’t even over yet. He enters the club and soon bumps into Batroc the Leaper. He tells him it’s nice to see him when he hasn’t got a price on his head. “Zat you know of,” replies Batroc. Tiger Shark looms over Remy and snarls at him, asking why the hell he is there. Batroc replies for him, informing Tiger Shark that Gambit is no hero. He has a resume of thievery that cold stretch the Seine. At one time, he was even head of the Thieves Guild. Tiger Shark replies that he didn’t know that, but the question still stands. What is he here for? Remy tells him it’s the same thing that always gets him. A girl. Batroc says he’s in luck. They say chick’s dig bad boys, right? Tiger Shark tells him the place is full of sweet trashy proof. Remy replies that it’s not girls he’s after. It’s that girl. He points to Joelle.

Gambit thinks to himself that he wasn’t sure how he’d feel seeing her again. He thinks that’s reasonable when somebody tries to kiss ya and kill ya in under twenty-four hours. But, there she is and his head won’t settle between throwing her to S.H.I.E.L.D. or sheets. Of course, her sexy dress is making a mighty strong argument. She heads to another room and as he reaches for her, an armed bodyguard warns him to hold it. The vault is VIP only.

Joelle approaches the room’s main man. He has a naked woman laid before him with food laid on her to eat. “I she hopes I’m not interrupting, and I hope our business is still on for tonight, Mr.…” she says. The man replies that it’s Tombstone, but a girl like her can call him Lincoln. Maybe a couple of other things, too. He stands and Joelle informs him that she’s here for business. She’s negotiated this deal with the seller. He has the money and they can split the prize. If he thinks she has anything else in mind she’ll take the deal to one of the many other financiers she could have chosen. Tombstone replies fine and says he has the full amount her friend requires.

Anaconda, one of his bodyguards, holds her hand out and opens it to reveal a small dark object in her palm. Joelle pulls out a magnifying glass and checks it out. He tells her that it’s shrunken. Once he confirms that he’s forked over the real deal, then they’ll get the Pym Particles necessary to restore this to legal tender. With the bodyguard occupied, Gambit enters the room and tells Tombstone that he’s as shrewd a negotiator as his rep would suggest. He asks Remy who he is. “Gambit?!” says Joelle, wondering what he’s doing there. Tombstone replies that he’s vaguely familiar with his reputation as a mutant thief. He does card tricks or something, right? “Like you ain’t never seen,” replies Gambit. He explains that he isn’t there to show off. He just came to have a few words with his business partner.

He walks away with Joelle and jokes that he’s getting jealous seeing her getting into trouble with another fella. But, seeing Tombstone’s face, he’s willing to guess that this is charity. She slams him against the wall, placing her forearm against his neck. She tells him that she’s starting to think that it’s no coincidence that he shows up right when she’s about to get her hands on something. Cich’s party, the museum… here? Cute as he is, she won’t let him keep cutting in. He asks her to believe him; the only thing he came here for is her. Something’s got her chasing down real dark paths. He understands her not wanting to trust some thief she comes across, so he was hoping if she came back, she would see that he’s really offering to help… before she goes and does something she regrets. She looks him in the eye and tells him that’s sweet, and incredibly patronizing.

Remy tries to explain about the people in the club, but Joelle informs him that he isn’t the one with something to offer tonight. He can relax, though. She knows how to work the room. It got her to Cich and the relics. In fact, she adds, it seems like the only snag she keeps hitting is him. So, maybe he should go home because if push comes to shove, she thinks folks here would be more inclined to have her back than his.

Gambit knows that she’s right. She has all the advantages here unless she makes her less popular. He turns to Boomerang, who is blowing Joelle a kiss and tells him that they have similar taste in girl trouble. He hopes he has better luck than he did. Boomerang replies that he only needs one shot. “They always come back to Boomerang, baby,” he smiles.

Batroc is sitting with a couple of girls, trying to impress them. He informs them that he is the number one savat fighter in the world. Gambit walks past and says it’s east to be top dog when there are so few in the race. He apologizes for interrupting but did they see the girl he was with happen by? Batroc points him in the right direction, joking that she must be desperate to escape his company. Remy turns away but hits back by pointing out that they aren’t all lucky enough to have the looks and hygiene of a 17th century musketeer. As he walks by, Asp asks one of the A.I.M. agents if that was Gambit. He tells her it was. She wonders how come he’s never the one slapping her in handcuffs.

Nearby, a man sits with his arms folded. Three empty glasses sit on the table in front of him. He looks nervous. Joelle asks the man, Shakey, if he’s ready to make the deal. He puts his head in his hands and says maybe. Maybe he should take this to S.H.I.E.L.D. instead. She reminds him that he said, after his team finished a secret project for Baron Von Strucker, he ordered hits on all of them. S.H.I.E.L.D. will throw him in prison for what he did and he knows that those dummies won’t be able to keep him out of Hydra’s reach. They’re offering to buy his intel and offer protection.

Gambit approaches them. He bumps into a guy and appears to slip something into his own pocket. He apologizes for being a klutz. He grabs Joelle and tells her that he doesn’t think she took him as seriously as she ought to. She can consider this her last warning. He ain’t letting her get tied up with… Joelle snaps back at him, telling him that this is his last warning. If he so much as looks at her again tonight, she’ll sic every mask and cape in the place on him before he even knows what hit. “Awright, then,” he replies. “You asked for it.”

Joelle and Black Mamba enter Tombstone’s office, a vault, with Shakey. “You’re our trading partner, I presume,” says Tombstone. He hopes for his sake that he has brought he and the lady exactly what was promised. Shakey hands over a memory stick, explaining that it has coordinates, passcodes and blueprints that will take him right to Strucker. Tombstone cuts him off mid-sentence, saying he didn’t ask him to broadcast it. Outside the office, Gambit takes the stage and points to Joelle saying, “Friends, villains, countrymen. That woman is an agent of the Thieves Guild who took an unsanctioned assignment to rob you all tonight!”

Tombstone hears him and he asks Anaconda to search her. Joelle says this is ridiculous. He’s the thief! Anaconda reaches into her pocket and pulls out a small silver boomerang. She reckons it doesn’t look like hers. Joelle is shocked but soon realizes that Gambit has planted it on her. Outside, things turn ugly and they don’t come much uglier than Tiger Shark. “Tear that chick apart!” he cries as he heads to the room. Gambit finds this a little unexpected. Aren’t they overreacting a little? Joelle kicks Anaconda and then takes down Tiger Shark and a couple of agents of A.I.M. She sarcastically thanks him for saving her from those dangerous psychos. Remy joins in the fight and tells her that in his defense, he expected them to just kick her out. She tells him he’s seen the way these guys dress. What made him think they would have a sense of restraint?

Gambit punches out Puff Adder whilst Joelle kicks Bushmaster in the face. Remy spots Batroc just sitting there having a drink. He says he’s surprised he isn’t jumping in on this. Batroc replies that he only fights when he’s getting paid. He is no mongrel Cajun. Remy replies that he’s just happy to knock a man down ‘cos he has it coming. He kicks Batroc in the jaw and someone snapping the action on their phone exclaims, “This club is the greatest!”

Gambit picks up a baseball bat and a pair of handcuffs and snaps them on Joelle’s wrist. “Sure,” sighs Asp, lustfully. “She gets the handcuffs.” He takes Joelle and gets inside the vault, grabbing Ruby Thursday on the way in. He twists her head and kicks her out. “Get back!” she cries as her head charges up. She warns them once again just before her head explodes. Inside the vault, Remy uses a kinetic charge on the door to keep anyone from getting in and admits that things could have gone a little better. Standing behind him, Tombstone replies that he doesn’t know about that. He got what he wanted. He still has the money and he has the intel. Now he doesn’t need to share the prize with a tramp who meant to steal from him.

Gambit agrees and asks him, in that case, to call of his glamazons and let him handle Joelle on behalf of the Thieves Guild. Tombstone doesn’t think so, especially as he knows he isn’t even with the Thieves Guild these days. They’re both more trouble than they’re worth. Gambit charges up a card or two and asks if he’s sure about that. He hasn’t even seen his card tricks yet. He lets the cards fly randomly which explode upon impact. He legs it with Joelle and blows a hole in the vault wall with a charged chair which leads to the outside of the building. The villains hear sirens coming and decide to run for it. Joelle says she hopes Remy has a plan this time. He replies that he has.

Sitting nearby in a taxi is Fence. A woman tries to get in but he informs her that he was called to pick up specific passengers tonight. Remy and Joelle arrive and Fence grins, gathering from the handcuffs that tonight was ‘Plan B’ kind of night. Remy jokes that he made it a little further down the alphabet than that. But, he’s made his way in and out of enough banks in his time. He knew he’d get them out without a hitch. Through the hole he created in the wall steps Tombstone. He tells Gambit that taking the girls was one thing, but he’s gonna regret taking the rest.


Gambit and Joelle relax and get changed out of their work clothes. Remy says he won’t dwell on being insulted that she’d trust those folks over him, but now those bridges are burned up, is she ready to talk? Joelle closes her eyes and sighs. She replies that he deliberately destroyed everything she set up and now he’s offering to help her? Remy says it depends on the answers. He wants to start with the memory stick. He asks what it’s really all about. She keeps going to too much trouble for it to be about money. Is she after some kind of revenge? Joelle begins to cry and turns away slightly. He puts a comforting hand on her shoulder and she admits that she has a daughter… and she’s dying.

Characters Involved: 





Captain America, Rogue, Thor, Wolverine (all Uncanny Avengers)

Agents of A.I.M., Anaconda, Asp, Batroc the Leaper, Black Mamba, Boomerang, Bulldozer, Bushmaster, Crossfire, Lady Stilt-Man, Piledriver, Puff Adder, Ruby Thursday, Thunderball, Tiger Shark, Titania, Wrecker (all villains in the club)

Story Notes: 

The title is derived from any number of jokes that start with the same phrase.

One of the doormen has “Rick” tattooed on the back of his head and another has “Ketchum,” a nod to the Marvel artist.

Boomerang was beaten badly by Spider-Man, hence being on crutches and wearing a neck brace in this issue. [Superior Spider-Man #2]

Gambit was in Guatemala in #3, Switzerland in #5 and London in #6.

Issue Information: 
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