Wolverine / Gambit : Victims #1

Issue Date: 
September 1996
Story Title: 
Victims Part 1: In Harm’s Way

Jeph Loeb (writer), Time Sale (pencils), Comicraft (letters), Gregory Wright/Chameleon (colors), Mark Powers (editor), Bob Harras (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Five women have been murdered on the streets of London. One of them was Detective Alexandra Davies, someone Gambit used to know. As the populace grows frightened with the murders, they soon start comparing the events to the legendary butcher, Jack the Ripper. After ending a Danger Room simulation, Gambit starts thinking about his life before he met Rogue, and the people he knew before it. He thinks it’s about time he visited one or two. On the plane to London, he reads about the murders, and that of his friend. He breaks into the local police station to find out more, but is interrupted by an officer. After successfully escaping, Gambit visits Alexandra’s parents, but they becomes suspicious after Gambit tells them he’s an old friend of their daughter’s, and them not recalling Remy’s name. Gambit drives away, and later checks out the city at night. There, he is arrested by the police, and the same officer who caught him in his office earlier. Suspecting Gambit is behind the murders, the police want to arrest him. But, when a scream is heard nearby, they all rush into action to save the woman. Stunned, Gambit recognizes the killer: it’s his own teammate, Wolverine?!? Logan claims he doesn’t know what he’s doing in London, or why there’s blood on his claws. And, he also can’t promise he’s got nothing to do with all the dead women. The police have had enough, and are ready to arrest both mutants now. As these events play themselves out, elsewhere, a mysterious person observes the mutants on his monitors and laughs at them.

Full Summary: 

“I’m not a butcher. I’m not a kid. Nor yet, a foreign skipper. But I’m your own true loving friend. Yours truly… Jack the Ripper.”

Until he sent this mocking stanza to the newspapers, he didn’t even have a name. But, for three months in the autumn of 1888, the good people of London, England, feared for their wives and daughters. Jack the Ripper killed at least six women with an unidentified knife. Then, without warning or reason, in November of the same year, he stopped. He was never caught.

Over one hundred years later, the good people of London once again fear for their wives and daughters. An unidentified assailant has already killed four women. Despite a massive effort from Scotland Yard, tonight the number of victims will rise again.

England, London. Night time…

A lone woman runs scared through the city. Ending up in a dead end alley, she is faced against a wall. Turning her body around to look her killer in the eye, the woman freaks out when she sees a masked, clawed person.

In the streets nearby, several people hear the woman scream. As they follow the sound of the loud cry, the people find the woman dead in the alley. May God have mercy on her… may God have mercy on them all.

Nearby, unnoticed by any of these people, the murderer escapes by running over the rooftops.

Nighttime, half a world away…

Gambit has managed to open up someone’s safe, and sticks his hand through it so he can steal some jewelry. Unfortunately, the Cajun gets interrupted by a very familiar voice to him, wondering what that old saying is: “Once a thief, always a thief.” It’s Rogue, who can’t let Gambit get away with this. While charging up some cards, Gambit jokingly says that he doesn’t remember giving Rogue a choice.

Rogue quickly flies towards Remy, punching him in his stomach and causing him to drop the card. She pushes them both out of the window, with Gambit reminding her that they are forty stories up!

As they fall down, still fighting each other, Gambit knows that including Rogue in this was a mistake. Rogue thinks that’s because Gambit was probably afraid to get pinched in the act. Remy denies that. They fall on the floor, and Gambit ends the Danger Room simulation, which included Rogue.

Gambit gets up, and lights on a cigarette. He states that it has come down to this: he is spending time with a hologram of the woman he loves. He admits that he is trying to be understanding; that she needs some time alone, wherever she is. But, Gambit also realizes, everyone has their secrets, people they cared about before he and Rogue met each other. Remy thinks it’s time he checked up on one or two of them.

Later, at the New York to London plane flight…

Gambit could sure use a smoke right now, but he notices a sign that forbids smoking on the plane. A stewardess approaches Remy, asking if she can help him with something. Remy asks her if the “no-smoking sign” shouldn’t be off by now. The stewardess apologizes for the inconvenience, but this is a non-smoking flight. The whole way.

Remy lies to himself that he doesn’t care, because smoking is a filthy habit anyway and can quit anytime. He tries to build a house of cards to kill the time, but gets impatient every second that passes and he can’t smoke.

He starts to read some newspapers about the murders in London. They say that, over in the States, the media has been having a field day: a serial killer stalking ladies in the streets of London. They show horrific images of once-beautiful women sliced up. Remy knows those pictures help sell the papers. He sees a photo of the latest victim, woman number five. She was a female detective working undercover: Detective Alexandra Davies. She was so young. So much promise. All taken away.

Gambit gets tired a bit, and after a while falls asleep. A young girl next to him notices the awful pictures and gets scared, calling for her mother. The mother calls out to the stewardess, the call waking up Gambit. Gambit apologizes for doing this. After a long time, Gambit finally arrives in London airport and gets off the plane.

Later that night, at the local police station…

Remy has broken into the station by climbing through the window, and searches through some files about the murders. He discovers that five women have been murdered so far, but apparently there is no connection between them. But, the Cajun believes, in the killer’s mind, there has to be a link. He also reads that the murder weapon was curved and razor sharp. There have been traces of bone fragments been found in the entry wounds. “Bone?” Remy wonders.

A police officer enters his office and demands to know what Gambit is doing in there. Thinking the officer wouldn’t believe him if he told him, Remy throws a charged up card at the officer and, as it hits him, Gambit escapes back through the open window. He can’t help but think about the word “bone,” mocking that’s just his luck.

Nights turn into day…

Gambit “arranges” for transportation. Procuring a motorbike for himself, he drives sixty miles outside of London to a town called Chinchester. It eats Remy. Instead of names, the victims have been given file numbers: “File nr. 1, 2, 3…” It’s as if the victims didn’t have families. As if they weren’t remembered. But he knows otherwise.

Remy stops nearby a house, belonging to Alexandra’s parents. The grieving parents open the door, welcoming Gambit inside and ask for his name. After introducing himself, Gambit claims that he’s looking for some answers.

Some time later, while drinking some coffee, Gambit has already mentioned that he’s working on Alexandra’s case, and wants to know if she has said anything to her parents that might help him. Alexandra’s dad is surprised that London officers still don’t carry guns. He can’t imagine this day and age with the police still not carrying guns. He was so proud when Alexandra was made detective. Both he and his wife were, but she was always worried for their daughter’s safety.

The mother asks Gambit if he has children. Remy denies that, but admits that he knew Alexandra. The mother finds that funny, as she doesn’t recall her daughter ever mentioning him. She notices the Remy accent and asks if it’s French. Gambit corrects that it’s actually Cajun. The woman looks a bit intrigued at her husband. Gambit notices this and gets up, thinking he has taken enough of the parent’s time and drives away. As they watch Gambit leave, the mother thinks it’s best they call inspector Andrews about Remy.

Night comes again to the streets of London…

As he walks through the streets, Gambit realizes he hasn’t slept, or had a cigarette, since he arrived. He wonders why there’s always someone who thinks, “this can’t happen to me.” Seeing him, a woman becomes scared by Gambit and screams, thinking he’s the Ripper. Gambit tries to stop her, but then a flashlight shines on him: it’s a set-up!

It’s the police, who tell Gambit to put his hands in the air. Gambit does so and tries to explain that he came here to help. An angry officer doesn’t think they’ll be needing Gambit’s help. Hesitant, Gambit admits that he was a… friend of Alexandra’s and wasn’t even in this country when the murder happened. The officer doesn’t even let Remy finish his sentence and punches him in the face!

The officer recognizes Gambit, as he broke into his office earlier and also assaulted him so he could escape. He states that, anything Gambit has to say, he can say in jail. Gambit gets up and charges up some cards, telling the officer that he got a lucky punch but won’t get another one. He asks if perhaps now, they can talk. The officers get scared, as they weren’t prepared for a “mutant freak.”

Another loud scream is heard, somewhere nearby.

Gambit uses his bo-staff to help jump over the officers and head to an alley. There, a clawed person is about to kill another woman. The officers and Gambit order the killer to stop and to get out of the shadows, declaring that this ends here and now. The killer ignores the warning and starts slicing Gambit through his uniform and coat! Gambit notices how fast his opponent is. He moves just like…- The Cajun has had enough. He charges up some cards and tells the killer to step into the light so they can all have a look at him.

The “killer” does, and is revealed to be… Wolverine?! Wolverine wonders if Gambit, if that really is him, if he has gone without tobacco or something. Gambit, stunned to find his teammate here, recalls that Logan has been on the edge of late, living outdoors of the mansion and all, but reminds Logan that there is blood – blood on his claws! Gambit demands that Logan explains the blood.

Logan claims he can’t do that. He doesn’t know about the blood, or even how he got to London in the first place. And, Logan adds, if Gambit is looking for him to say he has nothing to do with those dead women: he can’t!

The officers shout at both Gambit and Wolverine to hold it right there, and point their guns at the mutants. Gambit mocks that this is another fine mess Logan has gotten them into. Logan doesn’t even know who invited Gambit to this, explaining that the officers are C.I.D. anti-terrorist and loaded for bear.

Elsewhere, at an unknown headquarters…

A mysterious foe observes Wolverine and Gambit on his viewing screens, and sinisterly laughs.

- I’m not a butcher. I’m not a kid. Nor yet, a foreign skipper. But I’m your own true loving friend. Yours truly…

Characters Involved: 

Gambit, Wolverine (both X-Men)

Alexandra Davies (murdered detective)

Alexandra’s parent’s (both unnamed)

Inspector Andrews and other London police officers (all unnamed)

mysterious foe (unnamed)

several London people finding her (all unnamed)

plane passengers and stewardess (all unnamed)

as Danger Room simulation:

Rogue (former X-Man)

Story Notes: 

This entire miniseries takes place sometime after X-Men (2nd series) #45, after Rogue learned Gambit’s secret of having a mysterious connection to Mr. Sinister, one of the X-Men’s most dangerous enemies.

Wolverine has been acting weird ever since Magneto ripped out the adamantium bones out of his skeleton in X-Men (2nd series) #25.

First appearance of Alexandra Davies.

When Gambit mocks that “this is another fine mess Logan has gotten them into,” he is quoting Oliver Hardy, from Laurel and Hardy. After getting into trouble, Hardy would quite often say “Well, here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into.”

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