Gambit (Remy LeBeau) is a fictional character, a Marvel Comics superhero that has been a member of the X-Men. Created by writer Chris Claremont and artists Jim Lee and Mike Collins, the character first appeared in Uncanny X-Men #266 (August 1990). As of 2008, there have been two attempts at an ongoing title starring the character. Gambit also had two different mini-series and starred prominently in the X-Force replacement title during the Age of Apocalypse, Gambit & the X-Ternals.
A professional thief, few X-Men trusted Gambit when he first joined the group, a source of stress between him and his longtime on and off again love interest Rogue. This was exacerbated when his connections to villain Mister Sinister were revealed, although some of his team members accept that Gambit honestly seeks redemption.
As the X-Men's self-described ladies man, Gambit has shown a more vulnerable side of himself over the years, especially when it comes to Rogue. Gambit remains fiercely proud of his Louisiana heritage, and speaks in a very thick, Cajun accent.
Though he did not appear in the first three X-Men films, Gambit will finally appear on screen in the upcoming X-Men Origins: Wolverine, where he will be portrayed by Friday Night Lights star Taylor Kitsch.
Gambit appeared on the X-Men animated series and in video games. He also starred in two solo series, one lasting from 1998 through 2001 and the other 2004 though 2005. He also starred in two miniseries of his own, the first having been released in 1993 and the other in 1997. Additionally, "Gambit & X-Ternals", published in 1995, featured a group of renegade mutants led by Gambit who has been living on the edge of law during the Age of Apocalypse.
They referred to the child as "el diablo blanco" ("the white devil") and believed he was prophesied to unite the warring Thieves and Assassins Guilds. Soon after, Remy was placed in the care of Fagan's Mob, a gang of street thieves who raised the child and taught him the ways of thievery. After living as an orphan on the streets, a 10 year-old Remy attempted to pick the pocket of Jean-Luc LeBeau, then patriarch of the Thieves Guild. Jean-Luc took the boy off the streets and adopted him into his own family.
Remy's bio-kinetic charging abilities manifested early in his teens, although he kept his powers secret from his family and friends, practicing his powers away from prying eyes. When he was 15, he accompanied his best friend Etienne Marceaux on his "Tilling", the ritual initiation test of the Thieves Guild. However, it went awry as they were assigned to steal from the powerful immortal mutant Candra, who quickly captured them. Candra recognized Remy from an encounter that had taken place in her past but in his future (due to a time travel mission to the 19th Century Remy would take as an adult) and sold them to the deformed, mutant gangster and child slave trader known as the Pig, who planned to sell them and others their age to HYDRA as boy soldiers. Remy used his powers to escape their holding pen, but the physically enhanced Pig quickly caught up to them. Remy discovered his signature attack when he picked up a playing card that Etienne had dropped, charged it and threw it in the Pig's face, taking out his eye. Finally escaping his cliff top headquarters by diving into the sea, Remy was ultimately rescued by the Guild; Etienne drowned.
In an attempt to reconcile the Thieves and Assassins Guilds, Remy married Bella Donna Boudreaux, granddaughter of the head Assassin, whom he had met at age 8. Unfortunately, he was challenged by her brother Julien to a duel after the wedding. In the duel, Gambit killed Julien, and he was exiled from the city, ending his relationship with Bella Donna.
However, Sinister wanted the favor returned, so Gambit carried out various missions for him. For the last of these operations, Gambit gathered together a group of mercenaries which Sinister named the Marauders. The group included the mutant Sabretooth as one of its members. Gambit was then ordered to lead the Marauders into the tunnels under New York City. He led Sabretooth, Blockbuster, Prism, and Riptide there while - unknown to Gambit - Scalphunter, Arclight, Harpoon, Malice, Scrambler, and Vertigo followed the Morlock Tommy into the tunnels. Their goal was to wipe out the Morlocks. Gambit was unable to prevent the Marauders from killing a considerable number of Morlocks, but he was able to save one, a child. Her name was Sarah, and she would grow up to be Marrow, the leader of the mutant terrorist group Gene Nation. Gambit long kept his involvement in the mission a secret from his fellow X-Men, much to their eventual displeasure.
When the original five X-Men rejoined and the team was divided into two squads, Gambit became part of the Blue team under Cyclops's leadership. Alongside the X-Men, he battled Magneto and his newly-formed Acolytes, Fenris, the Hand, Omega Red, and Sabretooth, and Mojo. Gambit then fought Bishop and was attacked by his estranged wife Bella Donna. Gambit recounted how he had fled from New Orleans after killing his brother-in-law in self-defense. Alongside the X-Men, Gambit first encountered the second Ghost Rider. Gambit battled the Brood Queen and the Brood-possessed Ghost Rider, and witnessed the apparent death of his now ex-wife, Bella Donna.
Gambit became interested in one of his teammates in particular, Rogue, and started flirting with her, despite her off-putting manner and the obstacle of her uncontrollable power that prevented anyone from touching her. Despite that, he began a romance with Rogue. It should be noted that their relationship was originally written as a one time, flirtatious moment. And yet, their relationship is listed as one of the longest and most popular on-going relationships in the X-Men series; probably only second to Jean Grey and Cyclops.
Many publishing years later, it had become apparent Remy had a dark secret. Sabretooth had hinted to it on numerous occasions during his "residency" at the X-Mansion, prompting Rogue to ask him to reveal whatever he knew about Gambit's past. Remy was captured and brought before a mock trial held by Magneto, the mutant Master of Magnetism, then disguised as Erik the Red. Rogue was forced to kiss him again, revealing that he had assembled the team of Marauders for Mr. Sinister that later killed most of the Morlocks. However it was also revealed that Gambit saved a single girl from the Marauders during the massacre. This apparent revelation and absorbing Gambit's own guilty memories caused Rogue to reject him. Gambit was similarly cast out of the X-Men and was abandoned in the frozen wastes of Antarctica.
Starving to death and haunted by the betrayal of his love (Rogue), Gambit made his way back into Magneto's citadel, where he encountered the psionic essence of a dead mutant named Mary Purcell. The wraith-like Mary bonded with him, allowing him to survive until he reached the Savage Land, a hidden jungle nestled in the icy wasteland. There, Remy struck a deal with the enigmatic being known as the New Son. In exchange for passage back to America, Gambit agreed to run errands for the New Son with the help of friend Jacob Gavin Jr..
When Gambit's psyche absorption had worn off, Rogue spent months searching for him, to no avail. Gambit encountered the X-Men again when he attempted to steal the fabled Crimson Gem of Cyttorak for his new employer. He agreed to return to the team, mainly for his self-respect and for Rogue. At one point he became the field leader of a branch of X-Men. His love for Rogue was still intact, but her inability to control her powers made her break it off out of fear of hurting him.
Meanwhile, the New Son revealed his true identity after organizing an assassination game for a cadre of super-powered mercenaries with Remy as the target. The attempt failed, and Remy learned that the New Son was an alternate reality version of himself. In his reality, the New Son's kinetic charging powers had flared out of control, burning the world and killing everyone but himself. This incredible power was the reason for his true name, New Sun — not "son" as Remy previously thought.
When Bishop comes to the X-Men in their original timeline, he meets Gambit and is sure that he is the same old man in Bishop's future and that it was Gambit who was the "Traitor" that killed the X-Men. For some time, he continues to watch Gambit's every step until he is finally convinced some time later that Gambit was not the Traitor (with the Onslaught being revealed to be the traitor). The reason behind Gambit being called the Witness in Bishop's timeline has not been revealed. In the Messiah Complex, it was revealed that the Witness was killed by the Marauders in their efforts to destroy anyone with knowledge of the future.
When Storm led a team of X-Men in search of Destiny's diaries, the thirteen-volume Books of Truth, Gambit volunteered to join them, but Rogue - afraid that her increasingly uncontrolled powers would bring him harm - flatly refused to allow him along. He returned to thievery instead, and was soon after framed by mutant businessman Sebastian Shaw for the death of the Australian crime lord named Viceroy. With the assistance of Rogue, Storm's team of X-Treme X-Men, and former Triad member Red Lotus, Gambit was able to clear his name. Soon after, Remy became embroiled in the X-Men's fight against an alien invasion of Earth led by the interdimensional warlord Khan, after trying to assemble the "Madripoor Set," a group of seven gems. The X-Treme team's enemy, the enhanced human named Vargas, used the invasion as a chance to attempt to kill more of Storm's team, going after Rogue and Gambit. Rogue tried to shield Remy against Vargas' sword, but he impaled them both as a reward for her fidelity. Both Rogue and Gambit survived, but lost their mutant abilities (for a time). As a result, the couple sought to live a normal life and sort out their relationship, retiring from the X-Men temporarily.
During the story arc with Golgotha, Gambit revealed some deep insecurities he had about his relationship with Rogue; not only did he say that "Maybe dis no-touching thing is getting to me... more den I thought, but he also told Rogue that she should just get together with Logan, thinking that there was a hidden attraction between the two. As a result of the accusation, Logan kissed Rogue, but she broke it off before it caused any major damage. Gambit then began to realize what he was saying, questioning his love for Rogue, but soon after began to suffer from hallucinations that he was fighting Mister Sinister. However, Rogue and Gambit soon realized that Golgotha made them say things they didn't mean and before the final battle, they 'kissed' through their space suit helmets.
Once back at the mansion, Gambit and Rogue moved into the same room to try and build some intimacy and began telepathic therapy with Emma Frost. They soon found out that with all the emotional baggage going on in their minds, they were still unable to make physical contact mentally. This would cause even more strain when the new student, Foxx, joins Gambit's team and attempts to seduce him.
Rogue's foster mother Mystique was displeased with Rogue's choice of lovers and infiltrated Xavier's Institute by shape shifting into a student called Foxx. She joined Gambit's squad in an attempt to ruin his relationship with Rogue. After Gambit resisted her charms, Mystique reverted to her true form and then offered Gambit something significantly more difficult to refuse: she transformed into Rogue and offered Gambit a Rogue with whom he could have a physical relationship, claiming that she was only trying to help relieve the increasing frustrations between the two lovers; "... if one of you could have some physical release...". Rogue eventually discovered her mother's presence in the school and that Gambit knew she was there. To date, Gambit denies that he slept with Mystique, but there is yet to be a verification of his account.
Upon the return of Apocalypse, Gambit submitted himself to the villain and was transformed into one of Apocalypse's Horsemen, Death. Gambit intended to infiltrate himself into Apocalypse's ranks in order to protect the X-Men from the Dark Lord's eventual betrayal, but he miscalculated, as the transformation process warped his mind as well as his body. After becoming Death, Gambit's hair turned white and his skin turned deep black. Despite having his mind and body twisted, Gambit retained a large portion of his former self, stating to Apocalypse, "I'm both Death and Gambit," and he also remembered his love for Rogue as he could not bring himself to kill her. Gambit and Sunfire then returned to the Xavier Institute to claim Polaris. Gambit, in an attempt to free all ties with his old self, tried to kill Rogue and would have been successful had it not been for Pulse neutralizing Gambit's powers.
After the X-Men defeated Apocalypse, Sunfire left with Gambit to help him clear Apocalypse's brainwashing and live as entirely new beings, only to then be approached by Mister Sinister.
Tracking Gambit using Cerebro, the X-Men find that the Marauders' hideout was on Muir Island. However, what they didn't know is that Gambit let them track him. It appears that Gambit, along with Mystique, have plans of their own for the newborn mutant as evidenced by his lack of surprise when he delivered the baby to Sinister, who then reveals himself to be Mystique as the real Sinister lies on the floor with shock etched into his face, and the fact that Mystique told Gambit that it's time for the next step.
A flashback sequence shows that Mystique used Rogue's deathtouch to kill Sinister. In the present she explains that everything she and Gambit have done has led to this moment as foretold by Destiny. Mystique touches the baby's face to Rogue's in the hope of sacrificing the child to save her. After an energy burst Gambit snatches the baby, saying that Rogue would never want an innocent life used to save hers. However, the child was unharmed by Rogue's touch. Gambit gives the baby to Xavier and says he wishes to stay with Rogue. Shortly after, Rogue awakens and tries to kill Mystique. But somehow the baby has cured her of her deathtouch, as well as any minds she had ever absorbed, leaving her with only herself and now Mystique. She tells Gambit she needs time alone and if he still cares for her, he would not follow.
Gambit and Xavier then drive out to the Nuclear Research Facility at Alamogordo, the place where Xavier's, Juggernaut's, and Ryking's fathers all worked at some point in their lives and is most likely where Mister Sinister was running his genetic operations on the X-gene. However, Xavier begins to suffer terrible headaches, and he and Gambit decide to wait it out in the desert for a few hours, where they are once again attacked by the Assassins Guild.. Charles Xavier is abducted and taken to the Almagordo facility, where it is revealed that the employer of the assassins was Amanda Mueller, the head of the Black Womb Project, a former lover and protege of Mister Sinister (as well as direct ancestress of the Summers line ) , who plans to use Charles to activate Sinister's Cronus machine, so as to be able revive herself with the Essex's own superpowered essence. Meanwhile, Gambit manages to defeat the rest of the assassins with the assistance of Sebastian Shaw, and they form a temporary alliance of convenience to destroy the Cronus machine, which threatens Shaw as well, and rescue Xavier. They ultimately manage to succeed with a desperate last-minute life-or-death gamble when Gambit directly charges Shaw with biokinetic energy, giving him enough power to utterly shatter the otherwise indestructible machine.
Gambit is skilled in card throwing with great accuracy, and all aspects of thievery. One of his trademark tricks is to hurl playing cards at an opponent, charging each card and turning it into a deadly projectile. His other tricks have included charging a wad of chewing gum when he was otherwise entirely tied up and charging the floor of an entire room, causing it to explode with great force. He has commonly also carried throwing spikes and knives, which he charges using his powers and throws at opponents.
Gambit's body, as a living generator of bio-kinetic energies, possesses physiological attributes adapted for constant motion. As a result, his mutation has increased his body's innate physical qualities (such as speed, reflexes/reactions, stamina, agility, flexibility, dexterity and balance) to the very limit of natural human capability. This also creates static interference around him at all times making him immune to telepathic probes, and at the peak of his powers, this grew to become a constant ambient bio-kinetic aura around his body which neutralized all other mutant powers which involved direct physical contact upon his person, allowing him to make direct skin contact at last with Rogue, enabling them to finally physically consummate their romantic relationship.
Gambit possesses a subtle hypnotic charm. He can compel people to believe what he says is true and to accede to his wishes using his speech, though some minds have proven to be immune. It has been stated that for his charm to work, the other person has to be unaware of it. It has been theorized in the Marvel guidebooks that Gambit is able to achieve this by bio-kinetically charging the brain matter of the target individual.
Gambit customarily wears a suit of highly articulated light body armor and his weapon of choice is a telescopic metal staff. He is extensively trained in martial arts, particularly French kick-boxing or savate, which coupled with his Thieves Guild training and natural mutant abilities, makes him a superhuman combatant. He is an excellent hand-to-hand combatant, utilizing street-fighting techniques and acrobatics.
In his youth, Gambit was able to control all forms of kinetic energy, allowing him to charge all matter within his line of sight by mere thought alone, but his failure to control it caused him to turn to Mister Sinister (it was hinted that it led him to accidentally massacre a theater full of people). Sinister excised the portion of his brain stem responsible for his full mutant powers. Later, he returned to Sinister while he was in Victorian England, and had his grey matter surgically re-implanted, restoring his abilities to their full potential (which enabled him to return to the present day by transforming himself into living energy which joined with the kinetic flow of the timestream itself) until he burnt them out while fighting the New Sun. However, Sage then jumpstarted his powers twice, first, when the XSE rejoined the X-Men and second, when she helped him heal his blinded eyes. It was later revealed that he had regained his ability to charge even organic and animated matter when he directly powered the kinetic-absorbing Sebastian Shaw with biokinetic energies in order to be able to destroy the Cronus machine of Mister Sinister.
While blinded for a period of time, it was shown that Gambit had the ability to foresee future events using his playing cards through tarot reading.
After Sage helped restore his vision, possibly by unlocking the further stages of his own mutation so that he could heal himself (by biokinetically stimulating his own cellular activity) as he did once (when he was speared through the chest in the Assassination Game), he has yet to demonstrate this ability again.
As the Horseman Death, Gambit showed the ability to convert inert materials into toxic substances, such as transforming breathable air into poisonous gases and also potentially the ability to ingest diseases and plagues similar to one of Pestilence's (Polaris') powers. He did not show his Death/Gambit powers in his reappearance as a member of Sinister's Marauders.
Gambit is fluent in various languages, primarily English and Cajun French, which he uses most often.
Gambit is notorious for his charm and womanizing ways. Jean Grey said of him "I must admit, as infuriating and arrogant as Gambit can be, those eyes, that grin, the body, it takes a girl's breath away."
Gambit first appears in the Wolverine and the X-Men episode "Thieves Gambit" voiced by Phil LaMarr. He first appears as a thief for hire, who steals a mutant power dampening collar invented by Forge and sells it to Dr. Zane and Bolivar Trask to use in the Sentinel Program. Wolverine convinces him to help him retrieve it, though he later escapes the fight without the collar.