One of my favorite male X-Men characters has to be Gambit, otherwise known as Remy Etienne LeBeau. The New Orleans native did not have an ideal upbringing, which is putting it mildly, but it only adds to the depth of his character and his attraction to X-Men followers.
A Nontraditional Upbringing
Abandoned at birth due to his strange, red eyes, Remy was kidnapped by members of the New Orleans Thieves’ Guild. The infant was then given to theAntiquary, a power in the New Orleans Underground who dealt in the stealing and selling of children. The Guild Prophecies, with which the Antiquary was obsessed, mentioned that a red-eyed man referred to as Le Diable Blanc, or the white devil, was prophesied to unite the rival Thieves’ Guild and Assassins’ Guild of New Orleans.
Believing Remy was the man the prophecies described, the Antiquary soon placed Remy in the care of Fagan’s Mob. This was a gang of street thieves who would raise the child, teach him the ways of thievery, and also keep a close eye on the child.
After a decade of living on the streets, Remy attempted to pick the pocket of Jean-Luc LeBeau at the mob’s encouragement. Jean-Luc LeBeau happened to be the patriarch of the Thieves’ Guild at the time, and it was not a coincidence that the mob wanted Remy to cross LeBeau’s path. Jean-Luc took Remy off the streets and adopted him into his own family, just as the mob had hoped… Unknown to the child, his encounter with Jean-Luc LeBeau was carefully orchestrated by the mob in order help the prophecy of peace move forward.
A Lack of Media Exposure
Though Gambit’s story is filled with plenty of interesting, dark subject matter, the mutant has not had much screen time. Gambit did not enter the Marvel universe until 1990, and with the help of the cartoon that also came out in that year, he quickly became a fan favorite; however, aside from the years he appeared in the X-Men cartoon, he has only stepped out of the pages of comic books once with the film X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
Gambit did not have a large role in the film, and his character was not portrayed as seamlessly as I had hoped. He was an underutilized character, and his abilities were not shown to their full potential. In fact, Gambit was depicted as a less threatening mutant in comparison to Wolverine, which is an unfair representation of the red-eyed mutant, considering he did kill omega-level mutant the Dark Phoenix.
Though Gambit was not shown as the fierce fighter comic-book readers know him as, the bio-kinetic mutant will have a second shot at impressing movie-goers with the upcoming film X-Men: Apocalypse in 2016. Not many details have been revealed regarding plot, but there are a few story arcs that the writers could be using for production (something we will certainly discuss soon).
Regardless of the storyline, this is certainly exciting news! Gambit will finally have the chance to show off who he really is on the silver screen, and maybe fans will get that solo film soon after? Time will tell!