A Thief By Any Other Name...
By: Andrew Hines
The Ragin' Cajun has long been a fan favorite of those who follow the Children of the Atom. Ever the charming grifter and master thief, he has languished in the background for too many years. Now a teacher, X-Man and part time thief (allegedly), and apparently, a "security guard for mutant teenagers." I don't recall Le Diable Blanc (The White Devil) being that great with kids, but I guess that much time with Bobby and Kurt will either make you patient or have you looking for creative forms of suicide. Honestly, the only classes I can see "Professor LeBeau" teaching are Sex Ed, Lock Picking 101 and Grifting for Dummies. Thankfully his trademark red irises and black sclera, the classic trench coat and leather suit look still shows up in the issue. Et avec cela, laissez les bons temps rouler. (And with that, let the good times roll.)
James Asmus starts off with a great intro for anyone who hasn't followed Gambit before now. I like the way the story began and the dialogue. You get a feeling of that very distinctive Cajun accent that Remy has. I actually found myself reading the captions those lines in a wannabe-Gambit accent. The flow of the story is pretty good and Asmus brings in a few unexpected twists here and there. The addition of the party gave him some room to show off Gambit's charm and con man skills. It's very well written and that's enough to put Asmus' other writing on my radar from now on.
The pencil and ink team of Clay and Seth Mann are really good. Very clear and defined, the way they've illustrated Gambit is one of the best I've ever seen. Second only to Jim Lee's run on X-Men in the early 90s, they've done a fantastic job on this first issue. The colorist, Rachelle Rosenberg, has done a good job herself. I don't recall seeing her work before this issue, but it's definitely a standout among this week's comics. The colors are soft and subtle. Nothing pops that doesn't feel like it's supposed to. This really is a fantastically illustrated issue. I hope they get to continue on this title for a good long while. C'est magnifique! (This is beautiful!)
This is a beautiful example of how great comics really should be. It earns an A. J'aime cette. (I love this.)