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C2E2 Interview: James Asmus Deals GAMBIT a New Deck

Gambit's going solo this summer and appears to be up to his old ways.

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Last week Marvel teased a new Gambit series coming this August. There was no information what the series would be about or who was involved. Yesterday at C2E2, those questions were revealed. James Asmus will be writing the new Gambit series with Clay Mann doing the art.

As Gambit tries to adjust to life as an authority figure at Wolverine's school, he decides to do the one thing that will bring him peace - be the greatest thief in the Marvel Universe. Gambit will be setting his sights on the biggest score yet. Of course some treasures come with a high price and Gambit will be traveling the world to learn the secrets behind a mysterious artifact that's more than meets the eye. When he thinks he has it all figured out, Gambit's going to meet the one person who might just be his better. And she won't let him get away.

We took this opportunity to ask James a few questions about the upcoming GAMBIT series.

Comic Vine: How will the tone compare to his appearances in ASTONISHING X-MEN and X-MEN LEGACY? Are you steering clear from the more 'superhero' angle? Will this take place in some of the darker corners of the Marvel Universe?

James Asmus: Our book is going to focus squarely on Gambit as a man of mixed and complicated morality, thieving his way through the Marvel Universe. I’m hoping to capture my favorite aspects of movies like Raiders of the Lost Arc or the Mission Impossible movies - and inject them with all the bizarre, rich, and amazing locales and elements of Marvel Comics. Because, honestly, the only thing that can make sexy heist stories better would be adding stuff like magic, monsters, or mutants.

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CV: With Gambit going back towards his thieving ways, is the focus going to be mainly on Remy or will other X-Men make appearances? What about X-23?

JA: It will be several issues before any of the X-Men make an appearance. They’ll appear rarely, and only when the story calls for it. My hope is pull Gambit deeper in the broader Universe and let him make friends and enemies in the places we don’t normally see the X-Men.

The other part of this is the idea that we really want this book to be as accessible as possible to new readers. I literally lost count of how many people have told me they either stopped reading comics, or X-Men comics, or never read comics in the first place – but that they love Gambit! So as much as anything, I want to make a book that fits into the broader Marvel landscape, and still has its consequences. But I’ll be making sure that every time characters or backstory are brought into the book – I will weave in everything you need to understand who they are or the significance of what’s happening. And in that sense, it’s very helpful to have my wife read the stuff and tell me what she does and doesn’t get – just so I don’t take any knowledge for granted.

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CV: Gambit's always been a bit of a ladies' man, will we see that played up or is he dedicated to Rogue?

JA: Oh, make no mistake – he’s a free agent right now. And I plan to take full advantage of that fact. I think one of the greatest aspects of Gambit’s character is his flirtatious charm. And that fits perfectly with the sexy spy/heist type of angle we’re crafting for the book. So there will be plenty of love interests – new and old – tied up in his dirty business.

CV: Do you plan on having Gambit keep the purple suit?

JA: NO! Actually, the first question I asked when the offered me the job was – “Can we change his uniform?” Apparently, Clay Mann (our series artist) asked the same thing! So there’s even a little joke about it in the first issue before we introduce Clay’s redesign for the book. I don’t know if other people will keep using the purple/pink number – but to me it just made zero sense having a guy who’s trying to sneak around wearing that outfit. And, as much as I’ve always loved Gambit, I’ve always hated his weird anti-mask.

CV: How often does Gambit shave and how does he constantly maintain that 5 o'clock shadow?

JA: Same way I do! The secret is to use an electric trimmer, rather than fully shave.