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Real Name: Remy LeBeau

Although some doubt still exists as to how he obtained the name "Remy", it is generally believed that it was given to him by the Antiquary, the trader in children who arranged the infant Gambit's kidnapping. The name probably comes from the mysterious Guild prophecies, which a red-eyed man will supposedly fulfill. ("Remy" is first mentioned in X-Men #6 by Sabretooth, while his last name is first mentioned in X-Men #8 by Bishop. It is interesting to note that Bishop calls out Gambit's last name without knowing Gambit and recognizing him as "the Witness" from the future.)

Height: 6'2"

Weight: 180lbs

Eye Color: Red irises on black sclera

Gambit's eyes have been this way since birth. Gambit's eyes are also known to glow and sparkle in conjunction with the use of his mutant powers and his moods.

Hair Color: Auburn

Ethnicity: Cajun

For those who are interested in the history, Cajuns initially came from Brittany and Normandy. The Normans tended to be the higher status Cajuns while the majority came from Brittany. Then there was about 150 years in Acadia (now Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island) with linguistic influences from the Micmac tribe and Scottish immigrants with some intermarriage with both (the Micmac, Scots and the French got along fine) It was the English that caused all the difficulties and ultimately drove many of the Acadians from there in 1755. Some fled to the forests of New Brunswick and sucessfully evaded the English troops, but most were crowded onto boats at gunpoint and sent south, enduring many hardships.

Most eventually ended up in Louisiana where there were other French settlers. These settlers though were mostly aristrocratic French from in or near Paris. They had intermarried with the aristrocratic Spainards and called themselves Creoles. Spain and France went back and forth over who controlled Louisiana a few times during the 1700's, but by the time the Cajuns began to arrive the Spainards and French had worked things out- the Spainards controlled the central government and the French controlled the trade. Both were slave owners, having both Native American and African slaves that did the manual labor.

As you can probably imagine the Cajuns, while welcomed in, soon found out their status was distinctly second class in their new home. Most eventually left the cities and settled in the bayous where they didn't have to deal directly with class prejudices.

In 1803 the Spainards gave the colony of Louisiana back to the French, as their interests in that area of the "New World" had waned, and in 1804 the French government sold the Louisiana Territory to the United States because they too had lost interest in their colonies in that part of the world and could make more profit by selling it.

Unlike the Creoles, whose support of the American side in the War of 1812 was mimimal the Cajuns joined General Andrew Jacksons troops of Kentuckians and Tennessians (called "Kaintucks" by Louisianans) in droves. The famous Battle of New Orleans was fought by these troops.

Basically until the Civil War Cajuns had little other contact with the outside world. In that war the Cajuns either fought on the Confederate side or remained neutral (as did the Creoles and Americans in the state- unlike the upper south there was little support for the Union in the Deep South even among people personally oppossed to slavery.)

Unfortunately beginning during the Reconstruction period after the Civil War the Cajuns started dealing with some of the worst discrimination they had suffered since the English drove them from Acadia. Speaking French at school was not allowed and children were harshly punished for doing so. Laws that discriminated againist Cajuns in other ways were also created. (All those laws were eventually overturned in the 20th century, and French began to be taught in the schools in the early 70's)

(Thanks to Keri for the historical information!)

Place of Birth: New Orleans, Louisiana

Gambit's place of birth was in or around New Orleans. Remy considers himself a Cajun with his roots firmly grounded in the Big Easy where he spent his youth, and he speaks with a Cajun accent. As shown in Gambit #1, Gambit was stolen as a baby by the Thieves Guild for someone called the Antiquary but was later taken and hid from the Antiquary by Jean-Luc LeBeau among a group of young street urchins, the unwanted offspring of assassins and thieves, under the Dickensianly-named Fagin.

Skills: Gambit is a master thief. Hints place him as the best or one of the best in the Marvel Universe and quite capable of getting into, out of, and stealing almost anything without the use of his mutant powers. Gambit is an expert in hand-to-hand fighting especially the use of a bo staff and has incredible aim with throwing objects. Gambit has shown his bravery in battle on numerous occasions. Gambit has also been shown to be very cunning and willing to pick and choose his battles if possible. Hence the name, Gambit.

Unlike most of the other X-Men, he has been known to try to talk his way out of a fight or more likely to buy time to set up his plan and obtain an advantage. He can be very sneaky, observant and patient as seen in Uncanny X-Men #274-276, and does not mind looking weak, afraid, trapped, or hesitant to have his foe underestimate him or to wait for his chance. He also did this in X-Tinction Agenda when he took a spike in his leg to later use as a means of escape. He will also try to anger his foe to get them to make a mistake. He beat Wolverine in a mock battle with his cunning and understanding of people, and was willing to wait in Uncanny X-Men #349 until he had some idea of what he was up against rather than jump head long into almost certain death. In contrast, if not for dumb luck, Joseph's "we must escape now" plan would have killed them all.

All that said, Gambit can also be emotional and reckless in battle if he perceives that is what is required or if someone or something he cares for is in danger. And he lives for the excitement and thrill of the game, the adrenaline rush, loves the company of interesting women, and is an accomplished flirt.

Gambit is also a master cardsharp and gambler and weighs the risks based on what there is to be gained or lost. He is strongly loyal to and protective of those who he considers his family. He will gamble everything for those he cares about and he cares about things very deeply. Sometimes, because of his past, he feels inadequate as a person of worth in comparison to those around him.

Gambit's greatest accomplishments and greatest downfalls have come when he has let his emotions override his instinctive cunning and wits since those are the times he risks everything. Marvel has, for the most part, ignored many of Gambit's skills in favor of his powers which seems a detriment to the character...

Powers: Gambit is a mutant: one whose genetic structure has been mutated since conception. Gambit's most obvious and visually spectacular mutant power takes the potential energy in any object and excites the molecules (i.e. electrons, quarks, etc., physics people take your pick) in it into kinetic energy which is usually explosive. He generally prefers smaller objects as larger objects take more time to "charge" and are harder to throw with accuracy. Plus this is usually more than enough power to take out most foes and if he wants, Gambit can partially charge an object to reduce the amount of energy released. This makes Gambit exceptionally powerful if need be with the only limitations being time, Gambit's will, and moving the object to the target. A larger object, like the anchor he and Storm used on the Phalanx in Uncanny X-Men #313, would be devastating against any foe.

For the most part, Gambit has been shown to have excellent control over this power and has used it in many different ways. For instance, in an issue of X-Men Unlimited, he charged up a container until it just disappeared... his own form of "recycling". In one of the Wolverine appearances, he shot Wolverine 50 feet in the air by cupping his hands and "charging away", which would seem to imply he charged the immediate air molecules, so when Wolverine put his foot in Gambit's hands... up he went. During the X-Men's Shi'ar adventure against the Phalanx, he charged a door and hit it to make the door explode to get it out of the way. Recently, he has developed his powers to the extent that he can create time-delay charges - charge an item so that it explodes entire minutes later.

However, his control over his powers has not always been as perfect or as complete. The level at which he uses them is a bare fraction of their actual potential - for example, he can charge organic matter as Mystique discovered in Gambit #21 and charge objects by simply looking at them as he did in Gambit #17-19. However, he can barely control them at their full power, and they rage unchecked unless he exerts self-control, remains calm and concentrates. For this reason, he went to Sinister for a cure, and ended up leading the Marauders to the Morlock Massacre. It appears that Sinister took out something from Gambit to reduce or dampen his powers; something that Gambit needed to reimplant to return to the present from his sojourn in Victorian England in Gambit #14. More mature, Gambit can control it better now, but still battles to do so when he was emotionally upset or uptight.

Gambit usually charges objects by touching them with his hands (sometimes through gloves, i.e. ones with all the fingers intact). But he can use other parts of his body to charge objects. He uses his tongue to charge gum in Gambit #1. He uses his "tush" to charge the console in Gambit #2. As noted above, he does not strictly need to touch objects to charge them. Line-of-sight charging is a possibility, and, indeed, in his early appearances, he seemed to charge his throwing spikes with his eyes.

It is also generally accepted that Gambit's inhuman speed and agility are part of his mutant power, although Gambit loves games of all kinds and is an excellent athlete as well. This point is most prominently implied in X-Men #4, where a no-powers basketball game went awry because Rogue used her power of flight, arguing that it was fair because Gambit could well be using his mutant agility and they wouldn't know for sure.

Gambit has dodged or deflected bullets and other objects thrown at him. While Rogue had his power after their first kiss, it was also implied that his speed, reflexes, and his need to be on the move and doing things continuously was related to a high energy metabolism associated with his mutation.

It has long been hinted that Gambit also has some type of "psionic" abilities and this has been called his "charm" power on occasion. There have been implications that it could be empathic in nature and the exact strength of it is unknown. When Gambit was first introduced, it was hinted that Gambit could possibly hypnotize people with words or body language. In Uncanny X-Men #266, the story suggests that Gambit's ability to smooth talk people went beyond sex appeal or the gift of gab. After Dr. Shen nearly succumbs to Gambit's charm, she angrily says, "So many pretty words you spoke. But far worse, the hints dropped, the promises made without words. That wasn't nice. I enjoy temptation. But I won't be trifled with." In a previous panel, the Shadow King says, "Very snappy patter, my young friend. I dare say, given a decent opportunity... you might seduce even me." This would seem to imply that there was some influence involved since the Shadow King is a powerful psion. Of course, there is also nothing to say Gambit isn't just good at seduction because of what his power and experiences have allowed him to know about people as well. Gambit's understanding Wolverine's personality allowed him to win their game, for instance, but there definitely is some power there.

Similarly, in issue #3 of the first Gambit Limited Series, on Page 16, Candra tells him, "Do not try your Cajun charm, mutant! It does nothing for me...." Again, on page 29, we are treated to Remy, up close to Candra, giving her one of his grins. She just has a dopy, glazed over look in her eyes. He then kisses her, to which she replies: "Get out of my sight, thief... before I come to my senses and have you killed." While kissing her, he manages to extricate a vial from the cleavage of her very tight bodice, which that either something was going on mentally, the man is downright magnificent with his hands, or that was one heck of a kiss! Or all of the above; take your pick.

There is no indication how strong this power is but Gambit obviously has at least decent control over it. If he does have the ability to "charm" people, he obviously has respected and cared about the X-Men enough to not use his power to influence them. Otherwise, he'd never have had to endure the distrust they have frequently thrown at him.

Another side-effect of this "charm" power seems to be a primitive form of shielding or psionic static, before we first see Gambit in that issue, the Shadow King attempts to telepathically look for Storm and makes the following statement: "Interesting. My telepathy seems unable to lock onto her psyche. Some form of mental interference." This comment is followed by a scene showing Storm and Gambit together. In Gambit #8, Gambit is again able to hide from such powerful telepaths as Xavier and Jean Grey by merely charging a card. This suggests that his charm power is tied into his biokinetic powers, although the connection has not yet been fully explained other than by vague references to a biokinetic aura in Gambit #16.

There have been other indications of this psionic/empathic type power. When Psylocke rudely scanned Gambit's mind right after he awakened from a coma, he was able to psychically sneak up on her in the astral plane and cut her off from further invasion of his privacy, something Psylocke asserts shouldn't have been possible. Gambit also knew someone (his adopted brother) had snuck into the mansion when the security systems had not detected him and no one else knew. Possibly an emotional signature or some type of awareness.

Gambit also seems to be very sympathetic and understanding to other people's emotions when he wants to be and cool and aloof when he doesn't, leaning even more toward implying an empathic type power.

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