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Thursday, July 06, 2017

Reader's Diary #1619- Tom DeFalco and Fabian Nicieza (writers), various artists: X-Men Gambit The Complete Collection Vol. 1

You hear so much about how badly Channing Tatum wants to play this Marvel character on the big screen, comparable to Ryan Reynolds passionate push to finally get Deadpool off the ground, and it's hard not to be at least a little curious about Gambit. But where does one begin?

Sigh. Not with the Tom DeFalco and Fabian Nicieza collection.

I really didn't enjoy this one. The plots were convoluted and sloppy. Especially annoying were these "interludes" involving a character named Fontanelle who is trespassing into people's dreams trying to investigate Gambit. This is a huge collection and throughout, it's all Fontanelle ever does. Over and over, with nothing to gain.

Set largely in New Orleans, this at least should have been a great selling factor. Alas, it's terribly underutilized. In fact, I just finished Geoff John's Hawkman Book One, set in the New Orleans doppleganger St. Roch, and that book far better captures the cool vibe of the place.

Now that I think of it, every opportunity is lost in this book. Gambit should be an intriguing character. He comes from a criminal past, has trouble (some through poor choices) having the X-Men trust him, and his powers are pretty unique (he can infuse objects with explosive energy; his favourites are playing cards). But Gambit is also a bit of a guarded fellow, which might be fine, except from a story-telling point of view someone at some point should be able to break through and deliver the goods. However, he remains a bit of a tight-lipped dud throughout.

Even the art is bad. And I say even because it features artists whom I've admired elsewhere (notably Steve Skroce who also worked on Brian K. Vaughan's We Stand On Guard). Typically it comes across as a very rushed collection. Backgrounds are too often minimal. Explosions are overdone, obliterating any details. And poor Gambit. I hear he's supposed to be handsome. Too bad that he looks like a horse throughout these pages.

This was painful to get through. I hope Channing Tatum is able to find better source material.

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