So if you haven’t read this story by Sara Century on SYFY please do before reading my post. If you’re a Gambit fan it will be painful, but it’ll help understand why I’m writing this.
Come back once once you’ve checked it out, I’ll wait…
…all set? Great.
So Ms. Century (badass last name) absolutely HATES Gambit, whom you all know is one of my favorite comic book characters. She drags his name through the mud, calls him “sleazy” and “A TOTAL CREEP,” pointing out how “this guy is only bad choices.” Basically he’s a degenerate who doesn’t deserve a movie. A true summary of what she wrote won’t do the article justice, but that’s the general idea.
Lots to unfold.
Let’s start with the bad choices portion. Yeah, he makes A LOT of them. Screws people over constantly, worried about his own hide often and is a world class thief that was married to the daughter of the leader of the New Orleans Chapter of the Assassins Guild. Which by the way she criticizes the name for being a bit on the nose, like the Thieves Guild. Curious what her stance is on the League of Assassins or the Justice League. THESE NAMES WERE NOT MADE UP YESTERDAY, THEY’VE BEEN AROUND FOREVER AND AREN’T CHANGING!
Back to the bad choices. Yeah, he makes a lot of them. Pretty sure we all knew that. You know who else does, that YOU ALSO POINTED OUT Sara? Deadpool. But because he’s goofy and stupid I guess that makes it acceptable? TONY STARK was not exactly written to be a role model for kids. Lord knows Deathstroke has always been an upstanding citizen, if you want to go the DC route. Wolverine though, everyone loves him. He’s NEVER done anything bad.
People like characters who make terrible decisions. You know why? Because that’s what everyone else does, it makes them relatable. You ask most kids as old as 15 and adults up to 30 years old who they’re favorite superhero or comic book character is and I would bet some serious money that not even 5 PERCENT says Superman. Why? He’s generally viewed as FLAWLESS. Where’s the fun in that?
On to the sleaziness and creep factor. Gambit ain’t exactly they man I try to embody when it comes to my relationship with women. I won’t argue that. Which is why it’s always hilarious when Rogue denies him. She’s a badass all her own and doesn’t have time for his lovey-dovey nonsense, as much as she cares for him.
There are two things I’d like to mention with this though.
One, when he was originally created, Gambit’s mutant powers also included a Hypnotic Charm. I don’t think he has that anymore, but he did.
I could see how this can get twisted every which way, but anyone who has a problem with him having this power, let me ask you something: Did you have a problem with Lorelei from Agents of Shield possessing the very same power, if not stronger?
If you have a problem with her having that problem, just like Gambit, then fine! Beauty of comic books is there are so many powers out there, you don’t have to like them all. (Personally never been big on characters who have super speed.)
BUT if it’s OK for her to have it but not Gambit, that doesn’t make a whole lotta sense.
Second point regarding the sleaziness. Like I said before, Gambit sleeping around left and right isn’t necessarily something that needs glorifying. Some people like that, some don’t. Me, I don’t much care. Because if there was a female character who did the same stuff, I WOULD NOT CARE.
Gambit’s ability to charm women is a reflection of what the average comic book readers desired back when he was created. These were guys who didn’t necessarily have friends or were socially awkward and relied on their books as an escape to a fantasy world where they hung out with a guy who could actually form sentences when talking with a female.
And regarding his relationship with Rogue in all this, she hates him because of the terrible things he’s done in terms of the Morlocks, stealing and the other awful things that’ve hurt humanity/mutant kind — not because he’s slept with a lot of women. He hasn’t cheated on her. He doesn’t abuse her. He sleeps around a lot when they haven’t been in a relationship. (Same thing with Bella Donna.) Clearly he has some demon he’s dealing with, but he does NOT do anything like we’ve seen riddled across Hollywood
And I’ve tried looking up How many women Gambit’s slept with exactly. I know in the Gambit: Tombstones Blues he slept with another woman besides Rogue and Bella Donna.
This flow chart obviously makes it seem like Gambit has slept with two women and that’s it. Obviously inaccurate, even if it were just the other woman I alluded to that was missing. But if you look at Wolverine, he’s messed around with A LOT of women. And that chart makes it seem like they were more one-night stands (or single dates/a kiss) than legitimate relationships. So we should probably stop showing running Wolverine movies altogether then.
She also mentioned something about his sexuality and portraying Gambit as bisexual. “Explore his bisexuality. People really want Gambit to be bisexual.” Apparently that’s a rumor out there, had no idea until know. I know I’ve seen that regarding Jason Todd, Captain America and the Winter Soldier, too.
But people REALLY WANT Gambit to be bisexual? Since when?
Yes, I understand there’s an audience that will find that relatable and important. Honestly, could care less about a characters’ sexuality. They are fictional characters. I like a characters who are a badass, but a mess at the same time. Red Hood. Gambit. Moon Knight. Deathstroke’s even a mess in his own way, but less so than these three. That’s what I care about though. So if Gambit marries Punisher, guess what, I’m still going to like Gambit. No something I’d necessarily promote, but if you do it fine. For God’s sake, Tig was my favorite character (discounting Jax) in Sons of Anarchy. (If you haven’t watched that show, do it. Like, right now.)
But to say people REALLY WANT that from Gambit? That just seems far-fetched to me. Maybe the people you hang out with do, Ms. Century. But I know the people I talk comics with wouldn’t WANT THAT. Can’t say they’d feel the same way as I do, but I know they wouldn’t advocate.
Then there’s this critique of what he wears and said don’t make a movie about his life in Louisiana. (Seriously, she took apart Gambit’s frigin life!) Look, he wore a weird outfit back when he was created in 1990. Sure he wears in once in a while now still, but he has other outfits. Good God, do you think Moon Knight’s old, or even his new outfit makes sense? Wolverine’s old outfit(s) made sense though, for sure. Very stylish.
And why all the hate towards Louisiana? Not saying it’s a paradise, but damn!
Last point to the longest post in the short history of this blog. She said have a woman write and direct it. By all means. I would love it if they brought in Patty Jenkins so we could get this right. we all can agree she did an amazing job with Wonder Woman. And I don’t know if Kelly Thompson’s ever done screenwriting, but I was a big fan of her first issue of Rogue & Gambit.
But I will say, Ms. Century — which I reaaallly like the sound of and would totally support you just writing under that pseudonym from here on in — why can’t a man write it? Is a man incapable of making Gambit a badass who doesn’t need to sleep around all the time? Must be a mutation within men that they can’t do that.
Alright, that’s pretty much it. Seriously though, I can’t believe these are the arguments we’re having over fictional characters. There are SO MANY of them, if you don’t like a few, then avoid them as much as you can. I’m really not a fan of Superman. He’s boring. But if people like him, that’s cool. I’m not reading his stuff unless he appears in a book I already read, so he’s really not bothering me all that much. As far as I know, nothing’s really happened to him — though I will read Doomsday Clock at some point, I understand it’s basically mandatory for DC people.
Easiest fix for people who think Gambit needs to be eliminated from the history of comics: don’t read or watch the things he’s so prominent in. It’s not like he’s a dominant voice when he’s in the X-Men series. That’s why he gets his solo stuff more often. I guarantee that will help this problem you might have.
Until next time, Ms. Century….