Knights of X Turns the Perfect X-Men Thief into Robin Hood

Gambit’s recent role with Knights of X makes him a mutant Robin Hood – and proves how much growth he’s gone through over the years.

The following contains spoilers for Knights of X # 2, now on sale from Marvel Comics

In the corner of the Marvel Universe occupied by the X-Men, redemption is always a possibility. Plenty of former enemies have found new leases on life, especially in the era of Krakow. It’s also served as a good place to prove how much better other heroes have become over the years.

Knights of X # 2 (by Tini Howard, Bob Quinn, Erick Arciniega, and VC’s Ariana Maher) turns Gambit into an Otherworld Robin Hood – which is a good showcase of how much the character has changed and evolved over the years.

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Knights of X has trapped several X-Men affiliated mutants in the mystical realm of Otherworld, seeking the Siege Perilous. Deprived of their ability to resurrect fallen mutants or easily reach Krakoa for reinforcements, the heroes are quick to work with Roma to try and unseat Merlyn from his current usurped position atop the throne of Otherworld. For some, that means venturing off onto dangerous missions and confronting hordes of enemy warriors, such as with Shatterstar, Rictor, and the newly recruited Mordred. For others, it requires diplomacy and understanding, as with Captain Britain’s ties to Roma. But Gambit finds a vital role, sneaking food and goods into the Crooked Market to the starving denizens under the oppressive rule of Merlyn.

In essence, Gambit effectively serves as a Robin Hood-like figure to the group, providing the goods they need to survive. As Meggan notes to Gambit, she’s very impressed with his actions – and she knows Rogue would be too if she’d accompanied them on their current mission. Although he’d initially intended to barter the goods for services or favors, the discovery of the Crooked Market’s current status (and the revelation that the powerful Mad Jim Jaspers has been arrested by Meryln for being a witchbreed) prompts Gambit to simply give the goods away to help the locals. It’s a sign of Gambit being a good man – something that for years was far more up for debate.

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Gambit was introduced in Uncanny X-Men # 14 (by Chris Claremont and Arthur Adams) and became a consistent player in Storm’s storyline in Uncanny X-Men # 266 (by Claremont and Jim Lee). Notably, though, his roguish qualities were not downplayed during his tenure with the superhero team. Bishop warned the heroes that he might secretly be the “traitor” from his future who doomed his world’s X-Men, and Gambit’s ties to Mister Sinister made him controversial among his allies. Even after reaffirming his heroism, he remained a dangerous wildcard – briefly serving as a Horseman of Apocalypse and coming close to killing Rogue. But recent years have settled his darker impulses and seen him happily marry Rogue.

Gambit becoming an inarguable good guy took decades to fully cement, and his mischievous side might still lead him to steal things when the situation calls for it. But his straightforward decision to simply be good and help people in need is a far cry from the more self-interested lothario he was. He’d probably flirted with the married Meggan the second she complimented him in the past, but now shares a simple hug and smile instead while both comment on missing their spouses. Gambit is a genuine hero now – not the opportunistic but good-hearted scoundrel he formerly held himself up as. Gambit becoming an Otherworld Robin Hood is a good showcase of just how much growth the character has really gone through over the years.

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