In the limited series Contest of Champions II, Gambit is surprisingly able to hold its own among the strongest heroes in the Marvel Universe.
Remy LeBeau aka Gambit has been well established as one of the biggest thieves in the Marvel universe, but many might not consider him particularly powerful, even though Marvel already admitted X men member is secretly an A-list hero. Gambit made his first appearances in Marvel Comics in Uncanny X-Men Annual # 14 and Creepy X-Men # 266 created by Chris Claremont and Jim Lee. From the beginning, the mutant was a hit with fans and won them over with its Cajun charm and effective, but seemingly minimal, power set. Although Gambit may at first glance not look like one of the stronger members of the X-Men, he consistently proves otherwise.
In the history of 1999 Contest of Champions II by Chris Claremont and Michael Ryan, a seemingly mysterious alien species – later revealed to be Bread in Disguise – holds a competition among Earth’s heroes to discover which one is the most powerful. Among the finalists in this competition was none other than Gambit, who defeated Wolverine in battle. The fights are shortened after the finalists are announced when Brood’s true intentions are revealed and the heroes fight against them, so fans will never know which hero is the strongest and whether Gambit would have come on top. Nevertheless, it is still impressive that Gambit has come this far at all.
The finalists in Contest of Champions II consisted of the average Marvel top dogs including a Phoenix-obsessed Jean Gray, Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Scarlet Witch and Spider-Man and with them was Gambit. The former professional thief turned into a mutant hero and he got his top spot right next to the heroes with big name to the surprise of the fans through his cunning fight and explosive superhuman power. Gambit’s inclusion among Marvel’s strongest heroes is not treated as a surprise or coincidence within the series itself, but a natural result of his power and control. While Marvel has not treated him as an A-list since Contest of Champions II, this would not be the last time Gambit’s power was tested and proven to be second to none.
IN New sun history arc from Gambit series, which ran from 1999 to 2001, introduces a version of Gambit from an alternate universe as an Omega Level mutant and a threat that ends up in the world. IN Gambit # 24 by Fabian Nicieza and Yanick Piquette teaches fans the story behind a previously mysterious threat that has challenged Gambit throughout New sun arc and learned that it is actually Gambit itself from Earth-9921. In the reality that Gambit knocked on its raw power and took a form of pure energy, a transformation that almost destroyed the world, leaving it barren and dystopian. Before upgrading to his final form, 9921 Remy was thrown out of the X-Men after killing Phoenix, an achievement not achieved by even the most powerful characters on Earth-616. Although this version of Gambit is not the original, he had the same power that 616 Gambit had in him, releasing it only in a most destructive way.
Even without exploiting its full potential and becoming a threat that ends up in the world, Gambit still held its own with the best Marvel had to offer in Contest of Champions II. Since then, Gambit has been an integral part of X-Men, is currently taking on the magical powers of Merlyn in Excalibur. Using the experience he gained by battling the most powerful heroes in the Marvel universe and getting to the top, added with the incredible power that exists within himself, the malevolent forces of Otherworld certainly have no chance. Marvel already admitted that X men‘s Remy LaBeau is an A-list hero, and Gambit continues to prove that the revelation is true.
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