Thursday, June 24, 2010

Write Like an X-Men: GAMBIT

Gambit has always been one of my favorite X-Men. And I think it's because of his attitude. He doesn't whine like the rest of them. "Boo hoo! I'm scared of enclosed spaces." (Storm) "Wah! my wife is dead...again!" (Cyclops) "Woe is me, I'm surrounded by idiots." (Emma Frost) "*Tear* Why doesn't anyone treat me like a grown-up?" (Shadow Cat)

You won't find any of that from Remy. Even though he can't touch his girlfriend, he's constantly fighting (literally) his best friend, and Apocalypse turned him into the horseman DEATH, that Cajun grin is never gone too long.

1. If ever there comes a choice, always choose family.

Remy LeBeau (aka Gambit) was abandoned at birth and raised by theives. One day, he met a beautiful rich woman with a very expensive necklace. So Remy, being the womanizer that he is, decided to romance the woman (Genevieve) so he could get close enough to steal the necklace - which he did. The problem was, Sabertooth wanted the same necklace. So he kidnapped Genevieve and Remy's brother (Henri) and dropped them from (don't quote me but I think it was the Eiffel Tower). Remy only had time to save one person and he chose his brother. With her dying breath, Genevieve told Gambit that she loved him and would have given him the necklace if only he'd asked.

What we learn from Gambit: Getting published can seem, at times, every bit as valuable as any material treasure. With this in mind, don't let your eye on the prize keep you from appreciating those around you. Believe me, I know how easy it can be to get sucked into a WIP. But you can't let it dominate all of your time. Make sure to spend time with your family and let them know how much you appreciate them for putting up with a crazy writer.

2. Don't let seemingly impossible obstacles stand in your way.

When Remy joined the X-Men, right away he was drawn to Rogue. The problem was - because of Rogue's mutant ability to absorb - physical contact was out of the question. So, did that mean Remy gave up? No way! Remy pursued Rogue for years, stealing kisses that would leave him dazed, but nevertheless, not giving up. His persistence paid off. Per the most recent comics, Rogue has finally learned to control her mutant ability - leaving her able to touch Gambit without any side-effects. (And all it took was twenty-nine years.)

What we learn from Gambit: Persistence pays off! Sure, that publishing deal seems impossible and it will remain impossible if you give up. The only way to make it in this business is through persistence and patience.

3. At some point, you're going to have to assess your readership and set your own personal standards.

In Gambit's early days, along with Wolverine and several other Marvel characters, he was portrayed as an avid smoker. But, realizing the majority of comic readers to be teens and children, Marvel's EIC, Joe Quesada enforced a comic-wide anti-smoking policy. Hello Nicorette!

What we learn from Gambit: You, too, especially if you write for teens and children, are going to have to decide what topics and taboos you introduce them to. Only you can decide in what light you are going to portray different situations. But just remember - With great power comes great responsibility.

Want more Gambit? (Not that I blame ya!) Check out Marvel's UNCANNEY X-MEN and X-FACTOR today!


  1. *bows down to the brilliance that is Cole Gibsen* That is all.

  2. I seriously love these posts of yours - awesomeness, my dear, sheer awesomeness!

  3. Gambit's one of my faves, too. You nailed it, girly!

  4. I haven't seen X-Men (and won't, since I don't own a TV), but Gambit is just plain gorgeous.

    Love this post. :-)

  5. You were doing awesome...until you dropped the Spiderman quote.


    Nice post anyway though, Cole :) You're too cool for words.

  6. Hey, now! What’s wrong with Spidey? I mean, as long as it’s Peter Parker as Spider-Man and not Ben Riley as Scarlet Spider who thinks he’s the real Spiderman instead of a clone when he’s actually a clone and Peter’s the real Spider-Man only he thinks he’s the clone. Meh, you get my drift.
    Hee. ;)