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Gambit (Joint Venture)
Gambit-JV
Real Name Remy Etienne LeBeau
Current Alias Gambit
Alias(es) "Le Diable Blanc", Remy Essex, Remy Summers, Remy Picard, Witness
Relatives Jean-Luc LeBeau (adopted father), Robert LeBeau (adopted brother), Nathaniel Essex (creator), Scott "Slim" Summers (genetic template), Christopher Summers ("father", MIA), Katherine-Anne Summers ("mother", deceased)
Affiliation Clan Darkholme, New Orleans Thieves' Guild (former), Knights of Laveau (former)
Base Of Operations Destiny Manor, New Orleans, Louisiana
Alignment Chaotic Good
Universe Joint Venture Universe
Gender Male
Eyes Red w/black sclera
Hair Auburn
Unusual Features Glowing red eyes with black sclera
Gambit is a mutant superhero and mainstay of the X-Men. This is the Joint Venture Universe version of the character.

History

Creation

The mutant known as "Gambit" is, in fact, a creation of the mad geneticist and sorcerer Nathaniel Essex. After a devastating plane crash left a young mutant named Scott Summers and his brother Alex seemingly orphaned, Essex took them into two separate orphanages -- in fact prisons for children with special powers for Essex's experiments under his nom de guerre of "Mr. Sinister."

During the many years he had young Scott, Sinister extracted DNA from the boy in many forms, from the obvious to the sickening. From these samples he began to experiment with cloning him, to create a "Scott Summers" of his very own. After his initial successes (which were subsequently terminated due to the need to preserve secrecy), Essex began to experiment with infusing his own DNA into the mix of his clone iterations. Sinister's DNA contained several anomalies, even by the standards of mutantkind, for he had been genetically and magically augmented by the ancient mutant sorcerer-king En Sabah Nur. This new infusion altered not only the clone's appearance, but his powers as well. Perhaps because he could not bear to eliminate a product of his own DNA as easily as he could Scott Summers', Sinister kept the iteration.

Tempted though he was to force-grow the modified clone into early adolescence, Sinister refrained, instead making him the same age as Scott. However, he was concerned that if the two ever met, his creation's similarity to the other boy would break the blocks he had been carefully placing around Scott's memory. He moved him to a dedicated research facility in New Orleans, prepared to grow him there into a wholly unique operative...until fate intervened in the form of the local Thieves' Guild.

The "Theft" of Remy LeBeau and early life

The New Orleans Thieves Guild's master, a Cajun named Jean-Luc LeBeau, broke into Sinister's laboratory, which had been disguised as a pharmaceutical company. Ordinarily not a fan of stealing from the medical profession, Jean-Luc had gotten word of people suffering strange and horrific side effects from Essex Pharmaceuticals products, and sought to investigate.

It is unclear what happened that night, but the facility burned to the ground, and Jean-Luc escaped with a considerable volume of wealth -- and a new son, a nameless, red-eyed child whom he'd awakened and rescued from the facility.

Jean-Luc felt, among other things, the child needed a proper name, so he called him Remy. Raising him as his own alongside his biological son Robért (Bobby to his friends), Jean-Luc taught Remy the ways of the civilized world, and when a young Remy expressed interest in becoming a thief like his pére, Jean-Luc happily inducted him into the Thieves' Guild.

Gambler, Thief, and Heartbreaker

Although he was not taken seriously initially as a member of the Guild, Remy proved a natural at stealth and espionage. Even with the moniker of "Le Diable Blanc" from his detractors, due to his strange eyes, Remy found ways to be both ingratiating and unseen, a handsome young charmer of men and women alike. Indeed, charm and sex appeal seemed to emanate from him in waves, especially when he made eye contact with a potential target. In addition, when it came to fights, Remy was unparalleled in terms of agility and fluidity, gifted in dodging and striking quickly without any formal martial arts or even basic combat training.

Sadly, this prowess in both theft and battle came with a drawback. As he matured, Remy grew easily bored with the challenges of the Thieves' Guild, becoming addicted to gambling and taking foolhardy risks. In some ways this served him; he became a master of many kinds of gambling games, and would never be seen without at least a few decks of cards. But his thrill-seeking, action-junkie antics drew far more attention than Jean-Luc and the Guild felt comfortable with, to the point where they felt sending him on missions was a gambit. This appealed to Remy, however, and he even took the nickname "Gambit" for himself as a sign of his unpredictable nature.

To make matters worse, Remy manifested powers that were directly at odds with his nature as a thief -- a strange control over kinetic energy that made him, and everything he carried, a potential walking bomb. After this power badly injured Bobby on a caper gone wrong, Remy received a rude awakening, and realized he had become a liability to his adopted family. To protect them, he ran away, working alone in the city.

Knights of Laveau

For a time, Remy lived a mercenary life in New Orleans, doing whatever he needed to to survive. Whether it was serving as a male escort, serving as a bodyguard the wealthy and powerful, or even working as a private thief out from under the auspices of the Guild, Remy would do it. He drew the line at anything that hurt innocent people though, especially children. Thus, when Sinister reappeared to claim what he had created, with a squad of hired assassins known as the Marauders at his back, Gambit flatly refused to go back, fighting the Marauders by himself for his freedom.

He might have lost, even perished, had it not been for the intervention of a mysterious team of heroes known as the Knights of Laveau. Led by the heroine known as Photon, the team consisted of the sorcerer Jericho Drumm and his ghostly brother Daniel, a mortal avatar of the goddess Aphrodite, going by her roman name of Venus, and Photon's husband Ezra Greer, who was secretly Heimdall, the former Watcher of the Gates of Asgard, before that realm's fall during the latest iteration of Ragnarok, the cyclic ending of the Age of the Gods. They were New Orleans' guardians against evil, be it magical or mortal in nature.

Lured by the excitement, adventure, and danger, Gambit signed on with the Knights, and despite being their least powerful member, proved himself time and again as a member of that team...to the point where, before she returned to Olympus, Aphrodite gave him her blessing. Her gift enhanced his natural 'charm' talent into an empathic power to sense and subtly affect emotions. While he could not make someone do something they normally would not, Gambit could now enhance or dampen already-existing emotions, a talent he used on many an information-gathering mission.

The Ghost And Mr. Lebeau

On one mission against the Faltine sorceress Umar the Unrelenting, Daniel Drumm was forcibly brought back to life, then sacrificed himself a second time to protect his brother and his friends from the demonic witch. This left him broken and devastated, even after Jericho linked his brother's spirit to his own life force once more. Feeling a strong swell of compassion for the spirit, Remy began to aid Daniel as best he could, using his own charisma and charm as well as Venus' gift of empathy to help restore the spirit to his former self. In doing so, Remy and Daniel fell in love, though nothing could come of it, as Daniel remained deceased while Gambit lived. Caught in between the proverbial rock and a hard place, Gambit left Daniel, Jericho, and the Knights behind. Although he continued to battle supernatural evils and mortal criminals alike, in between impossible thieving jobs, Gambit promised himself he would remain a solo operative, and never join a team again.

The Oracle, The Rogue, and Clan Darkholme

It didn't take long for Remy to break that promise. A blind woman named Destiny approached him at his home one day, asking for his help treating her foster daughter, who was suffering a unique malady of the mind. She claimed to be a seer, and to know both his past and possible branches that his future would take. At first, Remy was skeptical, but he agreed to meet Destiny's charge, a girl slightly younger than him named Rogue.

Rogue's power -- the ability to absorb the psyches, memories, and abilities of people she touched -- was running wild, and she was in desperate need of psychic help. Gambit, while not a telepath, helped Rogue -- and Carol Danvers, the alternate persona living within her -- with his empathic powers, giving her and Carol both a modicum of self-control. In the process, he struck up friendships, not only with her, but with her foster brother Kurt Wagner as well.

Subsequently, Destiny and her partner Mystique offered Gambit a place in Clan Darkholme, making him an honorary member of the family. Remy remains uncertain as to what being a member of Clan Darkholme means, but despite his reservations, is determined to do right by his new clan in a way he could not with the Thieves' Guild. However, he remains a wild card in the deck, always remaining just on the fringes...and dreading the day when Mr. Sinister comes back yet again to try and claim him as his own.

Powers

Gambit is an artificially-created human mutant, with a divine blessing from the goddess Aphrodite.

Kinetic Manipulation: Gambit's primary mutant power is the ability to convert potential energy into kinetic, creating "charges" in objects, molecules, or even in thin air. He uses this power in a wide variety of ways.

Charged projectiles: The primary use of Gambit's ability is the simplest -- he charges an object with its own kinetic energy and then hurls it, causing it to detonate upon impact with explosive force. He carries a large array of small, easily-concealed objects, like throwing spikes, toothpicks, darts, or his trademark playing cards, to charge and throw in this manner. An object that has been charged by him, when thrown, is under his mental control until the moment of impact, which is why even objects like cards, which are usually very difficult to throw, can be tossed from his hands as easily and accurately as any projectile.

Detonation: Gambit can charge larger objects and strike them with an uncharged object to create far larger explosive effects. Typically, this is used for demolition, as an unsubtle way to break through walls when he cannot simply pick a lock or vault over a fence. However, he has used this power in the past to stop a speeding car in its tracks by charging a roadblock and letting the vehicle collide with it.

Organic charging: When Gambit charges living things with kinetic energy, he does not make them explosive -- rather, his ability to tap the energies within living organisms can temporarily grants them superhuman speed, agility, reflexes and reactions, flexibility, dexterity, coordination, balance, or endurance. He can charge himself in this manner as well, lending him him an added edge in combat. His power has enabled him to develop a unique, acrobatic fighting style using this charging ability.

Regeneration: It is not known if this power is related to his kinetic abilities or Sinister's DNA in his genetic makeup, but Gambit can heal himself of wounds and injuries, endure extremes of temperature, and even blunt physical impacts through "charging" himself.

Kinetic force: Gambit can also cause objects and living things to travel forward with astonishing speed and force with a simple shove once charged. Even things far greater than himself can be sent moving at a rate that enables them to travel through several steel walls. The upper limit of this power is unknown, but during his time with the Knights of Laveau, he once charged a Frost Giant and flung it several hundred feet into the air. The creature might even have broken into orbit had it not been teleported back to Jotunheim by Loki.

Cutting/Dissolution/Explosive Strikes: By only charging parts of an object, such as his trademark bo staff, Gambit can cause the energy to behave in various ways. His charged staff can disintegrate inorganic matter on contact, making it a cutting weapon as well as a powerful bludgeoning tool. He can also strike with his staff with enough explosive force to level a house, and emit powerful shockwaves through contact with inorganic matter through kinetic acceleration.

Empathy: Thanks to the blessing of Aphrodite, Remy possesses powerful empathic abilities; he can sense, read, and discern the emotional state of nearby beings.

Charm: Originally, Gambit's empathic powers were limited to a semi-hypnotic "charm" ability -- he could attract and persuade people who were inclined towards attraction to him into being more favorably disposed, provided they did not find out what he was doing. Aphrodite enhanced this power into full-fledged empathy.

Emotion control: While Gambit cannot create emotions in others from nothing, he can enhance or dampen emotions that already exist within someone -- he can cause an irritable person to either calm down or fly into a rage, or heal or worsen the symptoms of someone suffering from chronic depression. Typically, he only does this when necessary, and always tries to do so to the benefit of the person he is manipulating.

Lie detection: While he is not a telepath, Gambit can sense duplicity through the emotional states of people he speaks to.

Psychic Defense: Out of necessity, Gambit has developed powerful psychic shields, to keep his empathic powers from running roughshod over himself and those around him. A telepath trying to enter or attack his mind without permission will face strong psychic opposition.

Weaknesses

Empathic sensitivity: The blessing of Aphrodite is a double-edged sword for Gambit, as he cannot always turn it off. Unless he maintains a strong psychic barrier, the feelings of other beings around him will overwhelm Remy, and he will lose the ability to distinguish between his own emotions and the emotions of others.

Charge Limit: Gambit's ability to charge an object with kinetic energy is limited by how much energy he can convert within the object themselves. Different objects will create different forces of kinetic energy when they explode -- a crumpled piece of paper infused with kinetic energy will hit with less force than a charged marble. In addition, larger objects take more time to charge than small, and the act of charging them will cause Remy greater strain and fatigue. The most mass Gambit has ever charged is a roughly 20' x 20' square of solid concrete flooring from below, and he was unable to access any of his kinetic abilities after the detonation for roughly an hour.

Healing Limit: Gambit's ability to heal himself through "charging" is limited by the amount of concentration he can muster. If he is unable to concentrate on the act of charging himself, for whatever reason, the healing attempt will fail. Roughly 10-30 seconds of concentration are needed to restore Remy from the results of an average fistfight. If he is shot or stabbed, that time increases to about 3 minutes.

Concentration: The demands of his powers requires a great deal of conscious concentration from Remy. While he can simultaneously maintain his psychic shields and charge and throw small objects with relative ease, charging larger objects or healing himself expends a great deal more energy, and thus will begin to break down his mental shields. The more effort and energy his kinetic or regenerative powers require, the more his shielding degrades and the emotions of others seep through. For this reason, Gambit usually seeks solitude before performing any major act of self-healing.

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