Full Name: Remy Lebeau
Occupation: Former professional thief
Mutant Abilities: Able to turn potential energy from inorganic matter into kinetic energy, causing them to explode with varying intensities that he is able to control. Ability also cause his eyes to appear red and black.
History: Remy Lebeau’s life is wrought with various complications. He is an orphan and there are no reliable records as to who his birth parents are. The earliest insight into Remy’s life are the adoption papers that were signed by Jean-Luc and Marianne Lebeau, who took him in when he was less than a year old.
Shortly before Storm graduated, Remy broke his ties with her and returned to New Orleans. He eventually planned to confront the Thieves Guild and the Assassins Guild. He tried unsuccessfully for years to end the bloodshed between them. That plan eventually unraveled during a conflict surrounding stolen plans for the mutant hunting Sentinels. This led him to cross paths with the X-men, who helped him finally break ties with the Guilds and lift the death threat they had on him. He has since joined the X-men where he looks to use his thieving skills for more noble purposes.
It’s not clear how the Lebeaus came to adopt him or why. The official reason is that Marianne Lebeau became infertile and wanted another child. There may be more reasons, but little has come to light. Whatever the case, the Lebeaus raised Remy Lebeau. He had a brother, Henri Lebeau, and two cousins, Theoran and Etienne, who he spent much of his childhood with. Since he was adopted, he was an outsider. This led him to grow closer to his foster mother, Marianne.
Marianne’s care sheltered Remy somewhat from the Lebeau’s most notable tradition. They were one of the founding families that formed the Thieves Guild. This criminal fraternity has roots going back to the 17th century. Their history is clouded with mystery and legend. It is believed that a small group of French peasants who lost their land banned together to steal from the king. They managed to break into a heavily guarded castle and make off with so much gold that the king mobilized all his knights to hunt down the culprits. The thieves were never caught. They escaped by taking a ship to a sleepy port city that would later be known as New Orleans. Using their wealth, they formed a Guild where they refined their skills to their current form. This Guild eventually fractured over disputes regarding how to share their plunder. This created the centuries old war between the Thieves Guilds and the Assassins Guild.
Remy, like every child growing up around the Guilds, was encouraged from a young age to continue their thieving tradition. Remy, his brother, and his cousins were all schooled in the ways of the guild. By age five they were pick-pocketing. By age eight they were shoplifting. It was a dangerous upbringing, but generations of refinement made it so none of them were caught. Remy’s cunning was especially impressive. His father, Jean-Luc, went on to train him harder than anyone else.
In addition to thieving, Remy was taught from a young age to wield a bow staff. This simple tool was allegedly the primary tool used by the first generation of the Thieves Guild. Mastering this skill wasn’t just a means of assisting young Remy in his thieving skills. Tradition dictated that those who master the bow staff go onto lead the Thieves Guild. This led to some added tension between Remy and his relatives, who still saw him as an outsider. It also conflicted with the influence of Remy’s foster mother.
While Jean-Luc was teaching Remy how to be a master thief, Marianne was trying to protect him. She taught Remy in ways that conflicted directly with the traditions of the Guild. She encouraged him to question what was right and wrong. She also encouraged him to look for a life beyond thieving. She did this even as her health was failing. Shortly after Remy turned ten, she passed away. Her death struck him hard and remained a source of tension within the Lebeau family for years to come.
Despite Marianne’s warnings, Remy continued to train as a thief. He began doing small jobs throughout the Deep South along with his relatives. Most were successful and Remy started gaining more acceptance within the Guild. Then when he was fifteen, an unexpected development further complicated his status.
During a theft on a riverboat casino, the Thieves Guild and the Assassins Guild clashed in a bitter struggle for the loot. During this struggle, Remy was cornered by several assassins. Then he experienced a strange burning in his hands and his eyes started flashing. As it just so happened, he touched a nearby deck of cards that started glowing as well. When they exploded, it saved Remy’s life and allowed the Thieves Guild to make off with the loot.
After the heist, it was discovered that Remy was a mutant. He could touch inorganic objects and make them explode. It was a skill that promised to further enhance his reputation as a thief. Remy embraced it and refined his abilities by using playing cards. This earned him the nickname, Gambit. It inspired more jealousy among his relatives, but still commanded a great deal of respect. This seemed to cement Remy as the future leader of the Guild. Then another complication entered his life, this time regarding a more personal matter.
As an aspiring thief with a growing reputation, Remy became quite fond of women. One woman in particular drew his attention, Belladonna Boudreaux. Like him, she was a mutant. Unfortunately, she was also the daughter of Marius Boudreaux, the leader of the Assassins Guild. Despite this, Remy grew very close to her. They soon fell in love.
When it became clear that they could not be kept apart, Jean-Luc and Marius made a deal. If Remy and Belladonna got married, then this could be the foundation of a united Guild. It put Remy and Belladonna in an awkward position, but they agreed to it provided it would stop the bloodshed. Plans for the wedding moved forward. Remy was set to marry Belladonna on his 19th birthday. The week before the wedding, a secret plot by both Guilds ruined that plan.
A very rare gem known as the Ruby of Cytorakk came to New Orleans on an armored cargo ship. Both Guilds sought to steal it because there were rumors that this gem possessed vast mystical powers. When Remy went in to steal it he discovered from Marius’s son, Julien, that the wedding was a ruse. It was just a way for the Assassins to get the Thieves in one place so they could destroy them. Remy’s brother, Henri, revealed that the Thieves had a similar plan. When Remy and Bella found out about this, they fought for possession of the ruby. During the conflict, Belladonna was mortally wounded and died in Remy’s arms.
In his grief, Remy made a decision that would put him at odds with both the Assassins and the Thieves. He committed the most egregious sin possible and broke his word to his own Guild. He threw the ruby into the ocean so no one would possess it. This act earned him an immediate expulsion from the Thieves Guild and a death sentence from the Assassins.
After this incident, Remy Lebeau went into hiding. It’s not clear what he did or where he went. He laid low, using his thieving skills to support himself. He remained on his guard and he became a high-priced target in the criminal underworld.
He eventually re-emerged when he met up with Ororo Munroe, who at the time was a college student as Louisiana State University. She became a close friend and for a time she was a bit more. However, Remy was not in a position to love again after Belladonna. Ororo helped teaching him everything the Thieves Guild never taught him. This helped him set out new goals.
Character Breakdown: Remy Lebeau’s personality is built around opposing forces. He grew up in a world of deviance where traditional social norms are twisted to justify violence, theft, and deceit. Because of this, he’s not as inclined to feel guilt when he defies the expectations of those around him. While he doesn’t lack the capacity to feel guilt, he does see things in an overly pragmatic way. The human element is removed and only the task before him (which is usually a theft) has meaning to him.
The other conflicting force of his character involves how he set himself apart from his like-minded peers. He was considered an outcast because he was adopted. As such, he didn’t completely follow the path of deviance that his family conditioned him for. This was complimented by the influence of his mother, who instilled in him more concrete notions of right and wrong that allowed him to develop a stronger moral sense than those around him. This is why he was able to make the necessary sacrifices for Belladonna and why he was able to betray his fellow thieves by throwing away the Ruby of Cytorakk.
Taking a moral stand against the Guilds was a pivotal moment for Remy. This led him down another path that he wouldn’t have otherwise found if he continued to be influenced by his family and the Guilds. Being directionless and alone leaves him somewhat defensive. He maintains a somewhat bloated ego that shows in how he carries himself. It’s his way of maintaining strength when he’s been surrounded by opposing forces all his life. This ego along with his moral center is what led him to fall in love with Belladonna and start a new life with the X-men. It remains the most important driving force of his personality and a primary source of conflict.