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Abandoned Love: Remember When Gambit Was a Horseman of Apocalypse?

by  in Comic News Comment
Abandoned Love: Remember When Gambit Was a Horseman of Apocalypse?

Every installment of Abandoned Love we will be examining comic book stories, plots and ideas that were abandoned by a later writer while still acknowledging that the abandoned story DID still happen. Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of Abandoned Love. Feel free to e-mail me at if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.

This time around, we look at Gambit’s short-lived tenure as Death, one of Apocalypse’s Horsemen…

Writer Peter Milligan and artist Salvador Larroca introduced the concept in a storyline in the X-Men #180s, where Apocalypse offers himself up as a sort of new savior to mutants, particularly those that had lost their powers after House of M. Sunfire, who had recently lost his legs, joined up with Apocalypse. In X-Men #185, we learn that Gambit himself joined up, as well…

The whole story was pretty silly and I’ll likely feature it in the future in another column (like I Love Ya But You’re Strange), but suffice it to say that when Apocalypse is defeated, Sunfire and Gambit head off on their own, where Sunfire successfull deprograms Gambit…

Then, in that same issue, X-Men #187, they meet up with Mister Sinister…

And that was it for that story.

New writer Mike Carey soon took over the series (I believe it was actually literally the next issue) and he had no interest in continuing this story, so in X-Men #200, Gambit is back and he’s back to normal (and seemingly working against the X-Men alongside Mystique)…

“Helped by some friends” is the extent that we will ever get as to why Gambit no longer looks like Death.

However, here’s the odd part, a few years later, Carey (now writing the title as X-Men Legacy as a sort of Rogue-based title), RE-introduces Gambit’s Death persona out of nowhere in X-Men Legacy Annual #1 (in a back-up drawn by Mirco Pierfederici)!

Carey followed up with the idea in X-Men Legacy #229, where Gambit seems to be able to transform back from his Death persona, but with great difficulty.

Carey, though, never got around to doing anything with it. It all ended up at the feet of Chris Yost, who seemingly finished the whole thing in the mini-series X-Men: Hellbound, where a group of X-Men go to Limbo to rescue Magik. While there, Gambit becomes Death again and turns Dazzler and Northstar into versions of Death, as well.

Luckily, Pixie and Magik use their soul daggers/swords to return him to normal…

The “Death” persona seems fully abandoned now.

That’s it for this edition of Abandoned Love! If YOU have an idea for an interesting abandoned storyline, drop me a line at

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