Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and twentieth week where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.
Just like the last few months, one legend today, one tomorrow and one Sunday.
Gambit was originally going to be a clone of Cyclops created by Mister Sinister
False Enough for a False
Many, many moons ago, I did a Comic Book Legends Revealed where I revealed that Gambit was originally intended as a villain, and that he was always connected to Mister Sinister. However, in that legend, I did not specify HOW he was connected to Mister Sinister (as a point of fact, I had no clue at the idea HOW he was connected to Mister Sinister, just that he was connected to Mister Sinister, specifically the original version of Mister Sinister, who was also covered in that same old Comic Book Legends Revealed).
So what WAS the deal when Gambit first showed up in "Uncanny X-Men" #266 to save Storm?
Years later, in his alternate future series of miniseries, "X-Men: The End," Chris Claremont had Gambit revealed to be a cloned mixture between Mister Sinister and Cyclops, with Cyclops' DNA providing Gambit with his mutant abilities.
Reader Alexander T. wrote in to today to ask about a legend he had heard that that was Claremont's original plan and he was using the alternate reality "X-Men: The End" miniseries to have it come about for real this time.
That's CLOSE to what Claremont originally planned, but different enough that I'm giving it a false. In the Gambit issue of the Classic Marvel Figurine Collection:, Chris Claremont explained Gambit's origins. He was tied in with Sinister's original origin of being a perpetual little kid who then created a "villain" character, Mister SInister, to serve as his proxy. So he, in turn, created a "hero" proxy, as well...
"The problem was that, as he's monitoring the X-Men, he sees and falls for Rogue and wants to win her," added Claremont, a writer lauded and criticised in equal measure for his intricate subplots and long-term plotting. "But he can't approach him as himself; he's too young and won't be old enough forever - as far as Rogue's concerned. He can't approach her as Sinister obviously."
The nameless villain's solution, explained Claremont - who stressed that this was his original concept for the Cajun mutant - was to grow an older version of himself... namely Gambit. As originally concieved, Gambit was a bad guy. "He was supposed to come in, meet Rogue, Rogue was supposed to fall in love with him, the act of falling in love develops a humanity in him that seperates him out from Sinister or rather Sinister's human half. So in a sense, we have a love triangle between a now 60-year old mind in an 11-year-old body, the young Gambit, and Rogue. One's good, one's bad. Originally he was a bad guy pretending to be good but then he would discover that maybe he liked being good more and he was torn one way or the other. Ultimately there would be a conflict between Gambit and his creator, his true self." That was pretty much Claremont's intent, but as John Lennon once sang, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."
So there you go!
Thanks to Chris Claremont and Classic Marvel Figurine Collection for the information and thanks to Alexander T. for the request!
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Check back Saturday for part 2 of this week's legends!
And remember, if you have a legend that you're curious about, drop me a line at either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com!