UNCANNY X-MEN #347-350 (1997): The Trial of Gambit

I know there are people who like Gambit. There must be. But I can’t figure out why, and this story doesn’t help.

Gambit’s thieving past catches up to him as bounty hunters hired by Erik the Red capture him.

Oh, did I mention that most of these X-Men believe they are lost in space but are actually being tricked by a mutant named Landscape who is also a bounty hunter and who has mutant landscaping powers and who is never seen again. I didn’t?

Don’t worry. It doesn’t matter.

Since he’s only seen once, I won’t talk about Landscaper ever again. But the other two bounty hunters have subsequent appearances, so I’ll describe them briefly. Spat saved Gambit’s life years ago and ages backwards. She has a spear. The other one, Grovel, is a big monster. Spat rides on him.

So basically it’s like Moon Boy and Devil Dinosaur, if it were kiddie porn.

And so Gambit is captured.

Joseph and Rogue try to find Gambit and they, with some of the bounty hunters, get captured by an old Magneto robot. Beast sets them free. So, yeah, this was an entirely pointless “B story.”

Then they all go looking for Gambit, who by this time is facing down Erik the Red–who holds a trial for Gambit. Only I think it’s actually de-aged Magneto dressed as Erik the Red. Unclear, I’ve tagged them both.

The whole story–just about every cover of this arc–promises the truth about Gambit.

Gambit and Rogue end up being held captive together by the gross Magneto nanny robot. It’s all just a narrative way to further their “romance” and add some heft to what hapens at the end of this story, but … It doesn’t work because the story itself is too full of holes and “coincidences” that make it silly.

Turns out, Gambit’s “big secret” (which has been hinted at for over a year) was that he worked for Mister Sinister and helped get mutants killed during the Mutant Massacre. He tried, in the end, to stop it–but that was after he’d led all the marauders the the Morlocks’ home in the sewers, so it was too late to save them.

The X-Men show up in time for the “trial,” learn the truth, and abandon Gambit in the Antarctic snow.


There are subplots because this is Uncanny X-Men and of course there are. Bishop and Deathbird are still in space, with Bishop having been injured severely during the fight with the Shi’Ar. Deathbird leads him to believe that all the other X-Men are dead.

Psylocke and Maggot are…I don’t know what. Doing something. Somehow they end up united with the other X-Men. It’s really unexplained.

And with that, Scott Lobdell is off the X-Men for good.

Leave a Comment