The X-Men offer some of the most diverse characters in comics, with Gambit being a key member of the group. Many comic fans know him best as the guy who throws cards that explode on contact. Yet Gambit’s powers go much deeper than charging up a pack of playing cards. He has the potential to be one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel Universe, and here I explore the Ragin Cajun’s abilities to find out what makes him so explosive.
Remy Lebeau’s primary mutant power is the ability to convert the potential energy stored in an inanimate object into pure kinetic energy. In physics, the potential energy of an object is determined by its position relative to other objects, while kinetic energy comes into play when an object is in motion. When Gambit touches an inanimate object, he can ‘charge’ it until it explodes.
A reason Gambit favours cards is because they are small and take less time to charge than larger objects. The charging takes place through skin contact, with the power of the explosions being dependent on the mass of the object. For example, a charged playing card detonates with the force of a grenade. Remy can also use his ability to speed up an object’s kinetic energy instead of converting it to potential energy. In one instance, he charged up his staff with enough kinetic energy to blow up a house.
The energy Gambit taps into has enhanced all of his attributes, giving him superhuman strength, speed, reflexes and dexterity. His body constantly generates bio-kinetic energy, which he’s incorporated into his fighting style to make him a formidable opponent.
As a by-product of his powers, Gambit’s body builds up static electricity, shielding his mind from even the strongest telepaths. This shield also has the unique side effect of destabilising touched-based powers, which has allowed Remy to touch Rogue without being hurt.
Although a link has never been established, Gambit’s kinetic powers may be the reason he possesses a hypnotic charm. This ability allows him to exert influence over others, getting them to agree to his suggestions. It’s been stated that the charm is so powerful that it could even effect the Shadow King. However, Remy’s hypnotic charm only works on those who don’t know about it.
At his full strength, Gambit possesses a range of abilities. He can control all aspects of kinetic energy down to the molecular level. This allows him to fire energy blasts, fly, heal wounds, charge objects without having to touch them and tear living beings apart from the inside out. Gambit can also manipulate the kinetic energy in someone else’s body and stop them from moving. In the past, he’s also used his full power to travel through time, cross dimensions and remake reality by transforming himself into living energy.
All of this was displayed during a battle with his counterpart New Son. This version of Remy came from an alternate reality, where he became powerful enough to defeat The Phoenix and destroyed all life on Earth. Gambit defeated his other self, but decided to have Mr Sinister reduce his powers so he would never go down the same path as New Son.
Remy has also served as one of Apocalypse’s Horseman of Death. The Celestial Technology in his body turned his hair white and his skin pitch black. In his Death state, Gambit can convert objects into toxic substances and transform air into poison gas. He can produce a Death Charge, which disintegrates enemies or traps them in a playing card. While in this form, Gambit has also corrupted other mutants such as Northstar and Dazzler and made them do his bidding.
The Death persona exists as another personality within Gambit’s mind. It’s been suggested he can switch back and forth at will, but the personality has taken over more than once. Gambit’s struggle to contain it has added a new layer to the character.
Another unique power that Remy has displayed is the ability to see the future. When he was blinded for a short time, he could predict future events and used his cards for tarot reading.
Gambit’s powerset is as versatile as the man himself. If you’d like see another comic character’s powers explored then leave a comment below!