Be surprised that the X-Men Gambit is a serious upgrade, the most nonchalant of its kind. That’s what happened in the pages of Marvel Comics’ Excalibur #16, when the new Excalibur team returned to the Secret World from the land of mutants in Cracow to deal with the consequences of the recent X or Swords crossover. During a tournament between the Krakoa mutants and the former Arraco mutants, Betsy Braddock (the new captain of Great Britain) is said to have been killed (or rather, shattered into crystal fragments) by Iska, the invincible Arraco. To find out if there’s another way to save Betsy, Excalibur Gambit’s mutating powers must develop.

Basically we learn that kinetic energy may not be the only kind of energy the gambit can adapt to and then control. The energy of mutants (the energy that drives the power of the mutant) is also something that Gambit can use.

Disclaimer : Excalibur #16 Spoilers to follow!

(Photo: Marvel Comics)

As reported, the Excalibur team returns to the Other World from Cracow to pick up Betsy Braddock/Captain UK, who died during a tournament of the Other World between Cracow and Aracco. Despite the fact that the tournament forced Krakoa to sacrifice his greatest magician, Arako (Apocalypse), Rictor believes he has deciphered the Grimoire (i.e. the Book of Spells) of the Apocalypse enough to turn it into a spell that can help Betsy find it.

The spell of the Apocalypse is based on the true power of the new X-Men: a combination and/or sequence of different mutating forces to accomplish an impossible task or achievement. This enabled the X-Men to achieve an unlimited mutant resurrection and even travel to the most powerful cosmic realms of the multiverse. Now magic is the next frontier, and again it takes five mutants to deal with it.

The spell Victor wants to perform requires Megan Braddock as the center, with Rogue as the center, while Rictor, Jubilee and Gambit act as sensors. When Rictor comes to The Gambit, Remy asks the only question he can answer: What do you want me to blow up, my friend?

Rictor, however, has a different idea of the gambit: Smell. Kinetic energy. What if it’s another energy? Anyway, is that our power?

When Gambit asks if the mutated energy is what Rictor has in mind, Rictor makes the correction that it is the magical energy they are seeking/analysing.

Gambit has always been an iconic and cool X-Men character, both in personality and strength. Rémy LaBeau can convert the potential energy of an inanimate object into kinetic energy. This high school physics lesson about movement and energy was enough in the story of the 80’s and 90’s, but like many Marvel mutants, Remy could afford to further develop his powers. It now seems that Marvel Comics has cleverly opened the door to such a change – so let’s hope that Gambit’s little magical experiment will lead to a greater development of his powers. If Gambit could find new ways to transform and channel energy, he would soon turn out to be one of the most dangerous mutants in Krakoa.

Excalibur n°16 for sale.

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