How X-Men ’97’s brutal massacre may lead to an evil Gambit

Christopher Baggett
X-Men '97 Gambit, Rogue, Nightcrawler

X-Men ‘97’s shocking ending seems to kill two huge mutants, but it may be setting up a huge storyline for Gambit. 

The shocking attack on Genosha killed two major X-Men ’97 characters: Gambit and Magneto. But it could be a sign of an upcoming storyline. As long-time fans remember, Gambit was, at one point, the Horseman of Death for the seemingly immortal mutant Apocalypse. 

It happened after M-Day, the event depicted in the classic story House of M that ended the births of new mutants and depowered all but 198 mutants. When Apocalypse returned, Gambit sought him out, believing the reborn Apocalypse may be able to save mutants. 

X-Men #184 saw Gambit agree to become Apocalypse’s Horseman of Death. He attempted to convince Apocalypse to let him keep his original personality, but most of it was lost in the process. 

Gambit as the Horseman Death
Following M-Day, Gambit willing becomes Apocalypse’s Horseman of Death, believing he can save mutants.

He tears through the X-Men as Death but eventually manages to regain a degree of control, breaking Apocalypse’s hold with help from Mr. Sinister. Gambit is restored to his normal self just in time for the birth of Hope Summers in Messiah CompleX

Gambit, uniquely, is one of the few X-Men who has never died. However, with the tense final moments of X-Men ‘97, Gambit definitely seems to have met his end.

But we can’t ignore what the rest of the episode teases, in both its updated intro and its cameo from Cable: Apocalypse is coming back. When Apocalypse appears, there is inevitably a band of Horsemen behind him. 

It’s possible Apocalypse could be a catalyst for bringing Gambit back, enslaving him as his Horseman in the process. If so, it could be the start of long-term storytelling, like Episode 4 teasing Bastion and Operation Zero Tolerance.

X-Men ‘97 Episode 5, Remember It, is now streaming on Disney+. 

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