Yes, I am aware that this review may be somewhat biased, seeing as how Gambit is my favorite comic character, but I think that would also entitle me to be more critical of any new ongoing he stars in.
This series debuted a week after the new Hawkeye ongoing series, and while they both got grouped together in several previews and reviews, due to similarities in the nature of the characters (womanizing, reformed villain-types who have impeccable aim), it was obvious the Hawkeye series would continue to garner more attention, what with the Avengers film and the fact that it was being created by two superstars. Gambit's series continued to fly under the radar, and I never read or heard much about it on comic sits after that. James Asmus had a lot of pre-launch interviews where he claimed he was going to get Gambit away from his typical haunts and friends, and not take him anywhere near New Orleans or other mutants - just see what he does when he's away from the team and the school (oddly enough, a similar premise behind Hawkeye's book). I'm happy to say he follows through on his promises.
Right from the outset, the book carries a sense of humor about itself - the first words are Gambit's thoughts joking about how he can pull off a pink costume - and throughout these first seven issues, it sustains Gambit's devil-may-care attitude. Asmus seems intent on making sure this is truly a Gambit solo book. There are no cameos by other X-Men (Pete Wisdom pops up, but more on that in a moment), all the villains he faces are new creations, yet feel organic, as if they've been here all along, and he never once wears his trademark costume. He just starts out for a little thieving fun, and the next several issues are dealing with the fallout from it.
Clay Mann's art is nice, though at times it did tend to get a little confusing on what action was taking place. Regardless, I'm glad to see a competent artist being given this book.
While the first few issues definitely worked better having been read in trade format, it was the re-appearance of Pete Wisdom that totally sold me on this series monthly. Wisdom has been another favorite character of mine. When he was created by Warren Ellis back in the days of his run on Excalibur, he immediately felt to me like a British version of Gambit, though a bit more of a bastard (I even recall an issue of X-Men where Gambit returns after some time away, and Kitty Pryde isn't a fan - Wolverine quips that maybe it's because he reminds her of a certain old British flame, referring to her relationship with Wisdom). His "hot knives" powers were pretty cool, and he refused to wear any spandex costume, just sticking to a simple black suit. How it took this long for the two characters to finally meet is beyond me, but it worked out just as I'd hoped (and glad to see they'll meet up again soon in the series). Bonus points for Pete's aside about wanting to sic' a Sentinel on Gambit, "...and maybe that sanctimonious tin Russian".
Asmus and company do a great job of making this attempt at a solo series unique (the last series was set heavily in New Orleans, had Bella Donna and Rogue all over it, and featured a Wolverine appearance by issue #5), and it's a shame it recently ended.