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(1st Story) Peter David (writer), Giuseppe Camuncoliwith Michele Benevento (artists), Dan Brown(colorist), Andres Mossa (colorist),VC’s Clayton Cowles (letterer),Jennifer M. Smith (assistant editor), Jeanine Schaefer (editor)
(2nd Story) Mike Costa (writer), Stefano Casello (artist),Andres Mossa (colorist), VC’sClayton Cowles (letterer), Jordan D. White (associate editor), Nick Lowe (editor)
Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (chief creativeofficer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)
(1st Story)At Avengers Tower, Wolverine and Captain Marvel engage in a tense poker game, while arguing over who would win in a fight between cavemen and astronauts. Their game is interrupted by a celestial being calling itself The End, who sides with Captain Marvel before joining the poker game itself.
(2nd Story)The Thing hosts a poker game with the Yancy Street Gang to teach them about wits. One of the kids brings in Gambit to help even the odds. Gambit cleans house, causing the Thing to take him outside to settle the score. The kids stay behind and soon realize that Gambit took all his winnings with him. Meeting months ago in New Orleans, the two heroes planned the whole game to teach the kids a lesson. The Thing and Gambit fly off, complimenting each other’s card scamming skills.
(1st Story)At Avengers Tower, Hawkeye and Spider-Woman walk away from a tense poker game brewing between Wolverine and Captain Marvel. While Captain Marvel ponders her next move, she brings up the argument of who would win in a fight between cavemen and astronauts, a discussion she heard on the TV series, Angel. Wolverine dismisses the debate as stupid and tells her to hurry up.
They both raise the stakes and Wolverine asks Captain Marvel if the astronauts would be armed, to which she replies no because then the fight would be too easy. Wolverine disagrees and says that fights are mind against mind. Captain Marvel doesn’t see things that way. They both continue to raise the stakes as Wolverine calls her out for being stubborn. Captain Marvel calls Wolverine and jackass and accuses him of trying to annoy her so that she’ll rush into a mistake.
Wolverine brings up the cavemen versus astronaut debate and backs up his view with the fact that while astronauts spend most of their time doing paperwork, cavemen need to spend every hour of every day on survival. Even though astronauts have stronger minds, Wolverine claims that sometimes the fight simply goes to the guy with the muscles. Growing defensive, Captain Marvel asks Wolverine if he doubts that astronauts have muscles. They both rise from their seats as they become the examples in the argument.
Wolverine claims that Captain Marvel would think he’d be easy for her to take out due to her vast array of powers while all he’s got is claws, which he unsheathes. Wolverine says that so many have underestimated him and so many are dead now because of it. He asks her if she’s in or out. “All in. Your call,” Carol says as she pushes all her chips to the center.
Suddenly, the ground rumbles and the two heroes brace themselves for an attack. The wall crumbles and a towering celestial being called The End stands before them.
Captain Marvel poses the astronaut versus cavemen question to the being. After thinking a moment, The End sides with Carol, claiming that they’ve already seen the fight depicted in the first Planet of the Apes movie when Taylor, an astronaut, was able beat numerous primitive humans. Captain Marvel smirks at a disgruntled Wolverine, who then asks The End if he has any money.
Hawkeye and Spider-Woman race back to the room, preparing for the worst only to find the poker game still in progress, with a third player, The End. The being requests bigger cards to which Captain Marvel says she’ll look into for next time. Wolverine, already impatient again, attempts to rush Carol into making her next move.
(2nd Story)The Thing finishes setting up a poker game with the young boys of The Yancy Street Gang. He’s glad they finally agreed to playing and tells them poker is a game of wits and subtlety. He claims that, back in his day, you had to be tough AND smart to be a member of the street gang. The poker game will help him decide if that’s still the case.
He tells them they’re playing stud and, just before they begin, Tony, a member of the Street Gang, gets up to let someone they invited in. Thing is shocked when it turns out to be Gambit, who met one of the kids yesterday and agreed to sit in on the game to even out the odds.
(months ago)In New Orleans, Gambit races out of a building, away from a man screaming that he robbed him. The Thing happens to be there, enjoying the Mardi Gras parade. He grabs Gambit by the collar. Gambit warns him to back off, only to be insulted about his haircut. Gambit responds by charging the beads that The Thing is wearing and the two begin to brawl.
(present)The Thing tells the kids that they have met before and Gambit says that, like superheroes do all the time, they fought over a misunderstanding which has since been cleared up. The Thing disagrees and assures Gambit that he won’t beat him again now that he’s on his turf. Tony is unsure since Gambit literally carries cards in his pocket. The Thing, growing angry, already catches Gambit trying to cheat and tells him the deck is off limits to him now. “I’ve got my eye on you. No Scams,” Thing says as the game begins.
Gambit is impressed that the Thing caught his attempt to switch the decks. The Thing tells him that growing up on Yancy Street meant being raised by card hustlers and thieves. Gambit tells him that that’s interesting since he was actually raised by thieves himself on the streets of New Orleans. The Thing argues that a winter in New York is a lot rougher than the tropical streets of New Orleans as Gambit wins his way through multiple hands, taking Thing’s hat and coat in the process. With nothing left, Gambit suggests The Thing throws in the keys to his sky cycle.
After being beaten out of everything he has, the Thing angrily accuses him of cheating and tells the kids that they shouldn’t have let Gambit in. Tony claims that they needed to even the odds because The Thing’s poker face is literally a rock and claims that the gang won The Thing’s “battle of wits.” After Gambit insults The Thing, saying that they shouldn’t take pride in defeating an unarmed opponent, Ben stands up and tells Gambit that they’re going to take this outside. He tells the kids to stay behind so they don’t get hurt and they agree, citing a time when Thundra destroyed one of their uncle’s deli.
The kids wait inside, saying how dumb The Thing is since he tells them not to settle things with their fists and does the opposite. They wonder who’s winning outside and wonder what went down last time the two met…
(last time)The Thing has the upper hand as the two fight in a New Orleans graveyard. Gambit admits that he was cheating but only because the cards were marked and he was playing a cheater. The Thing gets up and helps Gambit to his feet, interested by the fact that Gambit knows how to run card scams. He asks Gambit if he ever makes it up to New York…
(present)Tony grows suspicious and asks another member where they met Gambit. Turns out Gambit was running a Three-card Monte right in front of the youth center. Tony thinks it’s too much of a coincidence that the two of them knew each other and soon realizes that Gambit took all his winnings with him!
Outside, Gambit and Thing fly in the sky on Thing’s sky cycle. They compliment each other’s card scamming skills. The Thing says that he warned the kids that it was a game of wits. Gambit asks to drive, since he did in fact win the keys to the vehicle but Thing tells him to shut up.
(1st Story)Captain Marvel, Hawkeye, Spider-Woman, Wolverine (all Avengers)
Tony and Other Members of The Yancy Street Gang
(1st Story)The cavemen versus astronauts debate that Captain Marvel refers to is from theseason 5 episode of Angel, “A Hole in the World.”