This article contains spoilers for Knights of X #1.
The X-Men's Gambit has died in Otherworld - and, although he'll inevitably be resurrected, he'll never be the same again. Death has always been something of a revolving door in X-Men comics, and frankly it's long been difficult to think of mutants who haven't died and been resurrected. When Jonathan Hickman relaunched the X-Men comics in 2019, he decided to codify this by establishing Krakoa's Resurrection Protocols. Now, any mutant who dies can be resurrected through a synergy of mutant powers and Cerebro technology.
There is, however, one exception to this rule. The X-Men have learned that any mutant who dies in the mystical realm of Otherworld - a mystical realm that lies at the heart of the multiverse - is resurrected in a changed form. Captain Britain is currently leading a team of X-Men to war in Otherworld, which means every member of her group is taking a risk. Anyone who dies there will come back in a different way, perhaps with their powers, character, and even memories changed forever.
Knights of X #3, by Tini Howard and Bob Quinn, sees one of Captain Britain's teams fall in battle. Gambit leaps into battle against the wizard Merlyn, a mismatched fight to say the least, and he's cut down with ease. The comic ends with a horrific shot of Gambit's hand in a pool of blood, and it reveals the card he's holding is one in the form of Death itself. No doubt Gambit will return, but a death in Otherworld signifies permanent change.
Knights of X #3 does, however, suggest Gambit may have played a trick on Merlyn. As he attacked Merlyn, Gambit noted he'd stolen some of the magic of the Starlight Citadel itself - "the physical manifestation of the epicenter of the Otherworld, where all realities intersect." The comic is careful to remind readers that Gambit was himself Apocalypse's Horseman of Death at one point, and in fact, his transformations into Death were influenced by exposure to other planes of existence such as the Hell Dimension of Limbo. That makes it particularly interesting to see the card he was holding bears the image and name of Death. It feels as though Gambit's attack was in fact designed to reshape reality around himself, gaining a power-up into the bargain.
It's exciting to see that death can still matter in modern X-Men comics, even after the Resurrection Protocols. Otherworld is a hostile terrain for mutants, and the risks of operating in this mystical realm are high. But the X-Men have made a habit of cheating death, and it would be so very appropriate for the former Horseman of Death to turn his sacrifice into a moment of triumph.
Knights of X #3 is available now from Marvel Comics!