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Oct 24

Marauders #1 – annotations

Posted on Thursday, October 24, 2019 by Paul in Annotations, x-axis

As always, this post features spoilers, and page numbers are based on the digital edition. And no, I’m not planning to do these for every issue of all the new titles, but the first issues of each seem worth a look.

MARAUDERS: It’s first time we’ve had a series of this title. In the context of the X-Men, the Marauders are Mr Sinister’s henchmen, who first appeared in Uncanny X-Men vol 1 #210 (1986) and committed the mass murder of the Morlocks. The original Marauders – or a bunch of them, at any rate – were last seen in Uncanny X-Men vol 5 #18 (2019), where they all died fighting the X-Men. In the meantime, this book seems to have no connection to the team whose name is clearly being evoked, and going back to the literal sense of marauding, which would fit with the piracy angle (though not so much the rescuing bit).

COVERS: The regular cast on their boat (whether they’re actually aboard it in this issue or not).

PAGES 1-2: Storm, Nightcrawler and Kitty Pryde invite some young mutants through the Central Park gateway to their new home in Krakoa. When Kitty tries to follow, she finds she can’t get through.

This is the first time we’ve seen the Krakoa-era X-Men written by anyone other than Jonathan Hickman. Under Gerry Duggan, Storm and Nightcrawler are both still a touch evangelical about Krakoa; Kitty stays quiet during that bit, and as we’ll see, she’s going to be a bit of an outsider in Krakoa.

Since mutants are openly travelling to Krakoa, this flashback must follow Xavier’s worldwide announcement. If so, it’s odd that Kitty apparently hasn’t tried the gateways until now; she was among the X-Men shown planting Krakoan seeds in the opening of House of X #1, several weeks before that announcement.

As for why Kitty can’t get through, there are two obvious possibilities: it’s something to do with her powers, or Krakoa won’t let her through (in which case, it must be refusing to explain itself to Cypher). No doubt we’ll get to the reason in due course. Of course, her inability to use the gates justifies her using boats and being a “pirate”.

PAGE 3: The recap page, in the same format we saw in X-Men. The only new information is that friendly nations have allowed Krakoan gateways to be stationed for mutants to travel through. (This sounds like a magnet for anti-mutant villains, but I guess that’s what the new Marauders are there to deal with.)

PAGE 4: The credits, in the now-familiar style. The story title is “I’m on a Boat”, the small print simply reads “Mutant piracy, Sea Shores X”.

PAGE 5: A data page, consisting of the text of a pages from Kitty’s diary that she throws into the sea as a drunken “message in a bottle”. US naval intelligence have found it floating around near Krakoa – they’re evidently rather desperate for any information about the place. Minor glitch: The intro says the message is in a “wine bottle”, but the Day Six text seems pretty clear that it’s the whisky bottle she’s just finished.

In Day Five, Kitty seems notably un-sold on the whole Krakoan idea, and mildly confused that everyone else is on board with it. She seems to feel more left out than suspicious. But it means that the premise of this book is that Kitty is helping mutants to get to a utopia that she doesn’t quite believe in, which seems like it’s heading somewhere. If you think there’s something odd, or just cult-like, going on with Krakoa, then it’s also probably significant that these characters will be spending a lot of time away from the place. Note that when we see Emma later, she’s in London.

USAMRIID: The US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. Its functions include developing countermeasures against biological warfare. It makes some sense that it would take an interest in Krakoa.

PAGES 7-16. Kitty and Lockheed finally arrive on Krakoa by boat, and are greeted by Iceman and Wolverine. Iceman wanders off to explore an unused gateway, and Kitty has a telepathic conference with Emma Frost. Embedded in this is a “data page” which is just the text of Logan’s shopping list for Kitty.

The shopping list. The clear implication is that Logan can’t get this stuff on his own, but why not? Can’t he just go through the New York portal, buy it, and bring it back? Does Krakoa not want this stuff on the island? Or is it just a plot hole?

Homes on Krakoa: According to Iceman, you have to plant a flower and grow it. That fits with the Summers’ organic home in X-Men #1. Kitty decides not to bother.

Kate/Kitty: Emma makes a point of using “Kate”. We’ve seen a number of alternate futures before where “adult” versions of Kitty Pryde were called “Kate” to distinguish them from the present-day version. Kitty’s aged over time to the point where that switch is overdue, and she makes it at the end of the issue.

The black market: I’ve pointed out before that there’s a contradiction between, on the one hand, Professor X’s public stance that countries have to recognise Krakoa in order to get mutant drugs and, on the other, the willingness to supply drugs to the black market. Emma offers a reason here – “mutants must also set the price for the black market to have a stable world economy” – but it’s not a hugely convincing one, unless the idea is to stop drugs getting to unco-operative states. Whether this is a deliberate plot point or just some fuzzy plotting to allow for the premise of Marauders, well, again, time will tell.

North Valnon: A blatant North Korea stand-in – even though the actual North Korea was listed as a non-treaty nation in House of X #5. As best as I can tell, its only previous appearance was in another Gerry Duggan story, Hulk vol 3 #5 (2014), where its army, equipped with experimental gamma-powered weapons, got beaten up by the big guy in two pages flat.

Brazil: The “mutant-hunting quadrupeds” around the Brazilian gates look an awful lot like the Warwolves from early issues of Excalibur, though in bright red instead of white.

Kitty’s wardrobe: Emma teases Kitty over her earlier costumes. The “big blue blouse” is the classic 80s Shadowcat costume. The “hideous photo of you in leggings and roller skates” refers to Kitty’s comically garish first stab at costume design from Uncanny X-Men vol 1 #149 (1981). Emma doesn’t mention Kitty’s current costume, which is carried over from previous runs, but note that she’s still wearing basically a traditional X-Men costume in the face of a drastic revamp that she’s not quite part of. Emma suggests that Kitty will wear red as a member of the Hellfire Club, fitting with the vacant “Red King” role on the Quiet Council.

PAGES 17-19. Iceman has foolishly wandered through the gateway to Vladivostok, where a bunch of heavily armed guys with power-suppressing technology are ready to shoot at him. He gets back through the doorway, and since the X-Men can’t just go through the doorway to get shot at, Iceman and Storm join Kitty on the boat to sail to Vladivostok and sort it out.

Russia was listed as a non-treaty nation in House of X #5. Apparently Russian mutants are pressed into state service. Later on the thugs are described as a “Russian splinter group”, but that seems to be an error, since everything else suggests this is meant to be Russian policy. If you’re feeling generous, it might be that these soldiers are going off on a frolic of their own when it comes to their shoot-to-kill policy.

The armoured guy, Phobos, seems to be new. The name (fear) has no obvious connection to his powers, but perhaps we’ll see him again and all will become clear. Or perhaps not. Edit: As pointed out in the comments, this could well be Professor Phobos, an obscure villain who appeared in Incredible Hulk vol 1 #258-259 (1981). He was the secretly-evil mentor of Russian mutants like Darkstar and Vanguard, and did indeed wear armour that leeched the powers of nearby mutants. When last seen, he was being handed over to the Soviet authorities for trial.

PAGES 20-21. A subplot with Bishop, who’s investigating an alleged disappearance in Taiwan. Bishop’s meant to be one of the main cast of this book, but this is all we get from him this issue.

PAGES 22-32. Kitty and her crew – Storm, Lockheed, Iceman and stowaway Pyro – go to Vladivostok, beat up the thugs and liberate the gateway. Everyone else agrees to come home with Kitty instead of going through the gateway and leaving her behind. The main point of this scene is that Kitty is awesome and her seemingly-defensive powers, combined with martial arts skills, make her insanely dangerous. She’s much more aggressive about it here than we’re used to seeing.

Pyro. This is the original Pyro, St John Allerdyce, not the version who appeared more recently in X-Men Gold. Pyro was a member of Mystique’s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and he died from the Legacy Virus in Cable vol 1 #87 (2001), part of the same “Dream’s End” crossover where Moira died. Sorry, faked her death. We’ve seen Pyro once before in the Hickman run, in Powers of X #2, where he killed Moira at the end of her second life.

Pyro is usually a villain, but he did reform somewhat in later years. And even as a bad guy, he was a pro-mutant terrorist, so it’s not out of character for him to sign on for this mission (even if he effectively gets pressganged). According to Pyro, he was one of the first mutants to be restored from back-up by the Five, which he thinks is because he was used as a test. That might be true, but his connection with Mystique makes me wonder if there were other reasons too.

The “accent” is meant to be Australian. Pyro’s first appearance (X-Men vol 1 #141, 1981) says outright that he’s English, but later stories consistently went for Australian, and that’s what stuck. Pyro’s power is only to control fire, not to create it, which is why he’s wearing a flamethrower – though for some reason Duggan has him ask the others for a light.

Kill no man. Storm reminds Pyro of the laws of Krakoa, as fixed in House of X #6.

PAGES 33-35. Storm agrees to stay with Kitty, and Kitty accepts Emma’s offer – “both of your propositions”. What are they? Well, that’s the plot.

The Marauders name. Neither Kitty nor Storm seems overly keen on it, recognising the connotations. We’re not entirely ignoring that, it seems.

Storm and Emma. Storm is willing to ally with Kitty but not with Emma. But we know that Storm already turned down Emma’s offer, so she must know what it was – is she here in part to keep an eye on things? (And how does this fit with Storm’s role on the Quiet Council? Does she just grow a gateway to get back for the meetings?)

PAGE 36. Another of Sinister’s gossip columns, as previously seen in Powers of X #4. The numbering continues from there. Presumably these five “Sinister Secrets” are trailers for upcoming Marauders plots. Items 12, 14 and 15 aren’t particularly guessable beyond that.

Sinister Secret #11. Kitty… sorry, Kate was apparently the third choice for this role, after Storm and someone else.

Sinister Secret #13. The “Black and the White” presumably refers to the chess-themed Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club, now once again under the control of White Queen Emma Frost and Black King Sebastian Shaw. Sinister says that someone else didn’t get the invite to Krakoa, and presumably we’ll be seeing them in upcoming issues. Since all mutants are welcome on Krakoa, the obvious candidate is the cyborg Donald Pierce, leader of the thematically-appropriate Reavers.

PAGES 37-38. The reading list, and the trailer page. The Krakoan reads NEXT: SHIP OUT.

Bring on the comments

  1. Rob London says:

    Is Phobos a new character, or is he this guy, hauled out from the vaults of obscurity?

  2. Paul says:

    Hmm, he might well be. Good catch. I’ll add something about that.

  3. Chris V says:

    Claremont was speculating that Kitty was really a member of the Neo and not a mutant during his 2000-era run.
    I fear that it’s going to be revealed that Kitty can’t use Krakoa’s portal because she’s one of the Neo.

    Someone else pointed out that amidst all that ill-conceived mess that was the Neo, Claremont was saying that the “Neo were the next stage of human evolution after mutants”.

    “Here’s the Neo to ruin everybody’s plans!”

  4. Paul says:

    That’s possible, but according to Jean’s explanation in House of X #1, non-mutants CAN go through the portals as long as they’re accompanied by a mutant and get permission. We saw the ambassadors do it in that issue. So even if Kitty can’t use the portals alone, you’d have thought the next thing they’d try would be for Storm or Nightcrawler to take her through as a non-mutant passenger.

  5. JD says:

    The Brazilian mutant-hunting beasts also remind me of Predator X. Maybe a bootleg version ?

  6. Chris V says:

    I was wondering about that, myself.
    I thought maybe it was shoddy writing, that Kitty’s friends would ask on her behalf.

    Unless Krakoa recognizes the Neo as a threat to mutants.
    It also said that Krakoa can refuse any individual, even if they have a recommendation from another mutant.

  7. Chris V says:

    Professor Phobos being pulled back out of obscurity was a pretty good decision.
    I had forgotten about him.
    He was training Soviet mutants to use their powers on behalf of the State, similar to Xavier’s school.

    JD-I thought they were supposed to be Predator X too.
    I don’t think the War-wolves really had anything to do with hunting down mutants.
    Predator X would fit better, unless Brazil has made a deal with Mojo, for some reason.

  8. Adam says:

    Krakoa can do more to defend itself than simply deny access via portal, though. If it really didn’t want “Kate” around, wouldn’t it respond to her landing?

    Having a hard time extending Duggan credit on this one.

    But I also thought that her Neo ancestry might be the reason. We’re already using Carey’s Children of the Vault, after all.

  9. SanityOrMadness says:

    Curious thing – original-Pyro randomly appeared in Weapon X and Iceman (for no reason I can fathom – if you want cannon-fodder, you don’t need to casually bring guys back from the dead for it…).

    Are we retconning such that the Krakoa resurrections’ start predate that? And either way, why is Iceman of all characters shocked to see him alive?

  10. Evilgus says:

    Not sure if Kitty is a Neo – others have pointed out that her mutant gene is part of the Rasputin chimera in the future, so her mutantcy seems mostly assured.

    That said, Children of the Vault were re introduced in X-Men, and they are thematically similar to Neo (next step of evolution, though Neo didn’t have the distinguishing technobabble element).

    I like the idea that Emma has somehow conspired to prevent Kitty accessing Krakoa, to manipulate her for her support.

    Everyone’s characters still feel a bit ‘off’, but I appreciate the fact that Kitty is suspicious of the whole set up. And the general more light hearted tone than po-faced HOXPOX.

    Also, despite Kitty being my favourite character, I did particularly enjoy her smashing her nose on the portal. She’s otherwise always so bloody perfect 😉

  11. CJ says:

    Kitty, Doug Ramsey, and Emma Frost have some history from early New Mutants issues. In particular, Emma tried to convince Kitty to join the Hellfire Club back in New Mutants #16. Emma is not an outright villain as she was then, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Emma is responsible for Kitty’s gate access problems in order to position her where she wants.

    Kitty’s choice of the name “Marauders” is really bizarre. I mean, she was there when the X-Men first fought them in UXM #211–not only that, Nightcrawler was critically wounded, Kitty was injured, being stuck intangible, and gentle Colossus kills a Marauder and becoming consumed with bloodlust (and then almost dies). It’s not the kind of thing you forget about!

    Despite that, I really enjoyed that fight sequence. I really hope Kitty I mean Kate develops her skepticism about the new status quo too.

  12. SanityOrMadness says:

    How long do we give it until Cap’n Pryde reverts to “Kitty”, BTW? Presumably, she’ll be “Kate” as long as Duggan’s writing her, but past that…?

    [Best line of the issue, that said, was her explanation to Emma why she hasn’t got the X-Men to stop calling her “Kitty”…]

  13. Chris V says:

    Kitty actually did join the Massachusetts Academy during the Claremont run.
    It was all a scheme by Emma, using mind-control on Kitty’s parents.
    Storm had to rescue Kitty.

    There’s been a long involvement between Emma and Kitty.
    It’s not surprising that Emma would choose Kitty for a special position.

  14. Orogogus says:

    “PAGES 17-19… (Iceman) gets back through the doorway, and since the X-Men can’t just go through the doorway to get shot at, Iceman and Storm join Kitty on the boat to go after him.”

    I’m not sure I follow the second sentence. Who are they going after?

  15. Paul says:

    Ah, yes. I’ll fix that, thanks.

  16. Orogogus says:

    Oh wait, I deleted the first sentence. So, anyway, that sentence.

  17. CJ says:

    Yeah, Emma and Kitty go way back–both were even introduced in the same issue.

    I think Emma also had mind-wiped Doug too–wasn’t he briefly a Hellion? In any case, they have some history, and if they are working together, they could possibly tell Krakoa to deny Kitty–very conspiratorial, but possible.

  18. Luis Dantas says:

    Fairly good characterization – better than Hickman’s, IMO.

    Kate’s role in this book reminds me of that tale she told Illyanna back during the second Claremont / Cockrum run, circa Uncanny #140. That by its turn suggests that Kurt may have been the second choice for leading the team (although I am not sure of why Storm would be the first choice).

    I like the mystery of why Kate can’t use the portals, and the hint that even this soon there is active smuggling into Krakoa. That is oddly reassuring, suggesting that whatever may be happening in the island isn’t constant hive mentality.

    Also nice to see a group which does not go out of its way to have Wolverine as a regular… as is seeing Kate _slightly_ less of a Mary Sue. Her aggressiveness is a bit unsettling; the scene with the gun was actually quite disturbing and hints of a darker nature that I don’t think we saw previously.

    I find myself wondering if she used to be capable of passing through portals previously. Maybe Krakoa has been developing an unhealthy attachment to Cypher and sees Kate as a rival?

  19. Evilgus says:

    In Claremont’s Excalibur, he (and subsequent writers such as Davis and Ellis) definitely emphasised that Kitty had a underlying temper. I don’t think it was quite to the unsettlingly violent degree of this fight scene though (kneecapping people? Phasing guns into them?!) but I’ll see where it leads.

  20. Ben says:

    Not really a Duggan fan, this was okay but he writes Kitty like she’s Deadpool.

    He writes everyone like Deadpool.

    One other weird thing I noticed- Bobby sprays himself with ice like he used to in order to “Iceman up”, but he’s been able to turn into goofy organic ice for a long time.

    Art mistake or intentional lowering of his power level?

  21. Michael says:

    I find it odd that, with as many healers as the island must have, Kitty… er, Kate, didn’t get her nose healed while she was visiting. That would take what, 5 minutes tops?

    I agree that seeing Kate use her powers to presumably permanently disable and mutilate her opponents (fusing the gun into the legs) is downright disturbing and more than a little out of character for her. At the very least, that’s the sort of thing which could cripple a person.

    There’s this bizarre reliance on Krakoan biotech for everything–houses, food, dish cleaner, drugs–so maybe Krakoa is also restrictive of outside food and drink. Hence the need to import it through non-standard/non-portal means. But -why-? This suggests that the trend towards self-reliance is even more oppressive and possibly ominous than we thought. Are the X-uniforms grown from Krakoan technology as well? Or are they just worried about outside influences somehow sneaking in? It’s gotta be something more than “Wolverine can’t go and buy his own beer and bring it back through the portal…”

    Now that we’re seeing the great intermingling of mutant heroes and villains on Krakoa, -and- the mass resurrection of dead mutants… how long before some formerly-dead people decide to settle grudges against the ones who killed them? Y’know, like the Morlocks vs Sinister’s Marauders, for example.

    “What happened to Scalphunter and Harpoon?”
    “Oh, a few dozen Morlocks pounded them into a pulp for their part in murdering them back during the Mutant Massacre…”
    “Makes sense. That reminds me, Kurt’s looking for Riptide.”
    “And Riptide wants to talk to Piotr after that…”
    “It’s going to be a long day.”

    This would make a great series or storyline.
    X-GRUDGE: Mutants back from the dead face off against their killers in the arena, to settle old scores!

  22. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    Would you maybe consider putting up posts for future issues without annotating them, just to make space for these discussions? I find they enrich the reading experience a lot and I’ve been looking forward to them every week.

  23. Paul says:

    I might do.

  24. SanityOrMadness says:


    Magik’s probably off in space with the New Mutants by this point.

    > PAGES 33-35. Storm agrees to stay with Kitty, and Kitty accepts Emma’s offer – “both of your propositions”. What are they? Well, that’s the plot.

    To be both the smuggler captain and the Red Queen, presumably,

  25. Joe says:

    While I can see that some kind of pirate flavour is cool, a VTOL aircraft would be a lot more efficient.

    Second, why do Australians so often get written as pseudo-Cockney? I have never heard anyone talk like Pyro in my life. I realise that many writers haven’t met an Aussie, but they could at least watch an Aussie TV show or movie.

    I suppose it’s a break from the Paul Hogan/Steve Irwin ‘ocker’ stereotype, but that doesn’t mean I like it.

  26. Brent says:

    I really enjoyed this issue, probably because I just missed characters having… you know actual personality. Even if (as Ben said above) all these characters sound like Deadpool, it’s a welcome change of pace. Because Hickman’s characters decidedly do not sound like Deadpool, but they all have the same voice. A lot of the dialogue was wonky for me, but I just assumed all the characters had been into Wolverine’s stash.

    I didn’t think much actually happened here that adds to the mythology surrounding Krakoa. It almost makes me think these books aren’t going to be as tightly woven as we thought. This book takes place on a boat. From what we know, New Mutants are going to space and out into the world to find more mutants. Excalibur reside in the lighthouse (on the island? Maybe?) It sounds like Fallen Angels may revolve around characters who have straight up rejected Krakoa. Leaving X-Force (with a home team and an away team) as the only one taking place at least partially on Krakoa. So is Hickam doing all the true Krakoa stuff and all these other books are just marginally attached to the island? I’m thinking when we do see the other teams on Krakoa, they’ll be sequestered off to their own corner of the island, far from whatever stories Hickman is telling.

    I am excited about this book though going forward though. Pirate X-Men is a great concept, though it blows my mind that Nightcrawler isn’t on this team. But I dug this book despite any and all shortcomings it may have. My fingers are crossed that Duggan gets it together and… gets this ship on course (**groan** **facepalm**). I think it has the potential to be something that stands out from the other DoX books.

    Alo… even though Wolverine’s need for a grocery list made little sense, I was pretty excited to learn that it is now basically official Marvel cannon that Wolverine’s #1 meal of choice is ribs from Rendezvous in Memphis. I can’t confirm if Kitty is being denied access to Krakoa due to being the Neo or not (that’s not the reason) , but I can confirm that Rendezvous’ ribs are the best ribs on earth. When X-Men and BBQ crossover, it’s a good time to be alive.

  27. YLu says:


    “While I can see that some kind of pirate flavour is cool, a VTOL aircraft would be a lot more efficient.”

    I had similar thoughts. Going forward, the issue is going to be how they justify going around on a boat of all things.

    This time, it just about makes sense because there was no pressing need to get Kitty — sorry, Kate — to Krakoa. It’s no different then when an X-Man flies commercial to visit parents or whatever, which I’m sure we’ve seen here and there.

    But when the Marauders are going on critical missions for the mutant cause, what’s going to be the excuse then?

  28. Paul says:

    I think the short answer is that the Marauders aren’t meant to be doing time-critical missions. Kate’s primary role is the drug trade, anything else she does is incidental to that, and if it’s THAT urgent then the X-Men can go and sort it out.

  29. CJ says:

    As a native Memphian, I’m in 100% agreement. Good BBQ keeps Xavier’s dream alive: mutants and humans love it and Wolverine would fit right in (even if eating it reduces my lifespan by 50%).

    I’m a little surprised that there IS an unknown problem with the portal. Given how Kate is on the Quiet Council along with Storm, she’s very important to the Krakoan government. You’d think someone would just ask Cypher what’s going on. But I get that it sets up a mystery to justify the ship.

  30. Paul says:

    I don’t think Kate is on the Quiet Council yet. That comes with the position that she accepts at the end of the issue. But yes, you’d think Cypher would have asked Krakoa, and it’s an obvious gap that we’re not told what Krakoa had to say about it.

  31. origami says:

    Someone needs to remind Kitty that Lockheed snacking on human fingers is not a good look.

    I can’t believe Bobby wears flip-flops when going on missions, hahaha…

    Kitty not able to enter Krakoa suggests that something is rotten in the island of Krakoa, something is not quite right beneath all those shiny happy faces and beautiful fireworks.

    If anyone can figure out what this rotten thing is, it is Kitty.This has to be the work of someone major because logically, only a handful would have the capability to block her – Xavier, Magneto, Moira, possibly Cypher working in tandem with one of them.

    Or it could be Krakoa itself. We know from Krakoa’s first appearance that it feeds on mutant energy. My pet theory is that everyone we see on the island are clones/pod-people. Krakoa is holding all original mutants in a secret cache, happily feeding on them ala The Matrix. I’m probably wrong though.

  32. Adam says:

    @Michael: My assumption has been that the point of a reliance on organic “tech” from Krakoa is to provide a clear alternative to the technology that humans are destined to use to defeat mutants. This has turned into an arms race between the organic and the artificial, to some degree.

  33. SanityOrMadness says:

    Paul> …yes, you’d think Cypher would have asked Krakoa, and it’s an obvious gap that we’re not told what Krakoa had to say about it.

    Like Magik, he’s probably already in space with the New Mutants by the time Kitty breaks her nose.

    Why they would let him go (or even send him) when he’s so important to communication between Krakoa itself and the mutants is a separate question.

  34. Adam Farrar says:

    I’m expecting the big boat that Emma was building will have a Krakoa portal. Even if Kitty can’t go through it, others could. Both her crew and the mutants they’re rescuing.

  35. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    Honestly, I think we’re dealing with Rules. Why are they on a boat? Rule of Cool, pirates are cool. And while Kate being unable to go through gates is a legitimate mystery, everybody ignoring her and nobody talking to Krakoa to explain the matter in 5 minutes is subject to Rule of Comedy. This is obviously subjective to the reader, but for me – yeah, it’s funny that Kate is ignored in that way.

    Does it make sense? Not quite. Is it cool and funny? So far, for me at least, yes.

    I also don’t take issue with Kate being more violent in fight scenes – Wolverine was her teacher, after all. And although Duggan might be going for a ‘she’s not Kitty anymore, she’s Kate, she’s finally grown up and that means she’s more brutal’ …approach, which doesn’t quite work for me long-term, it does work as her being fed up with the world and her current situation and taking it out on hapless enemies.

    Though it would have helped if Duggan set up the Russian mutants’ situation beforehand instead of having them appear after the fight as a, well, post-factum excuse for the fight.

  36. Luis Olavo says:

    On second thought, the set-up has some interesting nuance that goes largely hidden in plain sight in the first issue.

    Kate’s mission is indeed merchant and/or political in nature. That she takes advantage of it to rustle some feathers and rescue some mutants is entirely secondary, despite the storytelling emphasis.

    Why do I feel so certain? Because it does not make logical sense to rely on a naval vessel – and not a particularly speedy one at first glance – to travel from the USA to Krakoa to Russia if she does not have other goals and destinations off-panel.

    We are talking distances of about eight thousand kilometers. It stretches credibility that Kate would not at least attempt to find faster travel means otherwise, and come on. What are the odds that this ship is the fastest that she could find? Particularly with Emma backing her up and Storm being a crewmember?

    I suspect even that Krakoa has been specifically asked to deny Kate the use of the portals to give a cover story for this endeavour.

  37. Chris V says:

    What we’ve seen, it wouldn’t be out of place in a pre-Krakoa X-Men story.
    Kitty mentioned something about how the “X-Men probably wouldn’t really want to be associated with what they are doing.”

    The idea that some mutants take a boat and try to rescue other persecuted mutants, this isn’t really what you’d expect from the new status quo of Krakoa.

    Yes, surely the people of Krakoa could have access to something better than an old, dilapidated boat.
    This would seem to go more with a pre-Krakoa story.

    However, there is the issue of technology.
    The mutants on Krakoa seem to scorn using much in the way to technology, except Cerebro.
    Things are made biologically on Krakoa, or rely on mutants’ powers, instead of technology.
    Maybe the boat plays in to this theme.

  38. SanityOrMadness says:

    The boat in this issue is just a boat Kitty stole in California. The “real” ship is the one we see behind Frost on that splash page.

  39. Brendan says:


    I’m an Australian and I have never met/heard anyone who speaks the way Pyro does. But that extends to a lot of Australians in fiction.

    Well off X-topic, but the Australian accents in the TV show ‘The Good Place’ are just awful.

  40. Luis Dantas says:

    I do not know the parameters of Pixie’s powers, but I assume that between her, Illyanna (who probably can return to Krakoa fairly often) and Forge there must be ways and means to travel to and from Krakoa.

  41. Thom H. says:

    I like the premise, but not enough to keep buying this book on a monthly basis.

    Loved Bobby’s characterization, though. Flippant and gay, but with the emphasis on “flippant.” I thought that — and the flip-flops — were just right.

    I agree it was weird to see him ice up like that. Especially with all the emphasis on Omega-level mutants, you’d think they would have gotten that part right.

  42. Joe says:

    I’m Aussie too, which is why it stuck out so badly. I understand that absolutely no actors can pull the accent off, but that’s no excuse for the terrible dialogue on the page.

  43. Jonny K says:

    Was I the only one who thought it was interesting that at the start a point was made that [Emma thinks that] everyone admires that Kitty’s “never given anyone an extra shot in the ribs because [she] thinks they deserve it”, but the ending has her kicking someone when he’s down saying “here’s one for fun”?

    Showing she’s growing, showing Emma doesn’t know her, showing the X-Men doesn’t show her, or is this more “things are wrong” hinting?

  44. Luis Dantas says:

    I sure hope that a Kate with a taste for inflicting permanent cripplings that she never needed to give is meant for the “things that are wrong” file. Not that I am all that attached to the character. I just don’t like to read sadist-centered stories.

  45. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    I mean… Wolverine has definitely killed and maimed a lot more people than he, strictly speaking, ‘needed to’. Superheroes are generally quite violent people.

  46. Jeremy says:

    Or a Patreon to make it worthwhile for Paul to take the time to keep up with detailed annotations?

  47. Chev says:

    Page 8. Probably reading too much into this… The face that kitty makes when annoyed by the little kid. Art choice or a classic X-Men possession? Krakoa keeping her out because someone/something is trying to get in with her?

  48. Nu-D says:

    Art choice or a classic X-Men possession? Krakoa keeping her out because someone/something is trying to get in with her?

    I’m calling it now: Malice.

    She was the first Marauder. She has a sadistic streak. She possesses people.

  49. Col_Fury says:

    Ohh… Malice. That would be great. 🙂

    I like the tone of the book. But why a boat instead of a plane? (well, as said earlier, because boats/pirates are cool I guess)

    Are we really going to have to wait six months to see if Kitty is the Red Queen? I know it’s hinted at this issue, but c’mon.

    Ruthless Kitty… oh, boy. I hope it’s Malice. Otherwise, wtf?

    Again, though, I like the tone in comparison/contrast to HOX/POX & X-Men v5 #1 so far.

  50. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    I’m going with art choice instead of possession. The dialogue’s not nearly intimidating enough for possession.

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