RSS Feed
Feb 7

Marauders #7 annotations

Posted on Friday, February 7, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

As always, this post contains spoilers, and page numbers go by the digital edition. And yes, I will be reviewing the first six issues (which make up the first trade) when time allows.

COVER / PAGE 1. Callisto, in her White Bishop outfit, faces off against Bishop and Pyro.

PAGES 2-3. Recap and credits. The story is “From Emma, With Love” by Gerry Duggan, Stefano Caselli and Edgar Delgado. Does it need saying that the reference is to the James Bond story “From Russia, With Love”? Probably not.

PAGE 4. Data page. An unknown person in Washington DC tries to text Kate a warning about Homines Verendi’s plan to sell poisoned Krakoan drugs.

Obviously, the implication is that this is the person on the X-desk whose memos we’ve been seeing throughout the series. He says here that he and Kate met briefly once in Washington, though not in any circumstances that were likely to stick in her mind. House of X #1 had a montage of various X-Men planting Krakoan seeds in various places, and Kitty was indeed shown in Washington DC. Of course, that might just be coincidence, since she’s been to Washington plenty of times before.

PAGES 5-10. Callisto agrees to be Emma’s White Knight, at least for a trial period.

This is presented as a flashback, but since Emma knows that Kitty is heading to Island M, it must be roughly contemporary with the closing pages of the previous issue.

Callisto. Callisto is the former leader of the Morlocks, the mutant outcasts who lived in the tunnels beneath New York. We saw her arrive on Krakoa along with a large group of villains in House of X #5, but this is the first time she’s done anything significant in the Hickman era. Callisto is an unusually low-powered mutant – principally, she has enhanced senses. When we last saw her (prior to her arrival), she was in jail in X-Men: Gold #24, but presumably she was released as part of the amnesty that the Krakoans insisted upon. Emma proposes her as an “ambassador to the mutants who don’t trust this world” (not merely Krakoa), which has basically always been her role.

Jumbo Carnation. The mutant fashion designer has been mentioned before as working with Emma, but this is the first time we’ve really seen him properly. He’s wearing the same clothes he had in his only pre-Hickman appearance, New X-Men #134 (where he lasted two pages before dropping dead from a drug overdose). Emma is presumably referring to him when she says she’s “using my sway to return our most important mutants first”. She may be playing up to her persona, but there are also plausible enough reasons for resurrecting Jumbo; as Magneto pointed out in House of X, this is about nation-building, and if they want to build their own culture, they’re going to need some mutant artists.

“I saw you the season you walked in New York and Paris.” Callisto’s back story has always been obscure, but we’ve been told that she used to be beautiful until she got the scar and lost her right eye. However, Jumbo is probably referring to the period between Uncanny X-Men #264 and #291 where Masque had made her beautiful again, and she was living in the surface world again.

White Knight. Although the Hellfire Club have always had a chess theme, I think this is the first time we’ve actually seen a Knight. Maybe that’s because Marvel already has a very prominent Black Knight character.

PAGES 11-13. The Marauders and Christian Frost arrive at Island M and learn that Kate is missing.

Bobby is still chasing Christian to choose a “proper name”, ie a mutant one. It’s interesting that he keeps pushing this angle in a book that stars both Kate Pryde and Emma Frost, who – like Christian – have titles but not codenames. It reinforces the idea that these characters are slightly on the fringe of Krakoan culture. (Bishop’s codename is just his surname, too.)

Callisto and Storm have a long-standing rivalry stemming from when Storm defeated Callisto to become notional leader of the Morlocks (a post she promptly abandoned, leaving Callisto to do all the work in her absence).

PAGES 14-15. Homines Verendi sell their spy footage of Krakoa to the Russian ambassador.

As before in this series, Kade and the other kids are basically acting like adults.

PAGES 16-19. Bishop goes to Madripoor, beats up Manuel Enduque, and poses as a HV guard to get their boat to set sail.

Security on this HV boat is really, really bad if you can get it to sail just by showing up in a uniform and saying Manuel told you to set sail. Oh well.

Manuel references the Krakoan “kill no man” law – it’s actually “murder no man”, which is subtly different – and Bishop seems surprised that he’s aware of it. Apparently the Krakoans aren’t publicising their legal system very well – though if you only had three laws, would you?

PAGES 20-21. On the golf course, Callisto and Masque discuss Krakoa.

Masque. Masque is a long-established Morlock with the power to alter other people’s faces bodies. Since the mid 80s, he’s most been portrayed as a sadistic maniac – and in particular he’s tortured Callisto – so it’s a little surprising to see them on good terms here, and Masque practising his golf. That said, he still seems a little bitter about the X-Men getting to live in utopia, while the remaining Morlocks have apparently chosen to live here, in Rio Verde, Arizona (“The Morlocks picked this place”, says Callisto, “and the White Queen is picking up the tab”). Even though the Morlocks’ circumstances are vastly improved, they still seem to consider themselves outcasts from the X-Men’s community – despite the fact that, at least officially, nothing is stopping them from coming to Krakoa.

Rio Verde, Arizona. This is a real place. It’s basically a golf-focussed community for people of 55 and over, and had a population of around 1,800 at the last census. It’s not exactly an inconspicuous place for the Morlocks to set up shop, nor is it somewhere they’d expect to be welcome.

“If you don’t like it, you can always go back to the tunnels or schlep back to Chernaya again.” The tunnels are the Morlock tunnels. Chernaya is one of the Marvel Universe’s generic stand-in eastern European states – it has appeared in the X-books before, in the “X-Men Disassembled” arc, where the X-Men dropped off the remaining Morlocks there. Masque wasn’t seen in that story, but clearly the idea is that he was among the Morlocks who lived there for a time.

“You don’t take offence to Kitty calling herself a Marauder?” The original Marauders – Mr Sinister’s henchmen – murdered most of the Morlocks in the 1980s “Mutant Massacre” crossover. (Note also that Masque still calls her Kitty, while Callisto accepts the change to Kate.)

“She blurted the [name] that hurt her bad.” Kitty was badly injured in the Mutant Massacre, leaving her stuck in intangible form for a while. That’s how she was written out of the X-Men and wound up in Excalibur.

PAGE 22. Data page. Another memo from the poor, ignored man on the X-Desk. Basically he’s picked up on the fact that marked bills that were used to buy Krakoan drugs have started circulating in Rio Verde, so the people there must have some connection to Krakoa. (Quite why Emma is giving the Morlocks cash…) It’s also pretty clear that the locals are confused and disconcerted by the Morlocks’ arrival.

PAGES 23-24. The Quiet Council has a deadlocked vote.

We’re not told what they were voting on. Since the Quiet Council has 12 members to start with, Kate’s absence ought to make a deadlock less likely, but for whatever reason, Sinister abstains on this. Emma seems to be covering for Kate’s absence and well aware of Sebastian’s involvement.

PAGE 25. Lockheed is fished out of the sea near Madripoor.

The fishermen “think he’s dead”, which in comics usually means he’s just sleeping.

PAGE 26. Trailer. The Krakoan reads NEXT: DEAD BODY.

Bring on the comments

  1. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    The X-Men dropped off some mutants in Chdrnaya which was supposed to be a safe haven after they helped… Overthrow the government? Or stop a coup? One of the two. Anyway, I think the remaining Morlocks were part of that refugee group, so Masque could have been among them.

  2. Chris V says:

    I think Emma was just giving the Morlocks cash so they can survive outside of Krakoa.
    I’m guessing it’s probably some type of profit sharing, where all mutants get a percentage of any Krakoan profits.
    I think Emma was just delivering the money on behalf of all Krakoa.

    Plus, there was a hint given that the X-Men were giving the Morlocks reparation for allowing them to live in the sewers all those years.

  3. Paul says:

    Ah, you’re right. Masque wasn’t shown in that storyline, but that must be what they had in mind. I’ll get that fixed.

  4. Grizzly Jester says:

    In Emma’s first issue, she attacked Kitty and the X-Men with goons in maroon power armor. They were billed as the Knights of Hellfire on the cover, but I don’t recall if they were called that in the issue.

    I’ve always assumed the masked guards were the Pawns, but I don’t know if they’ve officially been called that.

  5. Joseph S. says:

    Seems pretty clear that the Marauders and Christian Frost are on Island M. The bleed in the exposition from the previous page suggests as much when the setting changes. Calisto was sent to Island M, and everyone is surprised that Kate is not already there. But it’s made explicit when Bishop orders Pyro to sail to Krakoa. He wouldn’t say take the Maurauder to Krakoa if they were on Krakoa already. Which is what excited the HV kids because they’ve been bored by this detour slowing down their plan.

  6. Joseph S. says:

    “She blurted the [name] that hurt her bad.”

    Her injuries sustained during the Mutant Massacre are also directly referenced in X-Men vs the Fantastic Four, as Franklin was show visiting her during her convalescence during the original series. They’ve conveniently sidestepped how she is alive during this series. Either it was taken place in the past or in the near future, but she is notably depicted wearing gloves, so we cannot see her knuckles tats and therefore can’t confirm if we are in the past or if she will be resurrected successfully, presuming she’s died.

  7. Paul says:

    Ah, I think you’re right, they’re meant to be arriving at Island M. I’ll change that. Strange that they didn’t do a clearer establishing shot given how distinctive the place is…

  8. Joseph S. says:

    Strange indeed as I think this is first we’ve seen of Island M since Krakoa transformed it.

  9. Sol says:

    Without spoilers, I will say that if (the new) X-men/FF happened prior to Marauders #6, that seems like a terrible continuity… not mistake, exactly, but it’s certainly looking like the miniseries is going to be the biggest thing that’s ever happened to the Marauders, and it would be really weird if it already happened and they didn’t think to mention it in their comic book.

    (And Kitty’s “death”… prior to the current era, NO ONE would take it seriously if a fairly major long established character was killed without fanfare and no body was ever shown. The current era adds ubiquitous resurrection for mutants. It’s a major triumph if they’ve gotten anyone to think this death might be real/lasting.)

  10. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    Lasting? No, because of industrial resurrection protocols. Real? Well, yeah. I think it might be. And sure, that is a change in superhero storytelling – if it was Spider-Man going under in Amazing Spider-Man #678, story part 3 of 5, nobody would take it seriously.

    Not sure about the long lasting effects of that, though. It’s a change, but whether it’s for better or for worse? Maybe time will tell.

    I actually thought about something else. Storywise, it would make sense for Kate to be drowned and dead (obviously, with a resurrected Kate around the corner, unaware of Sebastian having killed her). It’s just… plot-wise it seems the most interesting way forward, with both parties missing full success (Kate died and doesn’t know her enemy, so she remains in peril; Shaw assumed she wouldn’t be back, so he’s plans remain thwarted).

    However, there is also Lockheed. Who is probably alive, because, well, comic-book drowning, as Paul stated above. Also, alien physiology. But for the murder mystery to remain a mystery, Duggan will have to pretend Lockheed has animal-level intelligence despite ample evidence to the contrary. As in, there are stories where Lockheed speaks. Alien, mostly, and I guess we could pretend he was never speaking English, it was always ‘translated from alien’ even though it wasn’t marked as such at the time, but still. If we take into account all of Lockheed’s appearances, I don’t think there’s a reason he couldn’t just give the plot away… unless Duggan pretends he was only ever a space animal.

  11. Brent says:

    Anyone else notice that the Quiet Council weren’t quite sitting in their correct seats? Mystique, Apocalypse and Storm had all switched places. Probably a mistake, but I would think since the season sitting arrangement was made such a big deal of it would be hard to mess that up.

    Also, speaking of FF/X-Men, it really irked me that Pyro didn’t have his dumb face tattoo. I can’t believe it was just forgotten about by the artist. How can you forget he has a big dumb skull on his face? I haven’t stopped thinking about it since he got it.

  12. Taibak says:

    Lockheed’s drowning raises another question:

    Would the Krakoans resurrect him?

    After all, he’s not a mutant, but if Kate insists….

  13. YLu says:

    @Krzysiek Ceran

    Maybe the near-drowning leaves Lockheed in a coma.

    And canonically, Lockheed can speak English and just chooses not to.


    I don’t think they can resurrect non-mutants. Cerebro, either by choice or scientific limitation, only keeps back-ups of mutant minds.

  14. neutrino says:

    Callisto was supposed to have physical powers rivaling Wolverine’s and also supposed to be depowered after M-Day.

  15. MasterMahan says:

    This has got to be an interesting situation for Callisto. She was the original mutant separatist, but during the M-Pox era, started a New Morlock group with both mutants and humans. She even declared she was fulfilling Xavier’s dream better than the X-Men.

    Now Xavier is a separatist and Callisto is speaking up for the existence of decent humans.

    THOUGHTS: Not sure that knife is going to protect Jumbo from another sentient bacteria overdose.

    Callisto isn’t living on Krakoa and is one of the few characters so far to speak out against mutant superiority. Interesting.

    Few places are less welcoming to outsiders than an Arizona retirement community.

  16. Karl_H says:

    I love Pyro’s dumb face tattoo almost as much as I love Blob’s new mustache. Which begs the question: Is there anything that can be done with Avalanche?

  17. PersonofCon says:

    @Karl_H Perhaps a monocle, a man-bun, and/or a fedora. (As elements all belonging in the “ill-advised men’s grooming &fashion” category.)

Leave a Reply