RSS Feed
Mar 4

Marauders #9 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, March 4, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

As always, this post contains spoilers, and page numbers go by the digital edition.

PAGE 1 / COVER. Bishop shoots at Yellowjacket.

PAGES 2-4. Pyro arrives on Krakoa and is immediately besieged by adoring fans.

As we’ll see later, this is a dream created by Emma Frost to keep Pyro’s mind busy and Yellowjacket confused. For what it’s worth, though, note that the other Marauders are entirely absent from Pyro’s dream, even though he’s supposed to be just off the boat. The endless beach party of Krakoa is something we’ve seen in plenty of stories, but here it’s used as a trope of ludicrous fantasy, which is… interesting.

Jean Grey appears as the one-dimensional love interest – presumably this is Emma’s reading of Pyro’s fantasy, since when we see her later, she doesn’t exactly seem in the mood to be making private jokes. Pyro seems remarkably gullible in all this, but presumably that’s Emma’s influence too.

The song lyrics are from “Free Bird” by Lynyrd Skynyrd.

PAGES 5-6. Credits and recap. The story is “Journey to the Center of Pyro”, by Gerry Duggan, Matteo Lolli and Edgar Delgado. The recap page identifies this Yellowjacket as “the size-altering C.E.O. of Cross Technological Enterprises”. As I mentioned before, the last time this armour showed up, it was in the hands of Darren Cross. Technically, however, the CEO of Cross Technological Enterprises is Darren’s son Augustine (who inherited the company after his father’s apparent death), so presumably that’s who’s in the costume here. His behaviour certainly seems to fit Augustine better than Darren.

PAGE 7. Emma works on Pyro’s fantasy.

This is presumably Emma allowing Bishop into her mind to see the process, which he perceives as Emma directing dummies on a stage set. Emma has picked up on the thoughts of the tiny, miniaturised Yellowjacket, who entered Pyro’s bloodstream a couple of issues ago.

Emma is shivering, though it’s not entirely clear why. Presumably it’s just because her physical body has been stuck on the coast next to Pyro for an uncomfortably long period of time, keeping Pyro occupied. (But Krakoa is usually depicted as very warm, so if that’s the idea, this would work better at night.)

PAGES 8-9. Bishop joins Emma in dealing with Pyro.

Bishop’s home is apparently now in the Hellfire Club buildings. There’s an awful lot of guns around, but he also has a bookshelf and what looks to be a collection of vinyl records.

“Some time ago I was in need of … a touch of rhinoplasty.” Emma mentioned in New X-Men vol 1 #120 that she’d had plastic surgery on her nose in the past. Of course, this could be referring to any old fight where she broke her nose (such as New X-Men vol 1 #118).

It’s not exactly clear why Emma doesn’t just attack Yellowjacket directly, despite some handwaving attempts to explain that it’s terribly risky.

PAGES 10-14. Yellowjacket realises that he’s been busted, kills Pyro and Emma, and escapes out to sea.

Don’t worry, it’s all another illusion.

Yellowjacket thinks the mutants are “trying to bankrupt me”, which is a bit weird, because he’s not running a pharmaceutical company. What have Verendi told him?

PAGES 15-16. Data pages – another two pages from the anonymous man on the US government’s X-desk, mostly just recapping the plot and spelling out Verendi’s plan. The main new piece of information surrounds the status of the Madripoorian royal family, but all we really need to know is that they’ve been sidelined in Verendi’s takeover of the state.

Jeff Bannister is a character from Wolverine, and over in that book he is indeed dealing with the problem of narcotics made from Krakoan drugs. The X-desk author is at pains to stress that he doesn’t believe the mutants have anything to do with this (which is correct), and he clearly believes mutant drugs are wonderful things.

Rio Verde, Arizona. The “small mutant enclave” is the Morlocks, as we saw in issue #7.

“”. Jumbo Carnation pitched the Hellfire Gala to Emma Frost in issue #7, who accepted the idea even though “neither of us knows what it is yet”. That domain is registered, but doesn’t seem to be in use – which matches what the memo says, in fact.

PAGES 17-20. Magneto and the Stepford Cuckoos debrief Pyro.

The Stepford Cuckoos haven’t shown up much in this series, beyond a cameo in issue #2 where they seemed to be declining an offer to join the Hellfire Club. As in that story, they refer to Emma as “mum”, which is technically accurate in as much as they’re cloned from her, but more familiar than they’ve been in previous eras. Three of the Cuckoos appear here, of whom Esme and Sophie are named. As in House of X, one is wearing black – the significance of that, if any, remains unexplained.

“The next electro-magnetic pulse.” A counter-measure introduced after Xavier’s assassination in X-Force #1.

PAGES 21-22. Emma and Pyro telepathically terrorist Verendi.

Straightforward enough. Emma runs down the Hellfire kids as pathetic imitators, which of course they are.

PAGE 23. The Five are failing to resurrect Kate.

Or more accurately, they’re failing to resurrect someone – nobody outright says that it’s Kate, but that’s the clear implication. For whatever reason, her new body never seems to be viable.

PAGES 24-25. Lockheed set off from Madripoor.

Accompanied by a narrative from Emma to the effect that she needs Kate to inspire her to rise above her darker instincts.

PAGE 26. Data page. Beast’s report on the implications of Yellowjacket’s infiltration, which is self explanatory. Beast also mentions the Hellfire Gala, which is clearly going to be important. (He doesn’t want to go.)

PAGES 27-28. Reading order and trailers. The Krakoan reads NEXT: HUSH.

Bring on the comments

  1. Col_Fury says:

    They really got me with Pyro’s “death” this issue. Maybe because I’ve been expecting him to die and come back without the facial tattoo. And then Emma got killed and I was like “DAMN!” And then it was all revealed as an illusion and I felt a little silly for falling for it.

    It’s an inventive way to kill Pyro, though. 🙂

  2. MasterMahan says:

    I’m impressed Duggan was able to use the Krakoa resurrection system to fake me out on the second illusion. Normally, I’d assume Emma Frost getting shot in the head isn’t real, but I bought it because there was already an established way to fix it.

    In a universe stuffed with telepathy-blocking tech, The Hellfire kids sent someone to a island filled with mind readers without any. Morons.

    I honestly didn’t know Madripoor still had a royal family. Have any of them actually appeared on page since Prince Baran bit the dust?

  3. SanityOrMadness says:

    The Cuckoo in Black is going to be explained in the upcoming Kid Cable series.

  4. Michael says:

    When Pyro… exploded, I was like “so that’s how we get rid of that awful tattoo.” The new status quo has really desensitized me to mutants being killed off.

    (I -almost- want to apologize to Rosenberg for the grief I directed his way during his run, now. Who knew that we were being set up to accept the casual murders-and-rebirths of literally any mutant?)

    I always thought Madripoor was just run by criminals, I never thought it had a royal family. If you’d told me that the Hellfire Brats… er, Verendi, just bought out Tyger Tyger or someone to control the island, I’d have believed it.

    Y’know, it’s really kind of weird to see Pyro played up as such a ladies’ man in his fantasies, given that he was originally coded as gay, way back in the day. I guess now that we have a second, actual gay Pyro, we need to differentiate between the two. I wonder when the two Pyros will interact.

    I’d LOVE it if someone actually brought up the part where Old Pyro was a romance novelist before he became a mutant terrorist. That was always one of those weird background details I found fascinating and yet never used.

  5. K says:

    Well, this lines up more with the latest Black Cat story where Kade Kilgore seemed to be buying up stuff in Madripoor by himself for no particular reason.

  6. Allan M says:

    Though I am enjoying hedonistic, goofy post-resurrection Pyro, I did like the beat at the end that reminded us that he’s also a ruthless killer who is bummed out that he doesn’t get to burn children for longer.

    Where Kate and Iceman are becoming uncharacteristically brutal as a plot point, Pyro is ultimately playing nice because that’s what’s most advantageous to him now. He’s growing to like the X-Men, especially Storm, but he’s not reformed in any meaningful sense.

    I also really hope his romance novel background gets referenced, and with Duggan, there’s a reasonably good chance that it’ll come up eventually.

  7. Mikey says:

    “I guess now that we have a second, actual gay Pyro, we need to differentiate between the two. I wonder when the two Pyros will interact.”

    I would be shocked if the New Pyro from X-Men Gold is referenced within the next five years.

    ‘Reformed Villain Who Writes Romance Novels’ is a running plot on CW’s Legends of Tomorrow.

  8. Mark Coale says:

    Pyro being exploded from inside reminded me of something I think Black Ant did a couple years ago when working for the Hood.

  9. neutrino says:

    Is there a chance page 23 could be a fake to draw out Kate’s killer?

  10. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    After this issue I’m convinced everything could be a fake out.

    I think Marauders is consistently the most enjoyable book of the line. And so far Duggan is the best at using the existence of the Resurrection Protocols for drama purposes. By which I mean that the fake outs and the Kate plot wouldn’t have worked outside of the current status quo.

    He also writes the best Emma in years.

    And I am surprised by all that because – although he wrote some good comics for Marvel – his team books so far were all over the place. His Uncanny Avengers started out terribly before becoming decent fun. His Guardians of the Galaxy started out as decent fun before petering out in an unnecessary crossover event. Obviously there is still time for Marauders to implode, but so far it’s probably my favourite book of his. That I’ve read. (Obviously).

  11. CJ says:

    I also noted that Bishop had a lava lamp in his quarters. I mean, the guy likes his vintage style. I guess in the 2080s or 2090s or so they must’ve come back in vogue.

    I agree that this is the most consistently good book in the new lineup. It was nice to read this and think “Okay they’re not dead, yawn, oh hey it was an illusion.” Almost Fantomex-like.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the “perpetual party” scene isn’t at least controlled in part by a telepath or ten.

    Typo for @Paul:
    You wrote “PAGES 21-22. Emma and Pyro telepathically terrorist Verendi.” -> terrorize

  12. Matt says:

    I’m going to laugh so hard when it turns out that they can’t resurrect Kate bc she’s a Neo.

  13. PersonofCon says:

    It was only with this issue (and catching up on the annotations) that I realized I had been mixing Yellowjacket up with Black Ant for quite some time.

    In my defense, they have very similar setups as second order distaff versions of the same hero, and the chief difference between them is that one is a human and one is a robot. But that difference wound up being very, very important to this story.

  14. JCG says:

    Why would anyone want to go and dig up the Neo?

  15. Evilgus says:

    On the Neo… Wasn’t there a Sinister Secret that one X-Man wasn’t a mutant?

    Given the predilection for using old plot threads and villains (Children of the Vault, anyone?), The Neo would also fit the bill.

    If Kitty was the last one after Magneto killed the rest (off panel?) there would be a symmetry between her and that Warwolf orphan in Excalibur.

    Anyway, Marauders has been consistently the most enjoyable X-Book. I really like Bishop in this. He’s such a straight down the line guy amongst all the lunacy.

  16. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    Not sure about Sinister Secrets – I don’t remember them all and I don’t have them at hand. But speaking of using old threads – Tom Taylor set up there being a ‘mole’ in the X-Men who’s not really a mutant at all. (In the ‘Hunt for Wolverine: Adamantium Agenda’ miniseries). Apparently he was planning to follow up on that in X-Men Red but the series was cancelled before he could do that.

  17. Matt says:

    I recently punished myself with a reread of Claremont’s 2000 X-Men run, and at least one of the Neo was very convinced that Kate was a Neo, not a mutant. It was never followed up AFAIK.

  18. Ben says:

    Man, I really miss X-Men Red.

  19. alsoMike says:

    Esme is wearing the black Cuckoo costume that she was wearing when she stole Honeybadger’s body in the latest X-23 run. She’s always been the one who wanted to stand out and you know, be evil, so I’m not surprised she kept it when she came back from death (again) and made up with her sisters.

  20. Flinkman says:

    The Cuckoo in black is Esme, as she is the “villainous” one.

    She was wearing it in the last X-23 series while all the others were wearing white, and I assume there’s no great in-story reason she’s still wearing it other than….she was wearing it in her last appearance.

Leave a Reply