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Aug 13

Marauders #11 annotations

Posted on Thursday, August 13, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

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

“To Live and Die on Krakoa”
by Gerry Duggan & Stefano Caselli

PAGE 1 / COVER. Kate’s funeral. Storm and Emma (with Lockheed) send her body out to sea. This doesn’t exactly reflect the scene in the issue, since Lockheed isn’t at the funeral (he doesn’t show up until later) and Emma doesn’t wear white in the story (but she’s more recognisable this way).

The issue has a “Path to X of Swords” logo in the top right, though nothing about the story is obviously linked to the crossover, as opposed to storylines that were already in progress.

PAGE 2. Nightcrawler writes another letter to Kate.

We saw another one of these letters in issue #10. In that issue, it was an email. This one seems to be hand-written.

The White Bishop is Christian Frost, and he and Bobby were clearly moving towards a relationship.

“Young Cable is dating the Cuckoos!” In Cable #2.

“A tiki bar has opened on the island!” As seen in X-Force.

PAGE 3. Kate in her coffin.

She has coins on her eyes, traditionally a symbolic payment to Charon to ferry the deceased into the afterlife. Considering that it’s been four issues since she drowned, she’s looking remarkably intact. Krakoa must have access to excellent, if under-employed, funerary services.

PAGES 4-5. Recap and credits.

PAGES 6-8. Kate’s funeral.

Apparently this is the first funeral of any sort on Krakoa, so presumably if anyone else dies on Krakoa, the body is simply disposed of without ceremony. It’s the flaming Viking longboat format, on the logic that they refuse to have her as the only person buried on Krakoa. Her coffin is hovering, so presumably that’s Rachel holding it up. The attendees who are recognisable at the funeral are:

  • Magik, her one-time roommate.
  • Prestige, her former teammate in the X-Men and Excalibur.
  • Gentle, who’s still only been used in cameos in the Krakoan era, and is basically a random crowd-filler so far as his relationship to Kitty is concerned.
  • Shark-Girl, who’s in the same boat.
  • Cyclops
  • The green boy with the fin on his head is Fish, a Brazilian mutant who was rescued by the Marauders in issue #4.
  • Magneto
  • Professor X
  • Shinobi Shaw
  • Sebastian Shaw
  • Jumbo Carnation
  • The Banshee, who never actually served on a team alongside Kitty, but it’s not like he has anything else to do.
  • I’m not sure who the guy with the glasses and the scar on his head is meant to be. It looks a bit like Agent X, but he’s not a mutant (and the scars aren’t quite right).
  • Domino from X-Force.
  • Storm, Kate’s longtime mother figure.
  • Emma Frost. Note that Emma uncharacteristically wears black for this event, and she’s the only person who seems to have turned out in mourning clothes. Everyone else is in their standard uniforms or casual wear (aside from Shinobi, who seems to have deliberately worn white). The only other people to wear something formal are the Hellfire Club members and Jumbo Carnation, and they dress like that all the time. Emma seems to be particularly keen to show respect.
  • Christian Frost, with his hand on Iceman’s shoulder.
  • Iceman, whose reaction to that is difficult to read.

PAGES 9-11. Lockheed returns to reveal the truth about Kate’s death.

Apparently, Emma can read Lockheed’s mind. When Lockheed debuted in Uncanny X-Men vol 1 #168, Professor X claimed that Lockheed was “completely impervious to my telepathic probes”. But we’ve also been told that his race have some sort of psychic powers (see the abominable Excalibur vol 1 #40, if you must), so presumably he can allow scans when he chooses – and all Emma gets from this is an image of what Lockheed saw, rather than a clear read on what Lockheed was thinking.

PAGE 12. Data page. Professor X’s remarks at the funeral (with a misplaced apostrophe in the title).

“Our entire world would have been destroyed if Katherine and her gift were not in the right place at the right time.” In Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1, where Kitty phased a giant space bullet all the way through the Earth.

“We lost her for a time after that, but we found her.” Kitty was trapped in the bullet as it shot off into space. It was all a bit silly. She was retrieved by Magneto, without much build-up, in Uncanny X-Men vol 1 #521-522. (Basically, they didn’t really have any ideas for how to end the storyline, so they just got rid of it and moved on.)

PAGES 13-14. Emma takes Lockheed to the Healer, then persuades Professor X to have one last try at resurrecting Kitty.

PAGES 15-18. Storm speaks to Delores Ramirez.

The Stepford Cuckoos presumably make everyone else get off the train, which doesn’t seem like the subtlest way of doing it, but hey, it’s cool.

Delores Ramirez is the author of the various X-Desk memos that we’ve seen throughout this series. She was named in Wolverine #3, but this is the first time we’ve seen her on panel. She’s mentioned her mother benefitting from Krakoan drugs before.

“The warning about the poisoned Krakoan medicines” was sent from a burner phone in issue #7, too late for Kate to receive it. This is the first confirmation that the X-Men got it anyway, and thwarted Homines Verendi’s plan.

Farragut West station apparently serves a business district, so presumably Delores is on her way to work.

PAGES 19-24. Emma realises how to complete Kate’s resurrection.

Basically, Emma’s insight is that instead of Kate breaking out of the egg like most people, she needs to be helped to phase through it. It’s more of a thematic resolution than anything else, since it doesn’t really explain what this has to do with her inability to use the gates – though we’re obviously meant to take notice of the fact that Emma is the one who has the insight into Kate that solves the problem. It’s worth remembering that the build to Kate’s return was never meant to be quite this protracted – she died at the end of January, and this issue was originally planned for May.

Resurrected Kate has naturally lost her tattoos, but she seems to have them restored in the next-issue trailer art.

“Eighteen times.” There’s no obvious plot significance to this. It may simply be a reference to the association of 18 with life in Jewish numerology – apparently, there’s a custom of giving gifts in multiples of 18 to symbolise long life.

“The last thing I remember is you kissing me at the Red Keep.” That was on page 13 of issue #5, immediately after they discussed their fears about resurrection. This means Kate has no memory of fighting Homines Verendi in the rest of issues #5 and #6.

Why that would be the last thing Kate remembers is unclear. Logically, Kate’s memories ought to extend to the last time they were backed up, unless somebody’s taken a conscious decision to leave them out – which nobody seems to ask for. But the thematic angle in terms of the importance of her relationship with Emma is so blindingly obvious that we can just chalk it up to plot convenience for now.

PAGE 25. Data page. Another memo from the X-Desk, though whoever Delores is writing to, it must be someone she’s on very familiar terms with. (She kept her cool pretty well in Storm’s presence, so we can take it that she’s not just starstruck.)

Delores picks up on the fact that Storm is being strangely underused as a face of Krakoa, not least given her international profile – and suspects that Storm is getting frustrated about that. Storm has indeed been curiously underused in the Krakoan era, relegated to a supporting character in a B-title, and this is an interesting suggestion that there may be a longer-term reason for that.

“Damn, I should’ve asked about that party.” The Hellfire Gala. Delores noticed the preparations for it in her memo in issue #9.

PAGES 26-27. Trailers and credits. The Krakoan reads NEXT: REBIRTH.

Bring on the comments

  1. Paul F says:

    I missed this book. Glad it’s back.

    Are you going to cover the FCBD issue now that it’s on Comixology?

  2. Bryan F says:

    Farragut West serves a government / business (but I repeat myself) area of Washington, D.C. (I used the Farragut West stop when I worked at the World Bank, near the Executive Office Building and the White House.) For someone who lives in the northern or western parts of northern Virginia or the eastern Maryland suburbs, it’s one of the most obvious ways into the city; if Dolores wasn’t getting off at the station, she could be going almost anywhere in the D.C. area.

  3. Allan M says:

    I’m thinking that Storm’s going to be leaving this book. Her whole reason for joining the Marauders was to protect Kate since she couldn’t be resurrected. That problem’s been solved, so Storm has no burning reason to stay, especially given her antipathy for Emma. Iceman joined for the same reason, but he has no immediately obvious other priorities (he’s just hanging out on the beach when he joins the team), and his relationship with Christian, so I expect he’ll stick around. Storm’s a major leader who has a lot she could be doing with her time, and there’s the Hickman plotline looming over her. Plus, Kate needs to pick a Red Knight, so that’s an easy opportunity to bring in someone new.

    Also, the Krakoan obscures them, but per the next-issue image, it looks like Kate’s didn’t restore her old tattoo but replaced them. Last time it was HOLD FAST. This time, it’s KILL SHA, with the fourth letter cut off but it’s obviously W, for KILL SHAW.

  4. Chris V says:

    Storm does have another story-line going with Giant Size X-Men.
    Of course, that could be wrapped up with the next issue.
    I have seen some people speculate, based on Swords of X previews, that Storm’s plot won’t be resolved in her Giant Size comic.
    If those guesses prove true, Storm would seem to be leaving Marauders regardless of her own feelings.

  5. The Other Michael says:

    Notably, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, perhaps the premiere think tank in the U.S., is near Farragut West as well. I doubt that’s important, but… *shrug*

    Delores was an interesting character just in terms of design. Very down-to-earth, and I certainly didn’t expect her to use a wheelchair. And… I have to wonder if her reaction to Ororo suggests some sort of attraction beyond simple admiration.

    Kitty’s funeral was somewhat strange–I mean, Jumbo Carnation? Shark Girl? Gentle? I mean at least we had the core X-Men with whom she was closest, along with Illyana, but what about ex-boyfriend Peter Wisdom? The New Mutants, with whom she shared a love-hate-rivalry? Meggan, her former Excalibur teammate (since Kurt and Rachel are there, and Brian is presumably indisposed?)? I mean, if they’re actually assuming she’s really really dead, this should have been a bigger deal.

    The question of what they’ve done with all the -other- mutant corpses since they developed the resurrection protocols is disturbing. Feed them to Krakoa? Turn them into mulch? Burn them? How disturbing would it be for someone to die, be reborn, and find out their old body was chucked into the incinerator?

  6. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    Eh, the X-Men have been around for so many resurrections, a lot of which have included constructing new bodies by various means, including from thin air… I suppose it changes how you think of the relationship with your own body.

    Regarding Storm possibly leaving this book and possibly having a bigger role in the future – I’m not 100% positive where I’m getting this from, but I think I read somewhere that she’s supposed to be important in the Children of the Atom, whenever that book finally kicks off.

  7. Paul Fr says:

    I thought that was Maggot at the funeral (and that was his hair not scars) but also as odd a choice as Agent X.

    I do think that “ Magik, her one-time roommate. Prestige, her former teammate in the X-Men and Excalibur.” undersells the importance of these two women to Kitty a fair bit. You couldn’t have added they were her gal pals?

  8. Evilgus says:

    Another cracking issue. I had almost hoped we got more of a quest type mystery around Kate’s ressurection, but I liked the relatively straightforward wrap up. I feel there’s yet more to happen here though (what’s with the gates?).

    Also on the funeral, Kate is such a central character to the mythos it could be populated with almost all the main X-Characters. In the event it was a bit of a grab bag with featured Marauder characters, and I’m ok with that for what it was.

    I also feel this is leading somewhere big with Storm. Hurrah!!

    I was quite young when I read Excalibur #40, and I was delighted to learn about Lockheed! Now I realise it was kind of a fever dream, but I still have a soft spot for it and the rare character spotlight… I also loved when Ellis revealed Nightcrawler could talk but only did it to wind up Wisdom! Less sold on the Agents if Sword revelation that he was some kind of super sleeper agent. Takes away from Lockheed’s charm – he’s a loyal and intelligent pet, but shouldn’t veer far from gentle comic relief or cuteness, frankly.

  9. Evilgus says:

    “Ellis revealed Nightcrawler could talk but only did it to wind up Wisdom”
    Lockheed, obvs! Kurt has very good English 😉

  10. David Goldfarb says:

    As regards resurrected people losing acquired traits, it occurred to me recently why Cyclops is still wearing glasses and visor. His new body should no more have the neurological damage that prevents him from controlling his optic blasts than Professor X’s new one should have the spinal damage that put him in a wheelchair.

  11. David Goldfarb says:

    Occurred to me recently to wonder, that is. (Doesn’t seem like there’s an edit function for comments here.)

  12. Chris V says:

    Wasn’t it ret-conned that Scott’s problems controlling his optic blasts are actually a mental issue rather than anything actually physical?
    That might not be canon anymore, but it may be the reason why Scott still needs his glasses too.

  13. Allan M says:

    So far as I know, the Whedon retcon that Cyclops’ optic blasts being uncontrollable due to psychosomatic (rather than physical) reasons still stands. Hence when he is resurrected in HoX #5, he has his eyes open with a flicker of red (but no optic blast), but Xavier puts his visor on before restoring his mind. Mindless Scott can control his optic blasts, but loses that control when his mind is restored.

    Unrelated: I took Gentle and Shark Girl’s inclusions as nods to Kate’s tenure as a teacher, a role Duggan’s drawn attention to a few times already. Why those two in particular, I dunno.

  14. Si says:

    So Kate being unable to use the gates and her being unable to be cloned are near-identical but completely unrelated plot points? That’s a strange story choice.

    By the way, I’m pretty sure her tattoos say “kill Shaq”. She’s still angry about the movie Steel.

  15. Dimitri says:

    Regarding Shinobi wearing white, it’s worth noting that, in Asia, white is the appropriate color for mourning. Presuming he grew up in Japan with his mother, this would be the proper attire for him to wear at a funeral.

    Of course, I don’t know if the creative team thought of that when crafting the scene, but there you go.

  16. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    By the way, the repeated drownings of freshly grown Kates is somewhat reminiscent of The Prestige… though I don’t see other connections that would make it more than a coincidence.

  17. neutrino says:

    Does this really make sense? Wouldn’t phasing have made it easier for her to leave her cocoon, and shouldn’t Professor Xavier been able to detect mental activity?

    Someone pointed out that this means 17 previous husks drowned in their cocoons.

    Also, shouldn’t someone have tried digging the husk out when she didn’t break through instead of doing the same thing 17 more times? That’s bordering on grotesque.

    Colossus and Doug Ramsey didn’t attend? How about her actual mother, Theresa?

  18. neutrino says:

    About Cyclops, when people asked why Wolverine would have his adamantium after undergoing rebirth, Hickman said a better question would be why Cyclops and Chamber were still unable to control their powers.

  19. CJ says:

    Colossus and Cypher not being there is a big deal for Kate. And from the latest X-Force, we know he’s farming. Maybe it’s that news didn’t get to him? And Cypher’s doing stuff in the World? But so is Storm…and she’s here.

    Still, I missed this book, and seriously need to check out Duggan’s Deadpool, it seems.

  20. Taibak says:

    Hey, I liked that issue of Excalibur!

    And, yeah, I have to agree there were some odd choices for the funeral. Rachel, Illyana, Colossus, and Doug should all have been there. Pete Wisdom and Meggan would have been nice too.

  21. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    Xavier wouldn’t detect mental activity since – we are told (elsewhere) – the husks have none. It’s not until he uploads them their consciousness that they become people.

    Though, obviously, Kate’s husk behaving differently from the rest means that there is at least something in that husk, a sliver of individuality, some primal instinct, that’s distinctly their own, which… complicates things.

    Probably the answer is ‘repeat to yourself it’s just a comic book, I should really just relax’.

  22. David says:

    I thought that was Agent X at the funeral too! Very odd, since Agent X technically shouldn’t exist anymore. Maybe it’s not him though.

    It’s been interesting to see some storyline and importance building for Kurt through his appearances in Marauders and X-men. I’m definitely waiting for Storm to develop a more important role, and I agree this issue seems to suggest that’s coming.

  23. Dimitri says:

    Agent X shouldn’t exist anymore? Did something happen to him recently?

    As an aside, apparently, the Marvel Database also concluded that was him at the funeral.

  24. Forrest says:

    “dressed like she was going out the meet David Bowie.”

    This made me laugh. When we played “Who should be cast as Storm in the movie” back in the ‘90s, supermodel/actress Iman was the popular choice. She was married to Bowie.

    @Paul: Thanks for all these annotations. Awesome work!

  25. Ben says:

    Dimitri has already pointed out Shinobi wearing white makes symbolic sense. I first learned about this from the issue of Uncanny X-Men where Mariko is about to marry Logan — Claremont discusses the symbolism while describing her wedding clothes. If I remember that, there’s a chance the current X-Team filed away in their memories someplace.

  26. FamtoDoop says:

    I just just discovered the website and I love it! Thank you!

  27. Joseph S. says:

    Good stuff, glad the plot is moving forward. The month long delays certainly haven’t helped the already slow pacing, but it’s a good sign that things are gaining momentum finally.

    “I’m not sure who the guy with the glasses and the scar on his head is meant to be.”

    I also presumed he’s meant to be Maggot.

  28. Joseph S. says:

    Oh, and re: the marginalization of Storm in the Krakoa era, it may have something to do with the delayed simmering plot about her being a robot or whatever? Seems like she may have a role to play in X of Swords, so hopefully after that she’ll have a more prominent status quo. That said, she is on the Council, so it’s not like she’s totally sidelined here.

  29. David says:

    @Dmitri- my mistake, Agent X exists. It’s been so long since I’ve read Agent X, I misremembered the end of the series and thought he ceased to exist in order to restore Deadpool. Guess I forgot his subsequent appearances in Cable/Deadpool as well.

  30. cleaver says:

    Doesn’t Emma’s diamond form prevent her from feeling any emotions? She seems to change into her diamond form in anger on page 11, using the enhanced strength it provides her to blow off some steam by punching a hole through the wall (the opposite effect should take place, calming her instantly).

  31. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    I’d say the ‘no emotion while in diamond form’ bit is filed under ‘not canon unless specifically mentioned otherwise’.

    It was said that this is the case (in… the Fraction run?). But this isn’t the first time we see that is simply not true. Maybe there’s a way to No-Prize this.

  32. David says:

    The thing about Emma not feeling emotion in her diamond form is actually from Morrison’s New X-men, so it’s definitely canon. And it’s been referenced since- the Cuckoos couldn’t feel emotion when they turned their hearts to diamond, for example (cringe, but true). But it’s definitely only regarded as canon by some writers.

  33. neutrino says:

    @Krzysiek Ceran
    There has to be at least some instinct, or no husk would break through. You’d expect Kitty to phase through, or at least fall through automatically.

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