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May 8

Marauders #20 annotations

Posted on Saturday, May 8, 2021 by Paul in Annotations

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

by Gerry Duggan, Stefano Caselli, Edgar Delgado & Chris Sotomayor

COVER / PAGE 1: Storm on a beach, reflecting on her days with a more traditional X-Men. The version of Shadowcat’s costume, with the studded gloves, places this image just before the Mutant Massacre (i.e. just as things started getting really dark) – specifically, the reference seems to be the splash page of Uncanny X-Men #208.

PAGE 2: Data page. Emma gives Kate a brooch. The silver bullet in the brooch refers to the Joss Whedon storyline from Astonishing X-Men where Kitty phased an entire giant bullet through the Earth, and then got stuck in the thing for a while.

An E-grade diamond is the second highest grade of diamond (in terms of how colourless it is). The scale starts at D and runs down to Z, apparently to avoid confusion with previous “A/B/C/” grading systems. The difference between D and E is pretty much invisible to the naked eye.

If Proteus has been involved in the diamond’s cut, then presumably this is impossible without the help of a reality-warper.

PAGE 3: Recap and credits. The title, “Windriders”, obviously refers both to Storm’s traditional nickname from the Claremont days, but also to the fact that the whole team spend this issue aboard a sailboat.

PAGES 4-5. The Marauders begin dinner.

The Mercury is the shape-changing ship used by Christian Frost, which apparently is being a traditional galleon tonight for the hell of it. One obvious unspoken question in this issue is why they’ve chosen to bob about in the water, and why Storm doesn’t just calm the weather down – particularly as Emma’s clearly struggling a bit with it, and you’d think one of those wine bottles would get knocked over. Presumably a dinner in tribute to Storm calls for a Storm-based environment.

Present around the table (clockwise) are Storm, Kate Pryde, Christian Frost, Iceman, Callisto, Shinobi Shaw, Bishop, Emma Frost and Pyro – the only one whose costume really seems a bit out of place here. Kate is the only one not clearly wearing her established costume, but she’s just not wearing her jacket.

Storm is evidently leaving the team, and will be denying any association with the basically-illegal activities of the Marauders at the Hellfire Gala the next day.

Markers. Pyro evidently lost a bet to Storm about who would last longer on the team. We’ve seen markers mentioned in Duggan’s stories before – apparently they get given out to winners in the Silver Samurai’s sparring sessions, as shown in Cable #1 – but I think this is the first time we’ve actually seen one. Evidently it’s a physical token of owing someone a favour, marked with the giver’s symbol.

PAGES 6-8. Storm rescues Lash from an Indian shipbreaking yard.

Lash is a new character.

The Indian shipbreaking yard is probably meant to be one of the yards in Alang-Sosiya in Gujarat, which collectively comprise the world’s largest shipbreaking site. They have been widely criticised for working conditions in the past.

PAGES 9-11. Bishop’s story.

They are indeed letting Lockheed steer, as we see later on. Well, there are plenty of stories saying that he’s got full human-level intelligence.

They’re drinking Port Genosha whisky, which we’ve seen in earlier issues. It’s a 25-year whisky matured overnight thanks to Tempo’s time-warping powers. As drawn, that looks more like a wine bottle than a whisky bottle to me, but okay.

Storm’s reputation is such that Bishop can bluff the Angolan military simply by taking advantage of bad weather.

And apparently Angola is a hostile state to Krakoa, which I think is new, but unlikely to come up again.

PAGES 12-14. Iceman’s story.

Callisto apparently thinks she understands Storm (in terms of her knife enthusiasm level) better than her teammates. Read in isolation, this scene might imply that Callisto actually just knows how many knives there are, but she refuses to guess later on, so presumably not.

Iceman’s story takes place “After the battle of Madripoor, when we were separated from Kate.” He’s referring to the fight in issue #6, after which Kate was killed by Sebastian Shaw (and didn’t get resurrected for several issues). The Hate-Monger was one of the villains in that story. Iceman’s account of Storm’s diplomatic persuasion bears absolutely no resemblance to the street fight shown in the art, where she apparently intimidates the Hate-Monger into throwing away his hood – it’s not entirely clear whether everyone listening to this story knows that he’s being ironic.

I don’t think we’ve ever clearly established who this version of the Hate-Monger is – his face isn’t shown clearly. The most recent, before Marauders, was Josh Glenn, a racist schlub radicalised by online conspiracy theories, and subsequently possessed by the consciousness of the original Hate-Monger (who in turn was supposed to be a clone of Adolf Hitler). He was introduced as a Black Panther villain in 2011. Given that backstory, I suppose it’s possible that this is Glenn, and that Storm’s beating snaps him out of his possession. Or more likely he’s just meant to be utterly dispirited by encountering her.

Obviously, the hood which Hate-Monger discards is blatantly intended to evoke the KKK.

PAGES 15-16. Callisto skips giving a story.

Callisto simply points us to the events of issue #17, where Storm partnered her in the Crucible so that Callisto could get her powers back.

PAGES 16-18. Emma’s story.

Emma seems to be obscurely alluding to Uncanny X-Men #151-152, where she swapped minds with Storm for two issues back in her villain days – but the scene shown in the art bears no resemblance to that. I’m honestly not sure what the art is referencing, if it’s anything in particular. Emma didn’t start tacking towards being a hero until the 1990s, long after Storm had moved on from this costume.

PAGE 19. Kate’s story.

Storm sorts out Kitty’s broken nose after she walked into a portal (and couldn’t get through) in issue #1.

PAGES 20-21. Storm reveals her knives.

There are eight of them. Of the guesses we saw, Bishop wins the bet.

Obviously, what we’re going for here is that she’s a fighter beneath the surface.

PAGES 22-23. Emma and Shaw.

Clearly either Shaw wasn’t invited to the meal or he chose not to go. More likely the former.

Lourdes Chantel is an obscure character from Classic X-Men #7’s backup strip (which took place at the Hellfire Club’s “annual gala”, linking it to the upcoming Hellfire Gala event). Chantel was Shaw’s girlfriend, a mutant teleporter, and generally tried to steer Shaw away from dealing with anti-mutant types like Project Wideawake. Since she was shown specifically praising the X-Men, she seems to have been a more general voice of conscience for Shaw (albeit a wholly ineffective one), and not merely concerned about her self interest as a mutant. Lourdes died saving Shaw from a Sentinel, and her death was supposed to motivate him to a more mutant-supremacist position. Obviously, her resurrection has the potential to impact on that motivation.

Emma claims that Chantel cannot be resurrected because “the Sentinels snatched her before Cerebro came online.” That’s curious – I’m sure we’ve seen characters like the Changeling shown in crowd scenes, who died in the Silver Age. Lourdes died in her only appearance (Classic X-Men #7), which expressly takes place after X-Men #96. So if what Emma says here is correct, Cerebro didn’t come online until some point in the Claremont era, and it ought not to be possible to resurrect characters who died before that point.

The mention of Lourdes seems to make Emma treat Shaw somewhat more sympathetically than usual.

The Hellfire Expedition proposal is new, I think. No doubt we’ll hear more about it soon.

The Sentinel-head building on the horizon is the venue for the Gala, as first seen in Giant-Size X-Men: Magneto #1.

PAGE 24. Data page, which speaks for itself.

PAGE 25. Trailers. The Krakoan reads (as if you couldn’t guess) NEXT: HELLFIRE GALA.



Bring on the comments

  1. Drew says:

    If memory serves, Changeling’s ghost fought Excalibur in “Excalibur: The Possession.” Even though it was apparently destroyed at the end of that story (and Alan Davis later struck large parts of the story from continuity), I guess one could always No-Prize that his spirit still existing as of 1991 was enough for Cerebro to make a copy of his mutant ghost mind?

    That, or Professor X got enough of his personality when they pulled their whole impersonation thing to be able to recreate him. Seems dubious, but hell, what ISN’T about this whole business?

  2. Paul says:

    One further thought. This issue doesn’t really work, because it’s a grand farewell to a character who never really did a great deal in this book. In terms of Marauders itself, it feels kind of unearned.

  3. SanityOrMadness says:

    Isn’t the standing explanation for characters who come back despite dying in the Silver Age that they got picked up during something like Necrosha or Chaos War?

  4. Leirus says:

    This would have been better spliced and shown during the run. Now It feels a bit “No, yeah, Storm was here the whole time!”.

  5. Michael says:

    @Drew- the problem is it’s not JUST Changeling. We’ve also seen Petra, who died circa Giant Size X-Men 1.

  6. Evilgus says:

    I think the Necrosha/Chaos War explanation has come from X-Editor Jordan White on Twitter, rather than an in-universe explanation. Which is a bit lazy.

    I agree this feels unearned. Mostly 20 issues and I’m still not sure what Storm has actively done, and I don’t have faith she’ll do anything next. So much of her arc relies on post glories rather than forward trajectories. And the stories simply underscored how little connection Storm really has with Iceman, Pyro and even Bishop (or them with each other). These characters really need some focus, and fast.

  7. MasterMahan says:

    Hmmm. Perhaps you could No-Prize it as Xavier making test copies of his allies (Changeling, Petra, Sway) before the worldwide version went online? Unless some obscure villain who died in the Silver Age has shown up in a crowd scene.

  8. NS says:

    As obscure as it may be, I thought Emma might have been referencing to her fight with Storm in X-Treme X-Men 21 while the art references Uncanny X-Men #151-152.

  9. David says:

    It’s been suggested that Storm has a new role coming up, but what the fuck is it already? I assume we’ll find out at the gala.

  10. neutrino says:

    @MasterMahan One thing to consider: Xavier could only copy minds on a mass scale when he got access to Shiar logic diamonds.

  11. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    Catching up on my comics.

    This was a nice little issue totally unsupported by anything that’s happened in this book so far.

    This Storm seems awesome, it’s a shame we haven’t seen her.

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