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Jan 12

Marauders #27 annotations

Posted on Wednesday, January 12, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

“Bon Voyage”
by Gerry Duggan, Matteo Lolli, Phil Noto & Rain Beredo

This is the final issue of Marauders vol 1; a new series with a different creative team launches in the spring. It’s the season finale, then.

PAGE 1. The cast pose on the cover. It’s a homage to the cover of issue #1. The inclusion among the cast of Tempo is interesting, since her only major appearance was in issue #23. Apparently she’s in the new volume, but her appearance on this cover has a distinct whiff of “plans changed”.

PAGES 2-4. Kate Pryde talks to Forge.

“You didn’t forget about my little problem, did you?” Kate’s inability to use the Krakoan gates was a major plot point in early issues, contributing to her depression, but it’s been largely downplayed since her resurrection. Kate is nodding to the fact that the plot has fallen by the wayside, as well as reintroducing it so as to set up the epilogue.

Forge’s “mission for the Quiet Council” doesn’t seem to be anything in particular.

“[Y]ou’ve disrupted every technology you’ve encountered…” Kate disrupts any electrical systems that she phases through. That’s been the case since day one.

PAGE 5. Recap and credits.

PAGES 6-7. Emma Frost’s flashback montage.

Very loosely, Emma is recapping the plot for Lourdes’ benefit.

  • Page 6 panels 1-2 are Professor X and Magneto recruiting Emma for the Krakoan project in Powers of X #5, page 14. Emma refers to them coming to her with “a story”, which presumably alludes to the fact that she learned more of the truth in Inferno.
  • Page 6 panel 3 shows Emma recruiting Kate Pryde in issue #1 (the plaster is because she broke her nose trying to use a Krakoan door). Her caption refers to this as one of the many tasks of building a nation, i.e. staffing Hellfire Trading. The actual handshake seems to be original.
  • Page 6 panel 4 shows the resurrection of some of the Stepford Cuckoos. I suspect this is meant to be the resurrection of the two long-dead Cuckoos as the first Krakoan resurrection, as shown in flashback in Inferno #3 – but if so, there ought to be two resurrectees, not three. Also, it ought to come before the previous panel.
  • Page 7 panel 1 shows Emma going for a walk on Mykines after the Hellfire Gala – the caption seems to be suggesting that Emma is bored of being single, which is rather tenuously related to the art.
  • Page 7 panel 2 shows the Moira MacTaggert Memorial Hospital in Madripoor, and the statue of Moira in front of it. The Marauders opened it in issue #18 (slightly before the Hellfire Gala, in issue #21). At the time, I wondered whether Emma’s provocative use of Moira’s name was intended to suggest that she knew something about Moira’s secret involvement with Krakoa, but Inferno rules that out.
  • Page 7 panels 3-4 simply show Emma working on the Quiet Council. The empty seat next to Magneto in panel 3 is the one that Destiny took in Inferno #2. Panel 4 shows Mr Sinister, and we saw Emma plotting to keep him under control over in Hellions. The caption refers to “men I do not trust”, plural – presumably, she also doesn’t trust Shaw for obvious reasons, and she doesn’t trust Professor X or Magneto after Inferno (if she ever trusted them before). The other three men on the Council are Colossus, Nightcrawler and Exodus – since telepaths apparently can’t detect Chronicler’s influence on Colossus, it’s likely that she does trust their honesty, though maybe not their judgment (particularly in Exodus’s case).

PAGES 8-9. Emma asks Lourdes to become the new White Queen.

Issue #22 recounted how Emma Frost helped Lourdes to fake her death at the hands of Sentinels, escape her abusive relationship with Sebastian Shaw, and start a new life with a favour from Wilson Fisk.. She returned to Krakoa last issue (or at least, we saw her at the gate).

“Krakoa was your dream, Lourdes. You tried to tell us years ago what we could accomplish together.” In issue #22, while recounting Lourdes’ story, Emma says: “Lourdes believed in mutantdom before you or me, Sebastian. She tried to warn us about the humans we were cozying up to. They were using our money and influence and our talents while building up an army of robots to murder us.” She also suggested that Lourdes had been pushing for mutants to take over the Hellfire Club. There’s  some basis for this in her debut story in Classic X-Men #7 – she warns about the anti-mutant sentiment of the previous White King, but also makes a passing comment suggesting she’s in favour of the X-Men. If you squint a bit, you could see that as her lobbying for a pan-mutant alliance.

“I wanted no part of mutantdom while you were fighting each other and the Sentinels…” In issue #22, her main motivation seems to be to get away from Shaw. But clearly, she’s kept away from mutant politics for a long, long time in the interim.

The art seems to show Lourdes working her way up the banking ladder from being a teller, which seems a pretty unlikely place for her to start, but okay.

“Then I heard the call…” This is Professor X’s telepathic announcement to the world, unveiling Krakoa, from House of X #1.

PAGES 10-16. The Marauders scam Verendi out of billions of … some cryptocurrency or other.

Bishop and Pyro pose as arms dealers Mister Nobody and Mister Blade to sell some dodgy S.H.I.E.L.D. tech to Homines Verendi at an extortionate price. The action Nobody and Blade show up later on, so it’s not obvious why Pyro has written them a back story – maybe they just don’t know the actual history. I guess their outfits are supposed to evoke Miami Vice.

The two HV representatives here are Kade Kilgore and Manuel Enduque, accompanies by a bunch of their Reavers cyborg soldiers.

S.H.I.E.L.D. was dissolved at the end of Secret Empire.

The French Laundry is a three-Michelin star restaurant in California.

Basically, this is the Marauders getting in one last caper before the book ends.

PAGE 17. Data page. This is a call back to Delores Ramirez’s internal memos, which were a regular feature of the early issues of the series (the character has since largely shifted over to Wolverine). Consistent with her portrayal in Marauders, she’s generally sympathetic to the mutants and downplaying the colonisation of Mars as a “de-escalation” (presumably on the view that it got rid of the Arakkans). The orchid is presumably a gift to her from someone at Krakoa.

Feilong’s Martin outpost is the moon of Phobos, which he seized in X-Men #6.

PAGES 18-21. Wilhelmina Kensington escapes Madripoor.

We last saw Wilhelmina in issue #23, when she quit Homines Verendi. Kade claimed in that issue that she had “too much money tied up in Verendi”, which is presumably tied somehow to his clearing out her bank account. She had changed her outfit in that issue to something a bit more practical than her usual party dress, but the artist here hasn’t got the memo. Apparently Wilhelmina has been wandering around the back streets of Lowtown Madripoor for four issues?

“Your friends in white” and “Those little weird cherubs” are the Stepford Cuckoos, who were working with Wilhelmina in issues #21-23.

The Moira MacTaggert Memorial Hospital is presumably “soon to be renamed” because of the revelations in Inferno, though you’d have thought it made more sense not to act on that publicly. The make-up of the Quiet Council on page 31 suggests we haven’t reached Inferno yet, but presumably we will… soon.

Masque alters Wilhelmina’s face (apparently leaving her beautiful, but we don’t see the result).

“I pushed her out a window.” We’ve heard this before, but I think this is the first time Wilhelmina has confirmed it directly.

PAGES 22-23. Shaw gives up his seat to Lourdes.

Shaw seems genuinely apologetic, consistent with his more sympathetic portrayal in recent issues. For reasons which we’ll presumably get to, either here or in Immortal X-Men, Shaw decides to give her his seat in Hellfire Trading and focus on the Quiet Council. But… wasn’t the whole point of putting Emma, Kate and Shaw on the Quiet Council that they would represent Hellfire…?

PAGES 24-25. Christian Frost drops by to leave the book.

At this point we’re really getting into a parade of characters leaving, and in most cases it feels less like their stories ended and more like the studio couldn’t agree on a salary increase with the actor. Anyway, Christian and Iceman are both leaving the cast.

“You help terraform a planet…” Planet-Size X-Men #1.

“And then come home to beat up a dragon…” Last issue.

PAGES 26-27. Iceman fights Frost Giants.

We’re back to Iceman testing the upper limit of his powers, as he was doing last issue. The invasion of Earth which Iceman claims to be avenging (more as a pretext than anything else) is presumably War of the Realms.

PAGE 28. Kate and Bishop confirm that they’re staying.

That’s the continuing cast.

PAGES 29-30. Emma hands over the White Queen role to the Stepford Cuckoos.

Phil Noto, who draws this scene, did a lot with the Cuckoos in Cable. The Cuckoos have gone from having four members in white and one in black to the other way round – apparently the one in white will be Queen for the Day.

PAGE 31. Emma takes her seat at the Council and makes eye contact with Sinister.

Presumably any feud between these two is going to be a matter for Immortal X-Men, the Quiet Council book. Emma was already sabotaging Sinister’s schemes in Hellions.

PAGE 32. Data page. Shaw emails the Hellfire staff to resign, and seems to encourage Shinobi and Lourdes to feud with one another – presumably in a spirit of divide and conquer.

PAGES 33-34. Kate visits Mr Fantastic.

“Someone is always trying to break in.” It is indeed an overdone trope in Fantastic Four stories.

The Bar With No Name is an ever-relocating underworld bar which doesn’t come up that often in the X-books, but it’s a staple for the wider Marvel Universe.

“I was … trained by a ninja.” Ogun, in the Kitty Pryde & Wolverine miniseries.

“I need the knowledge that was chiseled and stolen from my mind by Charles.” In the epilogue of X-Men / Fantastic Four #4, Professor X erases Reed’s ability to rebuild a device that could shut down mutant powers.

“I think maybe we can help each other.” Kate is holding two Krakoan flowers, both purple. It’s not easy to tell from the art which type they’re meant to be, but presumably Reed would have fairly easy access to samples of Krakoan gates if he wanted them, and it’s hard to imagine he’s that bothered about being able to grow a house. Maybe she’s offering him another source of Krakoan drugs, or this is a No-Place flower that might allow him to infiltrate Krakoa.

PAGE 35. Trailers, plugging the return of Cassandra Nova in volume 2.




Bring on the comments

  1. Si says:

    CHRISTIAN FROST: “I did nothing at all of any noticeable impact for 27 issues, but now I must regretfully leave all that behind. The limelight’s just not for me.”

    But anyway, what’s the story behind Kate not being able to use the gates? Do we know if there’s an abandoned plot line there? And if so, does anyone know what it was?

  2. Chris V says:

    It’s just an assumption by fans, but something something Sinister.
    I guess the Sinister Secret about “something washing up on the beach” was supposedly a reference to Kate.
    She was going to be revealed as a clone created by Sinister, I think.
    That was why she named her team the Marauders.
    That was why the Sinister Secret column was originally being published in the Marauders comic, even though Sinister wasn’t appearing in that title.
    The idea was then dropped.

    It’s just fan speculation, but Kate being unable to use the gates was apparently related to these hints.

  3. Mark Coale says:

    Was Forge’s mission for the Council giving Emma the Neutralizer?

  4. Chris V says:

    Highly doubtful, since Xavier and Magneto would have been the only members to know about Moira, and they were brainwashed by Moira.
    If they already knew about Moira, it makes any slight impact with the ending of “Inferno” even more pointless.

    Probably making Wolverine his adamantium surfboard.

  5. Si says:

    The clone idea makes sense. The writer etc. did some radical reimagining of the character, so they probably wanted a way out if fan backlash was too great. As far as I know there’s a lot of support for her using a grown-up’s name now and acting mean, so they never needed to play that card.

  6. Ben Johnston says:

    This was a pleasant enough book overall, but it never really recaptured the momentum and direction of the first year or so. Unlike Hellions, I doubt it’ll hold up that well on reread years from now. Still, a decent final issue despite the abrupt parade of departures.

  7. Jed says:

    I read the orchid as coming from Orchis. Seemed spooky!

  8. The Other Michael says:


  9. The Other Michael says:

    This was one of the more enjoyable Hox/Pox era runs so far.

  10. Matt C. says:

    I agree that the Kate-can’t-use-the-gates thing does feel like a plotline that was intended to go somewhere else, but I dunno what. Maybe something related to the “one of the mutants is actually a human spy” dangler from Hunt for Wolverine?

    I don’t think the “Marauders” name necessarily means anything. Hickman has said he just likes re-using old titles with a new spin, and we’ve gotten other examples of that (Inferno, soon to be X-Men Red…)

  11. Josie says:

    As unsuited as the name Marauders was for the team, I am fine with them publishing a book titled Marauders, since it’s the first of its kind and can’t be misconstrued with any other volume.

    But reusing Inferno? Secret Wars? Secret Empire? Not a fan. “I just read Inferno. No, the other Inferno. No, the other other Inferno.”

  12. Skippy says:

    For me, Marauders suffered badly from a lack of stakes – especially after Kate’s resurrection, as others have alluded to. The cast never really felt challenged; any problems they encountered were overcome effortlessly. A fun book, despite that, but not one I’m likely to re-read. There was some good character work throughout the run with Emma in particular.

    Josie – I agree, I wish they would use new names for these events. But I suppose that ship sailed with Secret Wars II.

  13. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    Marauders was a good Emma book, had one decent story arc for Kate and some good character vignettes… for Masque, for Callisto, even freaking Wilhelmina Kensington. And I enjoyed all of that (well, not the Wilhelmina bit), but there where opportunities being squandered left and right regarding the supposed main cast of the book. Duggan could have redifined Pyro as a heroic character. Bishop has a whole subplot (spying on Hellfire for Beast and X-Force) stashed in… one data page? And nothing ever came of it?
    Also reborn Kate kissing that one random woman had me hoping for, well, anything regarding the portrayal of Kate as a queer woman. Nope.

    And I just don’t get Sebastian’s arc. He schemes against Kate, is victorious… and he doesn’t use that victory for anything (he wanted another seat on the Council for an ally/proxy of his, right? That was the plan?)
    Then comes the revenge, the mutilation and humiliation… which in a traditional story would lead to reprisal somewhere down the line. But here? Sebastian is cowed into becoming a better person.

    Maybe his revenge is being kicked down the line and Orlando will pick up that ball, as well as Kate’s gate problem, and this nice Sebastian will be revealed to be an act? This issue makes it seem like Shaw’s leaving the cast for Immortal X-Men. Gillen said in an interview his main characters will be the ones that don’t star in other books, but he didn’t specify which are which…

    Oh. And also. Both Emma and Shaw say they’re leaving Hellfire to focus on the Council, which they’ve been neglecting. But the repeated scene all throughout the first year of Krakoa or so was Kate being absent from Council meetings. IF anybody was neglecting it, it was her.

    To sum up. I enjoyed Marauders. It was a good book up to Kate’s resurrection and revenge on Shaw. Afterwards it remained enjoyable, but it very much floundered.

  14. JD says:

    Marauders feels very much like a book that was designed according to the original plan of “wave one” Krakoan X-books intended to last for about a year before being switched out for something else… only for it to sell well enough for Marvel to keep it going longer.

  15. Ceries says:

    Fascinating to realize through the Dolores memo that Duggan doesn’t realize that claiming sovereignty over other sovereign countries and the right to negotiate on behalf is in fact a provocative act, diplomatically speaking.

  16. Rareblight says:

    I guess Dolores memo should be before her death in Wolverine comic.

    Maybe Kate cannot pass from gates because Krakoa is a Technarch hybrid now?

  17. Mike Loughlin says:

    Prior to his work on the X-books, I’d read very few Gerry Duggan comics. Based on the writing in Marauders, Cable, and X-Men, he is a very shallow writer. Not “shallow” meaning “lacking greater meaning;” that’s most super-hero comics no matter who’s writing. I mean shallow in that he goes for the cool moments and doesn’t go beyond them. Marauders has had a problem with dropped subplots and underused characters, and the X-Men subplot with the most potential for change (Ben Urich revealing the Resurrection Protocols) seems to have been punted.

    I like X-Men just fine (the art is exceptional), and Marauders has been okay, but I wish Duggan was better at follow-through. There’s potential for his X-Men to improve, but I’m not confident it will.

  18. Karl_H says:

    Even if Kate were a clone, how would that stop her from using the gates? Other clones like Scout have no problem.

    Sad that Pyro has apparently lost the face tattoo. It was such a random thing but I liked it.

    The re-use of “Inferno” is the worst one for me, because nothing in that series remotely resembles an inferno.

    On a side note, how does one change their icon here? Something in the Website field? I’ve experimented but can’t get it to work…

  19. JD says:

    Duggan had a very good (and long) run on Deadpool that added up to quite a bit over time (although he had a co-writer for the first half). His other Marvel work has been more hit and miss. (Uncanny Avengers was basically a Deadpool tie-in, Hulk was a “let’s reduce the number of Hulks running around” exercise that didn’t matter in the long run, his Guardians of the Galaxy did some well-needed post-Bendis salvage job but not much else…)

  20. Luis Dantas says:

    @Karl_H: you can have a custom avatar in these discussions by registering your own Gravatar.

    If there is a Gravatar associated to the email address you give while posting, it will be shown as your avatar.

  21. Mike Loughlin says:

    JD: Thanks for the rundown of Duggan’s other projects. I read the first 2 Duggan/ Posehn Deadpool trades, and liked them. I’m not really a Deadpool fan, so I didn’t continue. His Uncanny Avengers was… forgettable, apparently, because I don’t remember a thing that happened outside of Deapool being famous and Cable showing up.

  22. Chris says:

    I have used my Gravatar for years and it never ceases to surprise where it pops up

  23. Dave says:

    “I meant because you’ve disrupted every technology you’ve encountered, until this one — which has disrupted you.”

    This read to me like spelling out the idea behind making this a plot point.

    Why does Reed want that memory back when it was tied to Franklin’s now-defunct mutant status?

  24. The Other Michael says:

    The parade of cast members leaving had real “we just learned we’re cancelled, so in this final episode, everyone gets married/quits/moves to L.A./gets promoted to offer a sense of closure” vibes.

    I too wonder what happened to Pyro’s tattoo. Masque?

  25. Chris V says:

    I would assume that Reed wants his memory back because he is afraid that mutants are going to declare war on humanity and thinks that having a failsafe which removes a mutant’s powers seems like a smart plan.

  26. Jon R says:

    “Hm, this mutant has reached into my mind and not only deleted this knowledge of how to build an anti-mutant weapon but made it so that I can’t reacquire it. This seems like a good reason to have an anti-mutant weapon!”

    Beyond the practical reasons to want it back, I don’t see Reed as someone who can handle a person messing with his intellect. He didn’t forget a random factoid, he forgot and was made unable to think of how to recreate a piece of technology. That cuts to the core of Reed and even if he had no use for the device ever again, it’s not something he should be able to just let go. Science is all connected, and who knows what else he might not be able to think of now because it might also help lead to that device as well?

  27. Taibak says:

    Yeah, but why does Reed need his memory back? He’s Reed Richards. Can’t he just develop a new bit of tech or a new procedure to achieve the same goals?

  28. Jon R says:

    IIRC, it wasn’t just that the memory was removed, but Xavier blocked his ability to re-develop it at all. If Xavier’s going to that trouble, then it easily could include anything equivalent. And even if it was a narrow block, Reed still probably wouldn’t be happy until that block is removed. It’s still blocking his ability to imagine, plan, and invent, and that’s core to Reed’s identity.

  29. Taibak says:

    Who’s that on the cover between Tempo and Pyro? Is that Lourdes Chantel or is that Lila Cheney?

  30. Luis Dantas says:

    There is also the simple interest in developing some form of defense and resistance to Xavier’s worst instincts.

  31. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    Taibak- it’s Callisto.

  32. Allan M says:

    @Talibak It’s Callisto. Ripped white outfit plus her eyepatch.

  33. Si says:

    Xavier did a whole supervillain monologue about how Reed will be wracking his brain at 3am trying desperately to work out plans for such a device, and he won’t be able to. It sounds horrible, like having a snippet of a song stuck in your head forever, and you just can’t figure out the rest of the song. Even if it’s a song you don’t like. Especially if it’s a song you don’t like. Or it would be like phantom limb syndrome.

    And Reed would I imagine want the transgression reversed if for no other reason than he’s Mister Fantastic, not Mister Bitch.

  34. Josie says:

    “Duggan had a very good (and long) run on Deadpool”

    Last year I picked up the collection that included the wedding issue, and the collection after that, not having read the previous collections, and I say without embellishment that these are some of the worst comics I have read in ages. I don’t just mean bad dialogue or nonsense plots. I mean a failure at scripting on every fundamental level. I was genuinely stunned at how inept they were.

  35. Mike Loughlin says:

    Reed Richards has already created highly advanced AI (Herbie, Roberta). Between his mechanical acumen and potentially developing a cure for the X gene, I can see him being an unknowing catalyst for machine domination. HE has the support of the none mutant superheroes and the trust of political leaders and the general public. He could become involved in depressing mutants that pose a threat to humanity, maybe Krakow as a whole, I don’t want Reed to become a villain on that level, but I could see Dr. Doom using Reed’s research to subjugate or eliminate mutants.

  36. Karl_H says:

    “And Reed would I imagine want the transgression reversed if for no other reason than he’s Mister Fantastic, not Mister Bitch.”

    Times like this, I wish there was a like or vote up function here.

  37. Evilgus says:

    I thought Kate not being able to go through gates was in reference to her being a Neo (from Claremont’s run, which also alluded to that).

    This book started well and then swiftly treaded water. Not enough for Bishop, Iceman or Pyro to do. Does anybody else feel like writing a proper team book is almost a lost art?

    Very strong on Kate stuff, which didn’t read like fan service… the Angry Kate of the early issues felt most like herself in a long time.

    How many times did Shaw get “taken down” in this run??

  38. says:

    I don’t think anyone wants to touch the Neo again.

    It was just hinted that Kitty was a Neo during Claremont’s run.
    There were some fears that Hickman was going to bring back the Neo in reference to Kate.
    Thankfully, the Neo were never mentioned again.

    I feel like Arakko is going to get the Neo treatment down the line.
    Some grave threat, more devastating than anything the X-Men have fought before, will arrive from space.
    To show the momentousness of the danger, they’ll wipe out the entire Arakkoan population.

  39. Nu-D says:

    [i]…he’s Mister Fantastic, not Mister Bitch.[/i]

    Yeah, I don’t think he needs a reason. If you tell me I’m not allowed to know something, it just makes me want to know it even more.

    I can’t recall if the phrase “mental block” was used, but I figure that’s what Xavier did. Reed knows what he built, but he has a mental block in place that stops him from being able to think of a way to build it again. That covers both the possibility of building a different tool, as well as the possibility of learning how to do it from looking at someone else’s technology or research. But so long as he’s not thinking about “how to erase mutant powers,” he can use all his know how as needed.

  40. Taibak says:

    Nu-D: That’s just it. Mr. Fantastic is smart enough to work his way around the mental block. He doesn’t have to think about “how to erase mutant powers”. He can think about how to, say, cure Ben or stop Doom from experimenting with genetic engineering and solve the problem that way.

  41. Nu-D says:

    It’s his own mind that blocks him. So he can’t trick himself into working around the block. At some level he knows he’s looking for the prohibited knowledge, and knowing that causes his mind to veer away.

    Anyhow, it’s all just comic book hand waving. It feels sensible to me, a but none of it really stands up to scrutiny.

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