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Sep 8

Marauders #6 annotations

Posted on Thursday, September 8, 2022 by Paul in Annotations

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

MARAUDERS vol 2 #6
“Even Odds of Destruction”
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artist: Andrea Broccardo
Colour artist: Matt Milla
Letterer & production: Ariana Maher
Design: Tom Muller
Editor: Jordan D White

COVER / PAGE 1: A group shot of the Marauders with the Progenitor looming behind them.

PAGE 2. Lockheed watches the Theater of Pain.

This is picking up on the subplot from the opening page of issue #2, where Lockheed found some mutilated corpses in a ruined church with “X” symbols on the altar, and “LOVE” spray painted on the walls. The same symbols appear on the wall here, confirming that Lockheed has been on the trail of the Theater of Pain. The Marauders fought the Theater’s leader Brimstone Love in Marauders Annual #1 (effectively the first issue of Steve Orlando’s run). That issue also saw Brimstone Love pushing the angle that the Xavier’s dream of coexistence was the right one, the point being that the mutant separatism of Krakoa was a betrayal of it.

Scratch. This is Lee Franks, a minor villain from Warren Ellis’s run on Excalibur back in 1996. He was a Black Air agent who helped the London Hellfire Club to summon up a demon.

Dirt Nap. The mouse with a smiley face on its back in the final panel is Dirt Nap, a recurring villain from Larry Hama stories in the mid 1990s. He’s a mutant who can consume other beings and then take on their form. In Hama’s run, he was an agent of Cable’s evil son Genesis. He first took on the mouse form in Wolverine #95 (1995) in order to escape, but seemed to stick with it as a matter of preference after that. He was last seen in Generation X #39 (1998), where he was blown up – but to be fair, he’d come back from that sort of thing before.

As far as I know, the unfortunate on the table is a new character.

PAGE 3. Recap and credits.

PAGE 4. Kate recaps the plot.

This is mostly just recapping the first two issues of A.X.E.: Judgment Day.

The Altar is Legion’s pocket psychic dimension from Legion of X. The fact that some of the Arakkii mutants survived by fleeing to the Altar is new (but unsurprising) information, and it’ll probably be covered in the Legion of X tie-in issue in due course.

PAGE 5. Kate brief Fabian and Cassandra.

“That sounds like a rescue to me.” The original premise of Marauders, back in the early Gerry Duggan issues, was meant to be that they would rescue mutants and bring them to Krakoa (as well as smuggling Krakoan medicine). That angle fell by the wayside but Orlando is keen to re-enact it.

Fabian Cortez is currently a minor character in Legion of X, which is presumably the justification for him having a role in helping people out of the Altar. Consistent with his status quo over in that book, he’s a bit annoying but he’s genuinely trying to be useful.

“We’ve got a pear doing your job on our boat.” The boost fruits, which the Marauders have used throughout Orlando’s run to get temporary power increases. Fabian’s powers do basically the same thing.

PAGE 6. Data page. A memo from Aurora to Kate.

“You and Bishop have been passing notes.” We’ve seen Bishop’s notes to Kate in previous data pages.

“I’ve been on my own journey for a long time…” Aurora’s mental health and multiple personalities have been among her defining traits since the 1980s.

Birdy was a minor early-90s character who basically tagged along with Sabretooth and gave him a psychic “glow” that kept him appeased. Her resurrection was covered in the recent Sabretooth #5 and in Legion of X #3. She also showed up as one of the stand-in Marauders who fought X-Men Green in X-Men Unlimited Infinity Comic #44.

“When the Kin Crimson blew up the New Marauder, Somnus dropped us all into his dreamscape…” Issues #2-3.

PAGE 7. Birdy’s introduction.

PAGES 8-9. Bishop is judged.

Malcolm and Randall are the two XSE officers who came back to the present with Bishop in Uncanny X-Men #282 and got killed off in issue #287. As with most of these scenes, we’re told how the Progenitor appeared to Bishop, but not how he was judged; Birdy specifically says she’s not interested in that (presumably because she wants to downplay the Progenitor’s opinions having any wider significance).

PAGES 10-11. Aurora is judged.

Aurora’s various personalities all manifest separately here.

Inner Active Cards are a real product, intended for use in therapy and to depict various parts of the personality.

Nemesio Pietri was indeed a prophetic mutant painter, who appeared in District X #6-12 (2004-2005).

Headlok is a psychic villain first introduced in West Coast Avengers #10 (1986). He fought Aurora in Alpha Flight #93-94 and #102-104. He has no particular back story, so he might be a mutant. He’s a curiously obscure focus for Aurora’s judgment, being a minor villain who fought her on a couple of occasions over thirty years ago.

PAGES 12-13. Tempo is judged.

Sumo was a lesser member of the original Mutant Liberation Front, alongside Tempo. He debuted in New Mutants #93 (1990) and died in Cable: Blood & Metal #1. The name “Jun Tenta” comes from the Official Handbook and isn’t exactly an improvement in terms of Japanese authenticity – it’s a reference to the Canadian professional wrestler John Tenta (1963-2006), who was indeed a sumo wrestler earlier in his life.

Eugenix, who Tempo says wiped out X-Force and the MLF in a timeline that she and Sumo reversed, are New Warriors villains who went around killing people whom they deemed unfit. They didn’t debut until 1995, long after Sumo had died, so Tempo is talking about an untold story here.

PAGES 14-15. Psylocke is judged.

Mr Sinister manipulated Psylocke in Fallen Angels and Hellions by taking advantage of his possession of the only surviving copy of the mind of Psylocke’s daughter (which was destroyed at the end of Hellions). The other two beloved characters that Psylocke references are Matsu’o Tsurayaba, her lover in her back story, and John Greycrow, her Hellions teammate and current partner.

PAGES 16-17. Somnus is judged.

Somnus is judged by Northstar, in the costume he wore circa Alpha Flight vol 1 #106, his coming out issue. An image from that issue also appears in the magazine cover on the wall. Basically, Somnus is challenged over why he lived out his life in the closet when he could have followed Northstar’s lead and come out.

The two viruses that Somnus mentions are HIV and the Legacy Virus, a mutant-targeting virus which was a major plotline in the 1990s.

Apparently Somnus is powerful enough within his own dreams to drive the Progenitor out. (However, part of the idea with Somnus is that he’s only that powerful within his own dreams – he’s much less powerful when visiting other people’s dreams.)

PAGES 18-19. Daken is judged.

The Progenitor confronts Daken as, well, himself. This scene seems to be saying that Daken is claiming the name Fang for himself, after being told that he’d earned it in the previous issue. He doesn’t seem to like the name “Akihiro” simply because it was inherited rather than chosen for himself; “Daken” means “mongrel”. (The recap page still lists him as “Daken.”)

Unusually, it seems that the Progenitor didn’t reveal to Daken what his judgment was.

PAGE 20. Birdy debriefs the Marauders.

PAGE 21. The Altar portal opens.

PAGE 22. The Marauders depart to fight the Progenitor.

The recap page tells us that this is after A.X.E.: Judgment Day #3, so presumably this is a mission we haven’t seen yet.

PAGE 23. Judas Traveller gives commands.

Judas Traveller is an evil psychologist with illusion-casting powers; he’s a Spider-Man villain from the Clone Saga period. Orlando has alluded to him being involved in Orchis in previous issues, but this is the first time his full name has been given in Marauders. For real completists, however, we’ve already seen Judas Traveller on panel with Orchis in X-Men Unlimited Infinity Comic #45, an X-Men Green story also by Steve Orlando.

PAGE 24. Data page. Back to regular stories, as Cerebra – who showed up from the future last issue – confirms that she can use her powers to help resurrect the Threshold mutants whose data was retrieved from the Shi’ar in the previous arc.

PAGE 25. Trailers.

Bring on the comments

  1. K says:

    It’s a team psychiatrist session comic that doesn’t use Doc Samson. That’s progress, in comics.

  2. Zoomy says:

    Headlok didn’t just fight Aurora, he spent a lengthy period of time (mostly off-panel between Alpha Flight #98 and #104) digging through her mind and messing about with her personalities, leading her to reassert herself as two basically well-adjusted selves.

    It’s the kind of thing that would be very significant to Aurora, even if it was only one largely forgotten issue of Alpha Flight to everyone in the real world. Nice to see it get acknowledged here!

  3. Jenny says:

    Scratch is very specifically drawn with a scar, which was also seen on a fellow Warren Ellis character from his and Steven Grant’s X-Man run-specifically, a character also named Scratch, who was from the alternate world ruled by Jean Grey that X-Man got transported to.

  4. Jenny says:

    That might be accidental on the artist’s part, admittedly, but I do remember an old fan theory about them being alternate versions of each other.

  5. Jenny says:

    Also, the bit about Sumo is presumably what Tempo was talking about back in issue #4 in her notes about time travel.

  6. MasterMahan says:

    Is Marvel finally going to stop calling a biracial character Mongrel? I’m surprised Daken lasted this long as a name.

  7. Thomas Deja says:

    Judas F’in Traveller?

    There’s a deep cut if ever I saw one!

  8. Uncanny X-Ben says:

    I would be shocked if the Fang name (terrible) or costume (decent) last much beyond this series.

    He should just be the new Honey Badger.

  9. Si says:

    An online translator says the Japanese for Wolverine is Kuzuri. That would be a decent Legacy superhero name.

  10. David says:

    This is one of the only Krakoa books I don’t read (love the cast, but that first annual just wasn’t good, so I didn’t continue). But I did read this issue since it’s an AXE tie in, and I have to say, this book is not good.

    The Progenitor turning up to judge various characters is one of this crossover’s funnest conceits, and this was truly the dullest take on it. It’s also an extremely dull take on the psychiatry session trope- it has so little to say about these characters that’s actually novel. If the progenitor wanted Bishop to feel judged, he could certainly do better than reminding him that he misses his two buddies. My god.

    Also, Orlando clearly thinks that just the presence of an obscure 90s character is implicitly exciting, but it’s not. Cerebra? Judas Traveler? Who cares- you’re gonna have to actually do something interesting with them.

  11. Mike Loughlin says:

    Does Daken even have fangs?

  12. Diana says:

    @David: That’s a good point – I love OG 2099 as much as the next ol’ fangirl but the deep cuts don’t matter when Orlando misses the point so completely. I don’t know where he got his take on Brimstone Love, but it certainly wasn’t from X-Men 2099, and that doesn’t inspire a ton of hope that his Shakti Haddad is going to be recognizable in any way

  13. Krzysiek Ceran says:

    Well, it’s another instance of her. I think 2099 is at least three separate universes at this point? Seems every time they do a big anniversary miniseries about that timeline, they actually introduce a new 2099 timeline.

    The Progenitor should have appeared to Bishop as Hope. Infant Hope for added horribleness.
    And if not Hope than those literal billions of people he killed, destroying the world to limit Cable and Hope’s options for where to run.

    But I guess we pretend none of that ever happened in order for Bishop to remain a viable character. It’s either that or read Sam Humphries’s X-Force to find out what his actual redemption arc was and I can’t stand his books.

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