In the last issue, I said that all the pieces were on the board, but, unsurprisingly, that grandiose statement was wrong. In Marauders #4, we discover that there's a whole other chess board that the Hellfire Corporation and mutantdom may not be ready to handle. Marauders #4 Federico Blee (colorist), Russel Dauterman (cover artist), Gerry
In the last issue, I said that all the pieces were on the board, but, unsurprisingly, that grandiose statement was wrong. In Marauders #4, we discover that there’s a whole other chess board that the Hellfire Corporation and mutantdom may not be ready to handle.
Federico Blee (colorist), Russel Dauterman (cover artist), Gerry Duggan (writer), Matteo Lolli (artist), Tom Muller (design), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer)
December 18, 2019
Once again, Russell Dauterman graces Marauders with a gorgeous cover, this time focusing on Storm. Given my frustration over her treatment since the series began, this cover replenishes my soul and revitalizes my hopes. Thankfully, the regal and powerful appearance of the character extends into this issue. Though it’s only for a few pages, you’ll have to forgive me for getting a bit emotional when I see Storm front and centre, with her full elemental glory on display (though I must give a nod to Pyro making dramatic use of his flames as well, with support from Lockheed).
But stepping back a moment to the opening info page, Marauders #4 gives me another moment that brings me joy. Though it’s relegated to an X-Desk report, we learn that Emma Frost has been causing a buzz on the streets of New York’s fashion district and on social media because she’s been spotted with four-armed mutant fashion designer Jumbo Carnation, buying up swaths of red and white fabric. When I first saw Emma Frost’s outfit on the cover of Marauders #1, it immediately gave me hope for a fashionable future for the White Queen and I am so pleased to learn that this is indeed happening in Dawn of X. And, while this scene is only manifesting in my imagination, the continued talk of fashion in relation to the Hellfire Corporation has me all a quiver.
But the Hellfire Corporation isn’t all about fabulous aesthetics. Kate continues her campaign to get Bishop to join her as the Red Bishop. Bishop has no desire to get mixed up in the Hellfire’s inner circle, but there is merit in having someone to support Kate on the inside. Bishop is also more concerned about the mission at hand, which he’s been pursuing since the first issue. In Taiwan, an anti-mutant hate campaign is being fired up by a woman who claims that her non-mutant husband vanished through a Krakoan gate. Fueling the hatred with propaganda, Chen Zhao also has some interesting connections going on behind the scenes that will be added to the growing list of problems for the X-Men. Finally creating that mutant utopia still has a lot of kinks to work out, but there are a number of factors that weren’t considered or are just now being discovered as non-mutants adapt to deal with people they still perceive as a threat.
Fight sequences are a highlight in Marauders. Matteo Lolli seems to favour panels featuring Kate using her combat tactics combined with her mutant powers and finding new ways to have her uncomfortably embed things into people’s bodies. However, backgrounds take a beating during a particular fight scene that occurs within a sterile white panic room. Overuse of lines of motions and inexplicably varied colours, combined with big sound effects, make the scene feel more like the 1960s Batman TV show that doesn’t enjoy the benefit of Batman’s campy humour.
Still, Marauders #4 stays the course as part of a fun, action-filled series, and Gerry Duggan continues to subtly seed the story with small insight into the more serious goings on outside of Krakoa. However, we remain bound by the X-Men’s point of view, gaining insight only in so far as Kate and her team take us. Through data pages, we learn that intelligence agencies remain at a loss on how to deal with Krakoa and the gates, we know about mutant-worshipping human cults, and we know that Zhao has gained enough of a following to pack a stadium. But the big picture outside of Krakoa’s boundaries has not quite revealed itself.