It’s been a while since we’ve been here, so a quick recap of Marauders #9 is in order: the X-Men discovered a stowaway riding aboard (inside) of Pyro and dispatched him and a strongly worded warning back to Homines Verendi. Now, Emma Frost, tamping down her pain over Kate’s unsolved murder and continued failed resurrection attempts, backs up her words with actions as she leads the Marauders to war.
Stefano Caselli (artist), Russel Dauterman (cover artist), Edgar Delgado (colourist), Gerry Duggan (writer), Tom Muller (designer), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer)
May 27, 2020
The Marauders have learned that Russia is using Forge’s old designs in their mutant power dampening suits, which brings Forge into the mix. Not that the Maker hasn’t been busy. We’ve seen many of his inventions made manifest over the past few issues of Marauders, as well as in other Dawn of X titles. Incorporating the very essence of Krakoa itself, Forge has now reached perfection by working with Tempo to create the finest brand of whiskey the Black King has ever partaken of. But the tasting is interrupted by Storm’s intel, prompting a sheepish confession from Forge and an Arthur the Aardvark-esque angry fist moment from Storm. Aaaaaand, once again, that’s about it for what Storm gets to do in this new dawn.
Because after this, it’s all the Emma Frost show, and that show includes another fantastic outfit that is made for her kind of warfare with her own psychic rendition of Modesty Blaise’s “The Nailer.”
Emma’s battle companion, Pyro, is no Willie Garvin, and this is where all other amusements in this issue end. The Marauders are still simmering with rage over Kate’s murder and the audacity of a human world that just won’t leave them the **** alone like they have asked. Back at The Quiet Council, Nightcrawler asks if Emma’s intentions should be discussed, but X and Magneto take any such thought off the table. Emma has free reign to do what must be done to keep mutants safe, within the constraints of not straight-up murdering humans, no matter how much she might want to.
This is the Emma Frost that we got to see a moment of back in Avengers vs. X-Men where she had immense power at her finger tips and wanted to use it to truly help mutant-kind by forcefully altering the thinking of those who would do them harm. Alas, AvX reduced her potential to becoming the target of Cyclops’ domestic abuse instead. Though she no longer has the powers of a celestial entity at her fingertips, Marauders has let her wield powers of different kind — from her own mutant abilities to her business acumen — and here, her strength even as a field team leader, which is not typically a role she has been known for. This is an Emma who truly believes in what Krakoa is fighting for, as well as the rights of all oppressed groups, and will fight tooth and nail to see this dream become the reality our world deserves.
The power and majesty of the White Queen in control is something to behold, moved along swiftly and deftly by the clean and deceptively simple illustrations of Stefano Casseli. Each panel is to the point. There are no hidden details to seek out from different angles. Poses and structure are by the book, focused on characters with little background to distract from them and the foreground action. This is meat and potatoes artwork that does its job effectively to maintain the swift pace of the issue. Edgar Delgado works in muted blues and grays, adding the necessary spices with pops of colour and blasts of light and explosions. Special shout out goes to to the Red Bishop’s new look, with the subtle shift to red highlights from Bishop’s usual XSE blue and yellow.
Finally, this review would be remiss if it didn’t address the elephant in the room: Kate Pryde has been unable to enter Krakoa from the beginning and now whatever has caused that has hampered her resurrection. We’ve been waiting and waiting to discover her fate after her murder at the hands of the Black King, but the closer and closer Marauders #10 brings us to an answer, the less I want to hear it. Data pages in this issue hit hard with emotional correspondences that serves to remind any and all not to take our loved ones for granted. If our real-life situation has taught us anything, it’s that distance should never keep us apart, and we should always make time in our busy schedules for those we love. While our situation may not be remotely similar to Kate and Nightcrawler’s dealings with terrorists, aliens, and forming a new religion, the sentiment holds true.