There’s been a lot going on for our friends, so it’s understandable that Kate Pryde had to put her promise to kill—or at least significantly fuck up—Sebastian Shaw on hold. But now that the swords have settled, the Red and White Queens can get down to business in Marauders #16.
Russell Dauterman (cover), Edgar Delgado (color artist), Gerry Duggan (writer), Stefano Caselli (artist), Tom Muller (design), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer)
December 9, 2020
The Black King thought he was very tricksy when he murdered Kate Pryde, but his tracks were anything but covered, especially not with Detective Bishop on the case. But it seems Bishop is still a few steps behind the ladies. Storm has already figured it out, and Emma and Kate have been plotting in whispers since Lockheed’s revelation upon his return. Still, somehow, with all that glorious arrogance, Shaw didn’t think he should make himself very scarce? Ah right. The arrogance thing. And oh how that has come back to punch him in the face, along with Kate’s tattooed fist.
As far as plot goes, this issue is simple: Emma Frost and Kate Pryde have come with vengeance in their hearts and business on their brains. The issue takes its sweet time delivering every cut and dousing Shaw’s wounds with salt, because Emma and Kate aren’t actually out to kill Shaw. That would be too easy. When they rub that salt in, they make sure it hurts good, but they also make sure he’s quite clear on where he, uh, stands as part of the Hellfire Corporation moving forward.
Speaking of standingÿ—and sitting—this issue is a tapestry of deliciously powerful poses. After riding in on horseback, the two Queens dominate every section of each page. Shaw barely has time to breathe, much less snivel out his gaslighting. What Emma and Kate don’t say with their words, they shout with their bodies, from Emma’s casual, graceful lean on the couch, to all the variations of Kate’s exquisite control of her powers. Stefano Caselli is definitely having too much fun with Kate’s abilities, how she uses them, and how those around her interact with them knowing what she is capable of. In one panel, Shaw desperately tries to save a piece of his vintage collection from her careless fingers by running directly through her—not into or around her—to get to it. Caselli also implements lots of angles to show who is in power here—as if there are any moments of doubt.
Marauders #16 employs loads of darkly comedic beats to go along with its leads dark plans for the Black King. It’s a reminder that Krakoa might be a sanctuary for all mutants, but that doesn’t mean that those who betray that trust should be treated lightly. And though the Quiet Council would have much to say about Shaw’s actions, Emma and Kate have made it clear that their rule is law here, and they are not alone in their decision. Ladies gotta stick together.