“Only two types of people in Madripoor: the rich, and those willing to kill you to become rich.” So says Patch, Logan’s alter ego in a classic display of classism. How fitting that it’s the Morlocks who come to the rescue of the poor in Madripoor’s Lowtown when the Krakoan mutants cannot in Marauders #19.
Stefano Caselli (artist), Russell Dauterman (cover artist), Edgar Delgado (colourist), Gerry Duggan (writer), Matteo Lolli (artist), Tom Muller (designer), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer), Matthew Wilson (cover colourist)
April 7, 2021
As far as weapons of spite go, a hospital isn’t one that comes to mind, but the Moira MacTaggert Memorial Hospital, recently opened in Lowtown and now staffed by “Doctor” Masque, hit a lot of people below the beltline in many ways. The Hellfire Corporation has also been buying up property in Lowtown to keep it out of the hands of Homines Verendi, and the latter are not happy. They’ve sent their new bloodthirsty, vengeance-filled Reavers into town to tear things up — and there’s nothing Krakoa can do about it. At least, not officially.
Which is why Callisto is tasked with enlisting some not-quite-affiliated mutants to take care of this problem. Led by Masque (whose clear love for his new line of work is simply adorable) and featuring the long-overdue return of Marrow, this team of mutants serves as a loophole to deal with the Reavers. I’m not entirely sure how this logic works in terms of plausible deniability. The Marauders got in trouble in the last issue when their counterattack made the news. Why would Homines Verendi and humans assume these particular mutants have no relation to Krakoa?
But deal with the Reavers they do, prompted by Callisto’s reminder that, though human, these humans in Lowtown are the downtrodden like the Morlocks. Masque has no reason not to remind us that even the evilest of mutants gets to hang out in Krakoa, but the ones that don’t quite meet the visual criteria are relegated to a corner outside. Albeit a much nicer corner than sewers, but a corner nonetheless. And they are the ones sent in to do the dirty work while the fancy mutants who caused this problem keep their hands clean.
Not totally clean, at least. Kate, clarifying that she must help because of the aid that a Lowtown family gave to Lockheed, dives in to lend a hand, inexplicably swimming with big floppy boots on. Though she doesn’t discard the boots to go for a swim, she does make a point of taking off her Star of David necklace that seems to gain and lose significance to her depending on which artist is drawing her. She has it here, but it often goes missing because get a damn character bible, Marvel.
This issue is full of action that hopefully spells the last time we see these truly uninteresting Reavers whose character design lacks the ingenuity and purpose of the originals. Homines Verendi simply do not possess Donald Pierce’s flare. The Morlocks do their job quickly and efficiently with Matteo Lolli getting very creative with action and brutality. Though it was nice to see Marrow again, it was disappointing to see the former leader of the Morlocks reduced to one-liners, including the dismissive “at least you had a dad for a while,” to a girl who just lost her father to the Reavers. The girl honestly doesn’t seem overly shaken up about it.
Overall, there’s a sense that all is supposed to be well now that the Morlocks have chased off the Reavers, despite the damage that has been caused and the many deaths that occurred. There is no sense that the poor of Lowtown are looking to kill in order to get rich, as Patch believes. They just want to survive and, while some of them do make it out of this, it feels like the lower class are just pawns to be used and tossed aside as the story presses on. We do have a Hellfire Gala to get to, after all. And none of these people who fought and died in a battlefield that Krakoa and Homines Verendi made for them are likely to get an invitation.