Excalibur and Marauders, the two best books of the Dawn of X by our reckoning, each holding three Wolverine's Weiner X-Pick of the Week awards, tied for the most of any Dawn of X series. They've gone head-to-head before, with Marauders #2 beating Excalibur #2 and Excalibur #3 beating Marauders #3. Gwenpool Strikes Back beat the fourth issue of both, and the first and fifth issues of each won their respective weeks. This week, Excalibur and Marauders go head-to-head again as both wrap up their initial storylines. Which will come out on top…?
Sworn to sell comics for Marvel executives who feared and hated the fact that Fox owned their movie rights, The Uncanny X-Men suffered great indignities, but thanks to a corporate merger and a line-wide relaunch, the X-Men can finally get back to doing what they do best: being objectively the best franchise in all of comics.
MARAUDERS #6 DX
(W) Gerry Duggan (A) Matteo Lolli, Mario Del Pennino (CA) Russell Dauterman
THE BATTLE OF MADRIPOOR!
The Marauders are caught between the forces of Madripoor and the Black King's machinations! Thankfully, they have TWO Omega Level mutants onboard…
In Shops: Jan 22, 2020
What Happened in Marauders #6?
Starting where the previous issue left off, the Marauders battle Hatemonger and X-Cutioner, soldiers of anti-mutant Kid Hellfire Club spinoff Homines Verendi, on a boat off the coast of Madripoor which is currently flaming thanks to the work of Pyro. Kate Pryde pulls Iceman below deck before Hatemonger can murder him, then heads topside to rescue Pyro. During the battle, Hatemonger manages to inject Pyro with a miniature body submarine piloted by the new Yellowjacket, who begins a Fantastic Voyage to Pyro's eyeball so he can spy on the mutants. More on that later.
As Kade Kilgore and the rest of the Homines Verendi inner circle watch from the shore, Bishop and Storm free Shinobi Shaw's boat with plans to evacuate the crew to the Marauder, where they have a Krakoan gate on board. Meanwhile, Kate leaps off the boat and onto the boat of Chen Zhao and Donald Pierce, who are both members of Homines Verendi and working with the government of Madripoor. Kate cares not for Zhao's diplomatic immunity and punches her in the nose. On Shaw's boat, Bishop finishes off Hatemonger and X-Cutioner while Storm joins Kate and tosses Pierce into the sea. Kate sends Zhao after him.
Kate plans to bring the ship, which is loaded with power dampening armor, to M. After referencing Forge's history with power removal weaponry…
…Storm and the others reluctantly agree to head to Krakoa meet Kate at M later. This is a bad idea.
But first, we get a prose page which is a report from Yellowjacket inside Pyro. In a rare fun usage of one of these dumb pages, Yellowjacket slowly begins to realize, as he describes the mutants digging through Emma Frost's wardrobe and Pyro drinking Long Island Ice Teas while watching Rick and Morty, that maybe mutants aren't so bad after all.
Now Kate and Lockheed are left alone on the Homines Verendi ship, and Kate basks in her victory. Unfortunately, Sebastian Shaw is waiting for her. He captures Lockheed in a net and uses Krakoan quick-growing vines stolen from an episode of G.I. Joe to prevent Kate from moving.
As he brags of how he set this entire plan in motion to eliminate Kate and claim her and Emma's spots in the Inner Circle and Quiet Council, he tosses Lockheed into the sea to drown.
Kate offers to surrender if he'll save Lockheed, but he refuses, blowing up the ship and watching Kate sink under the water. She vows revenge, but Shaw wonders whether Krakoan resurrection protocols will even work on her, given Krakoa's rejection of her. Shaw basks in his own victory as Kate's head goes underwater, and that's one hell of a cliffhanger.
Was it any good?
Marauders has been a fun book so far, but really stepped up this issue. Kate has been on a bender since the start of the series, and this issue displayed both her triumph and her fall, and we all know what goeth before one of those. We got some cool character moments for Pyro and Storm, a historical reference to the Storm/Forge drama, the culmination of the first act of Kate's story arc, and Sebastian Shaw reasserting his true villainous nature. We can be pretty sure Kate will make it out of this alive (and hopefully Lockheed too), but it's hard to imagine a better ending to Marauders' first story arc.
Excalibur will have to work pretty hard to top the creative team's efforts here. Check back soon to see how it fared.
Read more X-ual Healing here: