When Marvel's December solicits were revealed last month, Bleeding Cool was only one of many to notice a certain finality to the solicits for many of the X-books, most notably Marauders, leading to questions about whether the series would be canceled, rebooted, or otherwise drastically changed in the wake of Jonathan Hickman's departure from the X-books.
Now, a new press release from Marvel confirms that many X-books "will be undergoing thrilling changes," and one of those books is Marauders, which will see Steve Orlando take over as writer beginning with January's Marauders Annual #1, which will apparently feature at least Kate Pryde, Psylocke, Daken, Bishop, Aurora, Temp, and Somnus. Marvel did not name a new series artist, though the press release notes that Crees Lee will be the artist for Marauders Annual #1. It's also not clear whether the regular series will be relaunched with a new number one issue or continue with the same numbering.
From the press release:
A brand new era of X-Men is upon us! Following Jonathan Hickman's limited comic series INFERNO, many of your favorite ongoing X-titles will be undergoing thrilling changes including the hit mutant seafaring series MARAUDERS! Taking over writing duties from Gerry Duggan will be writer Steve Orlando, known for his critically acclaimed work on books like WONDER WOMAN and CURSE OF THE MAN-THING. Bringing new energy to the mutant mythos, Orlando will launch the book with an exciting cast shakeup and a threat that strikes at the heart of the mutant nation of Krakoa. The first adventure in Orlando's new run will kick off in January's MARAUDERS ANNUAL #1 where he'll be joined by artist Crees Lee.
The Marauders are ready to renew their mission of mutant rescue! Kate Pryde's got the mission — all she needs now is a new boat and a fresh crew to match. Alongside Bishop, Pryde will recruit a team of mutants, new and old, including Psylocke, Daken, Aurora, Tempo, and Somnus, the new mutant hero who debuted earlier this year in MARVEL'S VOICES: PRIDE #1! They'll unite to spring Daken from imprisonment at the hands of a leader who's as cruel as he is charismatic: the primal provocateur known as Brimstone Love, a fan-favorite villain from the 2099 timeline making his present day debut! It's the Marauders versus the Theater of Pain, a torture troupe that's set up shop in Xavier's School's old backyard!
Earlier today, Marvel Editor Jordan White spent quite a bit of time in an interview claiming that Jonathan Hickman was perfectly happy to leave the X-books early when nobody else wanted to move his story past the first act, and it was really all his idea in the first place, and all the people saying Hickman was mad are total liars! White's denial follows the typical Marvel pattern of latching onto a very specific detail that no one was really claiming in the first place — that Hickman was supposedly angry or upset about leaving the books — and vigorously deny that to invalidate other, more valid criticism and to avoid addressing the actual issue: that Hickman's promised three-act story with a beginning, middle, and end that was promised at the start of his relaunch would no longer be delivered in the same form it was promised, and would instead be passed to other writers to continue the beginning to middle phase indefinitely. But Marvel is gonna Marvel, after all, so that's hardly a surprise.
In any case, we now begin to see what the X-books will look like after Hickman's departure with the Inferno mini-series, and it looks like a potential creative shakeup will be coming to many of the books, starting with Marauders. You could do worse than having Steve Orlando write the book though, so we'll chalk this one up in the win column.
Said Orlando in the press release:
Taking the helm of MARAUDERS is easily the most exciting moment of my career, especially when it's my first-ever ongoing not just on Krakoa, but at Marvel in general. Exploding out of the team's already-amazing adventures as part of Hellfire Trading, Captain Pryde's new crew of Marauders will stop at nothing to bring endangered mutants to safety — to always go where they're needed, not where they're wanted. To mutant rescue, wherever it calls them!
Marvel promised more announcements about X-Men launches in the coming weeks. Check out the cover for Marauders Annual #1 by Russell Dauterman below.
MARAUDERS ANNUAL #1
Written by STEVE ORLANDO
Art by CREES LEE
Cover by RUSSELL DAUTERMAN