The Dawn of X continues with the first X-Men comic not written by Jonathan Hickman in months (though his stinking infographics were still all over it). Was it any good? Let's find out…
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 #1 DX
(W) Gerry Duggan (A) Matteo Lolli (CA) Russell Dauterman
THE X-MEN SAIL AT DAWN!
Even in this glorious new dawn, Mutantkind faces hardships and oppression from their human counterparts. Led by Captain Kate Pryde and funded by Emma Frost and the Hellfire Trading Company, Marauders Storm, Pyro, Bishop and Iceman sail the seas of the world to protect those hated and feared!
In Shops: Oct 23, 2019
What Happened in Marauders #1?
Marauders #1 cold opens with a scene of Nightcrawler, Storm, and Kitty Pryde welcoming some mutants to Krakoa, ushering them through a portal. But when Kitty tries to enter the portal, she smashes her face into it, resulting in a bandage on her nose for the rest of the issue. It seems Krakoa has some kind of grudge against kitty. Now it's time for the recap page, credits, and an infographic page showing messages recovered by the government from a bottle Kitty dropped off the side of a boat she stole in order to make her way to Krakoa the hard way. Then we see Kitty and Lockheed arriving at the island. She meets a child who knows her as the person who can't go through the portals, as well as Wolverine, who gave her a shopping list (which we see in an infographic) to pick up ribs, whiskey, beer, sandwiches, coffee, and pomade for him… guess that stuff can't go through the portal either? Iceman is there too, eating potato chips, which he notes are hard to come by on Krakoa.
Iceman heads through a portal to investigate why it has no traffic. While he's gone, Kitty has a flashback to Emma Frost offering her a job as a captain for the Hellfire Trading Company. In addition to helping out with the Krakoan drug black market, Kitty can help to liberate mutants whose local governments are oppressing them and bring them to Krakoa. She asked Storm first, but Storm refused. The implication is that Kitty will be the Red Queen of the Hellfire Club if she joins up. Or is it Red King? Emma also wonders why Kitty doesn't make the other X-Men call her Kate, which will come up later. Meanwhile, Iceman finds himself in Russia after going through the portal, where the government is refusing to let mutants leave, as they must serve the state. There's a dude there with power-dampening armor who attacks Iceman, so he flees back through the portal. Kitty, who is drunk by this point, decides she wants to pick a fight with some "aggro humans," so she gathers Storm and Iceman and gets back on her boat. Meanwhile, in Taiwan, Bishop visits a woman named Zhao who is causing a ruckus by claiming her husband was taken by mutants and hasn't returned. Bishop says they have no record of him going through the portal, but she refuses to talk to him.
At sea, Kitty, Iceman, Storm, and Lockheed find that Pyro — who they learn is the original, resurrected — had stowed away on the ship, so he joins their impromptu team as well. They arrive in Russia and Kitty pretty much kicks the entire Russian military's ass, including the guy with the armor. They bring some mutants home, and as one of them is broadcasting live on the internet via her cellphone, Kitty sends the world a message: if you're a mutant and can't get to Krakoa, then the Marauders will bring you home. Later, on the boat, Storm agrees to join Kitty's team officially as long as she doesn't have to talk to Emma. She doesn't like the Marauders name, but Kitty figures the business they'll be getting up to shouldn't be associated with the X-Men. She telepathically accepts Emma's offer from earlier and asks the team to call her Kate. The issue ends with a page of Mister Sinister's gossip column.
Was it Any Good?
With all of the Krakoan business we've been subjected to for the past few months, it's nice to see the X-Men out interacting with the rest of the world again. The team, which has been previously noted is similar to the one featured in Volume 3 of the recent Iceman series, has good chemistry.
That being said, while we saw some questioning of the Krakoan status quo, such as Kitty noting that villains have been invited to the island, and such as Kitty rejecting the island (which rejected her first), she does still seem more than happy to go along with the mutants' new world order pretty quickly, even accepting a position in the Hellfire Club and brutally beating up on soldiers, at least some of whom were theoretically "just doing their job." It turns out the Russians really were preventing mutants from coming to Krakoa, even though Iceman didn't really have any evidence of that before their mission, so Kitty's actions were retroactively justified. But what will happen when the Marauders come across mutants who don't want to join them?
All of that is to say that while we're seeing some mutants regain their personalities after the cold and impersonal HoXPoX, there are still questions to be answered about why everyone is totally on board with the Krakoan nation and its objectives. Storm is once again here a prime example. She is mistrustful enough that she doesn't want to work directly with Emma Frost, but is fine with Apocalypse and Mister Sinister having spots on the Krakoan government? Is that a symptom of the "plot > characterization" method that has plagued the Marvel universe for a few decades, or is it a story element that will be explored in the future? The jury is still out on that one.
As to why Kitty can't use the Krakoan portals, Rich Johnston theorizes it's because she's not really a mutant, backed by the words of Chris Claremont himself, and we all know Chris Claremont is the one true arbiter of X-Men canon.
Wolverine's Weiner X-Pick of the Week
Now that HoXPoX is over and we'll be getting more X-books, it's time to bring back the Wolverine's Weiner X-Pick of the week, awarded to the comic that provides the most satisfying X-Men experience, like grilled meat on a hot summer day. It seems we may still get single-X-book weeks for the foreseeable future, and on those weeks, if the one X-book sucked, then no one will get the Wolverine's Weiner X-Pick of the Week.
The bottom line is that while I'm still wary that this relaunch will fall short of expectations in the long term, this issue was entertaining enough in the short term and a breath of fresh air from the super-serious HoXPoX, and also the only X-Men comic to hit stores last week, which makes it the Wolverine's Weiner X-Pick of the Week. Congratulations to the creative team.
- 10/16/2019: X-Men #1
- 10/23/2019: Marauders #1
Next week, we have Excalibur #1 as well as Dead Man Logan #12. It will be hard to beat any comic that kills a Wolverine, so Excalibur will have a lot to live up to.
Read more X-ual Healing here: