The ghost of the Mutant Neutralizer gun returns to haunt the new status quo of mutant superiority and we read the inner thoughts of the Red Queen and Nightcrawler in a poignant exchange of words that tragically went unread. As the White Queen unveils her newest acquisition in a show of force, the Marauders manage to not only save the day for all mutant kind, but ensure that no one knows they even played a part.
Despite the long gap between issues (and yes I know my late review sorry) the reprisals for Xavier’s grand plan are finally coming home to roost. The fact that the Neutralizer gun has resurfaced is of little surprise. What does surprise me is that no one anticipated this move. Though Forge was confident that he destroyed all records back in the day, the reveal that someone with an eidetic memory (not photographic folks, small niggle) was on hand to replicate the process was a simple but good clean twist. One that allowed the plot to flow organically, but didn’t overshadow the story. This allowed the crux of the dilemma to be about rescuing the captured scientist and gaining another human ally, even as he was mind-wiped and given the perfect retirement. And another appearance from Masque. It’s almost like he’s being continually planted to keep reminding us of a subplot we aren’t seeing yet…… I have my theories. And the introduction of the Red and White Bishop in action was great to see as well. I am loving Bishop in red.
I had to give Sophie props for putting Shaw in his place as well. It seems his position on the Quiet Council is one of the more readily contested in terms of rebuttals. No one else has had as much back chat given by those not on the Council, and the way she put him in his place was a clear indication of the pull Emma has among the rest of the Council, in the way they trusted her mission. Though I found Magneto interrupting Xavier and taking control of the situation somewhat disconcerting, especially the way he arbitrarily decided the fate of the crew of the Russian freighter, like that’s not something he has form with. Russell Dauterman & Matthew Wilson again give us a strong dramatic cover, even as the use of Forge’s Swiss Army gear is a little misrepresented within. This is forgiven as it shows Storm and Emma side by side in full regalia and fighting like champions. The art of the book itself was laden with emotional drama and the implications of the past are rife as Storm brings the news to Forge of his past ill advised creation. Something that has deeper meaning for them both and brings to mind their complex relationship.
The drama is mostly low key in comparison, apart from the full on action shots. The vision of Storm and Iceman with such determined impassive expressions sent chills up my spine. Appropriate as they were stood on an iceberg as they arrived on the scene. I admit I had the Ride of the Valkyries echoing in my head. The pacing of the rescue scene was very well meted out and the perfect two prong attack of the heavy handed soldiers contrasting with Emma’s bold entrance, walking in unhindered, or remotely intimidated by men with guns. Purposefully using her sexuality to distract the guards is once again the ultimate in her destain for small minded men, reminding me of the best of her attitude in Whedon’s Astonishing. And the visuals of the UFO returning the captured crew was for me indication we need to see more of Stefano Caselli in action. The use of the Mercury was intriguing set up and I can’t wait to hear the origin of that particular piece of equipment.
With Emma’s attitude and Pyro’s wide eyed amazement Duggan is on point here as he has been throughout the whole run of the series so far. Kitty’s email to Kurt was also a nice touch, given the fact she isn’t physically present, which is a huge deal for some (me). Also where was Lockheed this issue, please and thank you? So to still hear her voice does add some resonance, even as she is literally sidelined. The way it conveyed her forthright personality perfectly and brought up so many key moments in their relationship was a great touchstone. Another argument for the inclusion of the text pages. In this one there is some clear hearkening back that cleverly managed to convey so much in one page, which would have taken a whole slew of pages of an actual visual interchange had it been done in pictorial form. The ambiguity of the wording is also intriguing, proving she really bought into her role as sea captain and pirate, something Kurt would have grinned about upon reading the missive. And his unread reply will tug at the heart strings and it is the closest we will get to a Eulogy. In a world where mutant recreation is a thing it is almost tragic that they will not allow for her to pass and keep trying to bring her back with no success…until now. It’s almost as though there’s a specific reason she can’t be resurrected….
What could have been just a basic smash and grab rescue mission managed to encompass so much more, by way of allowing us to read the thoughts of Kurt and the Red Queen. And alluding to the fate of Kate, even without seeing her. And we see both the Red and White Bishops in action. But where the hell was LOCKHEED?
Marauders #10: Mercury Rising
Writing - 8/108/10
Storyline - 6/106/10
Art - 7/107/10
Color - 7/107/10
Cover Art - 7/107/10
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