The Marauders face off against an alliance of hate in a bid to rescue the mutant refugees on board the Upstart. And though they believe they have taken control of the cargo and also dealt with the ones pulling the strings, the whole affair was mere distraction. As all seems well the team not only miss the fact the enemy have sequestered a spy under deep cover, but also that their Queen has been taken off the board in a calculated betrayal by one of their own kind.
This issue has it all going on and Gerry Duggan went all out. Pyro in peril. Kate in peril. And *gasp* Lockheed in peril. Then on top of that we have X-Cutioner, Hate-Monger and Donald Pierce working with the Verendi kids. All the haters of yesteryear have some new blood to give the venom some bite. As if all that weren’t enough Sebastian Shaw finally putting his game face on. And so the cracks are forming in the Quiet Council as Sebastian reveals his true colours. This was of course never in doubt and was only a matter of time. Though I was a little surprised as I believed this one wasn’t his game, especially using his son as bait. I expected him to do something more grand and aim it at Emma specifically. But it was so satisfying to see him revert to form nonetheless. I also hope Shinobi and Christian are not completely complicit in all this and are being fed a line to get them to play along. And as Kate herself says, this will have repercussions for him. And if he isn’t to join Sabretooth in pokey I hope there will at least be a some comeback on this.
Sebastian Shaw dispatching Kate was inevitable, she was in the way of his original plan for Red Monarch. There was a certain amount of flattery in this as it means he truly sees her as a threat. And again thanks to Kate reminding us, Lockheed cannot be resurrected, much like herself. As cliffhangers go her fate isn’t all that shocking, as it’s been heavily hinted at from the start, despite her being protected by two omega level mutants. Even if one of them did need a little protecting himself. Which was an affirming moment for Lockheed, as his strength of character and devotion is sometimes underplayed. Not here though. This move seemed totally organic and within his capability.But to actually see them go there with Lockheed? Ouch! I am less concerned with Kate’s potential demise than I am his. She can phase after all….how WAS that a problem for her here? Was there some meaning to Shaw’s “half mutant” crack? Mmmmm, no. I’m guessing it’s down to the power dampening effect of the armour on the boat. But that must surely only have a dependence on range. No what really marks Shaw as a nasty piece of work is his calculated targeting of the little Flocker. Lockheed is one of the most beloved characters in the x-community, and if Duggan has done him in there will be many unhappy fans.
But his writing this issue has me almost forgiving this transgression. Firstly the humorous way Pyro goes full on mentalist in his fighting method, as well as Iceman declaring his gig on Drag Race. Such fun. Then we have the smart nod to Forge’s history with the power dampening tech they are dealing with, which impressed me. Not to mention Kate’s first hand acknowledgement that racism and bigotry is brought to the fore in her inner thoughts as she declares her fear of men in hoods. And moments later confirming we are dealing with Carl Denti and not his replacement the last time her Gold team faced him. As well as then challenging them in true Pryde style, even as she admits she was afraid of men like them before even knowing she was a mutant.
Equally as illuminating was the datatext page, full of insight and background info. No small feat as these have been hit and miss when handled by writers who are not Hickman. It not only clarified the blink-and-miss-it moment Yellowjacket goes all Inner Space, but it also shows some insight into the goings on of Iceman and Pyro in downtime. As well as shedding some light on the inner workings of the Marauder, particularly Emma’s leisure wear. AND there are hints of how Yellowjacket may become a potential human sympathiser in his final missives. Thought provoking and informative stuff. And as if the story itself didn’t offer enough action and suspense for readers, then the art team of Matteo Lolli and Mario Del Pennino rose to the challenge and matched it panel for panel. The facial expressions were eye catching and spectacularly expressive in terms of visuals, right to the end and the denouement of Shaw’s master plan.
Also particularly in Kate’s confrontation scenes, which really show a wide range of moods and emotions. Her dialogue throughout her fight with Hate Monger and X-Cutioner was so accurately pitched to the ongoing drama and the expressions never seemed out of place or irrelevant to the plot and informed the emotion well. And as for the action, Bishop taking the full brunt of an explosion takes second place in terms of dramatic impact to Storm taking prime panel space facing off against Pierce. Once again just as rewarding as last issue, even if she doesn’t take someone’s eye out. So both action and dramatic scenes hit the right notes for me. By the way when did he get so buff?
And yet another dynamic cover from Russell Dauterman and Matthew Wilson, giving the instantly recognisable image of X-Cutioner some impact in his depiction as the frame for the brawl. My only grumble this whole issue was the way Shaw managed to get the jump on Kate. Her phasing power is as instinctive to her as breathing. And although it could be argued the tech mentioned was responsible for her not phasing, her blacking out so soon is not. She has over the years managed to hold her breath for extraordinary lengths of time. So I find it hard to swallow she loses consciousness just a few feet underwater. I’m convinced this was just cliffhanger material and all will be resolved with a quick fix next issue….I hope. Also speaking of hopes, is anyone else hoping Yellowjacket goes full size and kills Pyro, so he can be resurrected sans face tattoo?
Another full on action packed issue matched perfectly with the drama and dialogue. The hits keep coming.
Marauders #6: Bad Blood In The Veins
- Writing - 8/108/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Art - 9/109/10
- Color - 8/108/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10
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