Previously on Marauders (be sure to check out our Marauders #1 review): Kate Pryde (previously known as Kitty Pryde previously known as Shadowcat) discovers she can’t teleport like other mutants. It seriously ruins her mood around Krakoa, but with a new ship and crew she sets out to save mutants in anti-mutant countries. If she can’t teleport to Krakoa then she’ll do her darndest to bring mutants home. We also get to see Kate’s incredible fighting ability as she helps rescue Colossus.
We now return you to the regular issue #2 programming…
Marauders is likely many X-Men fan’s favorite Dawn of X book and for good reason. Kate Pryde is a great character, the idea of a pirate mutant team is electric, and Emma Frost is a key player in this series on top of all that. She actually opens the book speaking to the Cuckoos which you can see in our preview. Her role in the issue is largely to speak to Sebastian Shaw who is very angry for most of the issue. Emma is attempting to talk reason to Sebastian who is very much losing money. This plot helps convey how mutants aren’t really in it for money and yet others are. There is a lot of money to be made trading mutant drugs, but in an apt line Kate points out, “Mutant money grows on trees now.” Due to this and the main mission to save subjugated mutants and mutant refugees that makes this book largely political.
That isn’t to say this isn’t fun. A lot of this issue is action-orientated as Kate, Pyro, Storm, and Iceman takes out a ship smuggling mutant drugs. Once again Kate comes off as the best fighter of the bunch and there’s a clever fight sequence utilizing her powers you won’t want to miss. She has an attitude and spunk that’s hard to not love too. The nature of this team is starting to become clear too which is less good-guy superhero stuff and more grey-area pirate stuff. They burn ships when they’ve been conquered, they drink and party, and they get tattoos. Honestly, the latter is one of the funnier scenes in all of the Dawn of X books and worth a look.
The art by Matteo Lolli with colors by Federico Blee and letters by Cory Petit keeps the action and dramatic dialogue scenes intense and interesting. I continue to love how Lolli draws Kate; she’s so at ease when fighting it’s almost alarming. I guess when you can phase and never be touched going into a fight isn’t very stressful. Her carefree nature makes this a pleasure to read. Emma, on the other hand, is all power as she debates and chastises Sebastian in her scenes. The body language and facial expressions are on point.
If I were to find fault in this issue it’s the difficulty in reading Kate. We’ve yet to learn why she can’t use the Krakoa teleportation doors and yet it appears she doesn’t care to learn herself. Her emotions are also all over the place from calm and carefree in fight scenes, to cold in a scene with Iceman, to straight-up drunk in another. Based on these emotions I’d wager she’s going through a lot, but it’s not being articulated in a way that’s clear or easy to read. Somewhat minor is also the data pages that are interesting to think about but don’t add a ton to the narrative.
It’s easy to gather Dawn of X is working thanks to each book feeling so new and fresh. Marvel Comics has dropped a brand new direction on the mutants and creators like Gerry Duggan and Matteo Lolli are running with it so well they may just win this marathon of excellent comic storytelling.
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