It’s been a long time since Callisto has gotten the respect that she deserves. This issue of Marauders focuses on Callisto joining Emma’s ragtag espionage team of fabulous X-Men.
Callisto arrives to the Hellfire Trading Company, bitter and weary. She walks in on a nearly naked and gorgeous Emma Frost (What else is new). This is a drastic contrast to Callisto, who is a rugged mutant once hidden in the Morlock tunnels of New York City for her looks. You can feel the tension building in the room.
When Emma offers to create Callisto a fashionable new uniform, Callisto rips it to shreds, and then throws it on like punk rock star. To put these two characters together – someone who has nothing, with someone who has everything – shouldn’t work, yet it does.
One of the best moments of this issue is Callisto encountering Storm on Island M. Considering the history between these two mutants and their battle for leadership of the Morlocks, you would expect a fight to break loose. Gerry Duggan instead brings the relationship of these two long-time rivals to a more mature and adult relationship. After Callisto throws a dagger at Storm’s head (who promptly catches it with ease), the two embrace in a hug with a simple exchange of “didn’t have you pegged for this gig” and “back at you.” This really highlights the moral strength of these two characters, and how people can grow and set aside their differences, even becoming friends. It was a beautiful moment, and probably the most touching in this issue.
Another fantastic moment takes place between Callisto and Masque, who doesn’t feel the same excitement that everyone else does to live on the mutant island of Krakoa. Callisto cuts Masque off with a great line: “Listen to me, old man: I want this. How many hours did we waste sitting around in the dark b*tching about the good life that the pretty ones lived? And now the prettiest damn one is building something special, and she’s not eating alone, is she?”
Despite these beautiful character building moments for Callisto, the story lacks a narrative that makes any kind of sense. Kitty (Kate) Pryde has gone missing after receiving an elusive message about drugs being purchased by Kade Kilgore and Manuel Enduque in Madripoor. These two villains are boring, and really should be kept in far back in the Marvel vault. Their agenda is gray and muddled at best, not leaving room for the reader to care. Bishop of course hops right in through the Krakoa Stargate like his hot-headed self by straight up killing government officials, which seemed unnecessary and the opposite of what should have been a discreet operation to get intel. Thanks, Bishop. This is followed by Sebastian Shaw and Emma Frost sniping each other during a Mutant Council meeting about Kitty’s whereabouts, which was fun to read, but unnecessary and boring. Mr. Sinister agrees with the reader, with a bored look on his face.
The final panel ends with some fisherman in Madripoor Bay finding a supposedly dead Lockheed in their net, insinuating that something terrible has happened to Kitty Pryde – But we all know that Lockheed will live, nobody stays dead in the X-Men. And if Kitty Pryde can survive being rocketed around space, she can survive this. The stakes are low, and honestly very flakey.