After nearly two months without a new physical comic book release, nor anything to show for the X-Men, Marvel jumps back in with Marauders #10.
While this issue does not involve a worldwide pandemic, it does deal with coming to terms with death. I will not spoil you on who was recently lost in a previous issue of Marauders, but Emma Frost and Charles Xavier must face a sad truth and reality: their friend is not coming back. No matter how hard they hold out or how many journal entries they write, begging for this character to re-incarnate on Krakoa, they have to learn how to say goodbye. It’s a harsh reality, and one that many people across the globe are having to accept and face in the looming shadow of the pandemic sweeping Earth.
Emma Frost and her team are left emotionally fragile and angry. As soon as Storm receives information that Russians have acquired the information on Forge’s technology to create mutant power-dampeners, the Marauders have a target to take out their anger and frustration. If the target happens to involve bigots and racists, even better.
In this case, the Marauders head to war with a ship in Russia. It’s a tale as old as time, or at least one within the last 80 years, during the age of the Cold War. To be honest, targeting Russia in a story has been played out in the Marvel Universe too many times – just look at Omega Red. Regardless, the purpose and context works for the story, and luckily the Marauders only deal with a Russian boat.
Enough about that. Let’s talk about the important stuff here: Emma Frost.
Emma is a character who I have idolized since Generation X. She has continued to evolve over the past 30 years into one of the hardest and most brilliant supporters of not just mutant rights, but equal rights. Emma is the person who shows up to tell you why her enemy’s racist views are wrong, all while crushing their soul and being classy about it. When Emma Frost is angry, you better hope you are not on the receiving end. This is one of those stories.
After manipulating a bunch of misogynistic mutant-hating men to shoot each other in the legs, Emma strolls up to the Captain of the boat, who Callisto has already taken captive.
“There’ll be hell to pay for your kind when this story gets out,” the Captain shouts. Emma simply looks up at him, a sly smile crossing her face.
“I haven’t written your story yet. But it’s going to go a little something like this,” Emma starts. “You and your men are going to fall into a deep sleep, and when you wake up, you will have no memory of the last month. When you do awake, you will have nothing but warm thoughts for mutants and any humans that dare to exist as an oppressed minority… Gay, disabled, trans – it doesn’t matter. The thought of cruelty to those different than you will make you physically ill.”
“You will have no knowledge of where your ship was lost… Just that a UFO collected you and that little gray aliens prodded you for a few hours before dropping you safely back home in Red Square,” Emma continues. “It’s more than you deserve, you small-minded man.”
Gerry Duggan… *Chef’s Kiss* Beautiful writing.
Where is the real life Emma Frost? We need her now.
Is the death of this character forever? This is the X-Men, so the answer is “No.” Aside from Jean Grey walking and out of death like it’s a fashion statement, most of the X-Men have dropped into some form of limbo at least once. Given the context of this story, it seems that our lost hero may actually be set up for a greater role within Krakoa.