Jonathan Hickman is finishing the highly important Inferno series, which leads directly into Benjamin Percy’s two Wolverine series that take over in January. In the meantime, similar to Wolverine #18 last week, Marauders #26 bides its time with side quests and filler action.
This isn’t bad necessarily, it just doesn’t feel all that important. Juggling two plots, Gerry Duggan starts by reintegrating Sebastian Shaw’s ally Harry Leland into Krakoa. Duggan does a good job reminding us what type of man he is while also integrating him into Shaw’s life in a clever way. There’s a somewhat touching moment between Leland and another character that feels important and should make for an interesting dynamic as Shaw isn’t going away anytime soon.
Leland also supplies a unique perspective since he’s an older mutant who gets to see Krakoa for the first time here. He acts like a reminder that Krakoa is a great thing and a dream mutants like him have wanted forever.
Problem is, Leland isn’t that interesting, and since the Hellfire Club doesn’t really exist it reads like he’s in the story simply for nostalgic reasons. He’ll likely be part of a Hellfire Club resurgence on some scale, but mostly he’s in this story as an introduction with little to go on as far as how he’ll mix things up in the future.
The second plot involves the Marauders transporting some Krakoan alcohol to Madripoor. It’s a simple enough mission until Fin Fang Foom shows up ready to drink all their alcohol. This subplot is kooky and fun on a hard-to-believe level, but it’s also rather pointless and middling. It’s the kind of story that is fine, but nobody is going to rush out and buy it for this fight either. It’s also unconnected from larger stories the Reign of X era and feels like filler.
If you’re an Iceman fan, you’ll dig it. Ultimately this becomes all about Iceman fighting Fin Fang Foom and showing off how his omega-level status can stand up against even one of the most powerful characters in Marvel Comics. Frankly, if Iceman can make himself 40 stories tall and do the things he does here, he really has no excuse to lose a fight again.
Art by Matteo Lolli is good, especially the scene with Leland seeing all the mutants flying about on Krakoa. The man sees the happy ending mutants always craved and Lolli makes you feel that. Fin Fang Foom also looks great in his big purple shorts and various expressions as he’s in shock Iceman can even hold his own for a second. Colors by Rain Beredo add a brightness to the story that really leans into the ludicrous nature of comics.
Marauders #26 is an okay experience that only nudges the needle by introducing Leland to Krakoa. It’s also a story that only comics could get away with as we witness an outlandish fight between Iceman and Fin Fang Foom that really didn’t need to exist, but now it does. Iceman fans rejoice, as you get to see him go off in a big way.
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