Welcome, X-Fans, to another uncanny edition of X-Men Monday at AIPT!
The Marauders Monday festivities continue! If you missed today’s first article, click here. Now it’s time for new Marauders writer Steve Orlando to share his thoughts on each member of Captain Kate Pryde’s crew — and their new adversary, Brimstone Love. Take it away, Steve!
Captain Kate Pryde
Steve: I love that Kate has grown from an initial audience stand-in, learning under Wolverine, to someone who is indelibly confident, incredibly strong-willed and incredibly true to her own North Star — the star, not the person. And look, I’m sometimes a stubborn, strong-willed person, so I identify with Kate a lot. But at the same time, I think that she says what she means and does what she says. And I find that very respectable. That’s something that I try to do too. And when Kate says that they’re going to save a person, you know she’s going to do everything she can to make that a reality. She doesn’t say something that she doesn’t intend to do. To me, that’s the core of a leader, and it’s the core of someone to look up to.
Steve: I love Bishop’s perspective. He’s from the future, but he’s lived here for a long time. At the same time, though, I think that there is an interesting point of view on the present, where everything he’s sort of living in the past is him living in his history. That being said, I think it’s very clear that based on how much time he has spent here, this is his new home — it’s his adopted home. And I think Bishop offers perhaps a little bit of realism because of all the wars he’s been in and the places he’s gone to counter what I would say is maybe Pryde’s sometimes foolhardy idealism. And that’s something I need in my own life sometimes. So I like Bishop because Pryde is the captain, but in my mind, they’re essentially both the captain because Bishop comes in and says, “OK, how are we going to actually get this done?” And then they get it done.
Steve: She’s just suffered a huge loss in the case of the Hellions and isn’t sure where exactly she fits in. So what I love here is that her motivation is very simple. When Pryde comes to her, it’s said that she never wants anyone to go through what she went through ever again. I mean, yeah, she doesn’t want anyone to get played by a Victorian cape-obsessed scientist, but also she doesn’t want anybody to suffer loss. By rescuing these mutants and by being this person, she is like a living act of will. And I think that is very appealing to her. She’s self-actualizing her desire. One could say that she’s become her own focused totality and I think that that’s very exciting. She’s the focused totality of her personal life force.
Steve: Akihiro is the most like me, but I don’t have claws, and I’m slightly more compassionate, but maybe not. What I like about Akihiro is, you want to think from his appearances in the past that he’s a chip off the old block. But I think there’s a lot more contemplation to Akihiro than we’ve seen at times with his dad. And at the same time, I think that he’s someone who, having been wounded and been hurt, values his surrogate family very well. But also, when the chips are down, if you hurt those people or anyone that he values, it’s going to be him getting his hands dirty. I think that it’s a fascinating thing to think about. I’m not sure if he believes that he belongs in this better world they’re building, but he is very excited to be there. And of course, everybody else knows he does.
Steve: Aurora is a surprise powerhouse for the team. I think that anybody who’s been reading her for a long time knows that once she finds her confidence, which I think that she did in X-Factor and had at times before, she’s an incredibly powerful character. I think there’s a playful edge to her that is brought out by her relationship with Akihiro which is wonderful. But I think she’s on this team to prove that she is a powerhouse. She can move faster than light and I think she’s also looking to turn the page, as she says in the annual. She’s spent all this time in X-Factor looking for proof of death and it’s about time she found some proof of life, and that’s why she joins the Marauders.
Steve: Tempo is on the come up. I mean, she is integral to the book. And again, much like Aurora, I think her power level is deceptive. Time is such a fascinating thing and I think that people look at her and maybe only consider a very narrow view of what she can do — and probably her too. She’s looking to prove her dynamism. She was with the Mutant Liberation Front for a period of time, and yeah, she figured out that they were not who she thought they were and she left. But I think that she, much like Aurora, is ready to really visibly save some lives and at the same time, personally is looking to climb that ladder of respect on the island. And she deserves it because she has been a strong, ass-kicking woman for a long time. And by being out there as a mutant of color, by being a lesbian, she knows that she can be seen and inspire mutants and humans in the world. She’s ready to show up and surprise some people because I think people just think she hits fast forward and pause — it’s a lot more than that.
Steve: Somnus is the fresh eyes on everything fantastic that for many people on Krakoa has become mundane. I mean, look at how unusual and wondrous life is there and life as an X-Men or a mutant often is — although, yes, sometimes it’s terrifying. But he’s here to really show us just how amazing all of this is and to learn to enjoy life and enjoy his second chance in a way that he couldn’t during his first pass at life. Not because he didn’t have a good life, but it was a compromised one. So here he’s uncompromised. He spent 80-plus years compromising for the needs of other people. Now he’s putting himself first. Actually, the real surprising fact is that his powers don’t necessarily work in the simplistic way he thought before he came to Krakoa. Much like we become more powerful when we accept our pride and accept ourselves, he’s going to become more powerful in a lot of fascinating ways.
Steve: She’s mutantkind’s cruel stepmother. That one nerve in her was twisted by Jean Grey in X-Men Red, and she’s not necessarily weeping like at the end of that book, but what did stick is that she cares about mutants now. And that’s the only thing she really cares about. So for folks who think that she’s going to be soft and she’s going to be her same terrible — you know, essentially if Professor Xavier was Norman Bates, you basically have Nova. I think it’s very fun to write her, but at the end of the day, she is a person who is willing to do the dirtiest of dirty deeds to make sure mutantkind goes on. Where this team is going and who they’re going to be facing, they might just need someone like that.
Steve: Brimstone Love is great because he’s a powerhouse and he can go toe-to-toe with the whole team. And now that Apocalypse is off in another dimension, we need more beefy, meaty villains — and Apocalypse isn’t even a villain anymore, he’s an anti-hero. Love is just like an operatic douchebag. Like, I don’t know what else to say about him, but it’s really pleasing because in his operatic douchebaggery, he has actually weaponized a lot of issues that arise from a place like Krakoa and questions of what Krakoa means for Xavier’s original dream and things like that. So he takes a lot of real emotions in the mutants and humans of the Marvel Universe, but much like any bad faith actor and carnival barker huckster, you don’t have to be a geomancer to manipulate people. He doesn’t really care about any of those things. He’s doing it to lead people to the slaughter and he’s taking very real pain and using it for his very own real benefit. It should be no surprise, of course, that Captain Pryde takes an immediate dislike to him.
AIPT: But wait — what if there was another Marauder. Seems like there is!
Mystery 9th Marauder
Steve: There will be people joining the cast in the future that will be truly surprising. And it’s very, very exciting to me because not only do we get to bring in someone who has never been in a main line X-Men book before — a contemporary X-Men book, I should say — but we get to bring in a character who I believe is pretty historic as far as representation goes and those things are both exciting to me. But what the key is is that when this person comes back, it will be not just for those meta reasons, it will be because their role is indelible in the book and they offer something no other mutant can. I think they’re going to be showing up in a flash appearance within the first few issues perhaps, but like anyone who is new to Krakoa, where they land is going to be an ongoing question, and to bring them in is super exciting. When you see how they fit in, it’s going to be good and it’s possible trillions of lives will be on the line once they join the team. So we’ll see.
AIPT: Start speculating, X-Fans! And thanks for running through your cast, Steve! Here are two of the series’ stars in an eXclusive first look at artist Lucas Werneck’s variant cover to Marauders #1.
We still have one more treat to come, X-Fans. Be on the lookout later this afternoon for the final Marauders Monday article — Steve answering your questions!
Until neXt time, X-Fans, stay eXceptional!
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