Steve Orlando and Eleanora Carlini’s Marauders is a far cry from the series that came before it. From the second the new creative team came aboard, the “pirate” series really became cosmic — almost like a Krakoan version of the Starjammers. So far, the series seems to have a much more cohesive vision than the original Marauders ever had, committing to the cosmic aspect that the Krakoa era of X-Men has so heavily featured.
The Crimson Kin are a bit lackluster as far as villains go, but the Shi’ar’s involvement is a fun treat. Since Hickman’s tenure on X-Men, the Shi’ar have been a presence, though nothing has really happened with them just yet. Marauders fixes this by actually giving the Shi’ar a more involved arc, something that felt necessary especially as the franchise seems to be relying on their cosmic side more these days.
The best part of Marauders #2 is the team. It’s great to see so many of these amazing characters finally have a home on a title and Orlando is pretty good at juggling his cast. Kate Pryde might be the “star”, but she’s hardly the only one who gets anything to do in this issue, which is great. The team chemistry is fun so far as well, particularly the way the characters interact mid-battle.
Somnus and Tempo are probably the most interesting additions to the cast, since neither character really had a “home” in the franchise beforehand. Seeing both on the canvas in this title is the most exciting part and it’ll be interesting to see where Orlando takes both characters. Though Orlando didn’t create Akihiro/Aurora’s relationship, he did choose to have them remain together and they still lack any sort of chemistry whatsoever and feel forced, unfortunately.
Carlini’s art is very stylized and brings a certain cartoony aspect to it. The sharp details and facial expressions in the artist’s style really fit the vision for the book thus far.
Marauders #2 doesn’t really do anything that special to “wow” readers or convince anyone that this is a series to watch out for, which is probably the most disappointing aspect of the book. What it does do, however, is feature a cast of incredibly interesting characters who deserved a place in the Krakoa X-Men books and give them a fun dynamic to boot.
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