What adventure remains for a pirate captain after conquering the 7 seas? Steve Orlando opens the solar sails and sends the Marauders into the waters above the expanse. This change in course doesn’t apply to the team’s mission however. Captain Kate has received a map, signed by her, that is over a billion years old. Now Kate must add a member to her team who holds information vital to rescuing the first of their kind.
Marauders # 1
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artist: Elenora Carlini
Color Artist: Matt Mills
Letterer: VC’s Ariana Maher
Recent team building exercises in the Marvel Universe have gone one of three ways. First, the team is formed by a response to an immediate threat, like Secret X-Men. Or they are a team based on recruitment/representation as is the case with Immortal X-Men. Finally, you have teams of requirement, like X-Force, where everyone has a specific function.
From the hand written communication from Bishop to Kate, I can say two things about the new additions to the Marauders. Clearly Kate has her reasons for wanting each member while Bishop has some reservations. I have to admit this section is probably my favorite of this book as it feels like the Captain Commander is getting a chance to do his job, in a manner of speaking. While this mission is vital to his role on Krakoa, I can’t help feel this is in some way maneuvering him out of place.
The art in this first issue didn’t always work. First, before I cover anything else can we get Tempo a new uniform. Her look has evolved little since her time with Stryfe. And please no helmet this time. I also noticed that during close-ups it appears that Kate looks de-aged. Part of my disappointment stems from feeling that Marauders offered growth for Kate, beginning with her inability to enter the gates. Of course this look may be intentional since her new crew-mate has taken to calling her by a former moniker. It is also in this Mummudrai on the Marauder where Carlini and Mills impressed the most. From the glint of evil in her eyes to the splashes of Krakoa’s entrails on her attire, Cassandra Nova’s compass has never shown truer. It just may not point in the direction Kate wants her crew to go in.
The X-Offices have rarely disappointed me during this Krakoan era but on certain levels Marauders # 1 doesn’t completely hit the mark. Still, fans shouldn’t jump ship yet since I am holding out a lot of hope for this second adventure. I am excited for the expanded crew especially since Bishop’s assessments hint at growth we can expect for each member. It also foreshadows some future conflicts as it hints at a weakness for each one as well. None of this will matter though if Cassandra can’t be controlled, especially with her behavior before boarding. Or if this title has meaning even I didn’t anticipate (btw, if Armor goes Red then I’m certain of it).
The stars have aligned for Captain Kate and crew to continue their mission to “Go Where Needed”. The journey, the mystery begins in the pages of Marauders # 1.
Now bring on that horizon.