Marauders #2 Review - Right Series, Wrong Lead (spoilers)
Updated: May 8
• Marvel (Publisher)
I enjoyed Marauders #1 more than a lot of other reviewers out there. This review is coming late and issue #5 is sitting on my shelf. The series isn't bad but I'm not sure if I'm gonna keep the series on my pull list much longer. Issue #1 was a fun read but was definitely one of the lighter X-titles I'd read in a while. This is especially true considering the direction and tone of HOX and POX. Marauders #1 established the team and their mission statement. I didn't have much reason to complain. Marauders #2 is more of the same but whereas the first issue got a solid recommendation from me, this issue gets an enthusiastic meh.
This incarnation of Kitty Pryde is rubbing me the wrong way. This is not the Kitty Pryde I grew up with and it appears that another personality has been grafted onto the character. I understand the adjustments for the series but I question why have Kate in this role at all?
After reading the issue the character that immediately comes to mind to lead the Marauders was Callisto of the Morlocks. I realize the choice isn't the sexiest or most marketable choice but it makes sense from a setting and in-universe perspective. Callisto already has experience leading a nation of mutants. She looks like a pirate, fits the antihero vibe and has a long history Kitty Pryde and Storm. With the case presented, Callisto seems like an easy pick to be Emma's choice as Red Queen.
The book itself is okay, but the tone is a bit too snarky and goofy to be taken seriously. The opening action set piece has the Marauders going up against Batroc The Leaper and his crew. He gives the team a lot more trouble than I expected. Storm and Iceman are omega level mutants so its hard to reconcile that a group of pirates are a treat at all.
The art direction for the issue is fine when the figures are in motion. The action sequences look great and Matteo has a great feel for it. I have an issue with the characters not being drawn to superhero proportions but that's a nit-pick and won't hold it against the book. It's just weird when you see that all of the X-men are around the same height and body type.
Kate gets more great moments showing off her combat abilities but aside from her everyone feels like background noise. While the marauders are doing pirate stuff Sebastian Shaw and Emma Frost discuss business and how Sebastian has been screwing up the books.
I'll spare the details to avoid further spoilers but I will say I thought their scenes together were boring. I'm also not a fan of Shaw's depiction in Marauders and X-Men. It's hard to believe that back in the '80s this guy was capable of nearly taking out an entire group of X-Men on his own. In Marauders Shaw can't handle his finances and in X-Men, he's getting beat up by old women.
The scenes are written for laughs and ultimately undermine one of the X-Men's strongest villains. If you're a new X-fan and don't have the years of history with these characters you may find the comic serviceable, even good. From my perspective, many aspects of the book are just bad.
I can't recommend the issue for anyone except for die-hard X-Men fans and completionists.