Great character-focused moments and memorable artistic moments keep the heavy ship that is Marauders afloat for another month as things are really paused more than they are concluded. Overall there is a sense of fun to the issue but it’s mostly just standard fare for this series which hasn’t changed much since its debut.
Among certain circles of X-fandom on the internet, there is little debate as to how overall good the current era of X-Men comics is compared to some of the years past. What has come up lately in those same circles is some conversation about whether some books in the line are somewhat stalled.
The last issue of Marauders definitely felt like it was treading water, while also engaging in a very questionable racial-tinged moment with Bishop. This issue continues the almost 19-issues long Madripoor plotline and breaks the treading water mold only because it semi-concludes things ahead of the upcoming “Hellfire Gala” event story.
There is so much about the Hellfire Trading Company and the Marauders themselves that would be so very interesting to see in regard to the rest of the world outside Madripoor. There is nothing wrong with the plot overall, outside of a few questionable moments or some that fall flat, it just feels like often this series and a few others are always just stuck in place between events. It’s as if they have to buy time till the eventual next act of this line relaunch arrives (which to be fair was likely delayed/changed following last year’s slowdown of comics).
Gerry Duggan makes up for the treading water feeling with great character moments and in this issue that allows the Morlocks to really have their moment as the heroes that come to save Madripoor. There are still some quibbles with this plot, as the Morlocks themselves bring up because it plays into the idea that they are still outcasts that will give Krakoa plausible deniability if the world found out what they were doing on the island.
There is also the fact that the power/classism/income disparity issues that are brought up about Madripoor in this story are just sort of left hanging as things become a typical superhero fight. This is not something that only happens in this book, as far too often comics work to capture real-world events/statuses that tend to get muddled by eventual action beats.
Pyro and Iceman are a fun duo and bring a bit of fun as they work on creating a distraction for Kate Pryde and the Morlocks to engage their plan.
Stefano Caselli, Edgar Delgado, and Cory Petit continue to do really good work with this issue, creating some really memorable panels and pages. Like an early one with the deadly new Reavers silhouetted by fire with smoke all around them or a shadowy Kate swimming through the ocean with Pyro’s fire above her. Petit has been around the X-Office for quite some time, among other books, and continues to bring it with his work. The SFX used in a particular panel with Kate in the sewers was one that just felt accurate, and gross as it should be.
The Reavers continue to be a perfectly nightmarish visual, one that hopefully is used in the future should they return (though not likely in some cases after this issue).
Marauders #19 is now on sale from Marvel Comics in print and digital.