Setting Sail Once More: Reviewing ‘Marauders Annual’ #1

by Scott Redmond


A brand new era begins for the Marauders with a new team and a new creative direction that takes them back to their mutant rescuing mission. An X-Men 2099 villain makes their modern era debut and opens some interesting new debates, in a very heavy but energetic issue that handles the gathering of a new cast in the best way possible.


With Inferno having reached its conclusion and X Lives of Wolverine/X Deaths of Wolverine paving the way for a new era of the X-Line, it’s a time of change for the mutants of Krakoa. And while other books are awaiting those changes to come later this spring, Kate Pryde is getting ahead of the curve as the Marauders undergo some big changes.

Gathering the team issues are always a tough thing as the creators must come up with scenes and ways to bring them in, and it can often drag naturally slow a story down. That’s not the case with this annual issue, as truly Steve Orlando found a way to do a gather the team issue that has a ton of energy and feels like it has the most purpose out of all of them. Every character that Kate and Bishop bring together here, while they might be choices of Orlando that he wants to write, the reasons for them are clear and powerful and bring so much more to the page and don’t feel like it’s just a gathering of characters the writer wanted.

As I tweeted the moment Orlando announced that this issue was coming and who was going to be in it, I love the idea of adapting characters like Brimstone Love from X-Men 2099 into the current stories. Not only is the 2099 future we know an alternate reality future, but at the same time, we don’t know how old the character is there so there is no reason that he can’t have been around in the present day as well.

All that being said, what really stood out was the direction for the character. Having Brimstone leading a group of folks, mutant and human alike, that believed in the coexistence dream of Xavier but now feel abandoned in the age of Krakoa is an interesting one. This isn’t something I expected anyone would be tackling, but now it is, and it definitely brings some new levels to this character and the world situation.

I don’t believe that I’ve come across Creees Lee’s work before, but it works really well for a book like this. Not only does it nail the more action-type situations but there is an inherent almost rough sort of quality in many areas around the edges that is befitting a book with a rough crew going on rough missions on the open seas.

There is a lot of detail in the work too, especially in many of the scenes where Akihiro is put through the wringer by Brimstone Love. There is also a lot of creative paneling work going on here with the white space and small closeups and insets that helps make things flow even better.

It all fits with the colors of Rain Beredo who goes for a less bright color palate here but instead goes with one that is a bit more dulled and shadowy which works for what we’re getting in this story. This is not to say there are no brighter colors here, as we get some vivid yellows and orange in some scenes and some bright pops here or there. There is more of a heavyweight over the colors because this isn’t a standard superheroics type book but is already handling heavier topics.

Cory Petit brings it all together with the lettering and knocks it out of the park as usual. There are a lot of great ways that he always goes about this but the one that instantly stood out was in the scene showcasing Tempo using her abilities to speed through a breakup. Not only does the dialogue of Bouncer ‘speed up’ by tons of words being in the bubble together but the font shrinks and shifts to italics and feels faster just on sight.

It’s the same sort of energy and care given to things like accurately depicting yells or whispers as well as bringing the SFX to big bold life at times. The same goes for the perfect bits of red and changed fonts we get from Brimstone’s dialogue, which is befitting of his theatricality.

This new era of Marauders should prove to be quite interesting.

Marauders Annual #1 is now on sale in print and digitally from Marvel Comics.

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