Time Is Not On Their Side: Reviewing ‘Marauders’ #4
by Scott Redmond
The Marauders find answers to their mission which only brings them new questions, and new challenges, while also dealing them a pretty devastating loss for the time being. This series continues to be a fun romp in space while also bringing new dimensions not only to some of the cast but the history of mutants and the tapestry of the overall Marvel Universe.
When it comes to any sort of mission that involves the super-powered beings of the Marvel Universe, it goes without saying that most times it’s not going to go according to plan. There is also likely to be some expected or unexpected complication that shows up. This is just such the case for the Marauders’ space mission to learn about and rescue their possible mutant ancestors.
This fourth issue kicks off with action and a pretty big loss for the team but is very heavily an issue that takes time to look back and give answers. Big-time information drop issues can be a tough thing to undertake, but Steve Orlando balances that line where we learn a lot, but it is still interesting and the issue keeps moving forward with the same energy.
We learn about the ancient mutants (their home known as Threshold) and the ancient Shi’ar and what went down between them. There is a ton that is thrown out here and while still interesting, it is a lot to absorb and some of it isn’t quite as clear but for the most part, it works and fits things we already know about the evolution of life on Earth in this universe.
What I do appreciate is what Orlando is doing with Tempo, really expanding her powerset and showing that she’s not just someone that starts and stops time. As she says when calling out Bishop, she’s a true time traveler and apparently very deeply knows the pain that comes with messing with time since she doesn’t forget what used to be after changes are made. Hopefully, this time travel jaunt they undertake doesn’t overtake things too much but I’m certain it will be interesting/fun if the energy of this book keeps up.
A lot of that energy comes from the work that Elenora Carlini and Matt Milla keep bringing to the pages, keeping up that colorful whimsical but also dangerous feeling. Carlini’s artwork brings that feeling of whimsy/fun but also is sharp and has an edge as well as a weight to it. Action scenes are smooth and flow so well, but the talking head scenes keep all that moving as we get lots of great closeups and emotional shots. All the shifting of panel sizes, shapes, and styles helps as it can leave a page feeling frantic or action-packed, or ordered depending.
Milla’s colors are not only smooth and have a slickness to them, but they are also just so bright with an underlying darkness to them as well. Pages full of bright powerful reds or purples or greens or blues befitting of whatever is happening on the page. Yet the darkness and shadows are always lurking, never far behind. At the same time, there are panels or pages where that brightness is brought way down, giving the moment a more toned-down sort of feeling that refocuses on the seriousness of what is happening.
Gushing about the lettering work that Ariana Maher does is something that I will never ever be tired of doing because she brings such magic to the page. One of my favorite things that she does in many books is the use of sentence case, which allows for the regular volume talking to appear that way saving the bolds or bigger/smaller fonts to help tell what the tone of a certain dialogue should be. The way she brings SFX to life really fits with the whimsical/fun energy this series has because it’s colorful and styles rapidly change depending on what is being conveyed.
Marauders #4 is now available from Marvel.