Days Of Past Past: Reviewing ‘Marauders’ #10
by Scott Redmond
‘Marauders’ latest story arc comes to a rather rushed ending where a ton of ideas were floated but very few of them actually stay afloat by the time the issue came to an end. While much of this arc has been a beautiful colorful delight, there are many elements that speak to one of the weakest spots of this series: it’s too rushed.
Messy. If there was one word used to describe the current arc concluding issue of Marauders that would be one. Since this is a review there will be far more than just one word put into play to describe and dive through this issue but it’s a perfect place to start.
Messy is not inherently negative nor positive, sometimes something can be messy but be somewhere in the middle with both good and not-so-good qualities. Let’s start with the good. There are a lot of very intriguing concepts that Steve Orlando is juggling around in this series. One cannot say that he is not taking some mighty big swings, this entire time travel rescue thread grown out of the space arc that came before it is some huge swings. Especially since there are numerous elements weaved through this whole run that reference or refresh elements of the long history of the X-Men line.
Nostalgia is something that can tip too far in an overwhelming direction, but some writers can weave it into their stories in a less heavy way. The return to a very specific 90s issue of X-Men notwithstanding, Orlando has done a very good job of bringing in characters and elements that used to be a part of the mythos back into focus while also building an entire world and population with the Threshold.
Visually all of this is top-notch because Eleonora Carlini has such an intriguing and energetic style of art, where things have an inherent sense of motion to them alongside some great depth/detail work. Slight exaggerations to proportions just enhance the almost whimsical feeling, without losing the weightier feeling that it needs to nail the more serious or dangerous moments that are tossed our way. Quirky and gorgeous would be good words to attach to it all with just the right amount of sharpness to it all. The same goes for the colors that Matt Milla applies to that artwork.
Just like Carlini’s artwork, Milla’s colors have a rough, sharp quality alongside their smoothness and depth. Plenty of vivid color pops are on display, but the colors are toned down just a bit so that they have a weightier and more real feeling. Many of the more fantastical elements in play are where the brighter colors come into play, allowing those elements to stand out as they should.
All that energy can always be found in the lettering work that Ariana Maher brings to the page, making sure that the lettering has the right tone/focus/volume at any given time. Having lots of fun with all the colorful prominent SFX across the pages, and adding little flairs to dialogue to make it hit even harder for the reader.
As beautiful as it is to look at, we have to get into why it’s so messy. Just like noted in the previous review and some of the first arc reviews, there is just so much rapid-fire stuff being thrown around that none of it really sticks or means a whole ton at the end of the day. Yes, there is a whole-time travel paradox thing where they had to make this trip to the past because they already did to set up things that we saw in prior runs in years past. Yet, they gain very little out of it all other than revenge against Cassandra Nova (for the umpteenth time since she came was created) and the three mutants they rescued from Threshold are reborn again to join either this crew or the background of mutants that make up Krakoa.
There are big ideas here to be explored but truly it feels like Orlando was trying to shove ten pounds of ideas into an already sort of ripped five-pound bag. Certain out of nowhere reveals ended up meaning nothing as they were brushed past, the foes they came to take on were just quickly dispatched, the people they came to save could not be saved (as some had figured), and one of them seemed to instantly fall in love with someone they had just met. Any of these things, had they been given time to actually breathe and grow, could have been interesting to follow but just not all at the same time so quickly.
Hopefully moving forward the thing that this book incorporates from the 90s/past, is crafting in the room to allow plots/characters the space they need to make their moments stick and have an impact. Though we’ll see since the next issue seems to have to do with Genosha, ya know the other former mutant homeland island that Nova wiped out, pointing to more mining of Grant Morrison’s X-Men work. Marauders #10 is now available from Marvel Comics.