The End Is The Beginning Is The End: Reviewing ‘Marauders’ #12
by Scott Redmond
As the series finale, ‘Marauders’ #12 brings everything back to where it all began a year ago putting a cap on the story of Threshold and giving Kate Pryde’s crew a successful mission. While some elements didn’t get as much spotlight as one might like, this was a fun and wild series that took a lot of chances just as one should do in this new status quo.
All things must end. Some journeys are far longer than others, but ultimately what matters is having taken the journey. For Kate Pryde and the members of her Marauders crew, their journey has come to an end (at least for the time being), and what a journey it has been. With an ending though, comes a beginning.
Just glancing back through my previous twelve reviews, counting the annual that kicked this book off, one can easily see that I’ve been both fond of and confused by this title.
It’s a book that has tried to do a whole lot with its limited real estate, which is a fact that I can respect. From space to the past to a religious cult to trying to fulfill the possibility of a predestined paradox-like situation, it’s a book that has been all over the place both setting and focus-wise. One cannot say that Steve Orlando, Eleanora Carlini, Matt Milla, Ariana Maher, Travis Lanham, and various other contributors didn’t swing for the fences with this series. It has a ton of big ideas that really tap into some of the possibilities that were born out of this Krakoan status quo, going places that other titles haven’t quite traversed.
Some of those ideas could have used far more room to actually breathe, mostly the whole side plot with Brimstone Love that concludes here but didn’t quite pan out over the long haul, but the overall plotline dealing with the ancient mystery and the first mutant society was fleshed out and wrapped up. Previously I spoke about how the whole Threshold plotline took up a lot of air in this title and the promise that this series was going back to the mission to save mutants wasn’t quite fully a focus. There were certainly shades of it and the overall storyline was about a rescue in a sense, the creation of life out of the death that blanketed Genosha, so there was that.
One can’t help but wonder if some of the plotlines were not as serviced timewise because of the title coming to an end with whatever changes are on the way, or the fact that titles these days (outside of the really big tier long-time books) are essentially all limited series hoping they can become a full-fledged ongoing (whatever that means in an era heavy on relaunches).
As I noted above the Brimstone Love part of the plot comes to a sort of unceremonious end with this issue as Fang kicks the cult leader around a bit before using Johnny D (a character that I recall being pretty vile back in the days of the 198 mutants) to create a puppet of the villain before having Lockheed fry him essentially. There definitely seemed to be some potential with the cult that Love had built that seemed to believe it was the keepers of Xavier’s old dream, and perhaps that will be picked up later in whatever comes next.
This is a pretty rapid-paced issue as we rocket through using Genosha and it’s ghost population to create a seed, using a new mutant circuit, in order to create Threshold right into a lot of last bits and pieces around Cerebra, Emma’s part in this whole story, and some other loose ends that Orlando is tying up.
Carlini and Milla draw and color the heck out of everything they are presented with her from the short-lived Fang/Love fight to the ghost parts to the pretty awesome depiction of this mutant circuit at work. I really like Carlini’s style as it has a very fun and whimsical feeling to it but also is pretty hefty and deep with what details and work that is put into everything. It fits the very wild out there concepts of this book, making them feel fantastical but also somewhat normal at the same time.
That pairs well with the colors that Milla brings to the page that are very vivid and bright but at the same time are somewhat toned down and natural like in various areas. It helps us to be able to focus on the more fantastical elements when the things behind and around them are more natural feeling to our eyes and what we believe the world to look like. Whether that world is real around us or drawn on a page.
All that same energy is felt in the way that Lanham presents the lettering here, allowing all the voices to flow naturally and pop with personality while also making sure that we’re not overwhelmed by the sheer amount of exposition and such that needs to be presented for this issue. It dances around the artwork to compliment it and also helps guide us through the pages.
Overall this series has been quite a bit of fun, even when it’s been confusing or a bit too much, and it’s been a delight to follow it and review it each month. Krakoa as a concept for the line could use more of these books that are taking big swings and really diving into the idea that this is a new era where not even the sky is the limit.
Marauders #12, the series finale, is now available from Marvel Comics.