I am not sure there’s been a big a shake-up to Marvel’s mutants than the Age of X concept, where Krakoa has become the home to all the mutants in the world as a new nation, since the unveiling of the “All-New All Different” X-Men team. With all the world’s mutants counted as citizens, that just means that characters the X-Men used to battle frequently have since gone on to become allies and traditional team line-ups don’t really mean anything anymore.
To that end, why not look into one of those new books and see what’s what?
Issue: Marauders #1, October 2019
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Matteo Lolli
The Plot: Kate Pryde, sometime Kitty and sometime Shadowcat, finds herself unable to cross through Krakoa’s teleportation gates like every other mutant on the planet. Her barrier, though, is caused by Krakoa itself for reasons unknown. Other mutants are having problems for completely different reasons. So, why not hit the high seas with a hand-picked crew and do some raids to bring more mutants to their new Krakoan home?
Commentary: I am inclined to think no mutant has grown and changed over time as much as Kate Pryde has. She’s been a timid teenager, a teacher, a friend, and a leader. This issue, when pressed, has her say she goes by “Kate” now instead of the more juvenile “KItty,” though that may be more the result of pointed barbs from her new financial advisor Emma Frost. She has a ship, a small boat she actually stole from some unknown yachtsman when she needed some other way to get to Krakoa, and her crew, at least to start, is composed of Lockheed (naturally), Iceman, Storm, and the original Pyro, among the first of the resurrected mutants because, he says, they needed to test the process with someone more expendable.
Wait, there was more than one Pyro? You know what? Never mind. He was a stowaway anyway.
Bishop, also, is supposed to be a member of the crew, but he’s off somewhere else, looking into a case where a woman is claiming mutants stole her mutant husband away from her, but Krakoa has no record of the guy.
Kate, it should be noted, apparently decided if she can’t get to Krakoa using a gate, then she might not be the only one, and the obvious first mission is to Russia where the local government, armed with at least one weapon that can neutralize mutant powers, just won’t let any Russian mutants through the gate. And even with Omega-level mutants like Storm and Iceman, it does mostly come down to Kate doing what she does best, even claiming a sword from one persistent Russian soldier, something that will go well with what looks like the pirate motif the series is shooting for. There are enemies abroad in the form of mutant-hating humans, but then there’s Emma Frost, and she almost certainly isn’t going to be doing much of anything out of the goodness of her diamond heart.
As for the series itself, it was a decent start, but nothing that would have grabbed me all that much. Duggan has a good grasp on Kate as a character, and there’s some decent bits of humor to be had, first as Kate faceplants into the barrier she expected to step through–and this is someone used to passing through solid walls–and then a bit with Wolverine relishing the fact Kate went on a supply run for him in what amounted to a brief cameo. I am intrigued by the Bishop plotline, but I do wonder how long a series like this can go on. Oh sure, I could just look up on Marvel Unlimited if it’s still going on, but where’s the fun of that?