Marauders #1 / Writer: Gerry Duggan / Artist: Matteo Lolli / Color Assistant: Federico Blee / Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit / Design: Tom Muller / Cover Artist: Russell Dauterman & Matthew Wilson / Publisher: Marvel Comics / Published: October 23, 2019
Gerry Duggan (Deadpool and Chewbacca) and Matteo Lolli (Asgardians of the Galaxy) have created a fun Mutant Smugglers book to represent the newly established underworld of Krakoa. Despite being the leader of the X-Men before Age of X and Hickman’s run, Kitty is back to being the odd man out in this run. The spunky extra in the X-Universe, and she’s not having any of it. For some mysterious reason she can’t go through the Krakoa gates, this leads to Emma offering her a job as the Red Queen, the smuggler of mutants and supplies that can’t get to or through the gates. Through this issue Kitty has changed, her willpower is showing, taking down a ton of racist Russian soldiers depicts this, and she becomes Kate. Other than Kate we’ve got the star-studded team of Storm, Iceman, Bishop, Emma Frost, and… the original Pyro who’s been dead for decades. Which makes me excited for how Duggan and crew will develop this team of icons and misfits.
The Complexion Controversy
So, you might’ve seen a panel with a Storm that has lighter complexion online and though I personally didn’t think anything of this while reading, many did. So, I believe that’s worth noting. There is a panel where Storm has lighter skin than usual, which concerned and upset several people with accusations of misrepresentation to straight-up whitewashing an iconic black character. Upon looking into these chats online I realized that many people did not read the issue and just saw the panel. A panel where Storm and Kitty are talking in front of a sunset, so lighting is hitting their faces. So, I can see why colorist Federico Blee would make that decision for a complexion change, I also recognize that he had a darker complexion for Storm everywhere else in the issue. This shows that the Colorist knows the characters he’s working with and made a lighting decision that might’ve come done from the writer, artist, or even the editor. Comics are made by a multitude of people and if you think this one panel crossed a line, you shouldn’t blame the colorist, but the whole team. That said, I thought it was excellent, and made sense, and was another panel in an outstanding issue.
Getting past the controversies this is the beginnings of a really good book. Duggan has completely integrated this story into Hickman’s epic X-Men while telling his own story with Kate and crew. Doing so without taking away from the main books and branching out to his own story. Though I’m excited for the other X-series, this book seems to have the most potential to become almost anything. Especially with the case by case basis of smuggling. So, prepare to set sail for this awesome series.
Verdict: 4 out of 5