REVIEW: ‘King In Black: Marauders,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

King in Black: Marauders #1

King in Black: Marauders #1 is written by Gerry Duggan, illustrated by Luke Ross, colored by Carlos Lopez, and lettered by VC’s Cory Petit. It is published by Marvel Comics. During the events of King in Black, Kate Pryde and her Marauders-Iceman, Pyro, and Bishop-head to Manhattan to free Cyclops and Storm from Knull’s control. While on the way, they receive an SOS from another vessel, and they race to save its inhabitants while battling against Knull’s symbiote dragons.

The Marauders series has served as one of my favorite titles of the X-Men relaunch, and King in Black has been nothing but a smash hit, so combining the two works extremely well on many levels. “The X-Men are pirates, and they fight symbiote dragons” is a killer pitch, and Duggan perfectly balances genuinely hilarious barbs (Kate refers to the symbiote dragons as “goth Falkors”) with surprisingly emotional moments, like Kate saying that Storm means the world to her. Duggan also manages to make the one-shot surprisingly accessible for newcomers. While picking up previous issues of Marauders or King in Black will enhance the reading experience, readers new and old can walk in fresh and still get a satisfying story.

Duggan’s script also centers on Kate’s innate compassion, making her one of my favorite Marvel characters. Even though they have a mission, Kate immediately changes course to help the ship that’s in distress. Her connection to Storm is also touched upon, as the two have served together as X-Men and have a mother/daughter relationship. Of course, she wants to help, but she also knows that people can’t defend themselves from Knull’s wrath. Other mutants get their time to shine, including a moral dilemma for Bishop and a surprisingly emotional moment from Magneto toward the end.

Ross’s art features simple yet striking lines, which makes each character stand out. From Kate’s curly hair and bright red trenchcoat to Bishop’s distinctive “M” tattoo and red and black fatigues, each character has their own distinct style. Lockheed, the dragon, is also a standout, with his facial expressions expressing pure joy when he eats a piece of fish and burps flames. The symbiote dragons continue to be terrifying. Their razor-sharp teeth and blood-red eyes are the stuff of nightmares. Lopez colors the background with a dark blue hue, adding to the gloom of the symbiote-infested world and the raining landscape. In contrast, the Marauders’ brightly colored costumes-and Lockheed’s royal purple scales-make them stand out on a rainy day. Ross and Lopez also present their own terrifying take on the “Knullified” Cyclops and Storm in a sequence that brings fans up to speed on King’s events in Black.

King in Black: Marauders #1 manages to perfectly balance its role as a tie-in story and a standalone one-shot, packing its pages full of emotional elements and high-octane action. Whether you’re a huge X-Fan or you’ve been religiously following King in Black, this is worth your time and money. I hope that more tie-in comics for event stories take notes from this issue.

King in Black: Marauders #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.


King in Black: Marauders #1
5

TL;DR

King in Black: Marauders #1 manages to perfectly balance its role as a tie-in story and a standalone one-shot, packing its pages full of emotional elements and high-octane action. Whether you’re a huge X-Fan or you’ve been religiously following King in Black, this is worth your time and money. I hope that more tie-in comics for event stories take notes from this issue.