Marauders (1st series) #18

Issue Date: 
May 2021
Story Title: 
Saving Face

Gerry Duggan (writer), Stefano Caselli & Matteo Lolli (artist), Edgar Delgado (colorist), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer), Tom Muller (Design), Russell Dautermann & Matthew Wilson (cover artists), Nick Russell (production), Jonathan Hickman (Head of X), Chris Robinson (assistant editor), Jordan D. White (editor), C.B. Cebulski (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)
X-Men created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Brief Description: 

The Marauders make their presence in Madripoor known, much to Verendi’s displeasure. Emma Frost opens a free clinic in Lowtown, where the Morlock Masque finds a new healthy use for his power. Also, the Marauders buy out a bar. Verendi sic the new Reavers on them and, in the meantime at the UN, Donald Pierce makes sure that the Marauders are banned from Madripoor, leaving Lowtown at the mercy of the Reavers.

Full Summary: 

Madripoor Harbor:
Professor X and Magneto leave a ship. Xavier asks his friend that he knows he has been helping Emma with her gala. Did she offer any hints as to why she insisted on their presence here this morning? Magneto replies he only knows about this island from their daily X-Force reports.

They walk through the port area, where some kids are happy to see them. Xavier is surprised by their popularity, given this city’s government. Magneto doesn’t envy the Verendi children. He wouldn’t want to compete for the hearts and minds of a people with the White Queen or her checkbook.

They join the crowd outside a new building. On the stage are Emma, Kate, both Shaws, Bishop, Pyro, Callisto, Iceman, Christian Frost… and Proteus.

Emma holds a speech thanking Madripoor for its long friendship and reminding them that the town has been a harbor for refugees, including mutants, for a long time. Today the wheel has turned. Mutantdom has much to offer and they remember their debts.

The Verendi member watch the speech on TV, as Emma criticizes Madripoor’s current government and how they have done nothing for the infrastructure. Kade is furious: the mutants have bult a free hospital on the spot where Verendi intended to build the largest tower. They’ve already presold floors! Xhao considers that the mutants have bought properties all over lowtown.

In the crowd, Magneto wonders why Proteus is on stage.

Emma announces the free hospital and Proteus tears down the banner, revealing the hospital’s name. It’s named after one of mutantdom’s staunchest allies - the Moira MacTaggert Memorial Public Hospital.

Pyro puts his hand on the shoulder of Proteus, as he is overcome with tears.

Kate whispers a thank you to Emma. This a great help to Madripoor. Emma replies it was worth it to see the look on Erik and Charles’ faces.

A little later, Callisto leads the Morlock Masque inside the building. He has no idea why he is here. Does one of the Verendi +&% need their faces arranged? Yes, she deadpans, but they are sending invitations for that. He is here for something better. She orders him to scrub up. He still doesn’t get it until a surgeon asks if he is the mutant plastic surgeon Callisto has spoken about. He is excited to see him work.

The confused Masque is led to a room where a young couple with their infant are waiting. The baby has a cleft lip. Masque stammers, he’s never… Charged, Callisto finishes smoothly, telling him to go ahead when he is ready.

Masque uses his power to heal the deformity and the overwhelmed parents hug him in gratitude. The doctor announces he will send in the next patient.

Masque is still amazed at this use of his power. Cal tells him to have fun, she’s got other work to do.

Bishop and Pyro enter a disreputably looking bar and ask for the owner. He warns them he has nothing against their kind, but the mafia that took over this island says muties are bad and can’t be trusted. And they make trouble for people who disagree, so, if they could head back out, that would be grand.

Iceman offers him a suitcase full of money for his bar and the land. Pleasure doing business with them, the former barkeeper grins. As he leaves, he tells them there are some guns under the floor, but he figures they won’t be needing them. A patron stealthily sends a message on his phone.

And in a high-tech lab, Kade Kilgore swears that the muties just bought another place. They are just doing it to mess with them now! He asks Max Frankenstein if those guys are ready now. He has the location of these Marauders.

Max corrects him they are no longer “guys” and, yes, they are ready. He presses a button to release the beings. Rise and shine. Who feels like a little revenge? Time to unleash their new Reavers unto the mutant scum!

In the bar, Pyro has poured himself, Iceman and Bishop some drinks and opines that Madripoorian bar owner is probably a more dangerous job than being a Marauder.

A Reaver enters and fires from his arm at Iceman. Bishop fires back and feels insulted that Verendi felt one dude with a weird arm would… He realizes his mistake and orders everyone to duck as the entire Reaver group enters.

The three Marauders fight. Iceman remarks he is holding back, as he creates wide swathes of ice. The first Reaver with the crew-cut remarks he didn’t hold back the last time. Iceman realizes he knows him. Yeah, he does, comes the angry reply. Iceman made him out at sea. He wasn’t the one that had killed Iceman’s friend but that didn’t stop Iceman from almost killing him. Others were mutilated by Wolverine in Madripoor, others yet by Gorgon in Davos. The Reavers were born around the world and they all have the same thing in common: Mutants maimed them when they failed to kill them and Verendi offered them a way back.

Nice story, Iceman snaps back. What did he think was going to happen today? That Iceman would drop to his knees and apologize for taking the arm the man tried to kill him with? Joined by Pyro, he attacks. If he had wanted them dead… they wouldn’t be having this little chat, Pyro points out.

Bishop shouts he is unarmed. Don’t shoot! Of course, he gets shot with an energy weapon and absorbs the energy. Suckers, he grins and returns fire.

The news report that the Krakoans are involved in the fighting, much to Bishop’s displeasure. He orders them back to the boat, believing this is a set-up.

Soon at the UN in New York, Donald Pierce speaks for his adopted country Madripoor, blaming the Krakoans for the damage they caused. He accuses the Marauders of destabilizing Madripoor and impeding their government’s restructuring of the crime-ridden slums. He wishes they could ask the Krakoan ambassador. He looks at the empty seat and mockingly asks who the Krakoan ambassador is this week? He asks for a peacekeeping naval force to make sure the Marauders don’t return and make more trouble.

The UN agrees. The Marauder is banned from Madripoor, allowing Verendi to continue liquidating the lowdown slums. Verendi order the Reavers to finish the job…

Characters Involved: 

Bishop, Emma Frost, Iceman, Pyro (all Marauders)
Sebastian Shaw         
Callisto, Christian Frost, Shinobi Shaw
Magneto, Professor X

Manuel Enduque, Maximilian Frankenstein, Wilhelmina Kensington, Kade Kilgore, Donald Pierce, Chen Zhao (Homines Verendi)

Story Notes: 

Bishop’s mission report

Further notes
It Is odd that only Proteus is there to honor Moira, not Wolfsbane, her adopted daughter.

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