Written by Gerry Duggan
Art by Matteo Lolli and Frederico Blee
Lettering by Cory Petit
Published by Marvel Comics
‘Rama Rating: 6 out of 10
Marauders #2’s biggest issue is its inconsistency – from the art to the colors to the script, Marauders takes some frustrating twists in turns and quality that make it hard to pin down. The moments that are great are wonderful – Pyro in particular for his buoyant sense of humor, which is gleefully goofy but never feels as forced as some of the Aaron Sorkin-esque back-and-forths that pop up through the rest of the book, both in its lighter and more straight-laced moments. Marauders #1 has a Pirates of the Caribbean vibe about it, for better or worse, particularly with Kate, that peaks on the final full page with a one-liner that feels a little Pirates past its prime.
Writer Gerry Duggan nails the hijinks on the high seas moments and seems to take great delight in toying around with lower-tier Marvel characters in unusual environments, and rightfully so. See all the Pyro moments, again, and there’s a very brief but delightful exchange between Kate and Batroc in the early moments that hits the peppy ping-pong conversational pace in a way that makes later confrontations between Sebastian and Emma seem frustratingly overworked. Pirate Kitty Pryde as a concept rules extremely hard, but Kate Pryde at the end of this issue winds up landing weirdly close to Jack Sparrow. Maybe the tonal shift between the Marauders and the Hellfire Trading Company is supposed to be reflective of the shift from Kitty to Kate – but the Hellfire scenes aren’t as engrossing, and so the book winds up feeling a bit wishy-washy.
The art remains frustrating as well, particularly Frederico Blee’s colors when it comes to skin tones. Matteo Lolli delivers some excellent action scenes and delightfully expressive faces (the scene with Batroc, again, is excellent on this front) and Blee some fun color choices, particularly with the beautiful blues of the sea and a great iridescent effect on Emma’s diamond form. But, and I say this recognizing that producing monthly comics is a brutal and punishing schedule, it’s the little inconsistencies that start to get the most frustrating. Kate sometimes looks years younger from page to page, and Bishop’s hair is drawn at least three different ways. Darker skin tones still vary from page to page as well, even taking lighting into consideration; it’s nowhere near as egregious as the instances with Storm in the first issue, but still noticeable, and the kind of detail that’s most frustrating to see done with seemingly minimal attentiveness.
Story-wise, there’s still plenty of potential here. When Duggan lands the comedy the issue sings; the more serious moments with the Hellfire Trading Company, at least for now, don’t quite live up. If you enjoyed the debut issue, you’ll certainly enjoy this one too, and likely find plenty to keep loving as the series goes on. After a well-received debut, Marauders #2 falls a bit flat. Hopefully as Kate finds her footing in her new role, the series will be able to strike a better balance between the scenes with Marauders themselves and Kate’s new business partners.