What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Marauders #13! The Red Queen is back, back in action, and looking for revenge. Though I was shocked that so soon after this huge moment in the series, we are already being tied into the X of Swords storyline. The big question here is what that means for the Marauders? Is this team of mutants meant to encounter one of these new villains? Or are one of them meant to pick up a sword? There was a lot to expect here.
It seemed that those expectations would begin with Storm. From the start of this issue, it didn’t take long to see that this chapter was going to be specifically set-up for Storm. Now you could say that you want to see more of Storm, but it does go without saying that other characters on this team do exist. At the end of the day it does matter to see what some of them can go through on their own. In the case of Storm, apparently that means making the decision to be one of these sword-bearers. Just from the cover to X of Swords, it didn’t take much to get the gist of who is going to have their own sword. One of those just so happened to be Storm, and I was very interested to see what kind of weapon that would be for her. Especially since the last weapon Storm owned was one which turned her into an Asgardian, and with a godly power-boost to match.
Now where things really got interesting here is the fact that this sword which Storm has to claim? Is one that is located in Wakanda. I found this to be a bold decision for the fact that there is no way to walk away from this mission without ruffling some feathers. You knew that there was no way to simply ask for a sword which these people covet, and you knew that if they said no? Stealing it was going to be easier said than done. Though the scene itself with Storm making the request for the sword was favorable since this allowed us all the opportunity to see how welcomed she still is in Wakanda. That is of course, versus how welcomed Storm would find herself by the end of this story. We all know how this was going to end, but that didn’t change the appeal of seeing what it is like to need something like this and jump through the hoops you call Wakandan politics.
Something to also appreciate about this issue was the small character exploration taken with Storm. It was one which we got to follow through a series of images which created the impression that claiming this sword was something that she was born to do. Now for some of us, these details are nothing new about her past and origins. However, it never hurts to give everyone the same opportunity to know the same things you do about her.
The interior work for this issue was excellent. There was a lot to like about the work from this art team whether it was the natural beauty of Storm that they were able to capture, or the cultural beauty of Wakanda. Though what stood out to me more than anything else was the engagement from the characters that we got from the penciler. This was a big issue for Storm, and this was the first time in a while where we were really seeing the Storm who is more diplomatic than just another X-Man. This worked when confronting Shuri and her mother who were obviously going to be happy to see her, but not enough to look past the interests of their own people. These wants and needs were written on their faces. And if this wasn’t something you saw through their words, then it was something you saw through their body language too. Aside from this, I enjoyed how the style changed to create a distinction between what was happening in the present, and what Storm was remembering from the past. Not only did the style of pencils change, but of course there was that faded overlay of colors to differentiate scenes.
Overall, Marauders #13 did not let me down like I thought it might. Tie-ins can get messy, particularly when the event it is setting up for is still something you are waiting to be fully sold on. This could have been a waste of an issue, though pleasantly it turned out to be so much more. Issue #13 is the Storm issue you never thought you needed in the Dawn of X.