How 'Marauders' #4 Revives an Old Enemy
Spoiler alert! Get a full breakdown of today's action-packed Dawn of X ish!
Warning! This article contains spoilers for today's MARAUDERS #4, so read on at your own risk, True Believers!
After MARAUDERS #3 spent time exploring Sebastian Shaw and his relationship with his son, Shinobi, this week’s MARAUDERS #4 was a highly active installment in a different way, revisiting a recent chapter in the Hellfire Club’s history that had been all but forgotten. Writer Gerry Duggan and artist Lucas Werneck gave the Marauders some very high profile wins. But in the process, they’ve emboldened their enemies...including a few they may have once again underestimated.
The opening ancillary matter reveals that a third Hellfire Trading Company ship has been spotted at sea. Since Kate Pryde commands the Marauder and Shinobi Shaw was given the other ship, it begs the question of who is the captain of the third ship. Presumably it would be someone trusted by either Emma Frost or Sebastian Shaw.
This segment was also notable for confirming the resurrection of mutant fashion mogul, Jumbo Carnation. His death in Grant Morrison’s NEW X-MEN (2001) #134 was one of the events that radicalized Quentin Quire and the Omega Gang against humanity. Jumbo’s death was also highly publicized, and his return essentially confirms to the international covert operations that the Krakoan nation has a way of cheating death.
Back in MARAUDERS #1, Bishop found himself in Taipei while following the case of a missing billionaire named Lim Zhao. Mrs. Chen Zhao accused the mutants of foul play with her husband, which Bishop wasn’t initially able to disprove. Fortunately, Kate Pryde’s mutant phasing power helped Bishop break the case... Lim Zhao is very much alive; he was being held captive by his wife because he’s one of the Order of X.
Apparently, Charles Xavier’s invitation to Krakoa caused some humans to form mutant worshiping cults around the world. That’s better than inspiring hate groups, but also tricky ground to cover. Lim not only knew Kate and Bishop by name, he said that he prayed for mutant deliverance and asked to be taken to Krakoa.
It’s worth noting that Lim’s captors/protectors looked a lot like Lady Deathstrike. They had Deathstrike’s cybernetic arms, but not her deadly skills. This isn’t the first time that Reaver tech has resurfaced in the Dawn of X. The assassins who killed Charles Xavier in X-FORCE #1 also had Reaver-like augmentations. This implies that someone is selling that tech on the black market. Donald Pierce would be the most likely suspect for that, and he does have strong ties to the Hellfire Club.
Throughout the issue, Kate pressed Bishop to become her Red Bishop...which he constantly refused. Thus far, Kate is the only member of the X-Men to take Emma up on her offer to officially join the Hellfire Trading Company. But we suspect Bishop may have a change of heart, if only because Hank McCoy, AKA Beast, pointed out that it would be an excellent opportunity to spy on the Hellfire Trading Company from within.
Meanwhile, Chen Zhao’s public humiliation at the hands of Kate and Bishop had unforeseen consequences. She fled Taipei and turned to the incarnation of the Hellfire Club that engineered the events of X-MEN: SCHISM (2011) and tormented the team in WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN (2011). However, Kade Kilgore, Maximilian Frankenstein, Wilhelmina Kensington, and Manuel Enduque don’t call themselves the Hellfire Club anymore. Instead, these diabolical children have taken the Latin name, Homines Verendi. Roughly translated, that means “feared people.”
All four of the former Hellfire Brats are human, and fully committed to their anti-mutant cause. Chen Zhao has now committed her personal wealth to their group, and she was invited to join them as well. This is anything but good news for Kate Pryde and her Marauders—they had enough to worry about with intrigue inside the Hellfire Trading Company.
In the Dawn of X, the most dangerous enemy is the one you never see coming. Kate and the X-Men made that mistake once before. Will they make the same mistake again?
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