X-Lapsed, Episode 150 – Marauders #17 (2021)
Marauders #17 (March, 2021)
“The Winds of Change”
Writer – Gerry Duggan
Art – Matteo Lolli
Colors – Edgar Delgado
Letters – VC’s Cory Petit
Design – Tom Muller
Head of X – Hickman
Edits – Bissa, White, Cebulski
Cover Price: $3.99
On-Sale: January 13, 2021
Welcome, friends – to the milestone 150th Episode of X-Lapsed!
Today we’re celebrating by returning to one of our favorite story beats of the HoXPoX era — the Crucible! And boy, do we have a lot to talk about!
Also: Great Mail… and a new segment chatting up some recent-ish news in the World of X! We got a cancellation and a Summer Event to parse!
I want to THANK everybody for helping me get to 150 episodes – I can say with 100% certainty that I couldn’t have done it without your support! Thank you all so much!
@acecomics / @cosmictmill / firstname.lastname@example.org
One thought on “X-Lapsed, Episode 150 – Marauders #17 (2021)”
I'm sure it will come as no surprise to you that I adored Marauders 17. I have mentioned before that my first issue of Uncanny was number 211 back during the Mutant Massacre but it was the following issue that made me love the X-Men. If you check out your Overstreet Uncanny 212 is known for the first meeting between Wolverine and Sabretooth but what hooked me was the Storm storyline. We see Storm want to give up her role as team leader as she believes it is her fault that so many people have been injured. She has lost her powers and thinks this has made her too weak to lead the X-Men. She runs away and is followed by Callisto who makes her come back to face her responsibilities.
This remains one of my favourite comics of all time and this issue hits all the same notes as that one. The central question of the necessity of powers remains as does the meaning of friendship. Callisto feels she needs her powers back but will only go through the Crucible with someone she trusts. I really got the parallels with Storm's Lifedeath era running through the issue. It had to be Storm as she will definitely be able to kill her. I could see a powerless Callisto defeating many powerful characters. Just as Storm defeated Cyclops in Uncanny 201 (I disregard the attempted retcon in Inferno). I'm pretty sure she could defeat Fenris without her powers.
I'm sure it's no accident that Masque, Silver Samurai and Fenris were chosen. All link specifically to the Lifedeath storyline. Masque was there to witness the first battle between Storm and Callisto, Silver Samurai was involved in the story that led to Storm's new look and being shot by Fenris led to the events of Lifedeath 2. They could have chosen anyone from the island to be present but they chose them.
The actual scene in the Crucible is so well done. They have fought before but always with Storm not using her powers. Either as a matter of honour or because they were gone. Storm has all she needs. In their first fight Storm stabbed Callisto in the heart but this time she takes Callisto's heart in her hand and kills her quietly. The disappointment on the faces of Fenris that it was a gentle death makes it feel like Storm has defeated them again.
I have seen people who read the intimacy of the fight between Storm and Callisto as a sign that they have a sexual relationship. I prefer to see them as friends. A non-sexual reading actually adds to the poignancy as it is much harder to hurt a friend than to hurt an ex-lover. You really see Storm's mercy and grief in that scene. Lolli and Delgado really get the mood right.
I should probably mention some of the other stuff this issue like the building of anticipation for the Hellfire Gala and the Madripoor stuff but for me it was all about Storm and Callisto. This issue succeeded in making the Crucible an emotional event where it had previously been more of a philosophical question. Maybe this is because of my history with the X-Men and these particular characters but I really think it's there in Duggan's story. He has an ability to get to the heart of characters that makes his work stand out against the coolness of Hickman. In the X-Men Crucible issue we were questioning why the characters were doing what they were doing, here we have no doubt. We can still question the rights and wrongs of their actions but everything is believable. Outstanding!
Anyway until my arms get replaced with tentacles, Make Mine X-Lapsed!