The X-Men emergency rescue squad begins a new journey in Marvels Marauders relaunch

We’re not going to sugarcoat this. Comic book readers can be cynical when it comes to ongoing series relaunching soon after the end of the previous one. 

Marvel Comics March 2022 solicitations

Marauders #1 (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

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Marvel Comics X-Men series Marauders ended a 27-issue run in December and will return on March 30. But with the new #1 comes a brand new creative team in writer Steve Orlando and artists Eleonora Carlini and Matt Milla. And it’s launching as part of 2022’s X-Men line-wide shake-up called the ‘Destiny of X’ era.

So new direction ahoy, if you forgive our clunky sea-faring wordplay.

Captain Kate Pryde continues at the helm of the Hellfire Trading Company, joined by a core roster of first mate Bishop along with Psylocke, Daken, Aurora, Tempo, Somnus (a new mutant introduced in Marvel’s Voices: Pride 2021), and Cassandra Nova.

Yes, Cassandra Nova.

Orlando, who got a jump-start to put his stamp on the Marauders in January’s Marauders Annual #1 (opens in new tab), recently let us throw some questions at him to help readers get acquainted with his relaunched version of Marauders and let readers decide if the new series is worth a look, or for existing Marauders readers, a second look.

So check out our conversation below and along the way enjoy preview images of Marauders #1 by Carlini and Milla.

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Marauders #1, page 3 (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

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Newsarama: So Steve, obviously launching with a new #1 is an effort to get some new eyes on the title. So for potential newbies, what is the Marauders, and what is its place among the X-family of titles?

Steve Orlando: We’re a crew of mutant pirates and rescuers! These days, mutantkind has its own home on Krakoa, but not every mutant is lucky enough to be able to reach it. The Marauders were formed for two reasons – to deliver Krakoa’s wonder medicines to people in countries whose leadership refused them, and the rescue mutants who couldn’t get to Krakoa through its incredible organic gateways scattered across the globe. 

In the previous Marauders series, the crew was engaged mostly with the first part of their mission: delivering medicines under the guise of the Hellfire Trading Company. Now, the new Marauders series embraces the other side of their mission: rescue. 

Captain Pryde has assembled a crew of members new and old, set on going wherever they’re needed, doing whatever it takes, to rescue mutants in peril. The X-Men are Krakoa’s superheroes, X-Force is their black ops team. The Marauders are the emergency rescue squad.

And just like everything else with mutantkind, the rescues are immediately not what they’d expect, and take them to places deadly and fantastic. This is their mission! To go always where they’re needed, not where they’re wanted.

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Marauders #1, page 7 (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

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Nrama: So you touched on it already, but for existing Marauders readers, let’s talk more about the relaunch. Without getting into the commercial whys of it, what are you doing to make the new Marauders stand out from the current/previous incarnation?

Orlando: We hinted at it before, but what we’ll be doing is celebrating the initial core concept of the book as it is, and focusing on the side of the crew’s mission that we didn’t see as much of in the previous run – the rescue and adventure! 

The previous Marauders was amazing, filled with intrigues, betrayals, and drama, all centered around the Hellfire Trading Company. Hell, Captain Pryde even got murdered! But Pryde’s been so wrapped up in those political games that she’s realized she needs to focus back down to what the team was founded for: saving mutants in need. And after all, she overcame in the first Marauders run, Pryde’s more unrelenting and driven than ever to save mutant lives wherever they call from. 

Nothing’s going to stand in her way, and God help anyone who tries!

Nrama: The big new addition to the cast seems to be Cassandra Nova. In the relaunch announcement, you described Cassandra as ‘a little bit Xavier and a little bit Catherine Tramell.” Now I’m old enough to understand the Catherine Tramell reference and so the imagery will be sticking with me for a while, but how and why did Cassandra get into the picture?

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Marauders #1, page 15 (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

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Orlando: That’s the question, isn’t it! Cassandra is tied to the mystery that kicked off in Marauders Annual. Just how and why is what drives our first arc. 

But as far as Cassandra herself goes, you’ll see what she’s been up to in our first issue. From a creative sense, Cassandra is someone who blows up every scene she’s in. She calls bullshit where she sees it because her power level means she has no need to play by anyone’s rules except hers…or so she thinks. In her last appearance, we left Cassandra in tears after an emergency injection of compassion by Jean Grey. She’s come a long way since then, but the question remains: does even Cassandra know how deeply she was affected by one of Krakoa’s most iconic telepaths?

Nrama: Anyone else from the new cast you want to highlight and talk about why you selected them?

Orlando: Like Captain Pryde, I picked this crew based on heart and character. Bishop even notes as much in our first issue — the crew she fields isn’t the one he would field. But that’s a perfect example of their dynamic as crew captains. Pryde’s the idealist, and Bishop’s the pragmatist. The two of them make each better for how they’re different. There couldn’t be two better leaders for this team.

But really, everyone on this crew has the potential and strength to grow into a leader. 

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Marauders #1, page 20 (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

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Psylocke is right there, with incredible force of will, never losing focus on what she wants, and what her crew needs from her. 

Aurora is even more motivated than before, having seen round after round of death working with X-Factor. Now, she wants to get to the mutants before they’re dead. And if people try to stop her? She’s happy to remind them that she’s also been an unsung powerhouse. 

I could go on! But I could also direct you to our electric first issue, where this all leaps off the page thanks to the amazing work of Eleonora Carlini and Matt Milla. So I think I better had!

Each member brings a unique dynamic to the boat, to the new Marauders. And that’s not even getting into the surprises and possibilities brought by the ninth chair on the crew, just waiting, just destined to be filled.

Nrama: New crew member Somnus is interesting. A couple of times a year Marvel creates characters it bills as the next big thing, but more often than not they don’t stick (few new characters do these days). 

What’s your plan for Somnus to defy the odds and become a character that doesn’t fade away after the new shine wears off.

Orlando: The honest answer is that as creators, all we can do is make sure that the characters we create are unique and interesting, people you can’t look away from and want more of when we’re writing them in our own book. We can’t really control what our peers do, who they use, and who they don’t use. So the only plan you can have is to make your creations vibrant every second they’re on the page and hope that they make an impression not just on an incredible set of readers, but also on the folks working alongside you.

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Marauders #1, page 26 (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

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Nrama: Finally Steve, let’s talk more about Kate. Newsarama just IDed her as one of Marvel’s 10 best characters mostly because she’s matured and evolved so much over the years. What is your attraction to Kate and why is she the lead of your book?

Orlando: I noted it above, but in my case, Pryde and I are a lot alike. She’s an idealist, she doesn’t take shit, and she doesn’t want to be told why something’s not possible. She wants to make it possible. And that’s who you become, I think, when you’ve overcome all she has. When you’ve been trained and taught by the best, when you’ve eventually bested those same best. When you’ve conquered the spaceways and avenged your own death. 

Pryde has gone from the new kid in school to someone who has seen, faced, and won, against threats fantastic and outlandish so often that she’s honed her will into something nearly unmovable. And that’s what makes her the perfect captain for the Marauders – there’s no rescue too dangerous, too daring, or too unlikely, for her to ever turn away when there are mutant lives on the line.

Marauders still have their work cut out for them to move onto Newsarama’s rankings of the best X-Men teams of all time.

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