Writer: Gerry Duggan
Art: Matteo Lolli, Lucas Werneck, Federico Blee, VC’s Cory Petit, Tom Muller, Matthew Wilson, and Russell Dauterman
Release Date: January 1st, 2020
The Marauders are caught between the forces of Madripoor and the Black King’s machinations in this week’s all-new MARAUDERS #5 by Gerry Duggan. Thankfully, they have two Omega Level mutants onboard. However, will that be enough to handle what’s in store for our Captain Kate and her Marauders this week? Let’s dive in and take a look!
Gerry Duggan opens this week’s tale rather slowly but as usual, finds a way to deliver the goods before the issue concludes. If readers can take the time to hang in there until page 14, the rest of the story becomes clear sailing through to the end. Just like Jonathan Hickman used this week’s X-MEN #4 to showcase watermelon gazpacho, as well as a clever approach for the mutants to take control of the world, Gerry Duggan utilizes this issue of MARAUDERS #5 to focus on who Homines Verendi is and their crafty way to take control back from the mutants in a similar fashion.
Duggan spends part of the issue clearing up the Latin name “Homines Verendi” (and NO it doesn’t mean “Men’s Gowns” as Google translator told me last issue) as well as divulging their organizational framework and tactical resources. Between Hickman and Duggan, this reviewer’s biggest takeaways from this week’s X-books are that our society gets its power and influence through money. Hickman explains the mutants’ plan involving wealth and governing the world BUT Duggan shows readers what billions and hate can do in the hands of humanity. And let this reviewer tell you, readers, the plan Homines Verendi cooks up is brilliant. This critic won’t spoil it here but it’s ingenious.
As for the overall issue, the beginning was a bit tricky to follow because the story didn’t flow well with the end of the last issue and frankly, didn’t tie in too well to the conclusion of this issue. However, as the narrative unfolds, Duggan is able to pick up the pace and grab the reader’s attention before it’s culmination. Furthermore, once the Homines Verendi’s (which we are told means “Man must be revered and feared”… should have asked ALEXA instead) plan is revealed, the stakes get raised immediately. Why? Well, if there Human “Hellfire Club” succeeds with their evil plan involving the Krakoan drugs, there is no turning back for the mutants. War would be the only next step for mutants to take control, which has never worked before (see HOXPOX).
Additionally, both X-MEN and MARAUDERS went extremely meta this week and focused on taking shots on our world today. The metaphors were, dare I say, uncanny. Those with power make all the rules. However, those with the money in today’s culture are the ones with power. The ones with the money can buy weapons, drugs, businesses, technology, countries, and eventually, enslave the world. And, all it takes is a person or group of people with true hate in their heart to be the ones with the money. So, in that case, humans and mutants should both watch out!
Readers looking for Captain Kate will be disappointed this week. In all actuality, the biggest players in MARAUDERS #5 become Storm and Bishop as the issue concludes. However, everyone appears to have equal footing as the story progresses. Duggan continues to write the characters wonderfully and fills out the story with substance providing readers with something to hold on too. This issue lacked the sly humor that Duggan has been prone to sprinkling in while Matteo Lolli and Lucas Werneck continued their charming artistic style with bright and rich images that saturated the page. Lolli and Lucas used thick, dark lines to define the characters while Federico Blee added the perfect touch of color to make the images pop off the page making this issue the perfect package deal.
After a slow start, readers will be delighted with the high-paced conclusion that offers a truly inspired plan to take down the mutants. In my opinion, this issue, along with X-MEN #4 will leave readers with a great deal to think about pertaining to our current society, it’s rules, and its validity. As far as X-books go, Duggan continues to make this series a must-buy for X-Men fans easily placing this book in the top 3 on the shelves today. Pick this issue up and add this series to your pull list if you’re an X-fan. It may not be the best jumping-on point for a new reader. However, we are only 5 issues into the series. So, talk to your LCS and get those back issues fast! You won’t be disappointed.