Marauders (1st series) #20

Issue Date: 
July 2021
Story Title: 

Gerry Duggan (writer), Stefano Caselli (artist), Edgar Delgado (colorist), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer), Tom Muller (Design), Russell Dautermann & Matthew Wilson (cover artists), Nick Russell (production), Jonathan Hickman (Head of X), Annalisa Bissa (assistant editor), Jordan D. White (editor), C.B. Cebulski (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)
X-Men created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Brief Description: 

On their sea journey to Mykines, the Marauders celebrate Storm, who will leave the team afterwards. While running a bet on how many knives Storm hides on her body (which Bishop wins), they swap stories about Storm, how she is the most bad-ass, about her courage and her friendship. Afterwards, Emma talks to Shaw, who wistfully remembers his dead fiancée Lourdes Chantel and tells Emma he has two agendas for after the gala, which he hopes she will support.

Full Summary: 

The Mercury sails the stormy North Atlantic toward Mykines.

Inside, at the dinner table, sit Emma, Kate, Storm, Bishop, Iceman, Pyro, Shinobi and Callisto. Storm announces that she will say her goodbyes to all of them tonight, because tomorrow at the gala she will pretend she doesn’t know them. Kate assures her they know she is gonna miss them. Storm agrees. While Emma battles nausea, Pyro tells Storm he’d have thought that he’d quit or get thrown in the Hole before she left. And a bet’s a bet. He hands her a marker. Storm remarks, let’s hope she doesn’t call it in.

Pyro claims he rolled with a lot of hard mutants. But he saw Storm get what she wanted and she never had to set anyone on fire to do it, like at the shipbreaking yard in India:

Pyro’s narration:
The foreman is making the workers toil hard. Storm addresses him. She knows he has a citizen of Krakoa here against her will. Her name is Lash. He pretends not to know what she is talking about. She throws a knife into his board. She orders him to take her to her sister, the one he is mistreating.

She sees Lash splitting a ship apart with her psychic energy. The foreman explains that she does the work of a dozen men. Most of them do, Storm replies and orders him to leave them.

Storm asks her name. Sunita, she replies, but she can call her Lash. Storm tells her she can stop. Sunita explains they have her family. Not anymore, Storm reveals. Her new mutant family rescued her parents and sister. They are waiting on their boat. Sunita hugs her in gratitude.

End of narration:
One throwing knife won the whole day and she didn’t even draw blood, Pyro ends his tale.

It’s not like it’s her only knife, Kate announces and they start to bet on how many knives Storm carries. Pyro suggests three and Storm laughs at him.

Emma complains about the bouncing. Kate knocks against the ceiling and shouts for Lockheed to keep the ship steady.

Bishop recalls that Storm got him out of a jam in Angola earlier this year. That’s news to Storm.

Bishop’s tale:
Within a thunderstorm, he and Pyro face several armed Angolan soldiers. He claims Storm is angry right now and Pyro plays along. With little effort, they get the soldiers to release the prisoners and medicines.

End of story:
Bishop adds that he thinks she carries seven knives. Interesting, she muses.

Iceman goes for ten. He has a Storm story that actually has Storm in it. After the battle of Madripoor, when they were separated from Kate, he and Storm paid a visit to the streets where they found the Hatemonger. Storm beat him up and got him to give up his super villain identity.

Callisto chuckles she wondered what happened to the sheety man. As for her favorite Storm story, she’s got a lot of good ones, but only one that matters, referring to her facing Storm in the Crucible. And she’s not guessing how many shivs Ororo has. Iceman protests she has to. Callisto tells them they are making fools of themselves, and leaves before she drinks the whole night through.

Kate addresses Emma, who replies she couldn’t fathom a guess without looking inside her mind, and as she learned a long time ago that would not be in anyone’s best interest. A lesson she learned the hard way years ago. A physical rebuke by Storm has an effect not only on the body but on the mind, and even if you might not deserve it, she still offers her hand to raise you up. It is irrelevant how many knives she has, because she doesn’t need one of them. She tells them good night.

Pyro asks Kate for her favorite story. She must have seen her fry some cyborg from the inside out. Sure, but all her favorite Storm stories are ones in which Kate ends up crying.

Flashback / narration:
Right after Kate had discovered the hard way that she could not walk through Krakoan gates, she panicked about not being a mutant. That would be quite ironic considering how much mutant pride she has exuded over the years, Storm told her and as she fixed her nose.

Kate announces closest estimation without going over wins and gets a marker from everyone else. She asks Storm how many blades they are talking.

Storm shows them that she carries eight blades. It’s been a pleasure being a Marauder with them all.

At the top, Emma greets Lockheed, who has been at the steering wheel. She is surprised to find Shaw in his wheelchair outside. He replies that, as a lad, he voraciously read Captain Blood and Treasure Island and the like. This is why he leapt at the chance to turn his business network into an organization that benefited their island nation. Krakoa, the Hellfire Gala, both tremendous accomplishments.

Nice of him to acknowledge that, Emma snarks. He should be happy for mutantdom, Shaw continues, but he has not been happy for years… if ever. He just wishes she was here with him… Lourdes Chantel. She deserved better. Emma smiles wistfully. She has not thought about her in years. Shaw continues, now that they are bringing back so many of their fallen, he thinks of her every day. It does not seem right for him to attend a Hellfire Gala without her. Emma agrees, she was a wonderful woman. Such a shame the Sentinels snatched her, before Cerebro went online.

Shaw announces that he has an idea, one he will bring to the Council along with the Hellfire Expedition proposal. He hopes she will support both agendas. Their brightest days are at hand!

Characters Involved: 

Bishop, Iceman, Kate Pryde, Pyro, Storm (all Marauders)
Emma Frost, Sebastian Shaw
Christian Frost
Shinobis Shaw

Story Notes: 

The issue includes a Letter from Emma to Kate, describing the diamond brooch in the shape of a bullet Emma gifts to Kate, as a reminder that Kate once saved the whole world by phasing the bullet fired at Earth.

After the Gala, Storm joins the cast of SWORD (2nd series) as viceroy of Mars.

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