Marauders #2 Reveals The Red Queen

Before I talk about the Red Queen, I need to say one thing first. I’m not going to do this as a standard review of Marauders #2. It’s not that it’s a bad issue, because it’s not. Everything in the issue pales beyond the reveal of the Red Queen on the last page. That being said, there are definitely going to be spoilers.

Red QueenThe entire issue cuts back and forth between Kate Pryde’s Marauders and a meeting between Emma Frost and Sebastian Shaw. Shaw is using the Hellfire Trading Company to run a black market of Krakoa drugs to wealthy people, bypassing the proper channels. Emma assumes that he also trying to place a Queen that he can control. Emma flexes her control of the Hellfire Trading Company, by inviting a new Red Monarch to the London meeting.

It’s Kate Pryde, leader of the Marauders.

See what I mean? That’s a trump card. Kate is a Red Queen that Shaw can’t control. I do believe she also chose Kate as someone who wouldn’t let Emma control her either. It’s no coincidence that Emma’s telepathic conversation with the Cuckoos opens this issue. Emma mentions that women need to maintain strong alliances. Kate, as the Captain of the Marauders is a natural choice to hold the Red Throne.

We need to remember, though that this role was offered to Storm first. This person was also to hold a position on the council of twelve, which Storm already sits on. I believe that Emma offered it to Storm knowing full well that she would refuse it. It’s also possible that Emma only offered the Captain role to Storm, not the Red Throne. Kate was the second choice, but most likely, she was the first choice, and Storm was a red herring, no pun intended.

Emma states that what the Hellfire Trading Company is doing is important, and not solely about making money. I think making Kate the Red Queen puts a check not just on Shaw, but on Emma as well. This calculating, and entirely appropriate for people who have roles taken after chess pieces. Adding a red throne makes the calculation even more complicated. I’m interested in seeing Kate play this game.

The Bishops and Knights

The structure of the leadership of Hellfire at the back of the issue reveals that each monarch will have a bishop and a knight. Emma’s Bishop is her brother Christian. Christian was initially punished by their father for being gay, something Christian repaid by committing patricide. Shaw’s Bishop and Knight may  prove to be his more powerful allies. I wouldn’t begin to guess who he will choose. I would guess that Selene may become one, but doing so would force a former Black Queen to take a demotion. 

The real questions come in who Kate will choose as her Bishop and Knight. Convincing them that she’s acting as a check on Emma and Shaw would allow rather heroic mutants to take the roles. I imagine that Iceman will be a choice for one of the roles, if for no reason than his history with Emma and Christian. An upcoming cover actually shows Iceman with Christian, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the two will have a romantic relationship. Storm taking a role within Hellfire would be out of character, so my choice for Kate’s Knight would be Bishop. He is impressed by the trappings of decadence in the new yacht Kate captains. I think this seems so logical. It would surprise me if it doesn’t happen.

Of course, I was certain that Emma was going to choose Cyclops for Red King just to ruffle feathers on the mutant council. Congratulations, I’m now hooked for the next few issues of Marauders.