By Jim Beard
Commissioned by the sly Mister Sinister, the ruthless commando taskforce known as the Marauders represents everything the famous X-Men oppose: hatred, greed, subterfuge, betrayal, fear, and a healthy whollop of evil.
X-MEN/SPIDER-MAN #2, due on December 10, details a significant moment in the history between the Children of the Atom and the webslinger, a moment that involves mutants, a massacre, and yes, the malevolent menace of the Marauders.
Though their membership has rolled with the X-punches over the years, the Marauders engraved many a scar on the X-Men which run deep to this day. Come along now on a brief tour of their infamy, if you dare.
UNCANNY X-MEN #211 (1986)
What a way to make an entrance-having descended into the underground warrens of the Morlocks, the Marauders proceeded to massacre everyone in their sight. By the time the X-men responded to a Morlock distress call, the innocent sewer dwellers had been all but decimated. The Marauders then viciously attacked the mutant heroes, ultimately forcing them into regretful retreat.
UNCANNY X-MEN #240 (1989)
Possessing no sense of propriety, the Marauders founded their new headquarters at the scene of the Mutant Massacre in Morlock Alley. Strangely, their numbers included members who previously killed in battle. Mister Sinister's mercenaries soon found themselves once more in opposition with the X-Men, though the fighting segued into the inexplicable landscape of the Goblyn Queen's transformed New York City.
X-MAN #13 (1996)
In Paris, the Marauders pursued the strange young woman called Threnody, who attempted to end her association with Mister Sinister. Nate Grey, the child of an alternate reality Jean Grey and Cyclops, entered the scene to aid the girl and eventually ambushed the Marauders. Savagely ripping through them, Nate spared only Riptide to send a message to convince Sinister that Threnody fell as well as his lackeys.
UNCANNY X-MEN #350 (1997)
Captured in Antarctica and put on mock trial by a disguised Magneto, the X-Men discovered a horrible truth about their enigmatic companion Gambit. While operating as a master thief the energized mutant fell into the orbit of Mister Sinister and aided the villain in organizing the Marauders. With memories of the Mutant Massacre seared into their brains, the heroes escaped their captor yet abandoned Gambit to the elements.
GAMBIT v1 #9 (1999)
A beaten and dying Sabretooth pledged to lead Gambit to Mister Sinister's secret base. Once there, the two found themselves waylaid by the Marauders-or what appeared to be clones of the evil mercenaries. A destructive battle ensued, in which the Marauders fell before Gambit's skill and the Cajun mutant then set about confronting his former employer, Mister Sinister.
X-MEN v2 #200 (2007)
A long way from their initial skirmishes over Morlocks and massacres, the X-Men and Marauders clashed once more, this time with new members on both sides. The tipping point for the Children of the Atom would be a slew of betrayals, as past and present X-Men Gambit, Sunfire, Mystique, Omega Sentinel and Lady Mastermind all jumped over to the dark side!
The Massacre of the Morlocks looms large in the history between the X-Men and the Marauders, creating a monument of evil which neither team can deny. Take a new look at this important event and its perpetrators in X-MEN/SPIDER-MAN #2, out December 10! And relive the first meeting between the X-Men and Marauders on Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited!
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