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Marauders Brings a Classic X-Men Villain Into the Dawn of X

Marauders feature

Warning: The following article contains spoilers for Marauders #1, by Gerry Duggan, Matteo Lolli, Federico Blee, VC's Cory Petit and Tom Muller, on sale now.

The X-Men have never been working with their old villains. Even though characters like Magneto and Mystique are some of the team's most iconic foes, they're spent as much time working with the X-Men as they have fighting them. In the recently-completed House of X relaunch, Charles Xavier took this idea to the extreme by inviting every mutant villain to join the X-Men on the island-nation Krakoa. The vast majority of X-villains accepted Xavier's olive branch, which apparently extended to deceased mutant villains too. As part of Xavier's grand plan for mutantkind, he and Moira X developed a process to revive dead mutants with their powers and full memories intact.

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Marauders #1 reveals the classic villain Pyro has been revived and drafted into the Marauders, the X-Men's new sea-faring team.

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Throughout the issue, Kitty Pryde begins putting together the team, which will rescue mutants from desperate situations around the world. Now going by "Kate," Captain Pryde and her crew will also serve the Hellfire Trading Company, a Krakoa's shipping operation operated by Emma Frost and Sebastian Shaw.

While Pryde recruits her friends Iceman, Storm and her alien pet dragon Lockheed onto her crew, she also finds a stowaway, Pyro, on her ship's maiden voyage. Pyro initially planned to steal the Marauders ship for his own mischievous plans but fell asleep in a cabin. By the time Pyro woke up, the rest of the crew was already on the ship, and he's immediately drafted into helping the team take down a group of Russians who were keeping mutants from Krakoa.

While the presence of a Pyro on the team isn't surprising, it wasn't clear whether that character would be the classic villain or the younger, considerably less villainous Pyro.

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St. John Allerdyce, the original Pyro, was one of the signature members of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. With the ability to control -- but not generate -- fire, the Australian mutant debuted in Chris Claremont and John Byrne's X-Men #141, where he and Mystique's Brotherhood tried to assassinate Senator Robert Kelly.

As that team morphed into the government-sponsored Freedom Fighters, Pyro stayed with it and joined the next major incarnation of the Brotherhood. After contracting a lethal mutant plague called the Legacy Virus, Pyro floated around the Marvel Universe before giving his life to save Senator Kelly's life from an assassin in a final heroic act.

After briefly being revived during 2010's "Necrosha" crossover, Pyro disappeared for several years before popping up in various X-Men titles starting in 2018. While he initially seemed to have stayed alive after "Necrosha," Allerdyce explicitly says that he was one of the first mutants to be resurrected on Krakoa in Marauders #1, where he says that he was something of an expendable lab rat for the resurrection process.

Marauders Pyro 1

The timing of Pyro's resurrection still gives us an idea of how recently the final pieces of Krakoa were coming into place. Pyro's first post-resurrection appearance was late 2017's Iceman #7, by Sina Grace and Robert Gill. Taken together, Xavier's early resurrection trials on Krakoa could be used to explain any mysterious mutant returns that have happened over the past two years.

Even though Pyro had a prominent role in the first few X-Men movies, Marauders marks the first time he's ever really been a regular, core part of an ongoing X-Men series. While he's usually gotten lost in crowds of villains, Pyro's more prominent roles were in generally well-regarded stories. If those are any indication of the largely untapped narrative potential of the flame-thrower, Marauders could give Pyro a chance to burn brighter than ever.

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