The X-Men’s Hellfire Club Just Recruited a Mutant Leader


WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Marauders #7, by Gerry Duggan, Stefano Caselli, Edgar Delgado, VC’s Cory Petit and Tom Muller, on sale now.

On Krakoa, the Hellfire Trading Company is responsible for distributing the nation's wonder drugs, which have helped the mutant nation achieve its aims. However, in the pages of Marauders, the organization has played host to a major power struggle between Emma Frost and Sebastian Shaw. In her next bid to outdo her foe, Emma just brought on Callisto -- leader of the Morlocks -- as her White Knight.

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Callisto first appeared in Uncanny X-Men #169 by Chris Claremont and Paul Smith as the leader of the subterranean caste of mutants known as the Morlocks. Callisto's mutant ability gives her heightened senses, which is usually shown as a keen situational awareness, although she is often written as having incredible tactical knowledge and skill outside of her powers. She began her life in the pages of Marvel comics as a villain and kidnapped Warren Worthington in her first appearance. However, Storm eventually defeated Callisto in a fight, resulting in her becoming more of a begrudging X-Men ally.

At the beginning of Marauders #7, Callisto arrives at Frost's palace on Krakoa where she meets with Jumbo Carnation and the White Queen herself. Emma invited Callisto to Hellfire Bay to recruit her for the organization. She quite plainly states that she needs Callisto on her side to win over mutants like the Morlocks who don't trust the world and don't have much faith in Emma Frost either. The White Queen admits that she will also be requiring the use of Callisto's blades. Callisto accepts the role, and the snazzy new white jacket from Jumbo, just to feel out what game it is that Emma Frost is playing.

Later on in the issue, Callisto uses one of the Krakoan gates to travel to a golf course in Arizona, where she finds Masque working on his short game. Masque expresses disdain for the X-Men, saying that they have merely given the Morlocks an allowance and that this is still not the treatment they deserve. Callisto acknowledges this, but goes further, which is where we get an idea of what it is that she gets out of her deal with Emma Frost. And what Callisto gets is, quite literally, a seat at the table.

In Mutant cities of the past -- e.g. Utopia and Genosha -- there were Morlock citizens, but no Morlock leaders. They have always been relegated to governing themselves while "the pretties," as Callisto calls them here, wield the real power in the mutant community. Callisto sees this not as the X-Men asking for trust and help that they don't deserve, but instead as a chance to have power and to rise from the lowest caste of mutants to be part of something beautiful that she thinks will have a lasting positive impact on the mutant community. What we're seeing here could lead to big changes in the way that the mutant population functions going forward in a way that finally makes the Morlock's more equal.

Marauders #8 goes on sale Feb. 19 from Marvel Comics.

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