- We're Marauders, babe, an' we got a philosophy! The only good mutant is a dead mutant-- 'less.. Of course, it's us!
- -- Scalphunter
The Marauders began as a group of superpowered criminals working on behalf of the interests of the villain Mister Sinister. Sinister had long devoted his life to the study of genetics and mutations in particular. Knowing of the existence of an underground community called the Morlocks, Sinister decided that their existence was compromising and diluting the genetic gene pool. To remedy this, he made Gambit, a thief who owed Sinister a favor for restoring balance to his formative mutant powers, form a group of mercenaries into a team of Marauders that would work for him.
In one of the Marauders' first known activities, based on Sinister's interest in the genetic lineage of the mutants Cyclops and Phoenix, several members of the team hunted Cyclops' wife Madelyne Pryor and child Nathan. She used her latent psychic powers to defend herself, but failed to stop the kidnapping.
The majority of Marauders trailed Tommy while Gambit led Sabretooth, Prism and Blockbuster down another path. After repaying Tommy for her leading them here by killing her, the mercenaries began a systematic massacre of the population of the Morlocks.
Unaware of the Marauders' true intent, Gambit tried to stop them, but was attacked by Sabretooth. He was only able to save a Morlock girl (the mutant now known as Marrow) before escaping. The Marauders were confronted by the Morlocks' allies, the hero team X-Men, along with other heroes such as Thor and Power Pack. Ultimately, the X-Men and the heroes stopped the massacre, but not before significant causalities were sustained by both sides.
Polaris possessed by Malice
Later, another Marauder, Malice, attempted possession of the X-Men ally, Dazzler, but was defeated by Dazzler's friends in the X-Men. The Marauders then went on to attack the X-Men's associate Polaris. Sinister had decided, unbeknownst to Malice, that the mutant would make a genetic match with Malice and allow the two to become permanently bonded.
It seemed that Polaris had managed to single-handedly and ruthlessly defeat the team, but in fact it was Malice who had taken possession of Polaris and declared herself leader of the Marauders. Malice, in Polaris' body, led the Marauders on several missions, including a failed attempt to capture Madelyne Pryor, who reappeared in California and would be rescued by the X-Men.
When a demon invasion occurred in New York City, Malice/Polaris led a Marauder attack on the hero teams X-Men and X-Factor. Several Marauders who were believed to have died in previous battles had reappeared. The heroes defeated the Marauders, many of whom were killed during the battle, but Malice and Sabretooth escaped.
Months later, when investigating Sinister's facilities, the X-Men discovered that Sinister had kept genetic information of the mercenaries in order to create clones of them. Some of the clones were released, but the X-Men defeated them and they died.
Threnody & X-Man
Years later, Sinister activated several Marauders and had them chase the mutant Threnody who was escaping her indentured servitude to Sinister. They were confronted by the hero X-Man, and in the course of the battle, most of the Marauders were killed. The remaining member, Riptide, was sent back with implanted memories that Threnody was killed as well as all the Marauders. Nevertheless, more Marauders later returned, and Threnody agreed to return to Sinister.
Later, Sinister disguised several Marauders as agents of the villain Apocalypse in order to trick the hero Cable into forming an alliance with him. Another time, Gambit needed to invaded another of Sinister's bases, and Scalphunter revealed that all cloned Marauders were genetically programmed to never turn against Sinister on penalty of death. Gambit turned to Sabretooth, who was never cloned, and the two invaded Sinister's base, after facing several Marauders as guards. Presumably, as long as Mister Sinister remains active, he will always have at hand a cloned army of Marauders in some capacity.
The Marauders returned when a digitized version of Malice possessed the body of Omega Sentinel, Lady Mastermind and Mystique were revealed to have betrayed the X-Men and joined the Marauders. They have all also aligned themselves with the Acolytes.
They claimed to have a list of a group of people or places that have information of the future, or even alternate timelines. Sunfire and Gambit seemingly killed Cable, while Senyaka attacked Deadpool. Riptide killed Quiet Bill, and Scalphunter and Vertigo killed the Witness. It is revealed in flashbacks that Arclight brought down the Wohnhaus Strucker, a building which had ties to the future.
It is also revealed that Harpoon impaled Vargas with harpoons until his death. The Dark Mother was another victim taken out. They also thought they killed Gateway, although he survived. Bishop was also sought after in these attacks.
Later, the Acolytes attacked the X-Mansion looking for Destiny's diaries, but found fakes. They also went to take out Blindfold, but she saw them coming and prevented her death. Iceman and Cannonball went against the Marauders for the diaries, but the diaries were destroyed in the process.
When the Messiah baby was born, the Marauders arrived in Alaska and killed some Purifiers, losing Blockbuster and Prism, without finding the special mutant child. The Marauders later battled the X-Men at Sinister's Antarctic base. Later, Marauders tracked Cable and the baby to Forge's Aerie in Dallas, where they defeated Bishop and seized the mutant child. The Marauders fought in the final battle on Muir Island and Scrambler, Malice and Vertigo seemingly all died.
After the death of Mister Sinister, a contingent of Marauders clones were awakened (Arclight, Harpoon, Riptide, Sabretooth, Scrambler and Vertigo) in the former Sinister's lab in The Kitakyushu Smelting Plant, Japan, where Essex kept the vials of the Legacy Virus. Clones attacked Vanisher, who tried to steal the virus, and later they battled with X-Force. Apparently X-Force killed all clones.
The team was later gathered by Susan Hatchi (truly Da'o Coy Manh, Karma's half-sister), including Chimera as the leader, Arclight, Blockbuster, Harpoon, Prism, Vanisher and a bunch of human soldiers.
- Responsible for the murders of hundreds of Morlocks including Tommy, Annalee, Zeek, Cybelle, and Piper.
- Gambit's role in assembling the Marauders and Mister Sinister's reason for attacking them were retroactively added to the original massacre.
- The third Weapon X series reveals that both Scalphunter and Sabretooth joined Sinister decades before the massacre. Scalphunter met Essex during World War II while Sabretooth was approached by Greycrow during the Vietnam War, when Creed worked as a mercenary.
- No trivia.
Appearances in Other Media
- Some of the Marauders appeared in the X-Men Animated Series, though the Nasty Boys were Sinister's enforcers in the show. Both Blockbuster and Arclight made numerous cameo appearances as random placeholders, while Vertigo, shown first with the Savage Land Mutates, like the comics version, later became the sole female member of the Nasty Boys.
- Some of the Marauders also appeared in the Wolverine and the X-Men show.
- 33 Marauders (Earth-616) Members
- 77 Appearances of Marauders (Earth-616)
- 21 Images that include Marauders (Earth-616)
- Team Gallery: Marauders (Earth-616)
- Fan-Art Gallery: Marauders (Earth-616)