MARAUDERS (Forge's Army Unit)
Membership: Billy ? (deceased), Sgt. Forge, at least four others unnamed (deceased)
Purpose: To serve the United States Armed Forces and defend U.S. citizens and interests abroad.
Affiliations: The United States Armed Forces
Enemies: The North Vietnamese Army and any other Vietnamese Communist factions, any enemies of the United States, its people or its allies
Base of Operations: formerly the Central Highlands of South Vietnam (Pre-Modern Era)
First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men I#262 (June, 1990)
History: (Uncanny X-Men I#262 (fb)) - At age 19, the mutant known as Forge enlisted in the U.S. Army, feeling it was his duty to serve in Vietnam and honor his Cheyenne warrior ancestors. He excelled in combat training, and was shipped off to 'Nam as part of an outfit tagged "The Marauders". He was quickly offered a transfer to S.H.I.E.L.D. by Sergeant-Major Harry Malone, but refused out of loyalty to his men, having promised to see his unit home safe and sound. The Marauders quickly learned that war was not as glorious as they had expected, however, and Forge had to console Billy after the young soldier's first kill.
(Uncanny X-Men I#263 (fb) - BTS) - Forge quickly reached the position of sergeant in command of the Marauders.
(Uncanny X-Men I#263 (fb)) - The Marauders found themselves holed up in a valley in the Central Highlands of South Vietnam, with the main force of the NVA headed their way, and no support or rescue available. Billy reminded Forge that he'd promised to get them out safe and sound, and Forge replied he'd promised he'd try. They were scared and tired, not to mention greatly outnumbered, but they realized if the Vietcong passed their position it could cost them the war. The Marauders bravely stood their ground, attempting to hold off the VC until a squadron of B-52 bombers could arrive and take out the enemy, during which point they hoped to escape. Though several of the team were killed, most were still alive when the B-52's were supposed to arrive, but the "Buffs" were late. The Vietcong slaughtered the Marauders; Billy was one of the last to die. After losing his unit, Forge briefly lost hold of his sanity and summoned forth "A spell so obscene it still shames me to think of it.", calling upon his dead friend's souls to summon a horde of demons to slaughter the Vietcong, which they did with an unholy vengeance. When the belated B-52 assault finally came, Forge lost his right hand and leg in the bombing raid.
(Uncanny X-Men I#263) - After battling Masque's X-Men, and successfully rescuing his teammates, Forge went to the roof of Peter Nicholas' apartment, and saluted his fallen friends. "I got 'em back Bros'. This time, this outfit, I kept my word. I didn't break the faith. Alive and safe and whole...I brought my people home." The faces of the Marauders were seen smiling in the sky above him...
Comments: Created by Chris Claremont, Kieron Dwyer, Josef Rubenstein, and Bill Jaaska
It's unclear if the Marauders' spirits were actually present at the end of Uncanny X-Men #263, or if it was merely the artists' way of illustrating Forge's memories and emotions. I'd like to believe the former.
Forge's mentor, the Cheyenne Shaman Naze, was against his going to the war, and wanted him to stay and study the Shaman's ways.
As with all Marvel Universe references to the Vietnam War, (and almost all major events), these events are topical, and the exact war in which they occurred is subject to revision.
This is also, of course, where Forge lost his arm and hand, necessitating
the bionic implants he now has. Forge later did accept the offer to work
for S.H.I.E.L.D., and helped design the organization's Hellicarrier.
It's a common continuity error referencing SHIELD as having been present before the start of the modern era. However, the fix is that its development stage was named Project: SHIELD, and was around at least 10-15 years before the modern era.
NVA stands for North Vietnamese Army.
No known connection to
Billy should not be confused with
A young African-American soldier under Forge's command, who seemed to view his sergeant as a big brother. Billy was killed by Vietcong gunfire while defending the unit's position
- Uncanny X-Men I #162 (163 (d)
Group - Uncanny X-Men I#263, p 31, pan 5
Billy and unnamed soldier with glasses - Uncanny X-Men I#263, p 16, pan 4
Last updated: 03/14/05.
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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