REVIEW: X-Men Legacy #231-233

Writer: Mike Carey

Pencils: Clay Mann

Inks: Danny Miki et al.

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Mike Carey’s X-Men Legacy is a strange little creature right now, with its supposed re-focus on Rogue as mentor of the young X-Men on the island of Utopia. But that’s not to say it isn’t interesting; indeed, with Mr. Carey at the helm of any comic book, but especially one X-related, you are pretty much guaranteed a solid story with almost flawless characterisation. And at the end of the day, is there much more you can ask of a comic book?

Well, yes actually – and I may as well get my gripe out of the way early – a consistent, top quality art team would be nice. I was really excited when Daniel Acuna was unveiled as the new Legacy artist, believing his lush, rather abstract style would be a perfect match for Carey’s epic-yet-intimate storytelling (and he drew a fantastic Rogue). Alas, it was only four issues before he moved onto pastures new. Now, I am a big fan of this arc’s artist, Clay Mann, who does some lovely and clean – if understated – work here, so I have no qualms with the creative team, but with a different artist filling in for the next issue, and then Greg Land taking over for the Second Coming tie-ins, a consistent top-line artist really is the missing component of a potentially great series.

Anyway, back to this three issue arc, which serves as a tie-in to the Necrosha storyline headlining over in sister title X-Force. The Black Queen, Selene, is bringing all the dead mutants of Genosha back to life, unsurprisingly for her own evil ends. If this is not in itself enough to bring her into conflict with the X-Men, then the resurrection of Destiny, who was Rogue’s guardian during her youth, was the hook to pull this title into the mix. Escaping from Selene’s clutches, Destiny tries to make contact with the X-Men; after appearing to Blindfold, a select team of X-Men head to the rescue, only to fall into the clutches of another resurrected villain, Proteus….

This is the usual, tightly plotted and effortlessly scripted story from Mr. Carey, with a strong emotional centre. The team dynamic is nicely balanced, but still with an emphasis on Legacy’s central protagonist. It is also nice to finally see some interplay between Rogue and Magneto, referencing their brief relationship in the Savage Land about 250 issues ago. However, while the tie-in to the wider events of Necrosha is natural, it does not really add much to the overall tapestry of that storyline. Indeed, besides the hint of further emotional entanglement on the horizon for Rogue, and the fact that all three issues are well crafted, it is not altogether clear how this arc does much to advance the cause of Legacy as an ongoing title.

Altogether, I’m still not really sure where this direction is headed, with Rogue as a mentor / teacher amongst the youthful mutants of the X-Men; heck, I’m not even sure if there is going to be a Legacy book following the Second Coming X-over event. But we’ll cross that bridge as we come to it – for now, when it comes to the X-Men, in Mike Carey we trust…

Rating: 7/10

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