Marvel NOW! Review: X-Men Legacy (vol. 2) #1 by Simon Spurrier & Tan Eng Huat

X-Men Legacy (vol. 2) #1: Prodigal

Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Tan Eng Huat
Release Date: 11/14/2012
Cover Price: $2.99
Review: Digital Copy (From Comixology)

So my basic understanding is that this title was relaunched to reflect the new reality coming out of the ashes of the A vs. X mega-series. Specifically, how the son of Charles Xavier, known as Legion, deals with a world in which his father no longer lives.

David Heller aka Legion is the mutant offspring of Charles Xavier, and his power stems from his mental disorder, dissociative identity disorder (or MPD). He is an Omega level psionic, but each of his personalities can control a different party of his psychic ability. He died during the Age of Apocalypse, but apparently was brought back a short time ago.

Synopsis

  • The Qortex Complex is a jail that keeps what appear to be interstellar criminals and evil doers. Their jailer is one called the Hazeguard who extracts ‘badness’ using the Xtractor.
  • In North Sikkim, India, David Heller is living in a camp and working with Merzah the Mystic as his Guru, who appears to be trying to fix Legion’s broken mind.
  • The prisoners of the Qortex Complex try to escape by attacking the Hazeguard, who also happens to be David Heller. David appears to move between the two realities as jailer, mystic, apprentice, and liberator.
  • When David feels the death of his father, his psychic backlash destroys the mystic camp in India, frees the prisoners of the Quortex Complex, and notifies Blindfold that the future has been altered.
  • The prisoners of the Qortex Complex freed, they move forward to attack each other as well as their jailer, Legion.

Questions and Answers

Q:    How did David end up as the jailer of the Qortex Complex? Or is the Qortex Complex simply a part of his mind, and the prisoners are the multiple personalities in his head. And if the Qortex Complex is just in his head, then where is his corporeal body?

Analysis

Sometimes there are comic books that are just too weird to review: The action cannot be recapped; The story is a piece of a greater whole that you cannot see; The general dream-like existance is intentionally confusing; etc; You expect this more when you read an independent comic book or some wacky Vertigo title, and not from a superhero comic book. This book is a lot like that. (In fact I read a comic book called Bedlam recently that was flat out unreviewable. I had no idea how to describe what happened or even whether it was good or not)

Yes, the X-Men have gone down the strange and wacky road before, but it’s certainly not what you’re expecting.

In this book there are obviously many things going on. David appears to be in a mental prison of someone’s making (either himself or his father, I would guess). And he appears as both the adversary and the hero in the same title. Now this is probably a good idea, given the role of Legion in the history of the X-Men. It’s a clever enough idea. If I was told to write a comic starring Legion, then I might take a similar approach

However, this is the major issue in which the entire book hinges, I don’t think that Legion gives you enough of a reason to read this book. I mean, if I’m a big X-Men fan, I might read a mini-series starring Legion to see how the death of his father is affecting him. That’s interesting. But X-Men Legacy has traditionally been a team book, and I think you lose the existing audience by making the first issue a wacky trip into the mental state of David Heller, who has never been an overly popular character.

Additionally, the tone is really strange. There’s almost a sense or humor or parody in the text of this book, but it’s not strong or consistent enough to say it’s a funny book or even that humor is it’s strong suit. I’m unfamiliar with Simon Spurrier’s work, so maybe I’m just missing the boat here.

Now, please don’t get me wrong. This is not a bad book. It is just strange. There are many good points:

  • It does not read like a typical first issue book or a first issue team book.
  • It portrays David Heller as a very self-conscious character, similar in nature to characters created by Peter David.
  • The book leaves you wondering which direction it is going.
  • The artwork is solid.

Verdict

This is a decent book, but in the end I don’t think it matters. Basing my opinion solely on issue #1, this book has no reason to be called an X-Men book, especially one that supposedly continues the legacy of a previous title that lasted 4+ years. I’m mildly curious about what happens in the next issue, but not intrigued enough that I would put $2.99 down on it. Read someone else’s copy, if you can.

Overall Grade: C (Good enough to read, but not to pay for)

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,