Mike Carey (Writer), Scot Eaton, Greg land (Penciler), John Dell, Andrew Hennessy, Jay Leisten (Inkers), Brian Reber and Frank D’Armata (Colorist)
First off, I must mention that I have only recently returned to reading X-Men comics after the Messiah Complex drew me back in. I mention this because it surprises me how much I have enjoyed the X-Men: Legacy story even though it is heavily steeped in mutant history and seems meant more for longtime readers. I have made an effort to catch up with said history that I have missed, but I can’t help but feel that Legacy wasn’t really written for people like me. With that said, however, I have to say that I am quite impressed with the story that has been told so far and this latest issue ensures that I will be keeping this series on my reading list for quite some time.
X-Men: Legacy #210 picks up right where the last issue left off – with Magneto and Omega Sentinel looking on as Exodus and Xavier square off on the psychic plane with Xavier’s mind, and sanity, on the line. As with previous issues, the story is told through three different types of sequences: The present situation involving the Acolytes, Magneto, Omega Sentinel, Exodus, and Xavier, the Mindscape situation involving the mental battle between Exodus and Xavier, and the flashback sequences that are being manipulated by Exodus in an attempt to break Xavier’s resolve. All three sequences are visually gripping in their own way. The choice to use a different art team for the flashback sequences continues to keep the book fresh while adding a distinctiveness of its own. Both art teams do an excellent job all around.
Mike Carey’s writing continues to do a fine job of conveying just how incredibly respected Professor Xavier is as both a powerful mutant and a leading figure within the shattered mutant community. Magneto, Exodus, and the rest of the Acolytes clearly look up to the mentally shattered Xavier and the dialogue that takes place between the characters and Xavier elegantly shows just how complex their relationships have become. The gravity of Xavier’s situation could easily come across as overly dramatic or even hokey, especially when considering how all the characters are intertwined, but Carey deftly handles the dialogue well enough that the book never seems to lose its way.
While both the art and most of the writing score high marks with me, I have some issues with the overall storytelling. To put it bluntly, not a whole lot happens as far as moving things forward. I like where it leaves off Xavier’s tale, but the small teaser of things (and characters), to come feels almost entirely disconnected from everything else. Another issue I have to mention is the appearance of Emma Frost and Cyclops that really doesn’t seem to fit into current continuity in any reasonable way – especially when considering that up until this point no one gave much thought to Xavier disappearing at the end of Messiah Complex. It could be a sign of things to come, but it still felt somewhat tacked on.
Overall, I really enjoyed this issue of X-Men: Legacy despite the few storytelling kinks. I really like Carey’s portrayal of the characters and the different sequences feature some strong artwork that keeps me hooked even if it’s regarding some X-Men history I have yet to catch up on. (Grade: B)