Mike Carey (Writer) Present Day Sequences: Scot Eaton (Penciler), John Dell, Andrew Hennessy(Inkers), and Frank D’Armata (Colorist) Flashback Sequences: Mike Deodato (Art) and Rain Beredo (Colors)

I honestly can’t believe how quickly Marvel’s been churning out these X-Men: Legacy books. It seems like I have a new one to read every other week. Don’t take that as a complaint, however; the book is consistently entertaining and is always one of the better reads in my comic pile. With issue #212, however, X-Men: Legacy may have hit a slight speed bump.

Professor Xavier’s quest to reassemble both the past and his shattered mind has always had a sense of urgency attached to it. With the reemergence of Gambit in this issue, that urgency is kicked up a notch as we find out Xavier is one of four people being targeted for assassination by an unknown force. The two hit the road looking for answers as Professor Xavier continues to make sense of the past. There are more hints that something larger is at work pulling the strings connected to Xavier’s quest as well as a few striking flashbacks. It all feels quite “business as usual” in relation to other issues of this series and, to be honest, the action sequences almost feel out of place. Had it not been for a fairly huge reveal near the end of the book, I would have been tempted to say that the story was in risk of becoming repetitive. Luckily, I can say that it’s nice to see the story picking up momentum with the arc continuing to show Professor Xavier in an entirely new light. Now to explain what I meant about the slight speed bump.

X-Men: Legacy has tasked the reader with making sense of Xavier’s complicated history through both the present and the past. While I appreciate leaving some things for the reader to figure out, when I finished this issue I felt as though I had missed something. Now it is possible that more will be explained and fleshed out with subsequent issues, but I worry that the gaps in my knowledge of both Professor X and X-Men continuity are starting to catch up with me. To put it simply, this issue made me feel like the story was moving too fast for its own good. I wanted more information on the people on the assassination list, as well as more information regarding some of the events shown through the flashbacks. I hesitate to fault the writer for this because the writing continues to be strong, but it like Mike Carey has certain expectations of those reading the story. I am starting to wonder if I do not meet those expectations.

The core of this story is a character study of Professor Xavier and, as a result, much of the story rests on dialogue and interactions. Mike Carey continues to shine in that regard as Xavier is given even more layers of characterization through his conversations, inner monologues, and flashbacks. Gambit is shown as someone who respects and cares for Xavier, while at the same time remaining wary of the professor because of his recent instability and past manipulations. It really creates an interesting dynamic and I’m interested in seeing where it goes from here.

As usual for the series, the artwork is quite attractive. Scot Eaton continues to draw detailed, moody settings that really compliment the tone of the story. The characters look, for the most part, fantastic and the bits of action flow quite well. If I have any complaint about Eaton’s work it is that some facial expressions look a bit odd. The colors by Frank D’Armata are impressive as always and continue to be one of the highlights of this series. As for the flashback sequences, this month they are helmed by Mike Deodato. While not quite as impressive as his recent work on the Thunderbolts series, the sequences are quite striking. I like how this book continues to get guest artists for the flashback sequences. It allows each issue to have a distinct feel.

Overall, this was another good outing for X-Men: Legacy that is tripped up only by the pace at which it is moving. That said, the writing and artwork are strong enough to keep things gripping even when it feels as though it’s relying too much on X-Continuity knowledge. (Grade C+)

-Kyle Posluszny