By Mike Carey (writer), Phil Briones (artist), Brian Reber (colorist)

The Story: Xavier comes to Amelia Voght in a dream and tells her that he is coming to New Avalon and that he’s going to tear it down. The Acolytes mobilize and square off against the strongest mutant mind ever known. The end result: a surprise that will feed this story back into the current events of the Marvel Universe.

What’s Good: Xavier is a juggernaut. This book, the entire Legacy series, is about uncovering his failings, but at the same time it is about exposing his strengths. This issue of Legacy is like watching somebody like Yoda or Gandalf coming at you, step by excruciatingly-slow step.

Briones and Reber did some solid visual work on this book. They gave us strong, emotive faces, rapid-fire guns, glowing lasers, static-filled computer monitors, billowing fire, shimmering force fields, and one hell of a final explosion.

On the writing side, this is very much a story about very strong and very noble personalities clashing. Carey gives us a memorable crash of philosophies. There are lots of kinds of nobility and heroism and sacrifice and Carey once again expertly marshals some heavy-hitting adversaries against Xavier, people who have real beefs with him and the firepower to back it up. So our flawed hero pulls no punches as he calls in old loyalties, old arguments and old tragedies to hammer his way psychologically into Exodus. Furthermore, Carey’s writing is not just strong thematically; he plots and delivers a strong story through action and very natural, conflict-filled dialogue.

What’s Not So Good: The scope of the arguments are so big that some of the panels are a little overflowing; too busy to be completely understood all at once, or even after a closer look. On one side, I can understand that Briones is trying to put the epic X-Men history into individual panels, but maybe it’s too much of a goal. He’s so strong with faces and emotions that maybe he should have chosen to do a few representative closeups instead of the wide-angle superhero superbowl we see in a lot of scenes. Also, I found the inking to be a bit too dark. Just because something is underground doesn’t mean it’s all shadowed. But,these are minor points weighed against a really solid offering.

Conclusion: Xavier kicks ass and takes names. Don’t mess with him.

Grade: A-

-DS Arsenault