by Simon Spurrier (Writer), Khoi Pham (Artist), Rachelle Rosenberg (Colorist)
The Story: With everything going to hell, it’s a nice thing that David has the help of multiple X-Men for his problems.
The Review: It’s always exhilarating to see a title get to its conclusion. While the end may be coming, to see all those subplots and plot threads developed bloom is something that is always a bit satisfying, especially if you are part of the readers that were there during the inception of the title. There’s always the chance that the title might end up being disappointing, but the chance of it being right is always exciting nonetheless.
X-Men Legacy could have very well become something rather insipid in its last few issues, yet the weird energy and the themes brought by Simon Spurrier are strong here. This issue, in many way, is a culmination of many ongoing themes and developments brought to the character of David Haller, providing plenty of entertainment and excitement as the showdown against the evil Xavier goes forth.
Still putting plenty of emphasis on the narration of David, this issue gives readers plenty of the fascinating thoughts that fueled this series and its development, this time giving us a deep insight on the evolution of his introspection and his relation to mutant kind. The way he interacts with other characters he has met and those he didn’t in this battle against his hate and fears personified is very interesting, revealing how his point-of-view changed with each experiences, giving some nice points to how Spurrier handled his evolution throughout the series as seen in the pages of this issue.
Spurrier does a middle-of-the-road job with the other characters, though. While there are certainly a lot of characters in this issue, not all of them are used to their full extent. While Wolverine, Cyclops, Magneto and others are used rather neatly in order to provide gravitas and a certain weight to what is happening, others aren’t so lucky. Those rather happy to see Aarkus, Magik, Storm, Doop and Pixie shall be disappointed, with them being merely there for the sake of appearance rather than actual storytelling reasons. While the high number of characters does help in granting a bit more tension to the scene and conflict in general, it’s always a pity to see some beloved characters only visible with no other reason than to ”participate” in other events and titles.
Conceptually, however, the issue is most sound. The numbers of threads coming to a close here is rather important, with a certain numbers of them mixing together cohesively to provide some major conflicts for the remaining couple of issues. The vision David has of his father, his vision on mutants and their place in the world, the battle against the hate and fear he possess, the prophecy he share with Blindfold and other plots goes on rather neatly with the battle that is the major focus of the issue. It’s not perfect, however, as not everything is presented in the clearest of terms, but for the most part, it is quite satisfying.
Where it ends up being a bit less satisfying is with the art, as the weird talent of Tan Eng Huat is replaced by Khoi Pham. While his general sense of composition and his pages invading roughness to the characters that really doesn’t help in many scenes. While it is rather normal to see a certain drop in the level of precision and details brought to certain characters the farther they are in terms of depth, Pham brings this trait to a whole new level, yet for the worse. With a penchant for bringing as many characters as possible in each panels, this problem become rather apparent soon in the issue, with each page succeeding in reminding the readers it exists in the first place.
Not everything is bad, of course, as Pham is able to bring a certain level of acceptable details when things are brought up close. When dealing with one person at a time, the emotions conveyed and the facial expressions become that much better, with scenes going on inside David’s mind benefitting the most from this. Pham might not be nearly as good as the other artists attached to this title, but he can be decent with some aspects.
Rachelle Rosenberg is rather nice with the colorization here, though. Giving plenty of warm colors and balancing them out with dull grey, brown and black, Rosenberg is able to mix the hyper-weirdness of what is going on with a certain approach to realism that work really well in terms of contrasts. With the addition of the chaotic palette brought by the inner psyche and crazy powers of David in some scenes, there is a certain richness in diversity that helps set in the general tone of the series quite well on the page. All in all, this is rather strong work from Rosenberg, as always.
The Conclusion: There might be some slight problems with the art of Khoi Pham and the general use of some characters, yet the focus on the key themes of the series, the culmination of several plot points and the always sharp characterization of David Haller makes this issue a good read despite all that.
Hugo Robberts Larivière