Sunday, June 3, 2012

X-Men: Legacy - Aftermath (comic)

Writer: Mike Carey
Artists: Paul Davidson, Harvey Tolibao, Jorge Molina, Rafa Sandoval
Collects: X-Men: Legacy #242-244, 248-249

As you'll recall, I read and enjoyed the previous volume, which ended with issue #241. Well, somehow, in the time between that issue and #242, the book took a nosedive so sharp I think I got whiplash from it. I do not know what the hell happened, but the end result is a particularly odd, boring and downright ridiculous read .

First off, this volume essentially bookends a separate story, that being Age of X. If you want to read the series or stories sequentially, it requires you to read half a trade paperback, go read another one, then pick the first one up where you left off. I hate that stunt with a passion. Daniel Ways Deadpool series did it once, too, when the book crossed over with Thunderbolts. They had the good sense to collect everything in order when they did the big whopping hardcover release though.

So already we're off to a bad start.

The first half deals with some crap that happened after Second Coming. Essentially, a dude got his hands chopped off and has PTSD over it. Then there's a damn Omega Sentinel the X-Men keep around that I don't recognize who loses her shit - I would never have seen THAT one coming! - at which point the Little Depressed Boy kills her. Of course, his attitude beside, he made the right decision - that one sentinel was wiping the floor with the X-Men present at the time - but apparently he's a demon for stopping her. Then there's some giant spider that can only be viewed in some angles and I just don't even know what the hell all that was about. It sounded like it played off something earlier in the run, but it came out of nowhere and wasn't much more than a fake-out.

After that, we skip ahead to right after Age of X. Everyone is kind of flipping out because they have memories of an entire life lived in the alternate dimension. Most get their memories wiped. This is the point when the writing completely loses track of its own series internal continuity, as suddenly we're told that Rogue and Magneto's alternate forms had feelings for each other in Age of X, something that would have been handy to see. Of course, Rogue decides to keep the memories from the other life because she made a promise to remember the people there who didn't exist and Gambit tells her to screw off until she has her head on straight - admittedly, a moment long overdue - and geez, let's just dispense the pretense and say it's nothing more than an excuse for Rogue to keep these "feelings" and go ride Magnetos magnetic pole.

Oh, I didn't mention that, did I? Rogue shacks up with Magneto.

This is... wow. Magneto takes her to a Holocaust museum and tells her a story about how he killed someone and could sleep well at night. He then pulls a "I know I'm bad for you, so you best run back to Gambit, but if he ever hurts you" trick. Stories of murderin' and preserved corpses apparently turn Rogue on - because of course they do - so she decides it would be a great idea to hook up with thus guy, because she "wants what's bad for her". This also happens immediately after Magneto tells her he wishes she feared him, because it suits his ego better.

Hoooo-ly shit. I'm not usually someone who is always bothered by this kind of thing, but this is on another level. Who thought this was a good idea*? How did such a decent book go from respectable read to boring to mind boggling so quickly?

For the proverbial cherry on top, the book employs an army of artists just to keep things moving. Four artists for five issues. As such, we've got numerous stylistic shifts and geez it's rough. What happened to Clay Mann? There were some rough spots, but at least he brought visual consistency to the book. This is just all over the map.

I hated this. A lot. Just really, really questionable stuff here wrapped up in a package so boring I practically snoozed. I'm giving this series one more shot - some shenanigans with Legions numerous personalities sounds like an alright time - but if I hadn't already borrowed a copy of the next volume I would have dropped it right here. Avoid. Just avoid.

My Opinion: Burn It

* Probably the same people who thought what happened in Sentry: Fallen Sun (ha ha geddit) was a good idea. At least you can say no one read that comic. Not so here.

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