Monday, April 29, 2013

X-Men Legacy: Back to School (comics)

Rogue's pretty chill for someone
with a dislocated kneecap

Writer: Christos Gage
Artists: David Baldeon, Rafa Sandoval
Collects: X-Men Legacy #250.1, #261-265

As you might recall I gave up on this book completely somewhere around the creepy "no means yes" Rogue and Magneto hookup*. I didn't exactly have any intention of going back either. But the split of the X franchise saw this book fall into the Wolverine half. Apparently it acquired a new writer since the last time I read it too. I much prefer the school setting and I'm an easy mark for Gambit, so I figured there was no harm if seeing whether the franchises new lease on life translated here.

It's a little bit of yes and a little bit of no.

We start off pretty good. An innocent little screwup leads to the X-Men having to fight legally distinct versions of the Xenomorphs from Aliens. If you know me at all, you know I'm all over that. It's a fun little one-shot that even manages to work in some effective comic relief in the faculty trying to keep the war going on outside from the kids.

Next is a small arc centered around the return of some dude named Exodus. Who he is or what he can do isn't adequetly explained; we get some exposition about the last time they fought him, but nothing on why we should care while his powers seem to be "whatever the hell he feels like doing". I imagine he's from Carey's run. The stuff I didn't read.

The Rogue and Magneto... "thing" remains at the fore. This is, after all, Rogues book, despite the expanded focus. I guess the X split left them on a weird long distance note. The "Age of X" nonsense that started the whole thing isn't even mentioned anymore; it's like they're some normal couple going through some distance issues. Rest assured, book, that I sure as hell haven't forgotten that creepy shit.

Rogue, the master of questionable decisions, makes a few with the potential to be interesting. She's the independent one, liable to disobey orders if she feels she's right. Trouble is, like most characters of that ilk, she isn't always right and her decisions come back to bite her in the ass. Turns out the call to Utopia she made - which Wolverine explicitly told her not to - brought the Utopia kids to the battle, putting them in danger and only strengthening their belief that Wolverine and company are only fooling themselves. This, of course, weighs heavily on her, made worse by the clear fact that it's partly because of Magneto, which she is thankfully called out on.

We end on a two parter about a couple of villains - who are basically BFF's - trying to get help from Wolverines X-Men. Weapon Omega's powers are going out of control and he's basically going to explode if something isn't done. What follows is a race against the clock to try and save him - villain or not - in any way they can. It's downright heartwarming at times.

Legacy still struggles with keeping artists for an entire volume at the least. Thankfully, it has two very good ones in Baldeon and Sandoval. I like their styles, so at least the work is good this time. The ridiculous art issues that plagued a past volume or two are thankfully absent this go around.

Is this an improvement? I suppose. Enough of one to bother continuing? I wouldn't go that far.

My Opinion: Skip It

At this point Avengers vs X-Men was just around the corner and after that wrapped Legacy was relaunched with a new mission statement. It isn't even worth attempting to connect with the new status quo unless you just really like these characters. You won't miss anything.

* In case you think I'm kidding, prior to the Aftermath volume, Rogue had been pretty consistent in saying "no, I'm not interested" to Magneto's advances, while he just kept on keeping on with it. After Age of X, we're told their alternate universe selves had feelings for each other - we saw nothing of the sort and if anything there was more there reinforcing Gambit and Rogue than anything - and since Rogue kept all those memories and had some odd form of PTSD she was suddenly shacking up with Magneto, a guy who basically mind-raped her - her words - at one point and killed several of her friends. I can't recall a situation so completely wrongheaded short of that time Carol Danvers was pregnant with her rapist who rapidly aged to adulthood and went off with Danvers who suddenly decided she loved him in the worst case of Stockholm syndrome I've ever seen in fiction**.

** Chris Claremont cleared that one up. He pulled a "what the hell hero" on the Avengers for letting it happen and salvaged Danvers. Sadly, there isn't a Claremont around to play cleanup on Rogue and Magneto.

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