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X-Men: Legacy #208

Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2008
By: Bryant Frattalone

Mike Carey
John Romita Jr., Scott Eaton
Marvel Comics
Editor's Note: X-Men: Legacy #208 arrives in stores tomorrow, February 27.

Plot: Someone's trying to put all the shattered pieces of Charles Xavier's mind back together again.

Commentary: I would have graded this issue 5 bullets except from the outset the question kept reverberating in my mind: "How come none of the X-Men know that Xavier's body was hi-jacked by the enemy and how come no one, especially Scott Summers, is going after the enemy to retrieve his body for a decent burial?" You might say that's a big bump in the road and a salient story point to just let slip, and if it were not for what proceeds after those facts then it would truly be reason for huge complaining. However, Marvel continues to dignify the X-books with top notch talent and desirable plot twists galore. I'm going to maintain the confidence that Mike Carey will provide a reasonable explanation in the issues ahead. If not, shame on you Marvel!

I was delighted and surprised to see John Romita Jr. and Klaus Janson on some of the art chores this issue. Being the superstar creators they are, it is a bonus. They take care of the memory scenes inside Charles' shattered psyche. The rest of the art is competently handled by Scott Eaton and John Dell. It's crisp, clean, superhero storytelling and we are starting to get a definitive look at the character of Exodus... finally! Now, if we can just get a decent and defining costume for him too that would help. He is a character with a lot of potential and Carey looks to be on a mission to make him his own. Fine with me. In the past he hasn't been handled as any more than what amounts to a henchman with generic psychic powers.

The character of Amelia Voght is spotlighted and reintroduced to us. She's a former recruit and love interest of Xavier's, and she seems to be the one who will react and act on whatever Exodus does in regards to Xavier from this point on. Just as Moira was Charles' conscience in the past, Amelia will be Exodus' in the present. The idea of someone actually being able to rebuild a person's brain from scratch is almost too much to believe, but Carey just makes us believe it's possible. Certainly it will be a long process and suits itself to what this series will be for the forseeable future: a "this is your life" play on Xavier's and the X-Men's past. We've had others like John Byrne try to fill in the gaps of X-History, but Carey and Marvel have picked the right time to do this once again post-Messiah Complex and with the X-Men's world currently divided.

It's been hinted for awhile that Xavier's motivations and goals may not have been as noble and pure as he always made them out to be. We get some nice flashbacking to the very beginning of the X-Men's formation. Moira MacTaggert, a long gone mainstay, is back albeit only in memories. There are early times with Charles and Scott behind closed doors, Xavier during wartime and a continual reference to what seems will be the theme of this run: "How do you resist the urge to play God?" This theme applies to Exodus, the man who'd dare to reconstruct a brain, Xavier himself in the formation of the X-Men and last of all to the big reveal character at story's end. Let's put it this way: he's been a thorn in the X-Men's side from the beginning and is introduced as the wild card and serpent in Exodus' paradise. We've been waiting a long time for his return and where Carey takes this next is anyone's guess. One thing is for sure: this mystery man will not be happy playing second fiddle to anyone!

Final Word: All bets are off in the X-Men's world. Marvel isn't playing it safe with these mutants anymore. They've stirred the pot and what comes out is enticing stuff indeed.



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