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X-Men: Legacy #209

Posted: Tuesday, March 25, 2008
By: Bryant Frattalone

Mike Carey
Scott Eaton, John Dell, Billy Tan
Marvel Comics
Editor's Note: X-Men: Legacy #209 arrives in stores tomorrow, March 26.

Plot: More mind bending antics at Acolyte HQ. Frenzy lives up to her name.

Commentary: Hmph. That's the sound that comes out of your mouth because your mind is confused and you just don't know what to make of something. That's how I walked away from the second issue in the "X-Men: Legacy" storyline. It didn't go at all the way I expected it might. I almost get the feeling that Marvel believes they have to keep Charles Xavier and Magneto around but they just don't know what to do with them. I don't want to give too much away since this is an advanced review, but I can say that I believed the flashback sequences in Charles' mind were there to give us deeper insight into past events and relationships in the X-Men Universe.

Last issue started to do that but this issue's flashing back to earlier battles with Magneto and his Brotherhood don't give us any more depth than the original events. There is a confusing bit during the last flashback before Charles…oh, well, now that would be telling. In any case, there is this confusing bit in the last flashback scene where Magneto is speaking but Charles (in his mind) is telling Magneto that he's speaking words that Charles actually spoke at that moment. What does that mean? Uh-oh! Is the Charles Xavier on the slab in Acolytes HQ not the Charles Xavier who fought Magneto during that flashback? Was that Magneto not Magneto? Is this current Magneto not Magneto? It all points to one thing. Can you say Skrulls? Man, I hope not! There's no blatant indication that this is what is going on, but Carey doesn’t give us much more to go on, and unless you go back and read the X-Men history that Carey's read, you will just walk away miffed and scratching your head.

I'm reminded of when Chris Claremont put Charles and Magneto together on Genosha to rebuild it in his first re-launch of Excalibur. That had the same feel as this issue, and it's no wonder it tanked as a series. Charles and Erik standing around philosophizing about their different mind sets in regards to mutant kind just isn't exciting writing anymore. Sure, Marvel throws in some odd mutants for ensemble cast's sake but for the most part these added characters just are not interesting. Personally, I think Marvel dropped the ball on Magneto years ago when they did not allow him to become the full fledged king of the island nation of Genosha and thus build a power base for mutants on the world stage. That would have been something. Instead they scrapped the whole idea and let Grant Morrison clear the stage for his revolutionary run on the book. They should have picked up the story again post-Morrison, and they should still pick it up here. That would be much more satisfying than “nursemaid to Charles” Magneto we get here.

Magneto and Charles even admit that perhaps their time is past and they and their ways are outmoded. I don't think so. I just don't think anyone has a good story to put them in anymore. Look Marvel, either bring Magneto and Professor X back in all their glory or just eliminate them entirely. They don't work as secondary characters in a bigger play. They always have been central to the X-Men story line. Magneto has been mishandled for years. The current X-Men writing teams are doing a good job of bringing the other X characters back and advancing them. It can be done with Magneto. Clear up that whole fake Magneto mess from back in Morrison's run, give Erik his powers back, and let's go to town with him! Charles? I don't know.

Ultimately, what happens to him this issue is far too soon for my taste and the last couple of frames of story are inconsistent with someone who has just gone through the process of having the physical elements of his splattered brains put back together again. This story is already floundering, guys. Let's put it back together again.

Final Word: Only two issues in and we are starting to get a humpty dumpty of a tale. Be careful, Carey and company, you may not be able to put this one back together again.



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