Editor's Note: X-Men: Legacy #220 arrives in stores tomorrow, January 21.
Plot: Bent on fulfilling his promise of a cure, Xavier hires Gambit to protect him as they search for Rogue in Australia. Meanwhile, an old Joss Whedon plotline comes into play.
Comments: As a fan of both Rogue and Gambit, I'm extremely excited and satisfied with Carey's treatment of them. As previous issues attest, Carey gives immense weight to his characters by reaping their long muddled past and allowing them to accept it.
Rogue returns to the X-Men's old base in Australia, hoping to reconnect with her own long, muddled past. Since Messiah Complex Rogue has been free of the thousands of alien voices that she absorbed from the Hecatomb. Unfortunately, she is still haunted by the remnant of her mother Mystique who blithely strolls through her consciousness. Carey's treatment of this strange relationship is stunning and appealing. As Rogue meditates, Mystique cudgels her about the deep bitterness between them. "Mystique," she retorts, "if Ah get control of mah power--if Ah get to the point where Ah can turn it off and on--Ah can be around people again. Until then, Ah'm stuck out here talkin' to ghosts." The manifestation of Mystique's "echo" in Rogue's mind represents her past, her disassociation from others, and her own self-hatred. Until she can overcome her extraordinary powers, Rogue is indeed stuck talking to ghosts and not just Mystique's.
Eaton does a terrific job visualizing this struggle. Throughout Rogue's meditation, her face remains composed, never losing its calm, centered state. Even when she is confronted by Mystique, her body maintains resolute, indicating that she is determined to overcome her powers once and for all. Eaton's depiction of Rogue is equally confident. Even though she no longer has the super-strength of Carol Danvers, Rogue's physicality is sturdy and indestructible. For example, when a mysterious anthropologist arrives to "survey" the area and interrupt her privacy, Rogue's body tells the interloper to shove off as much as her mouth does.
Carey and Eaton continue to produce brilliant work will that not only satiate die-hard X-fans, but will entice newbies as well.
Final Word: For fans of Whedon's Astonishing X-Men, expect to see a familiar face.
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