“Collision” (part 3)
Oh Mike Carey. Just when I think you’ve finally lost your mutant touch you go and surprise me with a wonderfully crafted tale like “Collision.” It’s amazing to think that Carey has been on X-Men for like four years now isn’t it? He has been such a tremendously steady hand of guidance for the mutants and yet has managed to stay under the radar for the most parts. With due respect to the likes of Matt Fraction, Craig Kyle, Chris Yost, and Zeb Wells, but Carey is the X-Man at the moment merely because of his tenure on the title and his involvement with everything that symbolizes the X-Men of today.
In this storyline the adversaries that Carey created in his first X-Men story, the Children of the Vault, have made their long awaited return and are set for vengeance on Rogue’s current team of X-Men. Yet this all comes about as a matter of circumstance after the young Vaultian (that’s what I’m calling them) Luz, escapes to Earth in order to escape the communist like regime of the Vaultians. What we learn is that after the Children’s defeat at the hands of the X-Men they have relocated to Quitado, their home in between the ether that is tethered to Earth.
It is revealed that Luz, whose power is to produce and control light, is a much needed resource to the Vaultians. What their intentions are is to create an independent source of energy by harvesting Vaultians like Luz who control elemental like powers. They have constructed a device called Angelfire that will harness these energies, making Luz and the 29 others who will comprise the power source, immortal. Of course, Luz did not like that hence she fled to Earth. Now she and the unsuspecting X-Men have been hunted down by the Children of the Vault and Rogue and Magneto are taken into custody along with young Luz. Rogue is going to be executed for her past transgressions against the Children of the Vault and Magneto will be the 30th (unwilling) volunteer for the Angelfire device.
Say what you will, but Mike Carey let loose with a solid, well thought out premise that is really deep when you look under the surface. I thoroughly enjoy the fact that he has been spending a lot of time focusing on some of the lesser known younger mutants like Paras and Alani. That may be a negative to some but I am in favor of letting some of these “unknowns” get a chance to shine. Paras has stepped up and has become rather intriguing considering that he is dealing with the matter of a forced arranged marriage to a young girl who was promised to his brother. Carey’s handle on these characters has been superb and the Children of the Vault are such an incredible foil to the X-Men.
The Clay Mann art has been pretty darn good as he has had more time to flex his mutant muscles. His collaboration with Leisten and Reber has definitely been one of beneficial proportions. There are some panels that appear to have been rushed however and from one page to the next is sometimes a marked difference. But when he is on there is no doubt that he has the goods to showcase the X-Men.
Overall, this arc and this issue has been a very strong showing of the talent that Mike Carey and his collaborators are capable of. Legacy may not get the attention that Fraction’s Uncanny does, but it is definitely on equal standing in terms of quality. In fact ,all the core X-Men titles are pretty much great reads consistently. I do have to tip my cap to Mr. Carey for upping the ante though. His decision to bring back the Children of the Vault was a smart choice and the story has been a fun action packed romp with an appropriate dash of character drama.