After a year off in its own little corner of the mutant books, "X-Men: Legacy" is back in the thick of things, just in time to participate in the "Dark Avengers" and "Uncanny X-Men" crossover. And while Mike Carey does the best he can with such a temporary mandate, it's hard to keep from wishing that it was already over.
It's a shame, because Carey is poised to get the new direction of "X-Men: Legacy" moving forward with Rogue as the star. Still, he makes the best he can with the situation, plunging Rogue, Gambit, and Danger into the thick of the riots that are covering San Francisco. It's clear that Carey loves to write for Rogue, with her getting a central role in the new book, as well as the leader of the team back when the book was just "X-Men." But while it's fun to see the all-new-and-improved Rogue in action, there's something missing from the book.
It wasn't until I was thinking about old crossovers that it suddenly hit me; "X-Men: Legacy" is in the same position that "Excalibur" was back when Inferno was running. "Excalibur" was off to one side in the mutant corner of the world, so when it was drawn into the Inferno storyline, it was in the most tangential way possible. The characters were in New York as the demon invasion occurred, but Excalibur's characters didn't have any actual influence on the events. They just fought demons for two issues and then called it a day.
That's what's going on here; "X-Men: Legacy" #226 features Rogue, Gambit, and Danger just hitting rioters and Dark Avengers team members, but it doesn't feel like there's any sort of forward movement for either the characters or the story. Instead the book seems to be stalling for two months, waiting for the crossover to end so that Rogue's new position with the X-Men can occur. It's at least a pretty stalling tactic, with Dustin Weaver and Ed Tadeo providing a smooth, clean art style that does well to match both what Scot Eaton's done on the book up until now, as well as Terry Dodson's work running in "Uncanny X-Men" right now. If Eaton decides to change art assignments, I hope Weaver's considered to take his place.
Carey does the best he can and gives lots of little fun moments (Rogue versus Ares, in particular), but at the end of the day, it's little more than a fill-in. Here's looking forward to "X-Men: Legacy" getting its own stories and voice back shortly.