“X-Men Legacy” is having something of a hard time of late. Originally a core book, the title was repositioned during the last X-office shake-up to serve as a Professor Xavier solo title, of all things. Xavier’s story was due to wrap up after around a year, but a crossover with "Wolverine Origins" delayed that. Then, with Xavier’s story complete, it was due to change names, but didn’t. Now it’s buzzing around the outskirts of this year’s X-event story “Utopia,” eager to be involved, but without much to actually do. For a title about characters in search of an identity, “X-Men Legacy” has sure had enough trouble finding its own.
Still, the second wave of the book appears to be about Rogue taking a few of the younger, trainee X-Men under her wing, and in that sense, at least Carey has managed to tie “Utopia” into the book’s overall arc as well as could be expected. As a character, Rogue doesn’t seem like an instant fit to be the new “den mother” of the X-Men -- though with her powers now under control, there is a fair argument that it’s time to take her personality into new territory as well. Similarly, a lifetime spent dealing with her powers, identity, and a difficult family situation leaves Rogue experienced in dealing with any number of issues, so perhaps it makes sense that she’s seemingly being positioned to help young mutants through similar difficulties.
Although the plotting feels weak, Carey’s strengths lie in his character work, and that, at least, is faultless –- although I’ll have to take his word for it in some instances, because the vast majority of the cast seems to be comprised of secondary characters from the late “New Mutants/New X-Men,” few of which I’m familiar with. This issue seems ripe with possibility, but little of it is realized. A perfect example is the scene between Rogue and Moonstone. Their mutual connection to Carol Danvers’ “Ms. Marvel” identity would’ve been the perfect basis for a scene, but their meeting is superficial, written off more as a sly nod to Rogue’s past than any explicit reference.
Hopefully the tonal shift is largely a result of the crossover because “X-Men Legacy” has been generally good up until now, and I’d hate to see it run aground immediately after it chooses to spotlight one of my favorite X-Men characters -- but issues like this do make me wonder where it thinks it’s going.