With their attempt to track down Legion’s wayward personalities ending in success, this issue opens moments after Rogue has used a power borrowed from one of them to transport her ad-hoc group of X-Men far from Earth. The plan? To find Havok, Polaris, and Rachel Grey, and bring them back home. As you can guess, it isn’t all that straightforward.
Although it continues plot threads that were first laid down in the Carey-masterminded “Age of X” crossover, the behind-the-curtain reasoning for this arc has been fairly public. With the characters essentially left stranded by an administrative misunderstanding, it falls to Carey to bring them back into circulation. It makes sense for this story to appear here, though. “X-Men Legacy” is, after all, a book that deals with dangling plot threads and addresses the X-Men’s history. This qualifies as both.
As a result, though, there’s a fairly muted sense of inevitability to the proceedings. We have a pretty good idea what the story’s going to be, and the token complications seem just that. There’s probably a curve ball coming, but if it doesn’t come in the form of Korvus’ untimely death, I’ll be surprised.
Still, there’s time for the story to develop, so let’s concentrate on what has happened, rather than what might. For a start, it’s good to see Carey bring back the Shi’ar characters he created at the start of Rogue’s tenure on the book, if only because the Marvel Universe needs few things less than yet another generic group of alien fighters to hinder the heroes. It remains to be seen whether their story will expand significantly, but if nothing else, it’s a nice touch that folds Carey’s run back on itself in a way that makes it look almost planned.
Carey’s characterization is also as good as it ever was. Although this group of X-Men is fairly odd, so far as they go, it makes for some interesting pairings and moments. Cargill explaining her devotion to Magneto while watching him battle sticks in the mind, for example, is possibly the best exploration of their feelings that any Acolyte outside of Amelia Voght has ever received.
As with the writing, Steve Kurth’s art is enjoyable enough. The task of rendering unfamiliar alien landscapes is rarely made to look enviable, so it’s good that writer and artist have managed to come up with something that makes the usually-generic setting of the story take on a distinct visual identity. Kurth’s character designs initially seem a little off, but once you’re used to his interpretation it’s no longer distracting and thus not a problem.
At this point in the arc, there’s little that can be definitively praised, with the bulk of the story setting up dominoes to knock down later. Still, Rachel, Polaris and Havok do get some panel time, and for the majority of this book’s readership, well, that’s probably enough.