I’m still not entirely sure why “X-Men: Legacy” has its particular subtitle. I suppose “X-Men: Actually It’s Just Professor X” was a bit too much for readers to swallow, though, even as Mike Carey continues to tell his stories starring the founder of the X-Men off in its own little corner of the Marvel Universe.
The problem with “X-Men: Legacy’s” slight disconnect from the rest of the Marvel Universe, though, is that it feels like these are stories that don’t really matter, using concepts and characters that everyone else has forgotten. Take, for example, this latest issue where Professor X confronts his step-brother the Juggernaut. An unstoppable villain who went good for several years in the pages of “X-Men” and “New Excalibur,” Juggernaut is back in villain mode and challenges Professor X to appear and talk with him.
What we get, though, is a story that borders on the edge of cliche. Between Professor X lecturing the Juggernaut on the real meaning of the word “juggernaut” to the cop-out ending, this actually feels more like a back-up story from an anthology title than an actual issue of “X-Men.” When the dust settles on this story, I just can’t see anyone remembering it down the line if they want to use the characters involved. It’s a little too slight, too one-note to have deserved 22 pages and an entire issue of a comic.
Phil Briones and Cam Smith’s art here isn’t quite up to snuff either. The Juggernaut should be one of the most terrifying characters in comics, but there’s a lack of consistency from one page to the next on how big he really is and how powerful he seems. The final page of the comic, in particular, makes the Juggernaut seem to actually look puny, and that’s not good at all. Add in Professor X’s pointy head and pinched face, and it’s a slightly unattractive end result. It’s not bad art, but it really fails to wow at the end of the day.
Carey is normally much better than this, and hopefully future issues of “X-Men: Legacy” will show his strengths off more than what we got here. With a promise for the return of Rogue post-“Messiah Complex,” it sounds like there’s a big storyline just around the corner. This issue, though, just feels like he’s stalling for an extra month until the next direction of “X-Men: Legacy” is revealed. Everyone involved deserves and is capable of better.