Now that “X-Men: Legacy” isn’t a Professor X title, I’m finding myself growing increasingly enchanted with it every month. It’s not that the old direction was bad, but rather that Carey’s making up for lost time now that he has access to a wider group of characters and situations. For example, the book currently stars Rogue going up against old “Generation X” villain Emplate. At the same time, though, Carey gets to Bling, one of the trainees from Peter Milligan’s “X-Men” run. Likewise, he’s exploring what happened to Gambit at the hands of Apocalypse during that same run on “X-Men.” And he’s getting to use the set-up of Utopia from “Uncanny X-Men,” giving him access to the Science Team, or random forgotten mutants like Ariel from “Fallen Angels.”
In other words, Carey’s been given a huge bounty of characters, ideas, and settings to play with and he’s going hog-wild. There’s a nice playfulness surrounding Carey’s script in “X-Men: Legacy,” with a confident Rogue using a strange new power set to take the fight to Emplate. Carey also peppers the book with fun little moments, like Bling wishing some of the heavy hitters like Wolverine or Colossus had come to rescue her. Even a combination fight and chase scene gets resolved through a smart little set-up from Carey. It’s a surprisingly fast moving, entertaining story.
Daniel Acuna’s art is also proving to fit well with “X-Men: Legacy.” Admittedly, having his first story involve a glowing ethereal Rogue and the monstrous Goth nightmare of Emplate is a story that plays to his strengths. But still, I love the way his art looks like it was painted right onto the page (and for all I know it was); it reminds me a lot of Matt Wagner’s work on books like “Batman/Grendel,” with lots of little background details (the framed insects are a nice touch) and a sharp integration of lines and colors to make everything just pop right off of the page.
The “X-Necrosha” one-shot earlier this month promised that “X-Men: Legacy” would get drawn into that crossover, but I’m delighted that it wasn’t the case this month, and won’t be next time either. It’s nothing against “Necrosha” but rather that I’m loving what Carey’s doing on his own within “X-Men: Legacy.” A book focusing primarily on Rogue but utilizing the full X-Men cast? Her own solo series might have failed, but this to me seems like it’s a winner. Thoroughly fun from start to finish.