Maybe “X-Men Legacy” needs a big event after all. It’s not that this issue lacks direction, it’s that the direction given is dull and somewhat ludicrous, at least in execution. Rogue and Magneto acting as mentors to young mutants has a lot of possibilities based on their past history, Magneto’s desire to prove himself, and Rogue’s longtime growth into one of the most mature and dependable members of the X-Men. What’s in this issue is passive heroes and a bad idea for a threat meant to replace Magneto and his comrades with mutants more united now than ever. Ostensibly, there’s a focus and clear direction to the title, it simply doesn’t show up in this month’s issue.
In Mumbai, Rogue, Magento, and Paras, a younger mutant, are taken down by the Children of the Vault, a group of man-made superhumans, that see all humans and mutants as infestation to a better, more perfect world. They want a member of their group back, Luz, who has fled the Children, and will stop at nothing to get her back, including nearly killing the three mutants. When she volunteers to go back, they take Rogue and Magneto – the former to kill as punishment for accidentally killing one of the Children and the latter to use as power for their scheme. Seems like a fairly simple rescue mission, no?
No. Because Paras has agreed to take his comatose brother’s place in an arranged marriage and that marriage is… tomorrow! Zounds!
The rescue operation to save Rogue and Magneto is derailed because of a wedding ceremony. It would be funny if it weren’t so ludicrous. No wonder Cyclops is worried about the future of mutantkind if this is one of the next generation of X-Men. The ‘conflict’ here is such a false, dumb one that it brings down the entire issue. Instead of showcasing this young mutant’s ingenuity and skill as he somehow frees two more experienced and powerful mutants, he has to get married even though it wasn’t supposed to be his wedding anyway. There’s no emotional stake in the wedding for readers, so it’s just a lame nuisance.
If the rest of the comic was brilliant, it would balance out somewhat, but the Children of the Vault are too two-dimensional and flat to be taken seriously. Carey doesn’t even mine the fertile territory of Magneto’s similar past for comparison beyond one throwaway line.
Clay Mann’s art doesn’t help matters with inconsistent line work. In the opening fight (http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=preview&id=6491), some panels feature crystal clear detail, while others are unpolished or cluttered. On the fourth page, the first panel is overly complicated, not presenting a plain, direct vision of what’s going on. Magneto being taken out seems like an afterthought, thrown in behind other characters. Sometimes, his characters look stunning, but that’s rare. Mann can obviously draw gorgeous pictures, just not consistently.
From a conceptual point of view, “X-Men Legacy” #240 has a lot going for it: a threat powerful enough to take down two powerful mutants and a young mutant needing to prove himself to save them. Then, it gets derailed by stock characters and a roadblock that’s absurdly cheesy.