When “Lost Legions” first began in “X-Men Legacy,” it felt like the kind of new direction (tracking down escaped personalities made flesh from Legion’s head) that could have easily stretched on for years, slowly hunting down the various characters one by one.
Instead? We’re at part three of four, and that changes the entire story. With this chapter we’re already heading towards the main bad-seed personality (Styx), and as such there’s an undercurrent of energy moving through the comic. It helps that Mike Carey has given Styx a particularly difficult power to easily counter, but none the less this has shifted from a traipse in the park to a mission that’s going to take some careful planning. And while the comic ends on an “all is lost” cliffhanger, Carey has already planted some seeds about how not is all as it seems. In other words, that’s exactly how to handle that sort of plot point. Get ready to pull a surprise rabbit out of the hat next month, but give us at least a bit of an indication that said rabbit exists now.
The mix of characters in “X-Men Legacy” still feels a bit nebulous, though. It’s a strange grouping of personalities, and some of the ones that I thought would end up more in the forefront feel like they’re already getting left in the distance (Gambit and Frenzy in particular). Once this story is over I hope that Legion in particular is kept from being both a deus ex machina (which will be difficult considering his near-infinite power set he’s been saddled with these days) and an attention magnet, but so far I’m remaining a bit hesitant.
Khoi Pham’s pencils here are overall good, if a bit odd in spots. He’s at his best with some tight close-ups on single characters, like the page focusing on Bleeding Image. He’s got a downright creepy expression in his final panel, and his “timing is everything” moment is also well-drawn. Likewise, the next page with Rogue’s reaction is a good example of Pham and Tom Palmer’s collaboration working well together; smooth lines, good anatomy and body language, and easy to tell what’s going on based strictly on the art. Turn the page again, though, and with the rest of the team present everyone suddenly becomes expressionless (both figuratively and literally). Or on the page where Legion is talking about the time-envelope, he looked so unlike himself at first that I couldn’t figure out who the new character was. A little more consistency is needed, but the good moments are good indeed.
“X-Men Legacy” is a fun little comic, and I appreciate that Carey isn’t afraid to continually change up the line-up and main thrust of the series. That said, I’m already looking forward to the next story involving the return of several long-missing X-Men. Fortunately, what we’re getting until then has been fun, and looks to be set at just the right length. No arguments here.