First, the bad news. As the middle installment in a three-part story, not an awful lot happens in the latest issue of “X-Men: Legacy.” With Proteus revealed as the villain last issue, the primary purpose this month seems to be to remind readers that he’s a virtually unstoppable character. And so, what we get this month is the X-Men alternating between scattering clear of the villain, and trying (and failing) to stop him.
The good news is that for a fight-and-flight issue, Mike Carey still makes it an entertaining enough issue. Carey shows off Proteus’ “upgrades” since the last time the X-Men fought him, as well as possibly letting slip a vulnerability that can get exploited next month to defeat him. Even better, it’s becoming rapidly clear that Magneto returning to the X-Men family of titles was a smart move; Carey, like Matt Fraction this month, gets a lot of use out of the character. He’s a good foil for numerous characters in both books, both emotionally as well as physically, and Magneto’s contributions to the issue are easily the high point of the comic. In some ways he actually takes the spotlight away from lead character Rogue, but it doesn’t feel like he’s taking over the book.
For that matter, one of the strengths that I think Carey brings to the book is that he’s able to juggle a larger roster and give all of the characters something to do. Part of it is certainly thanks to the current set-up where Carey gets to draw in whichever characters from a larger pool he wants for a story, but none the less it doesn’t feel like anyone’s being forgotten about.
Clay Mann’s pencils continue to be good. They’re solid if slightly unmemorable, but there’s already a slight improvement over last month (which was also a decent effort). This month, what stood out for me in particular was how he draws the human form; characters like Rogue and Colossus look strong but not ludicrously so. There’s a half-page splash of Colossus around the two-thirds mark of this issue where looking at Colossus, it’s hard to not see the character (in a non-fighting pose) without thinking, “That is one strong guy.”
Not terribly much may have happened this issue of “X-Men: Legacy,” but it’s still an entertaining leading up to next month’s conclusion. As part of “Necrosha,” it’s really not much of a contribution to the greater storyline (that appears to just be the job of “X-Force”) but as part of “X-Men: Legacy” itself it fits in quite nicely.