X-Men Legacy #238

Story by
Art by
Jay Leisten, Clay Mann
Colors by
Brian Reber
Letters by
Cory Petit
Cover by
Marvel Comics

I like the fact that "X-Men Legacy" has quietly, without any great fanfare, inherited most of the surviving student characters from the old "New Mutants" and "New X-Men" and let them hang out with Rogue. It makes perfect sense, now that Rogue's powers are (finally) working properly, meaning that she can apply her own years of experience to someone else's powers. And after all, only Shadowcat even comes close to being a contender for the "Living with Uncontrollable Powers" award.

Free of the "Second Coming" crossover, Carey gets to follow up on his earlier story involving the Indian mutant Indra as several of the characters get to travel to his home in Mumbai, India. Carey tries to help convey some of the local flavor and customs (alas, it's not a trip to eat gourmet Indian food), and while in some instances it feels a bit forced (Loa asking the driver which God's figurine hangs from the rear view mirror), it's when we see Indra dealing with his family that things feel natural and interesting.

Of course, this is a Carey script, so this isn't a story that's simply about visiting Indra's family. We've got a new group of characters that may or may not be mutants and an attempted revolution. The two stories are clearly connected to one another on a plot level, but so far it feels like we're reading two different issues of "X-Men" grafted together. With them finally meeting up at the end of the issue, hopefully that problem will be gone in the next installment.

Clay Mann is back, but this time he's inked by Jay Leisten instead of Allen Martinez or Danny Miki. I actually am a little unconvinced of this latest collaboration; Mann's art feels much rougher and less well-formed. Considering Leisten is probably best known for inking Greg Land's slick pencils, this is an unexpected final product. I'm also less than thrilled with Mann's choices for visuals of the individual characters along the way. Rogue's shorts that barely cover the bottom of her butt cheeks are a bit too saucy, and Indra's facial markings look like they're glued to his face. There's also a remarkable amount of pouting faces in this issue of "X-Men Legacy," to the point that you actually get a little irritated with the characters and their perpetual grouchy mood. The one thing I did think Mann nailed, though, was that Magneto looks old the whole way through the comic. He's not ancient or wrinkled, but he's not being drawn as a spry young man like some artists show him, and I appreciated that.

It's nice to see "X-Men Legacy" back doing its own thing again; I think Carey has found a good direction for the title, and one that shows a lot of potential. I'll admit that some of the characters he's using, like Loa and Hellion, are little more than names for me right now. Hopefully they'll stick around long enough that we can start to get a feel for them. For now, though, I'm content to sit back and see what happens next.

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