I enjoyed Paul Cornell’s “Dark X-Men” mini-series from a couple years ago a great deal, so seeing Mimic and Weapon Omega resurface in “X-Men Legacy” (after being quietly ignored post-“Dark X-Men”) made me decide to give “X-Men Legacy” another chance. Unfortunately, the problems that have plagued “X-Men Legacy” since Mike Carey left don’t seem to have righted themselves.
Christos Gage’s scripts are high on melodrama to the point that it feels almost like a parody of “X-Men” comics in general. It’s a combination of “this is my horrible life” speeches, dramatic confessions of loving someone else and worrying about the horrible last-chance solution they’ll have to take if nothing else works. By the end you’ve even got a character burying his head in his hands and proclaiming, “It’s just so hard. So hard.” The emotion is way over the top and it never comes back down.
There’s also remarkably little in the way of action in this comic. I’m not against the idea of a comic where the main characters stand around and think their way out of a problem by trying everything in the book (Kieron Gillen used that same concept wonderfully in his “Fear Itself” tie-in issues of “Uncanny X-Men”) but this feels anti-climactic from start to finish. It’s a limp story that takes two characters who were once slightly interesting and strips them once more of their hooks. By the time we get another “teacher” added to the school at the end of the comic, it feels like they’ve gone truly generic, just like the rest of the cast of “X-Men Legacy,” all of whom appear to be missing their character traits that made them fun in the past.
Rafa Sandoval and Jordi Tarragona provide the art for “X-Men Legacy” and it’s adequate at best. There’s a limited amount of body and face types on display here, which results in moments like page 3, where Gambit and Mimic have the exact same head (and no, Mimic isn’t mimicking Gambit). If it wasn’t for the trench coat on Gambit versus the wings on Mimic, you wouldn’t be able to tell them apart. It’s true for a lot of the characters; different colorings or very specific additions (like a facial tattoo) are all that differentiate one character from the next. When things do happen they are, like the script, quite melodramatic, matching Gage’s script. But it’s not a strong look.
Most importantly, “X-Men Legacy” still doesn’t have a new direction set post-Carey and I’m starting think it’s not going to have one. Right now this feels like just another “X-Men” team of random characters, lacking any particular drive or spirit. I’ve loved Gage’s writing on other comics, so it makes “X-Men Legacy” that much more disappointing. This should be better.