Wednesday, June 04, 2008

X-Men: Legacy #212

Ya know how this title, as good as it has been, can be hit and miss? This issue I feel leans towards miss a bit.

We start off with Gambit confronting a bunch of armed assassins sitting outside Xavier's motel room. And I do mean he confronts. What makes Gambit such an appealing character is his savoir faire. He can get into any scrap, deal with it easily and still come out looking good. Damn, don't we all wish that? Downside, this character hasn't changed one iota since Jim Lee introduced him. So Xavier comes out and has no idea who he is. While I like the notion that Xavier's memory is fractured and what not, Carey is really selective in how he presents this. Xavier can remember this person but not that. Or he can kinda remember this person but has no attachment to them. He can go all the way back to childhood but his time as leader of the X-Men is all in a jumble. While it would seems more realistic that way, I mean his memory is "fractured" and all, but for the reader it can be offsetting. "Fractured" oughtta be defined more coherently for the purposes of telling this story. But that's me. So Xavier scans Gambit's mind real fast and, getting back to this series reason for being, Xavier discovers a tad more about himself through someone else. After some back and forth between Xavier and Gambit, they search their attackers and see that Xavier is one of four people with a hit out on them. Xavier, Sebastian Shaw, Juggernautr and Carter Ryking, Xavier's instituionalized childhood friend. Obviously, this is a problem. So Xavier hightails it back over to his friend's padded cell only to find he died over night from an unusually massive brain hemorrhage. Foul play! In a brief aside with Sebastian Shaw we get clued in more on what this Project Cronus thing is. Something to do with a cycling energy field. Alright, alright, the mystery deepens. And from there it's flashbacks as Xavier and Gambit are driving through the desert as he remembers his step-father beating the ever loving crap out of his mother after fighting over the experiments being done on young Xavier and pals. The name of the project? Cronus! Okay, things are really getting interesting. Issue ends on a cliffhanger as Gambit and Xavier are attacked in the desert.

Okay, let me rethink this. This issue isn't actually leaning towards miss. It is stuck formly in the middle. I'll tell you what, the flashback stuff is probably the high point of this series. The flashbacks are all drawn by guest artists, this month being Mike Deodato's turn. The presentations are interesting, insigfhtful towards Xavier's character, and very clever when it's used to present the character's perceptions of past and present events. The little mind trip he goes on at the end of the issue while Gambit is beaing attacked is particularly cool. The mysteryof this Project Cronus needs fleshing out soon. What is it is what needs to be addressed. Carey can take his time addressing the hows, it's the whats that really need answering. If it's being written with an eye towards the collection, I figure it should take another three issues for that. The weak part of this issue I thought was the introduction of Gambit. It's cool that Gambit was there for a reason, following a group from the New Orleans' Assassins Guild, but their initial meeting face to face meeting just falls flat. "Who are you?" *Mind scan* "Okay!" I think it could have been done...well, differently at least.

Complaints aside, I'm still really enjoying this series. It's a great examination of where Xavier has been and where he's going and is quite an enjoyable read. Very much recommended.


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