Saturday, August 02, 2008

X-Men: Legacy #214 review

Xavier vs Sinister vs Amanda Mueller vs Gambit & Sebastian Shaw

I think that sums up the issue well, doesn't it?

Xavier is battling Mr. Sinister for control of his mind while Sinister, in control of Xavier's body, fights Amanda Mueller on the one hand and Gambit and Shaw on the other. In the mental fight, he forces Xavier to relive all of his failures of will (like against Onslaught and when Stryfe shot him full of techno-organic virus). Sinister's fight against Gambit and Shaw goes his way early and quickly using his now enhanced telepathic abilities to take control of the people around him (Gambit freaking out at his apparent resurrection doesn't help either). Mueller manages to trap them all briefly, and removes Gambit and Shaw from the fight but Sinister uses his telepathy against Mueller to take control of her body and ultimately uses the Alamagordo facilities defensed to his advantage (since he's the one that basically built them) to remove Mueller from the equation. Shaw and Gambit quickly escape their confinement and return to fight Sinister, who still has the upper hand. However, Xavier finally breaks free of his mental torment and begins fighting back in his mind, hobbling Sinister. Gambit and Shaw quickly start assualting the Chronus machine as they realize this is the only way to truly beat Sinister. Gambit charges up Shaw to give him an insane power boost and takes it out with one swift blow. With Sinister no longer able to use the machine to take possession of Xavier's body, Xavier expels him finally. With Xavier's body now apparently healed from last issues gun shots to the torso, Xavier realizes he now has to go to Scott Summers. In the epilogue, we see Sebastian Shaw talking with a mysterious stranger about the events up to that point. The stranger turns out to be...Miss Sinister? EH?!?!?!?!

I've been saying that since this title was renamed Legacy and focused on Xavier, it's massively improved and honestly this is still a quality title hands down. Reading everything Carey was doing prior to Messiah Complex and Legacy was a pretty painful experience. Nothing jived with me and I was left cold. Post-Messiah Complex, however, it's been great. Some ups and downs, but hey, nothing's perfect.

That said, this issue was.....not quite as good as it could have been? Not in any character sense or the like, but it seems like they rushed the climax a bit. Personally, I was hoping this Chronus thing was gonna run a bit longer and be more fleshed out. It was really interesting to be able to dive deep into Xavier's childhood past and get an opportunity to see characters like Sebastian Shaw and, if briefly, the Juggernaut. Sinister's return was really cool as well, if a bit soon after Messiah Complex. I think if maybe Carey had taken one issue more to finish up this story, I think it would have been a bit better. Not that I didn't enjoy it, mind, but it did lack a little something. There were some questions like how is it that Xavier, after taking three shots to the torso, is no worse for wear? The workings of the Chronus device again? Also, since Xavier's memory is swiss cheesed, why can he still remember things like Onslaught and Stryfe and the deal with the Brood Queen? As much as I enjoy Carey's run on Legacy, he really is very selective in regards to what Xavier can and can't remember about himself. Is it safe to assume that all his failures stick in his mind easier then his successes? I suppose it's true that people are probably more prone to remember the bad times easier then the good. Is this getting abck to the point of the series, Xavier trying to validate his existence when all he has to his credit is failure?

It's cool, though. Going back over the current arc, and I think the ending of this issue will bear me out, is that this series isn't doing anything so deep that it can't have a great deal of fun at the same time. I mean, seriously, Miss Sinister? You've gotta be fucking kidding me? Though there are probably a lot of people out there that just groaned and fell over at that ending, personally I thought it was fantastic. Carey still needs to explain what the hell that's all about, is this Nathanial Essex in a new body or is this a completely new character altogether? Either way, I thought it was cool shit. This arc has been strangely over the top in some ways since the beginning, and that ending sealed the deal for me. The tone of Legacy has been one that could be taken too seriously and this really helps to lighten that tone. Miss fucking Sinister...geez!

While this issue isn't perfect, while Legacy hasn't been perfect, I think right now it's probably the best mainline X-Men title out. Astonishing takes too long between issues and is fairly insular continuity wise. Uncanny Carey, on the other hand, is bringing some really cool shit to X-Men that makes it worth reading again on a monthly basis.


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