It’s time to celebrate as Mike Carey delivers the conclusion of his space adventure. It has been a bumpy road getting to this point, but once that final page comes around you can’t help but be happy. Finally, the team is home and the interesting stuff can happen.
But before that, there is this issue. Continuing the same sort of quality that has plagued the entire storyline, we are treated to a conclusion which is as bland as they come. It’s devoid of tension, lacking in character and has two deus ex machina. There is a lack of logic in some of the actions that are presented here, as Rogue once again becomes the only character that can deal with the situation.
Her plan to deal with the main villain doesn’t make sense. If Rachel at full power can’t defeat the creature in a telepathic duel, then how can the inclusion of Rogue help? It is presented to us that Rogue only takes half of Rachel’s power and therefore the only difference is that two people with less power are now attacking. I suppose they want to overwhelm him. Whatever it is, it works.
This is the first issue of Carey’s run in which Rogue becomes an annoying character. She can solve anything and she seems so smug here. It has perhaps become more apparent here due to the terrible plot, but she truly has become the end all and be all. The mind boggles how some of the most powerful mutants in the X-verse can’t do anything to help. In fact, Magneto and Polaris are reduced to glorified tugboats here and Rachel seems pathetic due to her insistence that she can’t do anything without help. What happened to these strong characters?
The teleport stick that saves the rest of the team from destruction that Rogue just happens to have is far too convenient and removes any sense of danger for the rest of the book. Then her second magic trick of getting them home is ridiculous. Fair enough, she is using Rachel’s telepathy to get all the know-how to turn a star into a wormhole. But it’s just nonsense, and not in a good way. It is unclear whether she’s using Rachel’s telepathy or she siphoned the knowledge out of the one of the Shi’Ar.
We do learn the main villains name this issue, or maybe it was last issue either way he is utterly forgettable. He is called Friendless and that name pretty much encapsulates the problem with him. Ill conceived and rushed are words that come to mind.
This whole mess couldn’t be complete without some lackluster art. Steve Kurth draws a good-looking Utopia, from a distance. But on the whole the art is sloppy and all over the place. Characters seem inhumanly posed, with their body proportions seemingly warped. At the top of page 12, Rogue’s face is unrecognizable and ugly. In fact, a lot of the characters are simply ugly. The action is incoherent at points and Brian Reber’s colouring overpowers some of the detail in the outer space sequences. The art does nothing to disguise the bad plot and in fact enhances the unpleasant read.
X-Men Legacy used to be a solid book that was rich in both characterisation and X-history. Times have changed and if it wasn’t for the good will Carey has created over the years this issue would be a jumping off point for most readers. It’s a shame that the original concept descended into what is presented here. There is a light on the horizon as Carey gets to deal with schism and the art team thankfully changes. But for now, this is the worst the book has been.
WRITING: 1 / ART: 1 / OVERALL: 1