So far Mike Carey’s final arc on Legacy is a massive step up from his recent outer space adventure. But lets not get ahead of ourselves as it still has problems. But for the most part Carey tries his hardest to make us care about Rogue’s decision with this Regenesis tie-in. It’s a shame he fails.
What this issue gets right is the characterization. The Carey we all know and love is back. Rogue’s decision is given a measured contemplation, even if some of the scenes go on a little too long. A lot of the characters get some solid panel time, with Havok and Cyclops’ conversation the highlight. It would have been nice to see Havok have more to do, but what we are given is enough for now. His reluctance to make a decision looks like the reason he will be heading off to X-Factor. Though it would have been prudent to have Polaris voice some sort of opinion about her situation.
It was nice to see Rogue acknowledge that Cyclops is the main reason the X-Men have survived all the recent troubles and Magneto’s discussion about Scott speaks volumes. Rogue and Magneto are given a lot more time together than Gambit and Rogue. The result makes it hard to think why Rogue wouldn’t stay with a man she clearly cares for. The whole Gambit romance seemed to have ended around the time of Messiah Complex anyway. However, it was good to see Frenzy back to her old delightful self as she states the simplicity of Rogue’s choice.
Here’s hoping there is more reasoning behind Rogue’s choice than merely which guy she fancies more. I know the X-Men is famous for it’s melodrama but it would be a disservice to Carey’s work on Rogue if the choice was as basic as the Twilight franchise.
But no amount of interesting character work can disguise the flimsy and uninteresting plot presented. It isn’t as bad as the space opera of recent issues but it is unnecessary. It would have been preferable if it were just about Rogue’s choice. But Carey adds this bizarre notion of a mutant stowaway that ends up being someone inconsequential. It just throws the reader, who is expecting some big Rogue related revelations.
Khoi Pham is on art and it is very inconsistent. The last page is lovely to look at and most of the second half of the book has solid line work. But the beginning of the book just seems to have a shifting style. Also there is a hideous flashback panel, which wouldn’t be missed if it was removed. Havok continues to have glowing hands for no apparent reason, it seems odd that he is powered up all the time even when talking to his brother. The Rogue/Magneto scene is probably the best rendered. Pham uses some good framing of character eyes to sell the conviction of Carey’s words. But on the whole the art doesn’t really sell the story and is quite visually uninteresting.
We may have moved away from the terrible previous issues, but we get a mediocre attempt at a Regenesis tie-in instead. Carey’s concern for his stowaway plot overshadows the books main draw, Rogue’s decision. It just doesn’t work and pulls the book down. The art isn’t terrible but it’s inconsistency doesn’t make you want to keep your eye on the page. Therefore the emotional beats aren’t truly sold. It will be interesting if Carey can pull something out of the bag for his final issue on the series but at the moment it seems unlikely.
WRITING: 2.5 / ART: 2 / OVERALL: 2.25