REVIEW: X-Men Legacy #260.1

X-Men Legacy #260.1Written by CHRISTOS GAGE
Art by DAVID BALDEON & JORDI TARRAGONA
Colors by SONIA OBACK / Letters by COREY PETIT

When an X-Book opens with mutants playing sports you know you’re in for a good ride. Christos Gage takes over from Mike Carey and from the outset, Legacy feels different. It’s fresh, fun and above all, entertaining.It really does feel like a fresh start for the book. A new location, a new upbeat tone and even Rachel Summers gets a new costume. Gage manages to establish the books new status quo within one issue. Rogue may be the leader, but this is definitely a team book with an expansive cast. A defined idea, Rogue’s team teaching/protecting the children, gives the book some much-needed direction. It’s framed well by a done-in-one threat and Gage drops in little ideas and bombshells that will have consequences in later issues.The N’Garai are a throwaway enemy and they are dealt with as such. This doesn’t hinder the threat to the kids, but Gage just uses them as a faceless enemy that allows the characters to establish their personalities. It’s a solid cast with a lot of potential and it’s also nice to see Iceman get another starring role. Each character has chemistry with each other and Gage’s script teases it out with ease. Gambit and Frenzy’s sexual tension is paid off with an interesting cliff-hanger, which is sure to cause drama. It may not be a real surprise, as it is telegraphed quite overtly, but it works very well. It’s nice to see the unutilized Husk in action for once; hopefully the book will address her physical problems. The obvious tension between her and her brother adds a new dimension to their relationship and is another thing to look forward to. Rachel is the most powerful member of the team and Gage does her justice. But it is Rogue’s characterization that is the most fun. Her determination to let these kids have a normal school life is bordering on obsessive, but it produces hilarious results. Especially when she orders Cannonball to go back to class to teach. It’s an interesting hook for the character and is in keeping with what Carey had done with her previously.

Also on a side note it is nice that Gage is focusing on some of the characters that where established in the New X-Men (not Morrison’s) comic. Rockslide, Anole and the others are a welcome sight. It will be interesting to see what Gage will do with them.

The art is a much-needed departure from the previous issue. It isn’t amazing but it gets the job done. Sonia Oback’s colors bring vibrancy to the book that is in tune with the lighter tone. It strikes the right type of brightness. As for David Baldeon’s pencils, he manages to nail a handful of scenes but on the whole the issue isn’t spectacular. Most puzzling about his pencils are the fact that some of the characters, Rogue especially, are reminiscent of how Disney used to draw people. This isn’t a criticism as they all manage to be expressive, but it does give the book a cartoony edge. It suits the style of writing though. The action is frenetic and everyone seems to be throwing out energy signatures, which do overcrowd some of the panels with too much color. However, Baldeon draws a lovely girlish Husk, who is even more impressive on fire. Rachel also comes off quite well and her new costume looks good in the several poses he uses.

So, as the art might not blow people away at least it feels like an improvement. The book has had a drastic face-lift and as it refocuses itself as a team book once more, it seems to be headed places. It is an exciting time to be an X-Fan and Gage makes this book just as fun, engaging and relevant as the two other big X-Titles. If he can do half the job that he’s done on Avengers Academy, this may be the sleeper hit of the franchise.

Writing: 4/5
Art: 3/5
Overall: 3.5/5

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