X-Men Legacy Annual #1 Review: Two Beginnings

Hey, everyone, jrpbsp here… For my second review of the week doing ‘X-Men: Legacy’.  Hope you enjoy it.

X-Men Legacy Annual #1 cover X-Men Legacy Annual #1 (preview)
Writer: Mike Carey
Art: Daniel Acuna & Mirco Pierfederici

SPOILERS BELOW…

RECAP: The issue opens with construction being performed at the location where Xavier’s school once stood. The workers hit something they believe to be a gas line but get a visit from Emplate instead. He kills a couple of the humans and sets out in search of the X-Men.

The mutants are on their new home in San Francisco Bay. We see Scott talking to Rogue trying to convince her to take on responsibility for helping some of the younger mutants. She thinks he is using it to sideline her but agrees to consider it.

Meanwhile Mason Jeffries is doing some diagnostics on Danger and during the process she detects someone spying on them. Emplate jumps into the room and knocks Mason down as he calls for help. Danger attacks but is blasted when Emplate phases through Jeffries’ counterattack.

Emplate is starting to feed on Mason when the X-Men arrive. Emplate jumps Cyclops and uses his power against Wolverine, Angel and Kurt. Seeing he is solid Thunderbird decks him. He recovers and knocks Kurt away and feeds on Pixie. Wolverine attacks again and forces Emplate to flee to his dimension.

Scott calls an emergency meeting and briefs the others on Emplate’s history and powers. He orders no one to be alone until they can be sure what Emplate is after.

Rogue goes to speak to Indra and helps to comfront and reassure him after he attacked a H.A.M.M.E.R. agent in order to save himself. He follows a path of strict pacifism as a Jain. Although he does not seem to be completely assuaged, Rogue does seem to help the young man.

We see Emplate and D.O.A. in their dimension. Emplate is planning another strike at a different target since Penance is not with the X-Men.

Hellion and Rockslide are having a contest about their powers with Onyx and Roxy are watching. But Bling gets bored with the fight and wanders off. She immediately see a lighthouse coming towards her. Watching the spectacle she gets pulled into the place by Emplate who has found his new meal.

A second story is shown featuring Gambit breaking into a H.A.M.M.E.R. center to destroy the Omega Machine. He defeats a telekinetic calls Hijack by powering up his body armor. The telepath gives him more of a fight until the man makes the mistake of activating Gambit’s suppressed Apocalypse conditioning. The Death persona kills the telepath with a card and then shifts back to Gambit who charges up the machine and destroys it.

MY TAKE: This is an interesting set up issue although very little happens as far as plot goes. The first story was obviously the stronger of the two, introducing the new direction of the series for Rogue. While being a counseler is not a role I would normally associate with her, I can understand the appeal for her. She has just recently gotten her head straight after many years. Being able to offer that peace to young mutants must be very tempting.

Scott’s stated reason is that with her powers she is better able to train and help them control their own. But considering this is a person that could not control her abilities until recently, she seems better suited to emotional support and assistance. While I am not sure how interesting this will be for most people considering the small amount of conflict, it could work out very well from a character perspective. Especially since it will allow a spotlight to be shown on lesser used characters like Roxy.

I am not really sold on having Emplate as a villain in the arc, however. He was another silly concept from the 90s that would have been better left buried. As a single foe he is reasonably formidable but he comes with a history that is so convoluted and bizarre it is not worth the effort to revive him.

The plot was pretty much non-existent but it was filled with good character moments which are Carey’s strong point. Rogue and Indra especially shine here in their conversation. You can really understand and feel for the young mutant in their short discussion.

The art was decent but I am not a major fan of the art style of coloring the pencils and not inking it. It looks very faded and lacks the details needed to really tell the character’s expressions.

The second story was a very basic if vaguely amusing story with Gambit fighting a couple powered guards. There is no real plot and I do not understand the purpose of including it. If this is a new role for Remy then I am not too interested in it. Infiltrating places and stealing or destroying the contents seems like a step back for the character. His history is as a thief but he had seemed to move past that and we really do not need yet another Black Ops type character running around in the X-Men.

If it was just a one off plot to highlight Gambit then it works but we do not really see anything new about him, just his combat and stealth skills. It was a decent read but I am still not sure why it was set up as a prologue in the comic.

In the end we were given a good start to Rogue’s new direction and an alright story that hints at an old direction for Gambit. I would have preferred a different antagonist for the main story and more character development for Remy but I am still looking forward to the new stories. Carey’s strengths are characterization and X-Men canon and we should be seeing a lot of both in the months to come.

Thanks for reading my review for Wolverine Files. I will be keeping to this format for the most part but please keep the comments coming and I will see everyone again next time.

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