Review: X-Men Legacy #246
WRITER: Mike Carey
PENCILS: Clay Mann
INKER: Jay Leisten
COLORS: Brian Reber
LETTERS: VC's Cory Petit
COVER: Leinil Yu & Marte Gracia
RELEASE DATE: March 9, 2011
Something is amiss within the walls of Fortress X and it has become Legacy's mission to find out what Magnus has been hiding from his followers. Why is there a blindfolded girl imprisoned in the depths of the fortress and moreover, why does she call Legacy Rogue? But the most astounding discovery is the comatose man named Charles Xavier, a man that Legacy seems to know, even though she has never met him. These questions haunt Legacy, a.k.a. Reaper, as she goes "rogue" from her fellow mutants, risking not only her life, but those who dare help her in her quest for answers.
Chapter three of Mike Carey's fan letter to all those who love Marvel's "merry mutants" is as break neck and enduring as the first two issues. Half big budget action movie, half character driven melodrama, Carey makes this the best X story on the shelves. The depth he has brought to these characters is astounding. Not only are they battle savvy, they are also treacherous, conniving, loving, and overall smart characters that make each individually compelling. There has not been a single throw away character, or line for that matter, and each has brought something important to the table whether it be a relevant plot twist or just a scene that adds to the richness of this world Carey has created. As we follow Legacy in her frantic race to escape her former allies, we get to truly see the complexities of all the main characters and how the battle lines will be drawn in forth coming issues. The maliciousness of Magnus and his manipulative nature while questioning Box harkens back to the early days of Magneto when he wasn't made to straddle the fence between hero and villain. It was perfect characterization for for a self appointed "king" of mutants, a man who only sees his actions as noble and ambitious with no repercussions. I would also like to applaud Mr. Carey for making Dani Moonstar a relevant and quite bad ass character again, it has been a long time coming but well worth the wait!
Making this book even more amazing is the stellar art by Clay Mann. He runs the gamut from simple lines to hyper detail, creating his own story within Carey's world. Mann's vision of these characters is astounding. From subtle costume changes, ala Legacy, to complete reinterpretations such as Basilisk, Mann has created some of the most original and fresh ideas for the X characters I have ever seen. He brings an blast of excitement back to characters that haven't really changed too much over thirty years. But above all his skills, Mann takes the time to also bring a hint of hilarity to a serious book. Be on the lookout for a few oddball denizens of Fortress X -- is that a clown, garden gnome and a blue, hairless, naked midget I see taking the fight to the forefront? It can't be!
I truly wish that the characters Carey has created, though just reboots of the characters we grew up with, were going to be around longer than just this mini series. They are such exciting, rich versions that they outshine those in the regular X books. There is so much more story to tell with these characters that it will be disheartening to let them go in just five more issues. Carey and Mann have created something that is extraordinary, a rarity that deserves to be seen by all each and every month.