For years this title seemed to live in the shadow of Uncanny X-Men, which was the top-selling X-Men book, and rarely had many opportunities to step out of that shadow, and be more on par with the title instead.Despite Morrison’s success with raising this book’s profile, ever since it became X-Men Legacy it has really struggled to maintain a strong narrative, in an age where the divisions became X-teams became more or less a thing of the pass, and Uncanny X-Men took more and more of the leadership role in the franchise away from this title.Admittedly, I quit this book a couple times, usually coming back for a crossover tie-in, sticking around to see what it was like, and then leaving.Mike Carey’s told some okay stories during his tenure on this title,but it’s reading arcs like this one which really signals to me that the age of this title being unique and necessary is long since gone.
Legion as a character is a very difficult nut to crack, that’s for sure, and most would say that his best, biggest and brightest moment was in accidentally killing his father while stranded in the past, providing the origin for the Age of Apocalypse.When Zeb Wells brought the character back in New Mutants a couple years ago, I loved the spin that was used, and it was fascinating to see how his powers and abilities were now being utilized and interpreted.But flash forward two years, and what seemed fresh and new then is now feeling overused and tired, as this arc and the one previous both dealt with Legion, his fractured mind and his powers, but neither anywhere as meaningful as in Wells’ stories.Once it became clear what AGE OF X really was, I absolutely detested it, because all my reservations and concerns about the storyline were amplified.Using readers’ nostalgia for Age of Apocalypse against them, a new storyline was put together which was really not nearly as complex as Marvel sold it as being, and had no real weight to it nor consequence, despite Carey trying so hard to prove otherwise in this book.
Because in most readers’ eyes this isn’t the “flagship” X-Men title, it’s harder to really connect with what’s going on here, and feel like it matters.The story is absolutely dreadful, I’m almost surprised that it manages to reach such high levels of sheer boredom.Carey is beating the Legion storyline to death, to the point where I never want to see him again, and even the tantalizing potential of a Rogue/Magneto reunion has proven to have absolutely no sizzle, no chemistry, no spark, and just sucks pages dry of their momentum.
I like Khoi Pham’s artwork generally and historically have enjoyed most of his work, but this is nowhere near his best work.The art looks lazy, rushed and uninspired.At times the characters look similar to Coipel’s artwork, but lack the definition, the fullness of design that make it clear that it’s definitely not Coipel’s work in action.
With X-Men Schism hitting the X-books proper shortly, I’m surprised that this title isn’t just finally going to be put out to pasture, especially with a new Uncanny X-Men coming up, plus Wolverine and the X-Men, in addition to the remaining Uncanny X-Force, X-Men and New Mutants. If you’re looking for the best place to jump off, it may just be this issue, unless you’re a completist who wants to close out the arc first, at which point you’re just counting time with me until this book becomes a forgotten memory.