X-Men: Legacy #228
Written by Mike Carey
Art Daniel Acuna
Published by Marvel Comics
Reviewed by Brian Andersen
I love me some Rogue. She’s by far my favorite Marvel Mutant. While some may claim Wolverine (overexposed) or Colossus (underused at the moment) or Kitty Pryde (lost for a while until Whedon saved her and then she was really lost, like, as in outer space lost) as their faves, Rogue was my gateway drug into the comic book world of the X-Men. Something about her skunk-do, her sassy southern attitude, and her super strength, flying and power-sucking that just nabbed my attention and pulled me right in. I’ve been a fan of the X-Men ever since.
I’ve followed her over so many various, mostly awful, X-Titles (hello "X-Treme X-Men"!), through her own mishandled solo series, and then back into the current "New X-Men" book. In fact, she’s the only reason I started reading this title again. While my enthusiasm for the character has waned some (I still hate that she can’t fly or lift 20 tons), my devotion to her remains.
So I’m quite delighted to see Rogue front and center and leading the charge in this “X-Men: (or should it be New? – how many new directions has this title taken?) Legacy” book. (And before I go on can I get three cheers for her totally stylish new costume! This could possibly be the best Rogue outfit since her yellow and green Jim Lee design of the 90’s!) I have to thank writer Mike Carey for sticking with Rogue throughout his run on the book and for trying to piece the best basic elements of the character back together (minus the flying and strength – bah!).
Rogue is once again triumphantly at the forefront, still rocking her fabulous white-stripy iconic hairdo and still sassy-fun, but now with a maturity and smarts that balances out the playfulness. Thank goodness! Rogue can also totally control her powers now and is no longer afraid to touch people - which is an excellent change that I wholeheartedly support. Every character needs to move forward and advance themselves and this seems to be the most logical next step for her.
As for this issue in question, welp, the X-Men have to rescue a kidnapped young mutant - the ridiculously named Bling (who I really don’t know anything about or have ever really seen except for in the background of “Uncanny” or something) - from quite possibly the most confusing X-Villain ever; Emplate. I never really read “Generation-X”, thus making the whole history behind Emplate so terribly muddled and confusing and beyond Soap Opera-y that I doubt even Susan Lucci would have to an easy time explaining it all. It’s just easier to focus on the fact that Emplate is this other-dimensional vampire-y mutant that feeds on other mutants. (I read his Wikipedia page like 4 times and still find myself slightly confused. So good luck with wrapping you head around that!)
For a new direction the issue is kind of a slow build. Rogue borrows the powers of another young un-know-ish mutant to go after Bling and bring her home. A lot of time is spent on Rogue soaring through the aforementioned “other-dimensional” home of Emplate, as well as plenty of time for characters to argue what the best coarse of action would be to rescue the kidnapped Bling. Seems like a heck of a lot of padding to get the story moving, and really this issue is just the second part of the story that already begin in the “X-Men: Legacy Annual” that came out last month. So if you didn’t read the Annual you’ll really be diving in mid-story. But thankfully not a whole heck of a lot has happened that so you won’t feel too terribly lost.
The art is by Daniel Acuna and I’m sorry to say I’m not much of a fan. I just don’t care too much for the whole painted comic book look. Everything just looks so frozen and stale. And kinda too pencil-y. Like all the characters are only half drawn and the colors kinda blur them out. I’m sure a lot of folk will jump down my throat on this, but he’s not my cup of lukewarm, too stylized tea. So sue me!
All in all “X-Men: Legacy” #228 is not a bad issue. Not great, not awful, just “eh-ish”, leaning more toward “ok”. As I stated above, it’s really just another part in a larger multi-part storyline, so I’m hoping it picks up next issue. But if you’re a fan of Rogue, you’ll want to pick this up. Or if you’re a fan of the “New X-Men” title when it starred the next generation of teen mutants before M-Day you’ll want to pick this up. Or if you’re a fan of “Generation-X”, well, you get the drift. Either way, I’m happy to see my Rogue back to rocking the pages of an X-Book! Now if only she can get her flight and strength back…