Monday, December 9, 2013

X-Men Legacy v1: Prodigal TPB

I think I can sift through potential readers for this title with only a sentence or two. If you like the idea of a creature called Tyrrannix the Abominoid, if you want to hear him lisp “Mine is the power of telepathy,” then this is going to be a good book for you.

Simon Spurrier isn’t reinventing the wheel, here, but he is telling a strange, offbeat story different than anything else on the stands. I don’t recall having strong feelings on his writing either way, but after seeing how strong his voice is in this collection, I think I’ll be keeping an eye out.

After years focusing on the X-Men team, then on Rogue, X-Men Legacy now stars David Haller: Legion. The character makes sense with this title, and while I still don’t count Legion as a favorite character, there is no debating that this book is filled with intriguing concepts.

In order to harness the many powers at his disposal, Legion has always had a big disadvantage; Legion is a split personality, with each personality exhibiting a different power set. After months of training at a weird retreat for psychics, Legion has created a mental prison. A construct that allows him to utilize one power at time, while keeping his other personalities locked up in mental “cells.” They don’t like this, of course, and things go smoothly for only a few pages.

This book kicks off after Professor X died during AvX, and his death shakes Legion to his core. And frees his many personalities. For the rest of the collection, Legion is hiding from his alternate selves, but trying to grab them in order to use their powers. It’s a weird game of cat-and-mouse where the roles are constantly reversed.

Spurrier uses young X-Man Blindfold quite a bit; it seems she’s got a destiny tied to Legion. There are some nice reveals tied to both characters, and a disturbing new villain with familial ties to Blindfold. Again, I could barely process what was going on, but the sharp, witty tone throughout makes it work.

Tan Eng Huat and Jorge Molina share the art duties in the first six issues. Huat reigns in his madness a bit, but this still doesn’t look like any other book on the stands. Fans of Chris Bachalo and other impressionistic artists might dig this style, but I preferred the more straightforward super heroic work from Molina.

This is another book that falls in the FAIR category. I’m not sure I’ll ever re-read it. It isn’t a modern classic. But Spurrier is weaving an inventive, odd ball tale here, and I want to see where it goes. 

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