Legion of X #7
Strange, hungry blossoms are floating through the Astral Plane and a new mutagenic virus is transforming a handful of Krakoans into more monstery versions of themselves. Can the Legionnaires unravel the connection before anyone else sprouts some new appendages.
This issue was a much stronger entry than the previous arc, though Spurrier still doesn’t have a real feel for half of the characters he’s using. The plot feels a lot tighter, and in consequence this story reads more like a constructed thing than the illustrated ramblings of a stoned first year philosophy student who’s just now discovered that Nietzsche was a fellow who wrote some books.
Some good points: Mother Righteous has finally been given something interesting to do with her machinations: it’s pretty obvious that she’s the ‘magic fused with mutant’ power behind what is happening to the rapidly mutating characters. The role of the Phalanx (and the unique insights provided about what Phalanx ‘ascension’ actually entails) is a chilling promise of what’s to come. The comparison that Spurrier draws between practicing religion, having faith, and being ‘prey’ is as offensive as his usual blather, but it could lead to something interesting if it is applied to Mother Righteous and her motivations.
If Spurrier wanted to write a book about Sinister (beyond the upcoming Nightcrawlers) in which he is forced to go on an extended road trip with Dr. Nemesis, I would throw my money at him in double handfuls. Spurrier writes an absolutely brilliant Sinister. There’s a beat when he (ol’ Diamond Head) states bluntly that he’s working on a plot for world dominion and then attempts to pass his statement off as a joke, and both the acting and the delivery are absolutely hilarious.
As per usual, Spurrier falls down the hardest when he attempts to write Nightcrawler. He’s a stuttering, self-conscious wreck in this story. Nightcrawler is probably one of the few characters with a physical mutation who has enough self acceptance to not be thrown by this transformation. And it frankly seemed as though Spurrier hadn’t read the A.X.E event he literally helped write, because if he had, he’d know that Nightcrawler has become intimately familiar with the process of ‘live’ resurrection and therefore wouldn’t be thrown by the time between death and rebirth. Also, not to belabor a point, but this is a character who has been to actual heaven. He knows what death is. I think that the biggest issue is that Spurrier is using Nightcrawler as a Plot Delivery Device rather than viewing him as a character who has been established for almost fifty years. He’s writing Nightcrawler almost as though he were an alternate reality version of himself, one with a different history, and that’s not necessary. At least the problem of the horns, spikes, and hooves is one which can (and hopefully will) be resolved and not a permanent ‘new look’ as per the usual swirl of internet rumors last month. Making a character who looks like a demon, and whose most interesting personality traits spring from the fact that he’s not a demon, into an actual member of the Legion of Hell is lazy writing.
Netho Diaz debuted as the series artist this week and he is an absolutely phenomenal talent. He’s adept at conveying both action and emotions, composing lush backgrounds and he lavishes as much care on his considered tight panels as he does his big, dramatic splashes. I was profoundly impressed by his labors, and I look forward to seeing what he comes up with in future books. I’d dearly love to see his take on Nightcrawler once he’s returned to his usual form, but I genuinely fell in love with the way that he depicts both Nemesis and Sinister. There’s a remarkable amount of pure character on display here that it would be a shame to miss out on. Buy the book for the art, if the writing fails to captivate.
This is the start of a much stronger story than the one found in the previous arc. The plot is enticing, the characters are considerably better written, and the art is absolutely phenomenal. Netho Diaz is a talent to watch.
Legion of X #7: Enter The Krampus
- Writing - 7.5/107.5/10
- Storyline - 8/108/10
- Art - 10/1010/10
- Color - 9.5/109.5/10
- Cover Art - 9.5/109.5/10