Legion of X #9
While Nightcrawler is dealing with a maternal nightmare of his own, Xavier has accepted Blindfold's invitation to tour The Altar. The only question is, does he come in peace?
After the more balanced storytelling on display in the preceding two issues of this arc, this installment felt extraordinarily rushed. This was less of a flaw than it might have been since Spurrier didn’t leave himself much room to mishandle many of the characters he’s using and therefore a blurred and smeary plot is a forgivable offense. Indeed, the whooshing sound of story being firehosed at us without pause for breath or rumination actually generated an enjoyable ride. It’s difficult to worry about plot holes or questionable characterization when so much action is being hurled at your face at once. If Spurrier utilized this methodology more frequently I’d enjoy this series considerably more than I have done previously.
So. In this issue we discover that Margali has entered one of her evil phases and is therefore sacrificing her last surviving child on the altar of commerce. We watch Xavier committing the betrayal that you didn’t need to be a precog to see coming. We witness a two-pronged attack on Krakoa that will, no doubt, cause devastation we are meant to believe to be terrible but which plays absolutely no part in other X-Books. A lot happens, and most of it is setup for the finale which will, no doubt, be equally rushed and therefore more enjoyable than the entirety of the arc that preceded it.
There were some nice bits, thrown out as carelessly as scraps to a hungry dog: the mutants seem to become riffs on monsters which are relevant (and thus recognizable) within their home cultures. I loved the nod to the Filipino Manananggal (a monster from my own childhood) and the scenes of mutants tearing people apart were beautifully rendered by Netho’s phenomenal pencil work.
Indeed, most of the pleasure from this story emerged from the art. Netho Diaz is the perfect artist for this arc: his rich, dark style (reminiscent of Bernie Wrightson’s trademark brand of lustrous rot) was wonderfully suited for the story he was telling. Sean Parsons and Álvaro López inked his lines gorgeously, with an enviable, tactile fluidity and a palpable grace. Java Tartaglia’s colors were rich, deep as sin, and set the tone absolutely perfectly.
This story will hit you like a firehose, on full blast, aimed at your face. This is the place where unstoppable action meets exquisite art.
Legion of X #9: The Parent Trap
- Writing - 8/108/10
- Storyline - 7.5/107.5/10
- Art - 10/1010/10
- Color - 10/1010/10
- Cover Art - 9.5/109.5/10
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