X-Men Legends #12
Still grievously injured from their fight with the Marauders, Nightcrawler and Shadowcat find themselves caught between Mystique and her chosen prey. Can the doughty heroes save Forge before The Harriers blow them all away?
This book takes place just before Excalibur was formed, and it’s designed as a means of filling in the cracks between the faked death of the X-Men and the return of Rachel from Mojoworld. There’s a lot of 80’s goodness packed into this book, and it’s a hell of a ride all the way through.
Claremont’s writing is amazing. The tone of the characters feels precisely correct for the time period being explored. Kurt leads effectively, with swashbuckling flare (despite his beautifully rendered, hard-to-watch pain) and the trademark Claremontian thought-bubbles give great insight into what’s going on in his head. I really appreciate thought bubbles, when Claremont is writing them. They’re so hard to get right, but when they land they give tremendous insight into the interior lives of the characters. Claremont is a master of the technique, and he’s operating at full power here.
As well as being a cohesive, near-perfect whole, there were a great many really satisfying individual moments in this story. Mystique’s conversation with Nightcrawler (full of hints, intrigue, and just a tincture of actual parental care), Destiny’s dialogue (and visible love for her wife), Kurt gently unphasing himself from an unconscious Kitty, all of this contributed to the richness and joy of this story. Forget the upcoming Gambit series, I want more between-the-scenes Excalibur.
A large part of the joy in this book came from the art. Scot Eaton is a treasure. It’s obvious that he was inspired by Alan Davis (a very good thing) because the faces and physicality of the characters are very much in Davis’s style. But Eaton brings a level of detail and heart to the story that I have rarely seen in other books. The woods are woodsy, the action is gripping, the weapons and costuming are very weapony and costumey. Lorenzo Ruggerio’s inks are detailed and lush. The shadows in this book are absolutely magnificent. Rachelle Rosenberg’s colors perfectly capture a purple flash of brimstone or the glint of fire on a lake.
This book is a treat. I’m sorry that it had to end.
This book is a treasure beyond nostalgia. It's perfectly written, beautifully rendered, and far too brief. I can't remember enjoying a story more.
X-Men Legends #12: Beauty And The BAMFs
- Writing - 10/1010/10
- Storyline - 10/1010/10
- Art - 10/1010/10
- Color - 10/1010/10
- Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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