Editor's Note: X-Men: Legacy #213 arrives in stores tomorrow, June 25.
Plot: Gambit's back! Sinister's back! And so is Sebastian Shaw of the Hellfire Club!? Okay. Xavier continues down his A Christmas Carol-like search for memories, and this Ghost of Christmas Future is really ugly and withered. Plus, we find out Sinister's intentions for Shaw, The Juggernaut, and Xavier himself.
Commentary: I enjoyed this issue primarily because I'm a big fan of both Gambit and Mr. Sinister, but Mike Carey's story of redemption for Professor X is very poignant. Essentially, Xavier feels he is worthless to the team he created and is now realizing how much damage and pain he caused to the ones around, namely Cyclops. Would the X-Men be better off without Professor X? Yes. I do think he is worthless to the team he created and only holds them back or manipulates them to serve his own agenda.
But I have my suspicions as to the significance of him discovering that he's an overarching manipulator, and summarily finding redemption: Xavier finds out about Cyclops's reorganization of the X-Men and decides to acknowledge his authority and support his decisions. Then the hints that Cyclops is a Skrull turn out to be true. The team begins to fall apart, and suddenly a new and re-acclimated Charles Xavier comes to fill the void of leadership.
Sound good? Well, Charles has a long way to go before he can lead again. The scenes between him and Sinister inside his head demonstrate this with Xavier's guilt and some deep seeded father issues. As Sinister explains, "You were alternatively absent and overbearing, neglectful and tyrannical. As if you couldn't decide whether to be Brian Xavier or Kurt Marko – so you decided to be both." The dichotomy of his father and stepfather's behavior has led Charles to become a Venn diagram of both, eventually pushing everyone away.
Scot Eaton does great job in these scenes, particularly with facial expressions. Xavier's misplaced rage towards Cyclops' presumed mismanagement of the X-Men is sobering. You can honestly understand why Xavier feels so shameful of his actions just from the artwork. Although the Sinister-body-snatcher-machine is a little trite, given that this would the second time Marvel has gotten close to emulating Battlestar Galatica, it will certainly make the rest of this series interesting, especially with regards to Charles Xavier.
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