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X-Men: Legacy #218

Posted: Tuesday, November 18, 2008
By: Steven M. Bari

Mike Carey
Scot Eaton (p), Andrew Hennessy (i), Jason Keith w/ Brian Reber (colors)
Marvel Comics
Editor's Note: X-Men: Legacy #218 arrives in stores tomorrow, November 19.

Plot: Xavier and Wolverine break into Sebastian Shaw's complex. A good old-fashioned brawl ensues.

Comments: The penultimate issue of the X-Men: Legacy and Wolverine: Origins crossover "Original Sin" may not be most ambitious storyline in comics, but its straightforwardness and logic make it a resounding success.

With a cogent plot that is articulated through its players (Xavier, Wolverine, Shaw, Miss Sinister, and Daken), the crossover maintains each title's identity while developing its characters. "Just a relic from a simpler age, trying to pretend he's still relevant--" sneers Shaw as he readies to crush Professor X's skull. "--Even though his own disciple has given him the Judas kiss, and cast him out." The sentiment expresses the running theme of X-Men: Legacy, but does so to antiquate the notion of Xavier's uselessness. Shaw intends to deplete Xavier of confidence and wherewithal, knowing the world's greatest telepath is grappling with heavy self-image problems.

In previous issues, a scene like this would lead to Charles confronting his past for the first time and buckling under the weight of his guilt. Instead, Wolverine jumps in and quips, "Summers and Charles kissing? I owe you, Shaw. It's gonna take a while to get that one out of my head." By interrupting Xavier's usual flow of doubt and self-pity, Charles is able to focus on the job at hand: saving Daken. Carey has not only built up to Xavier's resolution but executes it naturally through character's dialogue, rather than some contrived device.

As this crossover gets better with every issue, so does Scot Eaton's art. Here he does a terrific action sequence between Shaw and Wolverine. Shaw, who can absorb kinetic energy and release it as raw physical power, nearly breaks Logan's back while trying to strangle him. Wolverine's body ardently relays the pain it is submitted to realistically. Eaton's characters are not hyper or exaggerated. They bend and move with a believable human anatomy, which actually highlights the amazing physical drama of the characters.

Final Word: One more issue to go and it would be an "Original Sin" to miss out! And that's as true as I am corny.

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