Friday, June 05, 2009

X-Men Legacy #220-224

Writer: Mike Carey
Penciller: Scot Eaton
Inker: Andrew Hennessy
Colourists: Brian Reber and Chris Sotomayor
Letterer: Cory Petit
Editor: Nick Lowe

Continuing our tour of dangling Professor X subplots in need of resolution, Mike Carey and Scot Eaton come to Rogue and Danger. With Rogue, he promised to cure her uncontrollable superpowers, and never got round to it. With Danger, his super-duper hologram suite became sentient, and he kept it locked up in the basement for training purposes.

What do these two stories have in common, I hear you ask? Well, not a huge amount, really. But "Salvage" brings them together as A- and B-plot, in a story which also takes the opportunity to revisit that ghost town the X-Men lived in back in the late eighties. It's not a location with any great significance for Rogue, and it's got nothing to do with Danger, but hell, it's a bit of colour.

As you can probably guess by now, I'm not sure all these elements really fit together into a single story. It ends up as a story where Professor Xavier and Gambit go looking for Rogue, and end up trapped in a malfunctioning Danger Room simulation along with a bunch of Shi'ar salvagers. Rogue wanders through a series of flashbacks from her past - well, that's what happens in X-Men: Legacy - while the rest of the characters try to sort Danger out.

The Danger plot works fairly well. The Shi'ar scavengers make good comic relief, patronisingly talking down to the backward locals even though they're clearly the stupidest people in the room at all times. And at times, the art achieves a surprisingly respectable impersonation of the original Danger storyline from Astonishing X-Men (not least because of Brian Reber's colouring). Since that original story had Xavier holding a slave in his basement, Carey wisely retcons it to tone things down - in this version, he was trying ever so hard to free Danger, but just never achieved it. Redemption is duly achieved, and Danger's storyline gets some sense of resolution.

And then, alongside this, there's a bunch of Rogue flashbacks that don't really lead to anything much. At the end, Xavier comes up with the solution he was looking for all along and... cures her, more or less out of the blue. That's potentially an interesting step forward for the character, who's been circling around the same angst point forever (though to be fair, it's not the first time that writers have tried to move her on). But in this storyline, her plot seems to meander around for the middle three issues before stumbling onto a random finale.

It's a good enough read; the salvage crew are great characters, and keep things lively. As a turning point for Rogue, though, it's an odd thing.

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