Friday, 23 July 2021

X-Men Legends #2 - Marvel Comics

X-MEN LEGENDS No. 2, May 2021
Starting with a seriously sensational opening splash page depicting the fallen body of a head-shot Adam Neramani, and Corsair’s matter-of-fact explanation that in committing the cold-blooded shooting he had “saved the lives of several trillion people”, writer Fabian Nicieza immediately sets a disconcertingly deadly tone to this comic’s storyline which permeates throughout every subsequent scene in Issue Two of “X-Men Legends”. True, the Buenos Aires-born author manages to inject a slight element of humour into this book, courtesy of a running gag which sees Havok finally “have a little brother that I can boss around”. But even these brief glimpses of ‘family fun’ within the Summers household are tainted by Adam-X’s perpetual gloomy mood; “Ray of #$%&% sunshine, this one is.”

Fortunately, such solemnity really does suit the Starjammers’ brutal battle against Erik the Red, and Davan Shakari’s cult-like Crystal Claws on the blue area of the Moon. As Alex admits to his brother at the very start of the fight, it “feels really great to finally cut loose” with a no-holds barred punch-up which has “the fate of the galaxy at stake”, and Deadpool’s co-creator definitely doesn’t disappoint in seizing this opportunity to show just how “terrifying” the Ascendant One’s awesome ability “to ignite the electrolytes in exposed blood” can truly be.

In addition, Nicieza does a first-rate job in depicting Christopher Summers as the ever wily opportunist, who always seems to be considering the profit potential behind each and every situation he encounters. Corsair’s revelation that as a contingency plan he had actually contacted the “super-guardians of the Shi-ar Empire” is a great example of this, and even causes the intergalactic freebooter’s own sons, along with this comics’ audience, to momentarily doubt his true motivations.

Sublimely supporting this book’s prodigious penmanship is Brett Booth’s marvellous pencilling, which genuinely helps sell the sheer speed Neramani is able to attain on the battlefield when he’s darting in between the numerous deadly blows of his assailants. Furthermore, the artist also manages to provide a few visual gags within the odd panel, such as Adam-X’s evident physical discomfort at being cuddled by his half-brothers, and Christopher’s relief that Raza was ultimately able to safely secure his elderly parents from Erik’s despicable clutches.

The regular cover art of "X-MEN LEGENDS" #2 by Brett Booth

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