Tuesday, 28 June 2022

X-Men Legends #5 - Marvel Comics

X-MEN LEGENDS No. 5, September 2021
Tightly crammed between Issue Seventy-Five and Seventy-Six of “X-Factor”, this “all-new adventure” by Peter David surely must have pleased its 32,561 ‘true believers’ in July 2021. Admittedly, the storyline is primarily set inside the United States Capitol during a dialogue-driven congressional hearing. But rather than prove a lack-lustre, sedentary reading experience, the senators' hostile interrogation of Valerie Cooper's colourful team continues to hold the audience’s attention throughout the twenty-page periodical, as well as provide plenty of intriguing background as to why the government-sponsored mutant team were called in to deal with a super-powered terrorist attack upon the Latverian Embassy, and not the heroic Avengers or Fantastic Four.

Similarly as intriguing, is the motivation behind Samhain’s assault upon his people’s diplomatic building and the dilemma his initial murderous actions cause for any bibliophile who feels sympathy for his mission. On the face of it, the radical’s desire for the United Nations to “oust Victor Von Doom from power and change our country into a democracy” is a compelling one. However, such support arguably soon falters when the ruthless killer shockingly disintegrates the hapless administrator who welcomes him into his Embassy without any warning whatsoever; “Disposing of one will serve as a lesson to the others. One fatality up front ensures far fewer down the li --” 

This savagery also establishes the violent tone of X-Factor’s subsequent attempt to liberate the hostages, with Madrox the Multiple Man and Strong Guy’s head-on assault packing every panel with pulse-pounding pandemonium. Indeed, Guido Carosella’s painful confrontation with Samhain is probably the highlight of the comic, as Chris Claremont’s formidably sized co-creation struggles to endure the extremist’s deadly mystic flame, and eventually must withdraw back outside to regroup with his bewildered team-mates.

Helping this publication’s sense-shattering shenanigans along with plenty of “FWAZAAAAAAK” and “WAM WAM WAM” are Todd Nauck’s simply sumptuous pencils and Rachelle Rosenberg's colours. The Texas-born artist does an astonishingly good job of imbuing all the characters sat talking during the senate’s hearing with plenty of emotion, with Quicksilver’s haughty disdain for the politicians coming across particularly well. Yet it is debatably the illustrator’s depiction of all the swirling spectral details of both Samhain and Imbolc’s mutant abilities which really help sell the revolutionaries as legitimate threats to Havoc’s comrades-In-Arms.

The regular cover art of "X-MEN: LEGENDS" #5 by Todd Nauck & Rachelle Rosenberg

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