ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘X-Men: Legends,’ Issue 1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

X-Men: Legends #1 - But Why Tho?

X-Men: Legends #1 is written by Fabian Nicieza, penciled by Brett Booth, inked by Adelso Corona, colored by Guru-eFX, and lettered by VC’s Joe Caramagna. It is published by Marvel Comics. Taking place after the events of X-Men (1991) #39, part one of “The Burning Blood” centers on the “third Summers brother” Adam-X. As Cyclops and Havok race to find Adam, so do the Starjammers and the Shi’ar zealot known as Eric The Red.

X-Men: Legends is meant to revisit various periods of time in the X-Men’s history, beginning with the highly popular ’90s era. This is reflected in the clothes the X-Men are wearing, including Cyclops’s classic blue and yellow suit designed by Jim Lee and Havok’s black jacket with the flipped up collar and rolled up sleeves. Nicieza is also no stranger to the ’90, having written The New Mutants and co-creating Deadpool. With this issue, he continues the revisitation of the X-Men mythos that began in Juggernaut—and with a character he helped co-create no less!

Adam-X’s origin is revisited and streamlined for the modern era, connecting him to Cyclops and Havok. The entire Summers clan makes an appearance in the issue, including father Corsair and X-Force leader Cable. Nicieza also writes a great dynamic between Cyclops and Havok; Cyclops is the take-charge, no-nonsense leader while Havok is snarky and more laid-back. I had a similar dynamic with my brother, and reading the banter between the two brought back childhood memories.

What also brought back memories is Booth’s art and Adam’s power-set, and they weren’t exactly fond ones. Booth’s art is an acquired taste for most, with many characters either having the same muscular build or facial shape. If it weren’t for their outfits and Cyclops and Havok’s different hair colors, I’d think they were the same guy.

Likewise, Adam is more or less a walking embodiment of everything wrong with ’90s characters, from his design style (backward baseball caps and torn jeans went out of fashion for a reason) to his power of igniting blood is a strange powerset that calls to mind the attempt for every comic to be “gritty” and “extreme” (Cable lampshades this in a bit of dialogue). Also, every character apparently had to have claws like Wolverine’s in order to be “badass.”

Where Booth does succeed are the fight scenes. From the first page where Erik the Red and his fellow zealots attack Cyclops and Havok’s grandparents, to Adam dueling with the Starjammers, the action sequences feel bold and have weight. The different powers at play also make for some intense visuals, particularly where Cyclops’s optic blasts and Havok’s solar-powered blasts are concerned.

X-Men: Legends #1 is a flashback to a simpler time, and although the art is lacking the story is a solid attempt at untangling one of the few knots in the X-Men’s canon. Longtime X-Men fans, particularly those who grew up in the ’90s, will hopefully enjoy it, and the issue ends on a shocking cliffhanger that makes me want to pick up the next issue.

X-Men: Legends #1 is available wherever comics are sold and through Comixology using our affliate link.

X-Men: Legends #1
3.5

TL;DR

X-Men: Legends #1 is a flashback to a simpler time, and although the art is lacking the story is a solid attempt at untangling one of the few knots in the X-Men’s canon. Longtime X-Men fans, particularly those who grew up in the ’90s, will hopefully enjoy it, and the issue ends on a shocking cliffhanger that makes me want to pick up the next issue.