Recap of Series: Where to start... Okay, so the Logan Legacy is a seven issue mini-series that spins out of The Death Of Wolverine event. In the first issue we find out that five mutants who had notable relationships with Wolverine (X-23, Daken, Sabretooth, Mystique and Lady Deathstrike) have been locked up together by this guy who looks like Red Hood (who is actually called Shogun), along with Elixir. And they have been experimented on because of their healing factors. They’ve had four words ‘installed’ in them – one that makes them fall straight to sleep; one that puts them under the control of the user; one that kills them (overpowering their healing abilities); and one that does something else. That’s basically all you find out in the first issue – then issues two through six are the five main characters explaining what lead them to this point. Due to the fact I’m too poor to afford comic books weekly (it sucks to be a student), I only read X-23’s (#2) and Daken’s (#5), but, honestly, I don’t think they’re all that necessary to the storyline, because #7 made total sense without the other three.
Recap of Issue: So, it starts by setting the scene in Croatia, where we see this creeping monster crawling on some rocks ‘A Few Minutes Back…’ and it’s whining the word ‘NEED’ in a creepy way. We then see Daken and Sabretooth fighting (of course) and Laura is discussing the situation calmly with Shogun, who then introduces himself as this. We do see the creature again at this point, which is now entering the castle where the Logan crew (that name is gonna stick, I swear) are being held. Mystique is passed out and Shogun tells Elixir to heal her so that he can talk to them as a group. Elixir informs him that he’s in his black-death form and has been for a long time, so he cannot heal anyone. It’s then revealed that Mystique was just faking it and Shogun begins to talk. He explains that he and a few others were experimented on and they will soon die because of this. He also states that the answer to saving himself and his friends is inside the Logan crew. Mystique asks what they get in return for helping Shogun’s group and Shogun explains that the fourth word relinquishes the control the other words have on the Logan crew, and that he’ll give them this word if they help him. He then begins to explain that there is ‘something else that could solve this’, when the creature bursts in. One of Shogun’s group explains that this is another of the experiments that came with them, ‘Siphon’. He states that “even Cornelius was afraid of it”. Elixir then steps up and tells the group that he will protect them with his death touch, by saying “one touch and it’s out for hours”. Siphon holds onto Elixir’s arm and causes him to panic, yelling “Don’t… You’ll die! You’re getting too much!” before the Siphon growls “HUNGRY” and somehow devours Elixir’s face with its hand. Shogun then releases the group who scatter. Sabretooth tries to attack Shogun who utters the word ‘Ovipositor’ and takes Sabretooth under his control. Shogun then tells Siphon “try me”, but Siphon replies “I don’t want you. I want them.” and leaves. We then see Siphon attack Daken, before X-23 rescues him. However, when Laura asks if Daken is alright, he tells her his wounds aren’t healing. Outside, Mystique and Shogun argue about Shogun’s choice to use a word on Sabretooth. After a harsh discussion, they agree to work together, as – although Shogun’s group are not the only ones who know the words – they’re the only ones who want to help. Damn, that was an excessive recap.
Review: I’m going to try to be fair when reviewing this, but it’s going to be pretty hard, considering this series includes, not only my favourite all time comic character (Elixir), but also two of my top ten, as well (Daken and X-23). Still, I’ll try not to let my love for Josh Foley change this review…
So, some of the art is absolutely gorgeous! I love the way Siphon is illustrated and the scenery is really great! Some of the panels Mystique is included in are really beautiful. If I could have Nguyen draw Mystique always, I would. But there are just some slip ups that REALLY could have been easily avoided.
Firstly, Elixir’s skin. Okay, so this is more a problem I have with the first issue in the series than this one, but still – Josh states that he hasn’t been gold for a long time. So, why does he have gold arms in Issue #1? Come on, Marvel! How do you make that mistake?!
Secondly - and this is something that’s been annoying me about the X-Books for a while – Laura’s eyes are, for some unknown reason, coloured blue?! What? Her eyes have always been notably green. This is similar to how on the ‘Spiderman and the X-Men’ covers, Hellion has a yellow telekinetic aura and brown eyes, and in one of the previews I saw, a red aura and yellow costume; when he’s always iconically had a green aura, red costume and blue eyes, right? *Sigh* Seriously, Marvel, are you doing this on purpose?!
Thirdly, in a couple of the panels, Daken’s tattoos are actually missing! What? It’s not like they’re one of the most iconic features of his appearance or anything!
Lastly, and fittingly moving away from my favourite characters, I just find this art quite inconsistent, overall. And, honestly, that’s a shame, because – like I said – some of it is so nice! I think if we took out the three previous continuity points (which are really big issues and need to be resolved), I’d probably give the art in this an overall seven out of ten, and that’s purely because the art that is good, is REALLY good!
Now, the story. Wow, where do I even start? I guess a few of the ideas were really clever, and I appreciate those points. I love the idea of these five (six, if we include ‘Lixir) being forced to come together to fight for their freedom. I also really like how Shogun starts off as the villain, but is later revealed as just another victim of Weapon X, and how the group react to this.
I find Siphon a really great villain, actually. And you have to have a pretty spectacular villain for them to work as a villain against villains! I know the ‘experiment gone wrong’ is a kinda overused plot, but I think it works well here. Maybe it could force some of the other characters to evaluate how they could turn out? Personally, what I find most appealing about Siphon is the fact that it’s a creepy, terrifying, animalistic creature, but it also speaks full sentences as a way to maintain its humanity. This, I believe, makes it kind of creepier. I love the way it’s originally presented as a mindless creature which cares for nothing but food, but then develops into a real, named ‘person’, which makes us feel a strange sense of sympathy towards it.
The main problem with this issue – with this whole series, in fact – is that we find out at the end of this book that it’s all a lead up to the new, ongoing series, ‘Wolverines’. Really, I find this very disappointing. I was expecting an exciting, climatic ending to this series today. But all I got was Marvel murdering my favourite character and an advertisement for another series that I won’t be able to afford to keep up with. I’m really struggling to maintain my interest in Marvel Comics when almost everything they publish feels explicitly like a ploy for money. Unfortunately, this really overshadows a lot of the story in the issue because it’s just so open-ended, and not in a good way.
Now, a few issues I just want to bring up from my fangirl side. So, let’s talk Elixir. Obviously, they killed him off, and, obviously, I want to talk about this. First of all – WHAT’S THE POINT OF BRINGING BACK A CHARACTER FROM MARVEL LIMBO IF YOU’RE JUST GONNA KILL HIM OFF?! Ugh! But seriously, I knew they would kill him off from the moment I saw him in Issue #1 and that upsets me – that it was so predictable. But what’s worse is that it was done so terribly. He makes one tiny appearance. Tries to help out once. Dies. He’s such a spectacular character and I’m so done with the lack of appreciation for his amazing mutation.
But I think one of the biggest problems is how they presented (or forgot to present) Laura and Josh’s relationship. Laura states once that they should help him, before Sabretooth convinces her not to with one sarcastic statement, when later; she helps Daken with no qualms. I understand that Daken is like her brother, but it’s almost as if the writers completely ignored Josh and Laura’s time together in X-Force and the New X-Men. Particularly that moment when X was going to commit suicide to get rid of the legacy virus and Elixir saved her life! He refused to let her die even when she threatened to cut his hand off! And the writers seem to have just eradicated that point. Which sucks. Because I think Laura would’ve jumped at the opportunity to save Josh. But whatever, I’m not the writers…
I’m going to end this extremely sketchy and worrying review (it’s my first review and I’m writing it at 22:36 on Christmas Eve, shut up) on a positive note, which is this – at least Josh is still Josh. Even when something breaks in to kill them all, Elixir doesn’t want to kill it, just knock it out. And when Siphon keeps hold of his arm, he begs it to let go. Not because he’s scared for his own safety – but for Siphon’s! He yells “Don’t… You’ll die! You’re getting too much!” – if that’s not an Elixir-y thing to do, I don’t know what is. That just supports how – even to the very end – Josh was so wary to be bad, to use his black abilities. And that point (as well as the cute sibling bonding between Laura and Daken) is my favourite thing about this book.
Now, let’s ignore everything that goes against the idea and pretend Elixir will survive the attack and pop up again in ‘Wolverines’ Issue #1. :)
Let's end with a fun chat up line from Daken Akihiro...
Also, do bear in mind I read this digitally only (my nearest comic book store is 30 miles away and it's Christmas Eve, guys), so some of the art issues may have been fixed in print.