Robot 6

The Fifth Color | ‘X-Men Legacy,’ and the love you leave behind

xmenlegacy_24Valentine’s Day, with its reflection on love, is inescapable. That could be romantic love filled with cherubs and soft-focus lighting, or it could be friendly love, like those little paper Valentines you get in grade school or around the office. It could be family love, like roses for your grandmother to let her know you care. Heck, it could just be the love of chocolate and the knowledge that all those heart-shaped boxes will be on sale tomorrow.

Who we love is based on what we love about them: It could be their rockin’ abs, their sense of humor, their empathy or their discount sale price at the drug store. Maybe it’s elusive. Often times, what others love about us are qualities we can’t see in ourselves. Those are the aspects we have to recognize to better understand our loved ones and, most of all, who we are — because, as RuPaul says, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?”

No one in the Marvel Universe needed to hear a drag queen’s words of wisdom more than X-Men Legacy‘s Legion.

WARNING: Talking about Simon Spurrier’s X-Men Legacy series as a whole in vague terms and X-Men Legacy #24‘s huge spoiler, so go grab all the issues you can and read along!

There’s so much to see in Legion as a character. He could be defined by his mutant power, as most mutants are in one respect or another, in that he creates spontaneous mutations within himself that possess various powers. Being limitless makes one surprisingly vague, which is why Legion hasn’t really been that interesting a character in his nearly 24 years. David Haller also could be defined by his father, Charles Xavier, which is really where we get a lot of our understanding of him as a character. David  most famously created the Age of Apocalypse universe, which is not only super-cool but really dangerous. He has spent most of his character life as a villain, a threat and this ticking bomb that could go off at any moment. He’s also been defined by his loneliness: Legion tried to kill Magneto to get more love and attention from his father. He created a pocket universe in “Age of X” to feel wanted and like a hero. Still, despite all of this, it took Ruth Aldine, Blindfold, to see past all of that and find a real person, and because she did, the readers did so, too. It took that kind of love to make the fractured Legion whole.

tumblr_montvpZXwr1qapp54o1_1280Let’s start at the beginning: Legion and Blindfold first crossed paths at the start of the series (which isn’t exactly true, as she was a bit of an Easter egg in “Age of X,” but let’s go with the flow) as most burgeoning X-relationships do: in tragedy. He … was a man manipulated by a fractured mind! She … was a mysterious precog who was destined to be his “nemesis!” It wasn’t a perfect longing glance across a crowded room, but what is? Blindfold tried to stop his mind from unraveling and was psionically stabbed for her troubles. Legion went to the X-Mansion to try and save her and wound up battling a villain from her past. That initial confrontation turned to curiosity, as Ruth now followed David through his adventures in the book, a sort of blind judge of his actions, motivations and what was to come. These two fall in love quite naturally over the course of 24 issues, and it’s heartwarming to read. As Ruth sees something in David he can’t, he tries to be a better person. Did one of these lead to the other?

Of course, there’s a large mutant battle and world-shaking danger on the horizon. Does love save David Haller in the end? Well, no, not really. As of X-Men Legacy #24, David no longer exists within the 616 universe, and that’s pretty much as not-saved as you can get. Then again, love did sort of save him in the end: Right before the end of all creation, David saw himself, flaws and all, as whole. None of the labels, none of the legacy of being Xavier’s son — just a man and all he could be within himself.

tumblr_n0wwbyHn4g1s2xi8bo2_1280This sounds like a lot of self-actualism hoodoo, but trust me, it’s all in the book, and there’s so much for the reader in the pages of X-Men Legacy #24 to just take in and stew over that I haven’t been able to get it out of my head for days now. In fact, it really is just for the reader, as David takes the time to look beyond the pages and both curse us and comfort us in the story that’s wrapped around him. After he’d gathered up all of the fractured mutations that lived in his mind, there was always one, the Weaver, that refused to be absorbed. In the end, the Weaver was himself, at least a part of himself that accepted him for who he was; as the darker evil side of David told him a couple issues back, the best way to cure a sickness of the mind is to learn to live with it. All those parts of Legion, could he live with who he ultimately was? Yes. What allowed him to do so was the ‘thought’ (whether actual thought, psychic projection, internalized realization, etc. etc.) that his father was proud of him. An act of love.

So, being fully realized, he refuses to submit to a universe where he could not rule himself and unmakes reality so that he never was. Where does this leave Ruth? Pretty OK, it turns out: A part of David (again, actual thought, psychic projection, internalized realization, etc.; psychics are so confusing) remains in her mind. He never truly leaves her, just resides in her heart, no matter what anyone else will tell her.

X-Men Legacy is very clear: songs, journeys and stories most of all have meaning with distance. The moment is beautiful but it’s the beauty that it leaves behind in your mind that can carry you through a lot of deeper moments yet to come. And it’s the things that stay with you forever that are the things that come to an end.

Thanks, Mr. Spurrier.

News From Our Partners

Comments

14 Comments

The thing I don’t get is if Legion never exist then did The Age of Apocalypse and Age of X happen… what we’re currently left with is loads of effect with no cause.

No Legion = No Age of Apocalypse = No X-Man, no Holocaust (so Rusty never died and Asteroid X never crashed, so no Utopia island), no Sugar Man (so no mutant process in Genosha, so no X-Tinction Agenda, etc.), no Dark Beast (so no Morlocks, or at least not as many).

No Legion = No Legion Quest

No Legion = No Age of X = No Frenzy joining the X-Men; Chamber staying looking blue like Apocalypse; Havok, Polaris and Rachel getting home another way because otherwise no new X-Factor and Uncanny Avengers).

Plus others… you get my drift. For everything to be the same EXCEPT no Legion how can you explain the rest??? It doesn’t make sense.

Richard Porter: You will get the OMD answer – It all happened, just in a different way.

Richard: I’m sure they’ll just blame it on somebody else. It was still a great run & I do feel like it was very under appreciated.

I am more interested in knowing if all the events of the book were negated and if we will see the antagonists legion fought show up again later like blindfolds brother and the guy on the moon.

I interpreted the events as Legion being so powerfully, that he was able to pick and choose what he wanted to reverse or uncreate. Therefore, everything in x-men canon is still there, except for him. Did age of apocalypse happen? yes. but no one in 616 is aware david started it. Did charles xavier have a son that he neglected? yes. just no one in the 616 remembers. so on and so on.

Was hoping this series would get interesting in the last issue. Thankfully I didn’t hope to hard.

Anyway, Spurious wrote himself two outs on this – 1) David likely continues to live in Ruth’s head. And given the nature of his powers, it’s likely not as just a memory, but disguised as merely so. Predictable. 2) In his farewell letter, Spurious lampshades David’s coming resurrection. Yawn. I’d be more shocked if he never comes back. RDOD and all that, though.

At least the art was passable and Ruth (she was why I kept reading) was semi-interesting. I do hope she forgets David existed and moves on, but sadly that occurrence will likely be a prelude to David’s eventual return (complete with mysterious happenings, likely blamed on other nearby mutants). So maybe it’s better to hope she sinks into nearly-non-canonical obscurity.

I’ve never heard anything but bad things about this book since it came out and it’s pretty consistently gotten poor reviews through its entire run with no real credit given except for its covers, but now people are pretty sad it’s over? I probably won’t read it either way because I can’t afford it but I just don’t get it. Is this just another case of “oh this book wasn’t as bad as we told everyone it was, now a CLASSIC gem is gone, shame on the comics industry”?

I’m not sure what bad reviews you’re talking about, poor college kid. The entire run aside from the very earliest issues received good to great reviews. comicbookroundup.com/comic-books/reviews/marvel-comics/x-men-legacy-%282012%29

CBR itself only ever gave it terrible reviews then ignored it. That pretty much torpedoed their credibility.

They managed to repeat the act with Spurrier’s new series in an almost comedic fashion.

Reasons I didn’t like this ending:

1) A boyfriend committing suicide/faking his own death would be creepy enough, but to then move into Ruth’s mind without her prior consent takes it to a whole new level. Unless of course she’s deluded, in which case thanks for that piece of psychological baggage some other writer has to sort out or ignore.

2) Legion erasing himself from the timeline is stupid because of all the problems it causes; Age of Apocalypse, etc, in addition to undoing this entire run. If he only made everyone forget about him and is now living in Ruth’s head, what’s the point?

3) There is zero chance this will stick. He’ll return, rendering this entire outcome irrelevant. I’d prefer that runs end by adding something to a character, not by adding to the copious amounts of stories that have to ignored or handwaved in order to move forward.

You got to hand it to Spurrier, the Madoka Magica ending was definitely out of left field; never saw it coming. It’s just sad that it was wasted on a character who deserved a better ending. I get that Spurrier wanted to keep Legion from getting reset by future writers, but there are better ways to do that than exile to character limbo. In fact, this is guaranteed to lead to Reset-itis, not prevent it.

As for the paradoxes that resulted because of David’s erasure, at least this shows us what contributed to the temporal breakdown at the end of Age of Ultron. Yep, blame it all on Wolverine, Kang and Legion.

A pretty hypocritical article, considering that CBR poorly reviewed this comic and dropped it after two issues.
Still, a little of recognition now is better than nothing, I suppose.

“A pretty hypocritical article, considering that CBR poorly reviewed this comic and dropped it after two issues.”

I don’t see how it’s hypocritical: Carla has no more say about what (or how) CBR reviews than the CBR reviewers have about what Carla writes.

I absolutely loved everything about Legacy, from David’s opening slaughter of dozens all the way to him seeing the Prof in Heaven and then him possessing Blindfold. This is one of my favorite books ever! I’m so sad that it’s over.

Leave a Comment

 


Browse the Robot 6 Archives