Writer: Roy Thomas
Art/Cover: Dave Wachter, Edgar Delgado, Joe Caramagna, and Kaare Andrews
Release Date: August 10th, 2022
Who’s in ready for an “in continuity” story that takes place before Giant Size X-men? Add to the mix the return of long-time X-men scribe, Roy Thomas and I’m all in! Let’s jump into this new ongoing series aptly titled X-Men Legends and go all the way back to the events that happen immediately after the Incredible Hulk #181 (1974) and see what our favorite puny, little mutant is up to!
As our first page does a great job of telling us, this story bridges the gap between the Incredible Hulk #181 and Giant-Size X-Men #1. Both of those issues are readily available on many different platforms but are not essential reading prior to starting X-Men Legends #1. Roy Thomas does a fine job summarizing how we got to this point. Quick summary- in the Incredible Hulk #181, Wolverine was dispatched to bring the Hulk in by Department H and had six hours to complete his mission. As you can imagine a massive fight took place and Wolverine was left for dead and that is where we kick things off in X-Men Legends #1.
As one would assume, more fighting, a lot of fighting takes place. The Hulk/Wolverine part of the book serves its purpose – setting up our story, time frame, etc… but that’s basically the extent of the Hulk’s involvement in this issue.
However, things did get quite a bit more interesting for this reviewer as Department H has quite a large presence in this issue as they give Wolverine a new mission and a new partner to complete said mission with. A new partner doesn’t necessarily mean a new character though as fans of Roy Thomas’ original X-men run will more than likely recognize Logan’s new partner. And if this character is new to you, Google is your friend and a quick search will get you up to speed! The issue ends as the mission gets started and we’re left with quite a nice cliffhanger that did leave me a bit surprised. Not exactly what I was expecting!!
Dave Wachter does a great job of capturing the visual aesthetic of a comic almost 48 years old, but with a modern twist. This is by far my least favorite Wolverine costume ever, but it sure is drawn well! Logan’s facial expressions are also a highlight. We also get some fantastic variant covers from Todd Nauck and Dan Jurgens!
For those yearning for yet another X-men book to add to your pull list, this will surely tickle your fancy! Thomas fashions a well-plotted story that is also a quick read. You don’t have to be a decades-long “X” fan read X-Men Legends #1 as it has the perfect amount of backstory and setup that you can jump right in! For longtime fans of the Claremont era, this story will please you as well as it shows what many consider the most famous mutant ever, Wolverine, was up to immediately preceding Giant-Size X-men. I for one am really looking forward to issue #2!