Writer: Louise Simonson
Art: Walter Simonson
Colors: Laura Martin
Letters: John Workman
Release Date: 4/28/2021
X-Men Legends hurts. Imagine finding your most cherished childhood possession and losing it again. There would be an emptiness inside of you. Similarly, I feel the same way reading X-Men Legends. Having the Simonson’s back on X-Men (particularly X-Factor) reminds me of picking up dusty X-Factor comics from the ’80s and diving in a mid-way through a story arc. X-Men Legends #3 by Louise Simonson takes this concept and delivers it to you on a platinum platter. This issue contains the main ingredients to a perfect X-Story: Drama, amazing dialogue, and (my personal favorite) interesting characters. Let’s get into it!
Where are we?
X-Men Legends takes place before X-Factor #46. This means Angel is now Archangel, The Original 5 (O5) are living on Apocalypse’s ship with baby Cable…uhmmmm Nathan, and Inferno has already taken place. Just thinking about that, a lot has happened in the X-Men mythos up until this (or that) point in 1986. This issue sets up a lot of the main plot points in X-Factor #46 (mainly Ship needing a major tune-up).
Walter Simonson is a clean artist. What I mean by clean is that his linework and details are amazing. His artwork captures a moment in X-History the same way Byrne, Cockrum, and Lee did. What I particularly love, is his attention to detail. Let’s take Jean for example. A lot of artist does not make her eyes green, normally they’re brown and in some cases, they have given her the “Storm effect” (meaning her psi powers are always showing through her eyes). Simonson gives Jean green eyes. Heck, even when he has her flying backward in this issue, her movements are of a person flying backward. Not a stiff doll on wires. Simonson even manages facial expressions and body language like a chef. Warren consistently has a pained expression on his face (hence Scott noting that he was “brooding somewhere on the ship”). Bobby is drawn as the fun lighthearted youngster of the team. This attention to detail demonstrates why Simonson is a legend.
I love the O5. They were the start of “Xavier’s Dream.” His first legacy. For the longest time, the number of books and teams in which they’re heavily involved has waned. Within the last 5 years, we have seen a resurgence of them. Jean led the X-Men for a while, Angel will be co-starring in a new series, Beast mutated again and has dabbled in magic, Iceman is a pirate, and Scott became the leader of a movement. I feel as if their legacy as the template of mutant teams, has been lost under the “newer heroes” such as Storm, Logan, and Cable. Simonson gives us a brief moment in X-History to revisit the reasons why we love this particular team. She writes Jean as a concerned mother who is self-aware that Nathan is “hers.” Warren is still raw with the rage he wallowed in once he became Death. Speaking of Death, Simonson’s Apocalypse is magnificent. Why is that? She writes him the way she created him! An egomaniac c who believes in the survival of the fittest. Seeing her writing again is similar to having Claremont and Lee pushing out X-Issues in 2021. You’re able to relax knowing that these characters will be well taken care of.
You should have picked up this issue by now. It is sooo darn good. I love what Marvel is doing with the X-Men. Paying homage to writing legends and allowing them to close certain plotlines while pushing the mythos forward is genius. I would love for Marvel to continue doing this. The X-Men have been consistently inconsistent for so long, that this could be a long-term series. Bringing the Simonson’s back into the X-Fold was a brilliant move. I 100% recommend this issue and this entire series. We are revisiting the stories that make Marvel’s Merry Mutant…marvelous!