X-Men Legacy amazes me each and every month by the sheer fact that it exists as a title on the Marvel line. Just comparing this title to all other titles of the X-Men ilk unveils vast dissimilarities and it’s one of the reasons this title is so bloody good. X-Men Legacy #15 is the most emotionally effective issue of the series to date and also, in a manner of speaking, the most accommodating to new readers. Even those not quite equipped to handle the deranged ideas that writer Simon Spurier puts to the page each month will discover that this issue is driven only by two characters: Legion and his estranged mother, Gabrielle Haller.
In his first few pages, Spurier draws out a landscape where the downfall of a mutant-hating dictator has not quite quelled an anti-mutant society, and for the first time, the mutant Legion is meeting with the human mother that abandoned him. In exploring this conversation throughout a majority of the issue, Spurier is able to convey an authentic sense of entitlement from Legion—who deserves the answers he’s looking for—while also delving into the harsh truth of the matter. There’s a moment where Gabrielle tells her son all of the things that she understands in her world and that when it comes to his world of capes and tights, heroes and villains, she doesn’t even believe it. Ouch.
It’s disingenuous to call Tan Eng Haut’s art in this series anything other than unmistakable. His art has become so married to this title that much like a marriage, I accept it for better or for worse. Even when his depictions of memorable mutants like Cyclops or Wolverine don’t mesh with their appearance in Uncanny X-Men or Wolverine and the X-Men, I imagine these characters as operating solely in the Haut-crafted X-Men Legacy universe. If Wolverine can be on multiple teams while starring in several of his own solo series, why not?
In the most basic terms, X-Men Legacy #15 is an issue of two people talking–a mother and a son estranged from one another and looking for closure. Spurier hits an array of emotional beats throughout that includes a severe left-turn of an ending and a promising set-up for the next issue that continues the narrative set in motion here. Now is the time to take the plunge into the strange world of X-Men Legacy. Aye, you’ll be glad you did.