X-Men Legacy #219

23rd December 2008 | by | No Comments

Now that the crossover with Wolverine: Origins is over, X-Men Legacy can get back to the mission at hand – sorting out Professor Xavier. This issue, Carey turns his attention to a fairly controversial issue by placing Xavier’s half-brother, the Juggernaut, back on the path to villainy.

The reformation of the Juggernaut was fairly gradual over the years, but largely took place in Chuck Austen’s much-maligned run. Over the years, he got de-powered, moved into the mansion, settled things with Charles and finally joined the X-Men. That lasted until World War Hulk: X-Men where Cain decided to accept the full power of Cyttorak again so that he could beat the Hulk, but quit the team as a result.

Carey touches on Cain’s power-problems as a way to explain his flip-flopping reformation. Whether or not you agree with Carey’s opinion that Juggernaut needs to be a villain, he does, at least, make the effort to reconcile both versions of the character with one another. It’s easy to get upset about the re-villainising of Juggernaut, but in all honesty, it’s just as easy to see Carey’s side of the argument. There’s little that can be done with a Juggernaut who’s gotten over himself, and with a clear motivation and simple-yet-effective powers, he makes a good villain for Xavier and the X-Men – something currently in short supply.

Ultimately, it’s a good character piece for Cain and, unusually for this series, places Xavier quite unambiguously in the role of “hero”. The twist ending was quite easy to see coming, though it brilliantly demonstrates exactly why Cain doesn’t like Xavier – Charles ultimately wins their argument not by force or trickery, but by simply tricking Cain into admitting something about himself that he doesn’t like to admit. It’s a great single-issue story, and one that nicely re-establishes the relationship between Juggernaut and Xavier.

The art comes from Phil Briones, who depicts both action and conversational scenes nicely. His work is completely in-step with Eaton’s, and he doesn’t have the annoying Patrick Stewart thing going on that Eaton tends to, so I’m happy. I’m still not sure I agree that the Juggernaut needs to be a villain, but I’ll give it to Carey – he’s made a convincing case for his side of the argument.