Betrayal, defiance, and mutant monsters: the battle for Krakoa begins in Si Spurrier’s Legion of X #9!
Legion of X #9
- Si Spurrier
- Netho Diaz, Sean Parsons, Álvaro López
- VC’s Clayton Cowles
- Cover Artist:
- Ben Harvey
- Release Date:
- Java Tartaglia
Legion of X #9 is here, with a mysterious endgame falling into place and threats pushing in on all sides. Written by Si Spurrier, with pencils by Netho Diaz, inks by Sean Parsons and Álvaro López, colors from Java Tartaglia, and letters from Clayton Cowles — this new issue presents Marvel’s mutants with a grim predicament. As mutant powers across the globe continue to become infected with a mutagenic infection that transforms mutants into monsters, the X-Men face their greatest challenges yet.
Legion of X #9 picks up in Bavaria, where Nightcrawler and his team confront his adopted mother, the powerful sorceress Margali Szardos. Within The Altar, Legion’s mutant dimension, Professor Xavier visits his son and makes a mistake that might alter the fate of mutantkind. Szardos’s role in the mutagenic plague sweeping the world is revealed along with her dangerous benefactors. Simultaneously, the Phalanx make their move in the mindspace and on Krakoa.
Having carefully laid the groundwork for eight issues, Spurrier masterfully brings things to a head in Legion of X #9, leaving the X-Men caught between two big bads and a hard place. Being able to construct such a complex plot with so many characters involved, spread across multiple disparate settings, and make it easy for the reader to understand is no small feat and a massive credit to Spurrier’s writing talents. The conclusion is a dramatic cliffhanger that poises the next issue to descend into an all-out, high-stakes war for Krakoa. Despite the oppressive tone and content of the comic, Spurrier manages to work in some excellent comedy from Dr. Nemesis and Forget-Me-Not, which break up the tension and help the big moments achieve maximum impact.
Diaz, Parsons, and López deliver art on the same epic scale as the plot of Legion of X #9, chock-full of intricate detail and exciting and creative panel design, with some amazing full-page spreads. The character design is profoundly expressive. The artists do an uncanny job channeling intense and complex emotions in a single panel. That said, the illustration can feel overwrought in places. The characters and their facial expressions are extremely stylized, and they occasionally feel silly and slapstick, undermining the brutal and intense subject matter.
Tartaglia’s colors in Legion of X #9 are extremely impressive. The story’s numerous settings demonstrate his immense range. As always, The Altar dimension is a veritable grab-bag of beautiful, balmy colors that allows the colorist to really flex his creativity, but Tartaglia also does great work on the other settings in Bavaria and Krakoa, imbuing them with distinct personalities that are instantly recognizable. His work also adds to the magical threat of Szardos and elevates the ethereal Spirit of Variance, amplifying its power with stunning blue and white color work.
Cowles’ letters are solid throughout Legion of X #9, adding excellent cadence and emphasis that punches up the dialogue with his well-considered italicization and font-weight choices. Although sound effects are very sparse in this issue, Cowles varies the size and thickness of his letters to add weight to pivotal moments.
Legion of X #9 represents the beginning of the series’ long-awaited climax, with the multitude of puzzle pieces the creative team has scattered into the title beginning to click into place. It is extremely exciting and gratifying to watch these long-ago sown seeds start to bear fruit, as well as see the X-Men in such an ill-fated position with no clear way out. The stage has been set, and the dominoes have started to tumble. All that’s left is for this disaster, or triumph, to play out in the next issue.