Since the relaunch of the X-Men corner of the Marvel Universe, there have been some major changes to the mutants’ existence. They have their island; they have inhabited Mars and renamed it; and they have found a way to resurrect mutants. Along the way, Nightcrawler decided to start a religion specifically for mutants. Last year’s limited series Way of X documented that journey, along with bringing Legion and Onslaught back into the fold.
Now that his religion has been established, Nightcrawler has vowed to help uphold the sacred laws and protect mutant kind from within. Of course, Nightcrawler cannot do this himself and has recruited others to help him–including Legion, Dust, Pixie, and Juggernaut. Because of that, the book toes the line of Nightcrawler and his team being de facto cops. A couple of times it is brought up in the dialogue: characters mention they do not want to be called cops, but some of their actions are those that basic law enforcement would perform. Plus, when Juggernaut brings back a would-be lawbreaker to Krakoa, he mentions dropping them off to be judged by the council. There is nothing nefarious about their actions in this first issue, but some may find fault with the decision.
Legion of X #1 does an excellent job of establishing the first arc, if not the general theme of the series. While Nightcrawler has been tasked with finding a possible missing mutant, David and Ruth have found out about a threat that could affect all mutant kind. Additionally, the concept of faith ties everything together. David asking for Ruth to trust him and have faith in this new world is a particularly poignant point, considering the characters’ past.
The art pops off the panels–especially in the astral plane with its bright pinks and pastels. The character designs are recognizable but with enough variety to not make them feel stale, and the two new characters have unique looks that fit the role that they are playing. Also, the panel layouts make it easy to follow the flow of the story, with several splash pages driving home the action.
While readers of Way of X #1 will enjoy the continuation of Nightcrawler’s journey, readers that are jumping in with Legion of X #1 may feel like they are trying to play catchup. For those readers willing to go back and research the previous series, they will find a book that stands out from the other current X-books.