So in ‘X-Men Legacy’ #19 we left off with Legion having to fight a mysterious weapon of awesome power which I was vague about for anyone who didn’t have a chance to read it yet. It’s been long enough so now I can talk about that weapon, it’s the Shadow Phoenix! A twisted opposite version of the creature that the universe has all come to fear and if this one was known about, it would receive the same kind of reaction!
In this issue, Agent Brand of S.W.O.R.D. seems to have no problem just letting a galactic peace keeper (Aarkus the Aetheric) let loose with this weapon on her space station. She must really not like having been played by Legion and clearly Aarkus doesn’t either. Of course to his excuse he’s testing the weapon on him to see if it would work as he needs to know if it will work on the golden fake Xavier who has escaped from being trapped in Legion’s mind and into another body. That’s where this whole mess is coming from as the fake Xavier is currently setting in motion hatred around the world and causing humanity to tear itself apart one person at a time.
The Shadow Phoenix has Legion running scared as it has let loose in his mind and starts devouring his personalities one after another. No matter what strength he reaches for, it gets turned back. No power has any effect on it and he is slowly losing the battle. Not something he’s entirely unused to. In a moment of desperation he realizes a truth. It doesn’t matter what power he uses or what he does. He’s standing alone against the monster and ordering his personalities around isn’t causing them to really help. He needs unity.
He gives himself into his legion of personalities in a new way. He isn’t offering his body to them. He isn’t controlling them. He isn’t dealing with them. He is offering to merge with them as equals. Equal in being Legion and it works. Not all of the personalities buy into the idea but enough do that it turns the tide. He becomes powerful. His motto “I rule me” is there but is now replaced with ‘Gestalt’ as ‘every human is a legion in need of a leader. Every brain is a chorus. Every gloopy bundle of mindmeat is a ridiculous !@#!@ super hero team-up waiting to happen’ and he becomes the right kind of leader to make it happen. Legion becomes his own super hero team and in doing so masters his power in a way we haven’t seen previously. In fact, his power grows so far that the Shadow Phoenix is forced to expel the personalities it has already ingested and most come running to become part of him.
Things just got real. We find out something very important about the Shadow Phoeniex in the next part and Spurrior’s underlying storytelling strengths shine through again as we see a mix of distraction to get us to where the storyteller needs us to be. He really scribes his stories much like a magician creates magic. The art of misdirection. At the end of the issue Legion is whole in a way that should just make him powerful enough to deal with the Golden Fake Xavier.
I think I can guess what we will be expecting next issue. A showdown we’ve been waiting for since the bald man first showed up! I think my main concern is going to be what happens next. I’m sure Simon has something in mind for us but I don’t think we’ve been given too many hints of what to expect once the fake Xavier is dealt with.
X-MEN LEGACY #20
Writer: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Tan Eng Huat