After finally enacting a complex plan of bringing the end of mutant-phobia sentiments in the UK, David Haller’s reward is a difficult visit with his estranged mother. Like most family reunions, the encounter between the two is anything but smooth sailing. What do you say to a mother who abandoned you? Good question. More after the jump!
Surprising mother/son dynamic
Strong use of depth and space
Only now joining the greater X-Men plotline
Hyper stylized art not for everyone
Previously in X-MEN LEGACY: David Haller enacted a complicated, but carefully orchestrated plan to destroy mutant hatred in the UK using a number of UK born mutants—such stopping an assassination, providing renewable energy, and helping several former soldiers with PTSD problems. Despite singlehandedly dealing a huge, but peaceful, blow to the UK’s mutophobes, Haller found himself in a MI13 cell awaiting a stern talking to from his mother, Gabrielle Haller.
David’s meeting with his mother is bittersweet at best. Gabrielle Haller, though initially scared of her son, isn’t afraid to really let loose what worried her about having him for a son: they come from two very different worlds. She comes from a world that doesn’t have magic, people returning from the grave, or a knowledge that the world is forever on the brink of Armageddon. He does (though he’s quick to point out that wanted the world she had).
In addition, the question of who the golden man in Haller’s mind is put to rest in only a way Gabrielle could help. Of course, this all comes to an abrupt end as no one, especially not a mutant, is ever allowed to simply be happy.
The relationship between David and his mother is really being dissected in this issue and it takes some atypical turns. Given David’s obvious mommy-issues (and daddy-issues, really), it would have been an easy route to dwell on David’s anger or have Gabrielle Haller be an aggressive angry mother. It would have been easy to have a giant clash between the two. Spurrier, wisely, decided to not take that route, instead ending their relationship on a loving—albeit extremely bittersweet—note.
Now that his issues with his mother have come to a close, it’ll be interesting to see where Spurrier takes David’s story. Spurrier did, however, drop a hint that Haller may finally be joining the shenanigans surrounding the mutant community and Cyclops’ split faction. Should he go in that direction, it’ll let this title merge into the greater current X-Men storylines, something that could potentially make or break the title in the long run.
THE FUNHOUSE THAT IS DAVID HALLER’S BRAIN
To say the art in this book is stylized is a bit of an understatement. Tan Eng Huat has a very characteristic style that has very heavy lining and etched shadowing. The coloring provided by José Villarrubia only emphasize this style, using mute colors to emphasize the real world and bright colors to show the world inside Haller’s mind. Huat’s artwork also manages to emphasize space and distance better than some books out there, since the lining allows for a more spatially oriented panel. It can give the book a bit of a funhouse effect, which works well for panels that take place within Haller’s psyche.
BOTTOM LINE: STILL ONE OF THE BETTER X-MEN TITLES OUT THERE
This title has consistently been one of the better X-Men titles out there, though it gets surprisingly little coverage. David Haller is quickly becoming one of the most complex and fascinating characters in the X-Men mythos, no longer just the stuff of nightmares with an irritatingly strong well of power to draw from. Spurrier has created a well-crafted story that delves into self-discovery without being preachy and still able to pay homage to the universe it comes from. This remains a good title to pick up and has earned three and a half stars out of five.