Nightcrawler and Legion Look for Justice on Krakoa in Marvel’s Legion of X #5

  • Legion of X #5

    Legion of X #5

    Si Spurrier

    Jan Bazaldua

    VC’s Clayton Cowles

    Cover Artist:
    Dike Ruan, Matthew Wilson



    Release Date:

    Federico Blee

Marvel’s Legion of X follows Kurt Wagner, aka Nightcrawler, as he searches for new concepts of justice on the mutant island Krakoa. Enlisting the help of David Haller, aka Legion, the pair construct The Altar: a bubble-reality contained in the dreaming psyche of Legion and adjacent to the Astral Plane. Nightcrawler has been investigating a rogue body-hopping mutant that has been wreaking havoc on Krakoa. Simultaneously, the Arakki mutant Weaponless Zsen has been tasked with finding a fugitive Arakki god. Written by Si Spurrier with art by Jan Bazaldua, colors by Federico Blee, letters by VC’s Clayton Cowles, and design by Tom Muller and Jay Bowen, Legion of X #5 brings a bittersweet and climatic ending to the series’ first arc.

There are a lot of moving pieces to this narrative, as two cases solidify into one, and larger themes of faith, belief in oneself, and advocacy for change come into focus. Spurrier deftly navigates every angle present, bringing thoughtful commentary on the subject. There is action, intrigue, romance, and even a handful of twists and turns, but it flows organically. The voices Spurrier gives to each character ring true to their own beliefs. The natural conflict that arises from the multitude of outlooks is explored well, and the solutions that arise from that conflict feel earned and honest to the text.

RELATED: REVIEW: Marvel’s New Mutants #30

Bazaldua’s art is a major standout of this issue, as it has been throughout the series. There is a wide range of powers on display, and Bazaldua makes each feel unique. The art stretches into an ethereal and almost chaotic territory but always remains legible. Bazaldua makes great use of taking some images all the way to the edge of the page and then relegating other moments within panel borders. Decisions like this keep pacing consistent and allow bigger moments to land with more visual impact.

Blee’s rich and vibrant hues bring the otherworldly Astral Plane to life. Excessive power is rendered with every shade of the rainbow, filling the pages with a treat for the eyes. Although there are innumerable shades throughout the issue, none of them feel overpowered by another or washed out. The Astral Plane, Krakoa, and Arakko all have a distinct atmosphere. The lighting, both on characters and for scenes as a whole, is particularly well executed.

RELATED: REVIEW: Marvel’s AX: Judgment Day #4

Cowles’ lettering is as masterful as ever. Standard speech bubbles are, as usual, placed in a way that compliments the art, never obfuscating it. There is quite a bit of text in this issue, but Cowles manages to keep it from feeling overwhelming. Unique speech bubbles make certain characters’ dialogue stand apart from the crowd, and stylized title cards efficiently establish where each scene is taking place. One of the more personal uses of lettering comes in the form of a handwritten letter from one character to another, which adds depth and intimacy to the dialogue.

There are daunting themes to play in Legion of X. The idea of ​​faith, what it means to look for positive change in oneself and a community, and companionship, all shine through. On top of these themes are interpersonal drama and a battle between good and evil that ends with a twist. With Legion of X #5, Spurrier and the entire creative team deliver a standout finale to a noteworthy first arc.

Give a Comment