Review by Frank Plowright
Mike Carey wrote X-Men stories between 2006 and 2012, and Rogue is at the heart of a fair portion of his work. As Blinded by the Light opens she’s not in a great way, her own personality submerged among eight billion others she’s absorbed, so after the opening chapter it’s a rare story where she takes a back seat. Carey uses a wider cast of X-Men than he did in Supernovas, necessary because of the surprising direction he takes some of the team used in that collection. Also surprising is the return of two more mutants previously presumed among the dead. Mediocre X-Men writers had long used a character’s death as a cheap, button-pushing method of making a story more meaningful, and just two books in and Carey seems to be on a mission to rectify these errors. Unfortunately for the X-Men, some of their former colleagues have allied themselves with the Marauders, a group of mutants whose mission has always been to eliminate other mutants.
As if a story with multiple X-Men and multiple Maruaders didn’t have the potential to be confusing anyway, Humberto Ramos’ art ensures it is. He closes in on characters, and draws them in distorted poses, creating his own form of hyper-reality where everyone’s always moving, but what they’re doing isn’t always clear. It’s a big contrast from the clearer pages in the opening episode drawn by Chris Bachalo.
After a dozen chapters in the previous Supernovas, even allowing for the extended page count of a celebration issue, Blinded by the Light is positively compact at five episodes. As it was first published in 2009, though, it’s considerably bulkier than Marvel’s 2019 five chapter paperbacks. While having a central plot and purpose, it’s really little more than a set-up for Messiah Complex, a big crossover for all the X-Men related titles. As such, standing alone there are nice moments, especially the use of Emma Frost, but this doesn’t really hit the spot. Better is the coda nicely drawn by Mike Choi, explaining why one person at least allied themselves with the Marauders, and exploring issues other X-Men have.
Carey and his team of X-Men come out of Messiah Complex with a new title, X-Men Legacy, and the first volume of that series is Divided He Stands. Since the original publication this has been merged with Supernovas as the larger paperback Marauders.