I don’t much care about Nightcrawler. Never did. But… Chris Claremont.
Chris Claremont has written huge X-Men storylines. The source material that inspired both The Wolverine and the upcoming Days of Future Past. He’s a ridiculously big deal in the comic book world. He co-created pretty much all my faves (most of the major players in Brian Woods “all girl” X-Men) Kitty Pryde, Psylocke, Rogue, Rachel Summers, Madelyne Pryor (not my fave, but she notably recently resurfaced as a villain), and Jubilee.
So I figured I would overlook the fact that Nightcrawler is “not my favorite” (and I know Dr. Chris is going to come over here and tell me about the time Nightcrawler fought Dracula, and how he was better at it than Wolverine because Nightcrawler is a man of faith even though he’s a weird looking dude. I know. Still not my fave.) Nightcrawler is not a Claremont creation, he’s the brainchild of Dave Cockrum who conceived the blue teleporting mutant while he was on a Navy ship in Guam.
The start of the story really drew me in. The recently resurrected Nightcrawler is fighting Wolverine. Wolverine has recently lost his healing power and they’re testing out a new armor suit. Logan’s as fast as ever, Nightcrawler has trouble teleporting away, in fact. So Nightcrawler ramps up. And Wolverine busts out the claws. Without his healing factor this is especially painful and dangerous and Nightcrawler backs off, but Storm has to break up the fight. She then has a heart to heart with Nightcrawler about how things change and people have to decide what they are made of. Face who they are and deal with the consequences.
Nightcrawler walks around the halls of the Jean Grey School, remembering how they lost Jean Grey and Thunderbird. And some X-kids and Professors wave “hello” (Quentin Quire, Cessily, a flirty? Rachel Grey …that might just be the art style).But then he goes to see Amanda and mini-Nightcrawler Bamfs. They are interrupted by an unknown assailant in a robot suit. Curiously, it becomes clear that he is after Amanda (who has magic powers, not mutant powers) the adorable Bamfs help save the day and Nightcrawler throws the attacker through a wall. And he vanishes.
And Amanda decides that the creep might be after her fam. She declines calling in the X-Men and they go in pursuit at the close of the issue.
Amanda = Magik II/Daytripper (not art from this comic)
Regardless of the fact that the second half of the book was a random mystery to me, I enjoyed this. It was very apparent that Claremont was nostalgically writing Wolverine and it was somewhat overpowering Nightcrawler. Which I was okay with. Write what you know, and all that. But the end of the issue takes Nightcrawler out of his (and my) X-Men comfort zone.
Todd Nauck’s art is very crisp, the fight scenes were dramatic and easy to follow, the Bamfs were adorbz, all the ladies have big eyes, long lashes and pouty lips. It’s very playful and certainly added to the somewhat surreal vision that Nightcrawler is walking around with while he’s just getting back to his life.
I will be reading.