It’s been a long time since I’ve read anything containing teleporting mutant, Kurt Wagner, aka Nightcrawler. Being one of my all-time favourite x-men, I was devastated when he died back in 2010. But this is the Marvel universe, and we all know that dying doesn’t necessarily mean you’re staying dead. Wagner is no exception. Thanks to a little resurrection help from Wolverine and the rest of the X-men, he’s back in his own comic series, and I couldn’t be happier.
The task of bringing attention back to Nightcrawler has fallen into the lap of legendary comic writer, Chris Claremont, and I don’t think anybody else could have been more appropriate. This guy has co-created some of the most influential X-men in the Marvel universe; Mystique, Rogue, Gambit, Shadowcat, and knows the team inside and out, having written Uncanny X-men for about 16 years. If anybody’s going to successfully re-introduce the world to Kurt Wagner, it’s going to be him.
The comic itself starts off a little slow. Kurt has been out of the loop for a while, so it feels like half the issue is dedicated to reminiscing with old friends, who are in turn, bringing him up to speed with the events following the recent Avengers vs. X-men battle. Since Nightcrawler’s demise three years ago, so much has changed, Charles Xavier is dead, not to mention the X-men have been divided into two teams now that Cyclops has gone AWOL. Even Wolverine isn’t himself, not since he lost his healing abilities.
If you’re not up to date with the Marvel Universe, you’re going to struggle with some of these references. Claremont tries to get everybody up to speed, and his signature ‘over- analytical’ approach comes in handy in this particular case, so you’ll thank him for it ..unless you already know all of these details, in which case you’re likely to think of these as wasted pages – everybody already knows who Wolverine is after all, and the fact he has Adamantium claws is no secret either.
The issue really picks up when he goes to see old flame Amanda, and his adorable Bamfs – there’s nothing quite like a good love story. I did however think that her ‘you’re alive, let’s celebrate’ line was a little on the weak side – no angry hit for dying on her, no ‘how is this possible’. Not that there’s time for that anyway because, signal interrupting bad guy routine – a massive monster in high tech armour, with impressive strength and laser beams to boot. I like the twist, we all presume he’s come for recently resurrected Kurt, but he’s actually there for Amanda, and my interest obviously peaked – these last few pages seem to be setting the scene for the issues to come, what’s Amanda been up to?
I am looking forward to seeing where the story takes Kurt, Amanda and the Bamfs. Now the introduction’s out of the way, we’ll hopefully see more of Claremonts incredible writing, not to mention Todd Nauck’s stunning art work.