amazing-x-men-4In the last issue we had a grand confrontation between Beast and Azazel which let us know that his plan is to take over as God and the Devil. On top of that, we got to see Storm and Nightcrawler reuniting while reminding readers that they were once deeply in love.

This issue continues the trend that Jason Aaron has started by giving us an amazing story line that was clearly written for Nightcrawler to be the star of the show. He’s front and center in this issue and every major moment shows him off. First up he needs to calm down Beast who went a little crazy last issue and is able to by telling him the one that that he would never here, “Checkmate.” After all of their time together they invented a form of Battle Chess that really played to these two characters strong points. While last issue we saw an amazing flashback between Storm and Nightcrawler this time up we see this one of him and Beast which really makes the moment feel right.

With Beast back in line the next step is to reunite with the rest of the X-Men. He quickly saves Iceman and Firestar after Firestar has just burned down a good portion of Hell and has realized that she wants to be an X-Men forever. The big shot money moment though is when we see Wolverine and Firestar struggling in the frigid wilderness of a frozen portion of Hell. While it looks like Wolverine is going to give up he has a flashback to a day when he and Kurt were drinking and Logan says he is going to die surrounded by blood and ninjas. Kurt’s response is that he should die an old man surrounded by his friends, family, and children. Instead of giving up we see him an extremely emotional scene saying that’s what he wants – right as Kurt saves him. I have to admit,Aaron really knows these characters and his work on ‘Amazing’ so far has been nothing short of that – Amazing!

Ed McGuinness knows how to paint a vivid world on our pages and clearly showing us the ‘present’ and the flashbacks while being able to completely have you attached to the characters.

The team is back together and we’ve been given an epic return of Nightcrawler leading up to the X-Men preparing to fight Azazel. There are lingering questions though. Every time he has been asked if he’s back Kurt has responded that he’s still dead. On top of that he’s made some kind of promise to the bamfs that is being withheld from us and I suspect it’s for a reason. What is neat though is we finally find out where the bamfs come from! They were the spawn of Azazel and a demon from Hell. Some joined their father and some joined Nightcrawler on this mysterious promise that we have not yet discovered.

So one has to ask, are we seeing the return of Nightcrawler? Or is this just the final farewell to the character who could long have been described as the optimistic heart of the X-Men?

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AMAZING X-MEN #4
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Ed McGuinness