With Kurt Wagner returning to the land of the living in the pages of ‘Amazing X-Men,’ it is only fitting that Marvel gives Nightcrawler his own title. It is also only fitting that they put the ever infamous Chris Claremont in charge of writing such a classic X-Men in his own book! Did I mention that classic artist Todd Nauck was going to be doing the art for the title? Are you telling me you haven’t picked this one up yet? It should clearly be on the pull list for any classic X-Men or Nightcrawler fan. The issue covers loss, love, swashbuckling, teleporting, bamfs, and more as we enter the current messed up world where a recently resurrected Nightcrawler must now find his way in.
We open with Nightcrawler and Logan having a sparring session as they monitor how Kurt is doing having just returned to the land of the living. They are sparring in the Danger Room and while Wolverine has gone to heaven and hell to bring his blue friend back to life, friends know how to push buttons. Kurt pushes Logan’s to the point where he almost loses it in a berzerker rage of pain trying to beat his old friend in a sparring match. Without his healing factor things aren’t quite how they used to be and Storm has to intervene before Wolverine goes a little too far and sends their friend back to the afterlife a little too soon after returning from it.
After training, Nightcrawler tries to re-adjust to life among mutants as Rachel Grey is giving him a mini-tour of the place in astral form and quips that they used to be the strange ones. After showing him around she asks him what he plans on doing now with his free time and that leads our hopeless romantic to only one conclusion – he has to pay a visit to his old flame Amanda Sefton.
While usually people move on when the person they love dies, Amanda takes things in stride and welcomes our blue friend immediatly back into her life. There are no questions asked but also not much time for questions as just as quickly as he arrives they are attacked! More specifically, Amanda is attacked and Nightcrawler takes down the attacker, though not with any ease. He has to use his considerable BAMFing powers and fighting skills to take the man down but it quickly is clear what has happened. As Amanda is a magic user, someone sent an assassin with technology after her where she doesn’t have much of a guard against. Mystery? Adventure? Romance? This sounds like the perfect fit for Nightcrawler’s first solo run on his own title!
This is truly a great jumping in issue for people who are curious about the blue elf as well as a great issue for past fans. Nightcrawler’s essence is captured purely on the pages by an author who has had years of experience with the character. While there are subtle hints at his past, most of the throwbacks are really in how he acts with the rest of the cast. This is truly a new story set to move the character forward. I highly recommend this one for someone who has often been described as the soul of the X-Men.
Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: Todd Nauck