In the famous tradition of not being able to keep their characters dead, the first issue of ‘Amazing X-Men‘ reintroduced Nightcrawler to our mutants! Well, he’s not exactly back to life quite yet (and there are no promises that he will return to the land of the living from this event) but we have been given the start to another epic swashbuckling adventure. If the entire story arc is as good as the first (and now the second) issue I will not complain if our favorite blue elf doesn’t return to the land of the living as I believe this would end up being an even more fitting send-off than his death was. If they end it with Nightcrawler sailing away on a ship into another area of the “Heaven” they are finding themselves in after successfully saving the day one last time with his friends, I’ll be OK with that.

There is a reason that Jason Aaron is one of the main writers on the X-Men titles and this issue once again perfectly captures why. Jason knows how to write each of the characters in their true voices that have been developed over the years without any of them coming across as just feeling wrong. Seriously. all of the dialogue felt spot on and I cracked up on Bobby’s comment about regretting illegally downloading mp3s when he realizes where he is.

We ended the last issue with the ‘Amazing X-Men’ split up. Wolverine and Northstar were in Heaven while Storm, Firestar, and Iceman were in Hell. Both sides are suddenly at odds with one of the strange pirate ships that Azazel appears to be attacking the afterlife with in an attempt to gather souls.

On the side of Angels, we see Northstar quickly making short work of the crew of the ship though when the captain comes out to play. things get a little dicier. It’s some slice and dice action on both sides. though Wolverine finds himself with a bit of a distraction. Remember they are in some form of Heaven so that distraction is from one of the dead who inhabit the realm and it’s not Nightcrawler. There is a huge surprise guest appearance here, it’s a brief one but fans of the series will get a bit of a smile when they see who it is.

In a far less pleasurable area. the master of the weather has nothing to control in a landscape that has no real weather to speak of and Iceman is melting as the trio takes on both demon and pirate alike. While Storm takes up a weapon and starts bashing in skulls. there isn’t much progress until Iceman goes into a bit of overdrive and we truly see what Hell frozen over looks like. Not that the respite he causes can last long, specially as it uses up almost all of his energy to pull the little trick off.

Kurt himself? He barely makes an appearance in the book but the running dialogue is spoken in his voice through an inner monologue. It does look like we’ll be seeing him finally interacting with his old friends in the next issue.

I love the teasing of characters that may or may not return. I love the team divided and working together in their own ways against adversity. What do I not love about it? That I have to wait until the third issue comes out to read more.


Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Ed McGuinness