Writer: Jason Aaron
Pencils: Ed McGuinness
The Quest for Nightcrawler has begun!
Since the announcement at San Diego Comicon that everyone’s favorite blue elf would be making his return to the pages of an X-Men book, fans have been waiting for the first issue of Amazing X-Men. Ever since his death at the hands of Bastion in the “Second Coming” story arc, which served as the final chapter in the trilogy that included “Messiah Complex” and “Messiah War”, everyone has been wondering if and when Marvel would bring back Nightcrawler. It has been said by many of the X-Men that he was the heart and soul of the team and that without him something was missing. Add in the weird appearance of the Bamfs all around the Jean Grey School and it seems Marvel has been building up to his return for quite some time.
Most recently we saw a glimpse of him at the end of the “Hellfire Academy” arc in Wolverine and the X-Men and even at the end of the recent Battle of the Atom, the X-Men were told to keep an eye on the Bamfs. Well after all these events the story is now unfolding and we learn why the Bamfs are where they are and what exactly will cause the return of Kurt Wagner.
Make no mistake about it, Nightcrawler is dead, he is not trapped in a parallel dimension or skipping through time, he is dead and in heaven. Due to his faith and good deeds he is spending eternity in paradise, though he seems not too happy about it. He spends most of his days staring down on the earth and feeling that his work is not done. While he loves paradise he knows there is unfinished business that he has to do and that makes things even more complicated once Azazel arrives (in full pirate regalia and with a horde of demon pirates).
This opening part of the book was so much fun to look at and to read. Seeing Kurt back in action again was breathtaking. Watching him teleport here and there taking out the band of pirates and even getting his three fingered hands on a pair of swords was beautiful. I always loved the swashbuckling Nightcrawler from the old days and to make sure it was hit upon right from the get go was a great way to reintroduce the character to those who may not be all that familiar with him.
Switching to the Jean Grey School, we get our first look at the newest faculty member Angelica Jones who most will know as the mutant Firestar. It seems that after she was rejected from the position of teacher by Kitty Pryde when the school was looking for new staff and with the recent departure of Kitty, the school decided she would be perfect to join their ranks. What follows is a very well written sequence showing the different teachers of the school ignoring her and trying to go about their own daily routines, such as Wolverine trying to coax Storm into a shower and saying he will skip the foreplay to which Storm say “No, you most certainly will not”.
After this Angelica is finally acknowledge by Beast who is after the Bamfs for stealing his beloved coffee pot. Upon entering the walls of the school they realize the Bamfs have been creating a portal, to what the staff does not know, but after being sucked inside Wolverine finds himself in the shadow of a gigantic pirate ship. Once a voice says for them to surrender or stand with their beloved “Blue Elf”, Wolverine with an expression of shock exclaims “you don’t think?’
If there was a way to start a series and bring back a beloved character I think Jason Aaron has hit the nail on the head. He not only gives a short recap of who Kurt is but also shows us right from the start why he was one of the all time favorite X characters. It seems nothing was lost on how to properly execute the character and we get to see all his characteristics front and center in this first issue. Add in the witty dialogue between the staff of the Jean Grey School and the reintroduction of Firestar and what we have is the beginning for what could be a fantastic series. I also love the subtle nods to the classic Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends cartoon series in the way Firstar and Iceman interact. It is good to see that people have not forgotten that great series.
If you were hoping for something epic in Amazing X-Men #1 then you will not be disappointed. Beautiful art, fantastic writing and the makings of something truly special, this is a great first issue and a great way to reintroduce not only Nightcrawler but Firestar as well.
From Spin to you I give the Bamftastic issue…
4.5 Out of 5 nerds