Amazing X-Men #5
Aaron, McGuinness, Vines, Gracia
I will most certainly be SPOILING!
Not to belittle the gravity of the final fight for the souls of humanity, the same fight the X-men had been embroiled in at the end of the last issue, but the first page of Amazing X-Men may have been one of the singularly cutest sets of panels in all of comics. For confirmation, look to the right.
Half of the X-men are struggling to fight off the red “Bamfs” with the help of the blue ones. This fight is a mirror to the struggle going on in the land of the dead, or rather, the high seas of the dead. Captain Azazel is attacking the X-Men’s ship, sending his perished pirates in an onslaught to overwhelm the team. Leading from the front, Nightcrawler orders his crew, consisting of Iceman, Beast, Wolverine, Storm, and Firestar, to repel all boarders.
For a few pages the reader enjoys a full on fight scene with the team working in perfect unison. Then things finally get real as Azazel himself appears on deck and engages his son directly. Bamfing across the ship, moving dash for dash, strike for strike, the two teleporting swashbucklers clash in a frenzy. Momentarily bested, Azazel begins more underhanded tactics, setting the X-Men’s ship ablaze, and driving his sword through Wolverine’s back, a Wolverine conspicuously lacking his healing factor.
This threat to his best friend makes the decision for Kurt, but before he can act, Professor Xavier calls from heaven, pleading with Nightcrawler to not do what he is planning to do. Staunchly ignoring Xavier’s appeal, Nightcrawler looks to his own Bamf and says it is time, and that he is willing to pay what he owes.
These cryptic words stir the blue Bamfs into action, and they immediately begin attacking Azazel in the realm of the dead, and merging together in the land of the living. Moments later, Nightcrawler exists in a newly formed body, and Azazel finds himself free amongst the world of the living. Azazel’s moment of triumph is eclipsed by Nightcrawler using blood magic to bind him to earth, then cold cocking him into dream land.
Using his Bamfs, Kurt saves the remainder of the X-men, not to mention the billions of souls that Azazel had planned to victimize. He even closes the portal to the underworld behind them.
The final pages of the issue show Nightcrawler on the roof of the mansion in quiet contemplation, just before being joined by Wolverine. Trying to process everything that has happened, Kurt tries to open up to his best friend, but clams up, even lies, when Wolverine confronts him about the cost of saving everyone was.
For a character as pious as Nightcrawler, the cost could not possibly been any higher. The cost was his soul.
Amazing X-men #5 was a fitting ending to an emotional and twisting story carried the reader, literally, to hell and back. There could be no more fitting battle ground for our blue skinned swashbuckler than ship to ship against his demon father on the high seas. I am left wondering, with this troubling price paid, what is next and what will change as Kurt finds his place once more in the land of the living.
My Rating: 4 / 5