Nightcrawler #1

Claremont, Nauck

SPOILER ALERT!

I will most certainly be SPOILING!

He is back!

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After the events in the Amazing X-Men, Nightcrawler finds himself once again amongst the living. The first issue of Nightcrawler #1 opens with our beloved Kurt Wagner locked in combat in the Danger room with his best friend, Wolverine. The fight is nearly evenly matched between the two veteran X-men, Wolverine countering the entire incredibly fast flurry of blows forces Nightcrawler to up his game. From the observation room Storm, Beast, and the on site doctor, Cecelia Reyes, are watching and discussing the match unfolding before them. Just as they decide to call the fight based on Wolverines lack of healing pushing him into a berserker fury faster than normal, he pops his claws and begins attacking his best friend in earnest.

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Luckily, Storm is there to bring the fight to a stop and Dr. Reyes seeks to bandage the wounds Wolverine’s claws create when they pop out. The aftermath is a great time for the story to transition from typical X-men training to all of the changes Kurt has been dealing with. Nightwing marvels at the amount of X-men who die, and the regularity that are brought back to life, until the bell for class change rings. At that point, he is marveling at the students.

Kurt spends some time with Rachel, a former member of Excalibur, before going to visit his old flame, Amanda. The sheer happiness between the two lovers would’ve been moving if it hadn’t been overshadowed by the attack of some sort of armored villain. The assailant clearly has a mission, with his surprise attack tactics and his immediate attempt to bind and steal Amanda. At the last second Kurt teleports her away, despite her protests, and then back to engage the enemy.

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Nightcrawler returns in the midst of the villain, Trimega, flexing his bully muscle and laying the smack down on Kurt’s Bamfs. With a quip and two escrima sticks, Nightcrawler lays into this new and strange threat with all he has. Moments later, he realizes all he has, isn’t enough. Like when he was fighting Wolverine, Kurt kicks up his speed, teleporting and attacking from odd angles. His attacks don’t seem to be doing very much, but his speed has been keeping him safe.

Safe until he stops to notice the efforts of his bamfs keeping the ceiling from collapsing on him. The brief pause costs him a harrowing blow to the face. As Trimega presses his advantage, he lists the reasons why his invulnerability makes Nightcrawler’s attacks futile. Kurt immediately takes advantage of the collapsing ceiling, and defeats him, comically quickly after Trimega’s monologue on his invulnerability. Finally, Amanda shows up in full costume, but her entrance offers her would-be kidnapper a chance to teleport away. Amanda decides she needs to check on her mother, and Kurt agrees to follow her.

Nightcrawler #1 was a perfect blend of the three required parts of any characters resurrection story; what has changed, what hasn’t, and what is to come. The entire first half of the comic, being dedicated to the people and places that are both the same and different, was a wonderful foundation for the series. The hook to pull Kurt forward and without the X-men feels a little ephemeral but still interesting enough to make issue #2 worth it.

My rating 4 / 5