Giant Size X-Men #1
Cockrum, Wein, Costanza
I will most certainly be SPOILING!
With the recent resurrection of Nightcrawler in the pages of Amazing X-Men, and the onset of the blue skinned teleporter’s solo title that starts this month, I decided to take a look at our monstrous mutant’s humble beginning.
Amidst the pages of the Giant Size X-men #1, we see a new set of misfits being gathered by Professor Xavier. The first of these misfits is the one and only Kurt Wagner, better known as the Nightcrawler. The usually tranquil town has been riled into a pitchfork-and-torch style mob bent on hunting down the “Beast” stealing through their cities streets. Kurt doesn’t understand why he is being attacked, and is attempting to flee, but is quickly losing his patience with the blindly violent civilians. Diving into the crowd, Nightcrawler makes a good showing of himself before the weight of crowd begins to carry him to the ground.
Professor X uses his ability to manipulate anything with a brain he can dominate, and saves the outcast Nightcrawler, and promising to help him become a whole Kurt Wagner, in exchange for his help.
The following pages have Professor X meeting with several new characters, and getting them to agree to help him on some mysterious task. The second, Wolverine, leaves his job as Weapon X for the military and joins Xavier’s cause for the freedom. The Professor visits Ireland to enlist the Banshee. Storm, who, I was surprised to find out, thought herself a goddess, is the fourth to agree. The hot-headed Sunfire joins just before Colossus, a soviet era Russian who questions if his powers are even his own. Finally, Thunderbird, an Apache by the name of John Proudstar, must be goaded into accepting, but accept he does.
Here we get a run down of why these mutants have been gathered. Apparently, on one of their missions to track down a mutant, Cyclops had lead the current team of X-men on a mission to the island Krakoa. Almost as soon as they reach the island, all of the X-men vanish, and Cyclops finds himself powerless but alive, and already in his Vtol jet on the way home.
Cyclops urges everyone to get going, because the rest of the X-men may still be alive, when Sunfire backs out, claiming it as a fools errand. Before the jet has really gotten underway, Sunfire shows up and enters. This is one of the few lines that Kurt has outside of his own origin in the beginning of the issue. Sunfire has just gotten on board, and Kurt mocks him, which is a tad out of character with the Nightcrawler most of us are familiar with.
When the group shows up over Krakoa, they split off into four groups and infiltrate the island from four different angles. Kurt gets paired with Sunfire, naturally, and the two leap from the jet, followed by Siren and Wolverine coming in from the East, and Colossus and Storm from the North. Proudstar and Summers land the jet and come in from the South.
Each team meets up with some sort of resistance. The first two teams face the elements, which they best using their powers. Wolverine and Banshee fight a giant crab, whose shell handles Banshee’s sonic shouts poorly.
Nightcrawler and Sunfire end up fighting a large flock of birds. While Kurt balances on some of their backs, he is surprised by another bird aiming to rake him with it’s talons, and he displays his teleportation for the first time. This is the second time, however, that the writer describes his cries as “roars” and “beastial” which once again hints at a crueler and more wild nature than Kurt Wagner we know today.
The rest of the comic consists of finding the veteran team of X-men and fighting the island itself, which was the mutant the team had originally been looking for. Nightcrawler doesn’t so much as say a word in the remaining pages.
Nightcrawler started off more full of wrath, and much closer to the demon, Azazel, who would one day be revealed as his father. Kurt was not changed over night, nor was his change without merit. In his desire to become “a whole Kurt Wagner” and his desire to learn have apparently always been part of the characters personality. I didn’t expect for his first appearance to be so sparce, considering his status as one of the most beloved X-men of all time.
My Rating: 4 /5