I have been holding off on reviewing this comic until they completed their first story-arc, now ranging the first five issues. This comic was one of the first in the new lineup of Marvel titles, which they’re calling All New Marvel Now. And as all my titles changed over, this is the one I’ve stuck with.
The other comic I was reading still was Wolverine and the X-Men. However, this came to an end and they rebooted this title as well back at issue #1. Which partially means, a writer change. I was noticing that they had the same writer for the whole run of Wolverine and the X-Men… Jason Aaron. The new writer for Amazing X-Men.
So I think I have my replacement comic. Because this plot rolled out of one that had started in Wolverine and the X-Men from the very first issue. The story of the Bamfs, who looked so strangely like Nightcrawler… This comic picks up the plots, humor, and fun that I was loving in Wolverine and the X-Men! So let me review a couple of the aspects around it!
The New Team
While this title is pulling over the writer from Wolverine and the X-Men, it also seems to be replacing Astonishing X-Men, with a run that had started with Joss Whedon. As such, however, there’s a whole crew of X-Men who are looking for a comic to headline.
So Wolverine, Rachel Grey, Iceman, Beast, Northstar, Storm, Angel, and Warbird. And to fit the need for a new team member to introduce us to the story, Firestar. Who was apparently an X-Man before.
This team is headquartered at the Jean Grey School, so really just rolling straight off the pages of Wolverine and the X-Men. However, those aren’t the characters who are most interesting in this comic…
The Quest for Nightcrawler
Nope, the point of this comic is it’s the comic where they bring back Nightcrawler.
As I’ve discussed before, when I returned to comics, it was Nightcrawler I was looking for. Not only my favorite, but a fan favorite in general, I was amazed to see that they had killed Nightcrawler off. He had sacrificed himself, it sounds like, and it was very in character. Still, sad to have him gone.
But it’s comics, and it’s hard to keep a good character down. However, they didn’t want to just bring him back because – for one thing, it’s been about a decade now. There have been other versions of Nightcrawler, alternate dimension versions. Banking on the character’s popularity without just magically bringing him back in the continuity – well, it worked on me, anyway!
They took their time bringing Nightcrawler back – I talk through the hints and bits of it in my Character Study of Nightcrawler. The Bamfs kept coming up, kept being blue, kept being teleporters, kept drinking whiskey.
They looked like Nightcrawler. They seemed connected to Nightcrawler. And the Quest for Nightcrawler finally told us why they were there, and why there were Red Bamfs and Blue Bamfs.
And I liked this. In a universe where they accept the existence of characters like Mephisto – and where writers like Peter David have done plots like the Hell on Earth War – that there is also of course Heaven. And that’s where we find Nightcrawler. The believer, the faithful man, finds his way to Heaven. But he was a hero, too. And so he sits in Heaven, looking back down on Earth, watching over it.
So he sees that Azazel is on the move. If you’re not sure who he is, think back to X-Men: First Class. He’s the red teleporting guy. Meaning actually, that movie had Nightcrawler’s mother, Mystique in it… and his father, Azazel. Between the two, apparently explaining both his teleporting and his blueness.
Azazel is somewhat mutant, somewhat devil, and all bad. Opposed by the pure goodness of his son – and with an equal amount of badassness. So what do you do when you’re a teleporting swordsman in the afterlife? Clearly start up a pirate crew.
Azazel and his pirates and his Red Bamfs attack Heaven, and Nightcrawler fights them off. He rescues some of the Bamfs, turns them, and sends them to the Jean Grey School. And slowly over time the Bamfs build a portal – which is ready at the start of Amazing X-Men. After three years of Wolverine and the X-Men.
And so Nightcrawler pulls the X-Men into Heaven to join him – and fight Azazel and his crew of pirates. Yep. That is a pretty excellent plot.
These comics opened with some images I recognized from having read recently – from the 12-issue Nightcrawler comic series. This was a great read – it’s Nightcrawler solving a mystery or two, and they’re supernatural cases. Right in Nightcrawler’s bailiwick.
I read this in Marvel Unlimited, but it looks like they have a combined volume available in digital form and printed. Magic, demons, ghosts, and stories from Nightcrawler’s past. It’s a good read.
But I think they’re harkening back to that past because it sounds like not only are they bringing back Nightcrawler here in Amazing X-Men, but he’s also headlining the rebooting title X-Men Legacy, which had previously showcased Rogue, and then Professor X’s son. This comic is going to be written by Chris Claremont, who wrote such famous X-stories as Days of Future Past, and Dark Phoenix Saga. Claremont also has written a lot of Nightcrawler, in Excalibur and other X-titles.
So I am excited to see what they do with a returned Nightcrawler! What I wanted when I came back to reading comics is happening, so I am excited with these titles. And it looks like I’m getting two great writers as well, so I’m really hoping they don’t disappoint!