“The Quest for Nightcrawler Part 4”
Writer: Jason Aaron
Pencils: Ed McGuinness
Inks: Dexter Vines
Colors: Marte Gracia
- Wolverine and Northstar are defeated and stranded in… Purgatory?
- Nightcrawler tries to rally the X-Men to help them and save the after-life from Azazel, but they are outgunned by the demon lord and his hordes!
Four issues in and we are finally starting to get somewhere with this series. As opening arcs go this has not been one of Jason Aaron’s strongest, probably since he has spent the majority of it setting up the premise and characters, and not spending much time on actually doing anything with them. This month, though, Nightcrawler finally gets the team mostly reunited in preparation for the big showdown next issue, and even throws in a bit of an explanation regarding the Bamfs, who have been a mysterious force running through Jason Aaron’s Wolverine and the X-Men series for a few years now. I guess that makes sense seeing as this is something of a spiritual successor to that title since Aaron’s run has come to an end and a new writer will be stepping in shortly, but given that it was a mystery in that title for so long it seems to be a bit of an odd choice to finish that book’s plotlines in a completely separate book. Still, at least we finally have an explanation, and it makes for a good payoff.
We also have, after four issues, the book’s other new character, Firestar, finally doing something other than just being there. She was brought onto the team without much fanfare, as near as I can tell, and has been hovering in the borders of this book since it launched. This issue she gets some spotlight time as she defends Iceman while he slowly melts in the bowels of Hell. I am not entirely sure how her plan to “make Hell burn” is supposed to work… but at least she is doing something. It also makes for a really cool visual.
The rest of the issue is mostly dedicated to the team meeting up with Nightcrawler again, and there are some good, heartwarming moments all around. There are some particularly moving moments as various team members recall some of their early experiences with Nightcrawler. As comic readers we have known that Nightcrawler was probably never going to stay dead, but it is always better when the return of a character is given some actual weight, rather than them just turning up alive all of a sudden and having no one react. It may be true that no one stays dead in comics, but there is something important about going through the motions properly, anyway. This is one way to do it right.
It is, overall, a good issue, but there is again not much actually going on. The team unites and prepares to fight off the big baddie next issue, and that is about it. I suspect read as a full, five issue arc this will not be as noticeable, but as a monthly it does leave a little to be desired. Still, on the whole, I am happy with the overall issue. Firestar finally gets a chance to show her stuff, the team has been able to reunite with each other and Nightcrawler, and we are headed for a swashbuckling adventure complete with pirate ships (as is only appropriate for the return of Nightcrawler). I am looking forward to issue five and its conclusion of this arc.
Amazing X-Men #4 is available on Amazon Kindle and at your local comic shop.