It’s been nearly three long and hardened years since the Demon Deacon swung his tail and babbled religious banter with foil in hand. Has the comic world really missed this so-called heart of the X-Men? Do we really need a fifth Mutant title in an already “All-New” bloated line? These are just some of the questions your Geek Apostle pondered during His decision to take a chance on this so-called Amazing title. With Jason Aaron at the helm for this Wolverine and the X-Men V. 2, in addition to some stunning work from artists Ed McGuinness and Marte Gracia, this purchase appeared like a no-brainer. And boy am I glad the brain returned for the Nightcrawler’s arrival.
But, unfortunately, my mind wasn’t around last Saturday to join my good pals at GHG for their massive ARKHAM ORIGINS Podcast (download or stream these, if you’re on a mobile device). And, from the sounds of it, this show — live from Comikaze, nonetheless — was one hell of a massive roundtable. It had to be, with the likes of the trusty “Monsignor” Travis Moody, the overex-Josed “Reverend” Joe Rivera (kidding.. we love you, Baker!), “Father” Tyler McPhail‘d at beating Croc, Richard “This Bishop be Bigger than Bane” Zom, and the “10% Cardinal” Gary Brooks.
Oh, how I wish I was there.
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Batman isn’t the only creature of the night, however. You figured, by the looks of Nightcrawler on the cover, I needn’t expect much more than yet another money grabber from Amazing X-Men #1. But, after perusing through the first half of the debut, it was easy to realize that I, too, missed that fuzzy blue heart. I can’t remember the last time Nightcrawler
had been portrayed with such true elegance, and McGuinness does so miraculously. A mere glance of the demon poised on a tree branch brandishing a pair of sabers.. harkened me back to a simpler comic time when the Elf’s carefree nature was perfected with Alan Davis’s run on Excalibur.
The second half of the book then takes us back to the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, where Wolvie’s latest hire, Firestar, plays the POV character for the book. This should remind some of Joss Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men where Kitty purred as the audience’s eyes and ears during those similar mutant school ins-and-outs. Meanwhile, Aaron pours out the same type of mutant interaction and banter that we hadn’t cherished in the X-books before his tenure. From Iceman’s chilltastic ways with the ladies (just dating Miss Pryde will do that to you) to Beast hunting down Bamfs, nearly every other page had me cracking up.
They say truth is in the art, because if the swirling mystery of this title was simply up to propaganda (a lazily nondescript Amazing X-Men panel at this past month’s New York Comic-Con), this Apostle’s not sure he’d have accepted another damn X-title. But, with this story on Nightcrawler’s “Fall from Heaven”, Kurt Wagner’s back and we should be all the more thankful for it — especially since I was made grunt while the majority of my fellow clergy faithful enjoyed their con-vacation with Stan Lee. Hell, even if I’m only making that up because there was a stronger urge to reorganize my toy case over chilling at a “Hot Topic Stage”, I’ll leave you with an all-too similar grand gesture…