Saturday, April 12, 2014

Nightcrawler #1

   Marvel seems determined to swamp the market with new series, and while I like the character, I almost passed on this issue (following one of Chuck's Laws of Comics: You can't buy everything).

   But then I saw that this issue of Nightcrawler was written by Chris Claremont - and as a result, attention must be paid.

   It's a bit of a surprise - Claremont has been under an exclusive contract to Marvel for some time now, according to reports - but they haven't given him much to write in recent years.

   For those who came in late, it was Claremont who took over writing the New X-Men in the mid-70s (after the first issue by Len Wein), and who, working with artists like Dave Cockrum, John Byrne and Paul Smith (among many others), took the mutant franchise at Marvel to the top of the sales charts.

   He wrote the series for a decade or so, finally moving away to tackle other projects - and it's nice to see him at work in that corner of the comics market again.

   That being said, this issue isn't anywhere close to his best work. It reintroduces Kurt Wagner, the mutant who can teleport and goes into battle with a swashbuckling style, as he is getting adjusted to life at the new school for mutants (run by Wolverine).

   Kurt has been "dead" for a while, so he spends some time catching up to old friends - including someone named Amanda, who I must admit I don't know (and who is only introduced by that name). The two are immediately attacked by an armored creature, and the fun begins.

   The reader (or at least this reader) needs a little more information to go on - I felt lost through most of the issue.

   The art is by Todd Nauck, and it's solid work - though the layouts don't always flow well. But the character designs are spot on.

   So it's nice to see the legendary writer back in action again - but here's hoping the future stories hold together a bit better.

Grade: B


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