Hello Comic Kingdom! Here comes the first graphic novel review of the year! Today we will be diving into a great character: Nightcrawler (a.k.a. Kurt Wagner). I grew up watching, reading, and loving the X-Men, and honestly Nightcrawler may be one of my favorites. As a kid I loved him purely for his blue demonic look, and badass powers. Now, as an adult (I guess), I was curious to find out wether or not the character had enough depth to turn into a decent graphic novel or not. My first instinct said: no way, I mean first of all its Marvel (not the biggest fan, more of a DC guy), and second of all its a brand new story line they are pushing (I usually prefer old story lines like The Dark Knight, The Killing Joke, and Infinity Gauntlet). However, my optimistic thirst for one of my favorite characters prevailed and I ordered the first volume: Nightcrawler Homecoming . So here we go!
So as I said before, this is my very first graphic novel review, so I am going to try and give a synopsis without ruining anything as well. However, if you are one of those that doesn’t want to know ANYTHING before reading (completely understandable if you are) I highly suggest skipping the synopsis and heading straight for my graphic novel info and overall review.
Synopsis- So the novel starts off with Nightcrawler training with Wolverine, who apparently has lost his ability to rapidly heal or “Healing Factor” (news to me, but after some online research I found out it was not completely lost just slowed down by a robotic parasite given to him by Viper) and obviously indicated by the lack of Wolverine’s power, the Charles Xavier School being renamed “Jean Grey School for Mutants”, as well as Storms ridiculous new haircut, its safe to say this novel is set sometime in the future/new story line of X-Men. Also apparently Nightcrawler himself refers to his resurrection, as apparently he was dead and just now has come back to life, hence the name “Homecoming.” (Nightcrawler apparently came back from the dead as he voluntarily exiled himself from Heaven, so that his evil Demonic Father could not have direct access). In this oddly new shaped X-Men world, nightcrawler is also reunited with his non-blood related foster sister, who was raised with him in the circus. Her name is Amanda Stefton, and she is known as Daytripper, and/or the second version of Magik. Daytripper and Nightcrawler obviously have some left over feeling to sort out, but before the two have time to even catch up a vicious assaulter by the name of Trimega bust in and the disordering event ensues. The majority of the novel consist of dealing with this extremely powerful opponent, and they even run into Nightcrawler’s old Circus Mutant buddies: Gummi, Haus, Feuer, and his and Amanda’s foster mother Margali Szardos. Between the X-Men, his circus troupe, and his lover Amanda, Nightcrawler is able to thwart off the forces of Trimega, but not before learning the most abysmal truth [MAJOR SPOILER ALERT]: Nightcrawler and Amanda’s foster mother Margali Szardos was behind the assault the whole time! In fact, Margali’s powers/plans where so strong that she was casting a spell that was strong enough to rip the fabrics of space and time threatening to deystroy the world Kurt and Amanda knew so well. SO in a last minute heroic attempt, Amanda uses her powers to seal off the spell, however in doing so she sacrificed herself, to Nightcrawler’s dismay.
The next two chapters in the book seem to be a lead in towards graphic novel volume 2: Nightcrawler: Reborn. The premise is around training new recruits as Kurt becomes a teacher. All to fast kurt has to put his teachings into action as he and his students are suddenly faced with a band of pirate mutants looking for total destruction. Like I said this seems like a lead in to the next novel, or if anything is at least introducing some characters that may be relevant in the series.
Reader Reference (1-5 Star Scale)
Artwork– 4 (modern vibe)
Overall – 3
Publication– November 25, 2014
Page Number/Length- 136
Pricing- Sticker Price – $16.99
Amazon/Online- $10.89 Amazon Prime
Next in Series- Nightcrawler: Reborn. Vol. 2