Kurt Wagner is the only X-Man with intimate knowledge of the supernatural, his father being part demon or something and his adoptive mother being a powerful sorceress and junk. So when strange events of the unexplained type begin popping up near Westchester, New York, Storm asks Nightcrawler to look into them.
Having a new role as the X-Men’s unofficial paranormal investigator, it is up to Nightcrawler to prevent a bunch of demons from bursting out of a little girl’s chest.
Writer: Robert Aquirre-Sacasa
Artist: Darick Robertson
Colorist: Matt Milla
Why I Kept This Issue:
I could go on and on about how and why Nightcrawler is my favorite comic book character, but I’ll take this one element at a time:
One of my favorite aspects of Nightcrawler is the duality of the character.
He is at the same time a demon and a saint; demonic appearance but devoutly religious. His past is tragic, but he is relentlessly optimistic. He is a dark and shadowy beast but also a swashbuckling adventurer.
He can be portrayed like this:
Or like this:
Look at him up there! Look at that smile! Look at how much fun he’s having! And yet both portrayals are equally acceptable. The character is just built that way.
Even though this series wasn’t the best, I appreciated that it chose to focus on the dark side of the character; the side that has one foot always in darkness. Fans had seen his lighter, fun-filled side thanks to his first miniseries, but this series places Nightcrawler in a dark and gothic world of horror thanks to Aguirre-Sacasa. You might know him from Afterlife with Archie which is pretty much the most incredible and ballsy feat being published right now.
This series is not perfect, and it’s not what I would have done if I were writing it, but it was an effort with a lot of integrity. And the art kicks ass too.
On the day I bought this issue, I had to take it to work with me that night in hopes of reading it on my break. I worked at a Blockbuster at the time as a shift manager. Yes, I am probably the reason the company failed.
That evening, as we neared closing time, things were slow and a fellow employee and I began shooting the shit as happens with young people. Somehow, we got on the topic of small dogs.
“Ugh, I look at all this Paris Hilton crap,” I commented, “and it’s disgusting. When did dogs become an accessory? These spoiled rich girls who have everything handed to them on a silver platter and then think they need to carry their toy breed dog everywhere are just pathetic.”
We heard a slam that startled us, and there was a blond, scantily clad (but designer clad, I’m sure) girl in mostly pastels with a Chihuahua under her arm. She had slammed her movies down in anger. We had no idea she was even in the store.
“Just so you know,” she said venomously in a breathy voice, “I got to where I am because I, like, worked hard? And that’s why I’m not, like, working at Blockbuster on a Friday night.”
I said simply, “It’s Thursday.”
I later looked up the girl and learned that she had a job all right…at Daddy’s company. The girl had never wanted for anything, and I’m sure her “job” was just so she could afford the Aruba vacation instead of having to settle for Miami.
(P.S.- It’s a decade later, and I now have a toy breed dog of my own. But I don’t carry him around like an accessory, I carry him around in a backpack, because I am masculine. As. Fuck.)
Condition of My Copy: Accessorized with the artist’s autograph!