After reading three issues in the Age of X-Man storyline it’s safe to say this is the most excited I’ve been about X-Men comics in years. Everything is changed, mutants reign supreme, and life is perfect. Or so it seems. The bigger story about how everything is not so fine and dandy is compelling, as it mixes sci-fi sensibilities with philosophical notions. Can life be perfect if you aren’t 100% free? That seems to be a theme running in each of these books, including The Amazing Nightcrawler #1, out today.
So what’s it about?
Read our preview.
Why does this matter?
Nightcrawler has one of the more interesting lives in the new X-Men due to his day job as an actor. It’s an interesting notion since the other characters seem to only have to be on the X-Men to do their duties. Nightcrawler allows us to see what casual life is like, or at least what has happened to Hollywood.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Seanan McGuire opens this issue with action and adventure, which is actually a movie set. We learn Nightcrawler is the biggest movie star in the world and it suits a true dream of his given he’s always been cast out even amongst his own people. Instead, here he’s living a dream, but is that a dream he really wants? McGuire explores that well and while I think you’ll need to bring your knowledge of the character to this read to really enjoy it it’s a good story to tell. What’s funny is how he doesn’t seem to truly love it; maybe because he’s burned out, or maybe because being an X-Man is more important to him deep down. It’s an interesting element to explore as the story pushes forward.
Knowing your mutants is a big part of what makes this issue tick. There are many name drops and cameos showing us many mutants who work alongside Nightcrawler in the movie industry. The story here reveals a day in the life of a celebrity like Nightcrawler only slightly touching on his duties as an X-Men via a phone call.
It’s subtle, but this issue as a whole makes a statement about how not so great utopia can be when love is outlawed. In a clever bit, McGuire even shows how siblings and the bond they share is also outlawed and deemed wrong. It’s an interesting level of love being explored.
Juan Frigeri draws this issue, delivering on the sort of action we come to expect from an X-Men book to start. There’s a funny visual gag involving breasts that’s not to be missed and a scene with Nightcrawler calling Jean Grey is well rendered too. The home run shot is a full page spread of Nightcrawler sort of coming to grips with the world he lives in.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
Not a lot happens in this issue. We get to see a day in the life of a celebrity Nightcrawler, but not much else. The cameos are cute but don’t add much. The issue lays down the falsehood of happiness and its cliffhanger works because of that, but it’s a slowly paced issue. It’s not bad, but it’s not a zinger either.
Is it good?
Get a snapshot of the life of stardom that many would kill for, but Seanan McGuire seems to be asking the question, “Would you really?” When love is outlawed, what really matters anyway? This issue tackles that and how a utopia may not be so great when you’re not truly free.