Review: Nightcrawler #9

Nightcrawler 009Due to the nature of the medium, and specifically as it related to superheroes, there are often going to be single issues of comics that focus mostly on a long drawn out battle.  In this latest issue of Nichtcrawler, this is what the reader gets to see as Nightcrawler has gone to the aid of Bloody Bess only to find himself soon ambushed by his own teammates, themselves under the influence of the Shadow King.  In terms of plot there is not much more going on here, but this issue still succeeds despite its focus only on the action.

Often through a battle between a pair of iconic characters, it seems as though the conflict is set up to satiate a demand by readers to see the outcome of a particular matchup.  There are obviously a number of such famous cases, but a smaller focus on this is when a character must face those that they trust the most, the members of their own team.  Although this issue had the potential to be set up as simply a slugfest between Nightcrawler and his teammates, it comes off very much differently.  While some fans of continuity would be disappointed in this because Nightcrawler is able to almost dominate a number of teammates who are likely more powerful individually than he is, but those that get hung up on the technicalities are actually missing a good story.  The fight is told not so much in the present, but rather in the past, through reminiscences of Nightcrawler’s time in the Danger Room with his teammates, learning how they operate as fighters but also as people.

In so doing, this issue becomes a nice ode not only to Nightcrawler, but also the other members of the team.  Although this is his series, this still shines a light on some of the other characters that have impacted him so much, and while some might think that the battle takes some shortcuts, it is still well-paced and fun.  The end result is an issue which is probably the best so far in this series, and a good sign that the stories here are finding surer footing.

Story: Chris Claremont  Art: Todd Nauck
Story:  8.5 Art: 8.7  Overall: 8.5  Recommendation: Read