Jason Aaron’s characterization of Nightcrawler is probably the best part of this comic. He still has his caring, adventurous personality. His interactions with the others are well written, although brief in most cases. While I’m not yet sure how I feel about the personal cost of his return, I’m glad there was a cost. Returning without any consequence to himself would feel cheap. There’s also a brief cameo from Professor Xavier that worked alright. The action was fun as well, especially the all too short teleporting swordfight, but that’s really where the positives end.
Another result of this comic’s ending has to do with Azazel, who is now stuck on Earth. So you’re telling us that a character from what many consider the worst X-Men story in history may now be a regular villain? Thanks (that’s sarcastic in case you were wondering). There’s also a silly line where Warbird has to be reminded which of the bamfs are on their side. We X-Men fans can be pretty smart Aaron, stop making characters look stupid; stop talking down to us.
There’s also one specific moment that’s really troublesome. At one point, Azazel stabs wolverine through from behind. The sword protrudes straight through to the center of the chest, which almost makes it look as though Wolverine was stabbed very close to the spine. Without his healing factor, wouldn’t that cause some serious nerve damage? Either way, wouldn’t that destroy some of his vitals and kill him pretty quickly? He doesn’t have his healing abilities anymore, yet that very evening he’s walking around as if nothing happened. Meanwhile in the Battle of the Atom crossover, he was stabbed and spent the rest of the story in recovery. It’s just hard to take, regardless of what kind of medicine they have at the school.
While the writing is mediocre, the art is good for the most part. It’s bright and colourful and has a bit of a cartoony feel that fits the mood perfectly, although it might not be in everyone’s taste. The action is easy to follow. The 2-page spread with Nightcrawler and Azazel teleporting around as the others fight pirates is simply grand. Xavier’s eyebrows look a bit odd to me in his cameo though; it’s kind of hard to explain and it’s not really a flaw – just saying.
This is only worth recommending to those who really want to read Nightcrawler’s return. Otherwise, its problems weigh down enough on the good elements that it adds up to being mediocre. I haven’t decided whether I’m picking up issue six or not, but either way its Jason Aaron’s last issue on the title. Afterward, Kathryn Immonen writes one issue, and then Craig Kyle and Chris Yost take over. They haven’t worked together for an ongoing since X-Force volume 3, and that was the first X-Men team book I ever read in completion. I’m so looking forward to this.