It’s been years since Chris Claremont has written an X-Men ongoing title. In fact, it’s been a while since he’s written comics in general, having focused on prose lately. This marks his return to the franchise he built into a rich universe, creating so many characters that are still popular today. And while Claremont didn’t create Nightcrawler, it feels right that he’s writing this solo title.
Nightcrawler 1 opens up with a classic Claremont trope – Nightcrawler and Wolverine sparring in the danger room. It’s a fun scene that shows both characters’ fighting prowess, while tapping into today’s continuity a bit. Afterward, Nightcrawler wanders the school, reminiscing on how much things have changed and how he no longer has the strangest appearance among the X-Men. It’s nice to see several cameos from underutilized characters such as Mercury and Rachel Grey Summers.
The second half of the comic has Kurt reuniting with a love interest (who I know little about). Their meeting is interrupted by this issue’s fight scene, introducing the first storyline for the title. The action is fun, and throws in Nightcrawler’s bamfs for extra measure. Including the bamfs could make this title more interesting. The dialogue is well-written and the characterization is solid. Nightcrawler’s internal narration does tend to get a bit wordy, and while long-time Claremont readers will be used to that, it might turn-off new comic readers.
There isn’t too much to say about the art. It’s solid and carries a classic feel to it. Also, the bamfs look kind of adorable at times.
It’s hard to gage this series’ quality with this issue alone, but it’s a good first entry. If you’re a fan of either Chris Claremont or Nightcrawler, this is worth checking out. It’s not as good as Claremont’s legendary Uncanny X-Men run, but I’m not sure anyone will ever top that.