Amazing X-Men #1 Review
By: Rob Neil Gruszecki
Kurt Wagner was once the X-Men we know as Nightcrawler. Now he sits at a precipice in a world of eternal glory after his death within the land of mortals and longs for his life amongst fellow mutants and the torture and pain that would come with it. As Azazel bursts through the fabric of heaven he meets Nightcrawler and behind him an army of devilish Bamfs follow to claim the plane for themselves and dispose of Kurt in the process. Meanwhile a lost and confused Firestar wanders the campus at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning in search of any sane conversation and hopefully her classroom where eager physics students await their lesson. What follows is the inevitable lockdown that the student body have come to expect and an assembly of the mutant teachers to investigate a mysterious portal that also spits out a slew of these demonic Bamfs.
A new number one in the All-New Marvel Now wave of titles from Marvel Comics, Amazing X-Men is a blast of energy and fun written by Jason Aaron and drawn by Ed McGuinness. A cover that features a swashbuckling Nightcrawler backed up by his team of X-Men as he swings towards an enraged Azazel on the back promises explosive adventure and all-ages, madcap action which it adeptly delivers. Chock full of brawls, monsters, mutants, banter and Bamfs, Amazing X-Men is a really enjoyable breeze of a book.
I was first introduced to Jason Aaron’s work over at vertigo where his crime saga, Scalped, floored me with its intensity, violence and darkness. His mind produced some truly horrific and devastating comics with the incredible noir series so I was immediately curious when I’d learned of his all-ages, superhero work over at Marvel. His heavy tone has carried over into the pages of Thor: God of Thunder but his voice when thrown at the X-Men in the pages of Wolverine & the X-Men and now Amazing X-Men is light, joyous, funny and unrestrained cartoon mayhem. Aaron’s script and story in this first chapter of The Quest for Nightcrawler is a great reintroduction to the character and a cool angle to revive the teleporter since his death in the Second Coming storyline, shoving him into the rising ranks of mutants over at the Jean Grey School. The rest of the arc will hopefully be just as wild as this first issue reads like an X-Men story that is really enjoying itself as it takes a handful of mutants out of the toy box and throws them around to play.
Ed McGuinness is so well suited for a title like this and looking at what he’s produced elicits nothing but an ear to ear grin. His style manages to balance the cool and badass with the innocence of Saturday morning cartoons whenever he draws superheroes and his work in Amazing X-Men number one boasts bright colours, big characters and crazy imagination evoking glee from the audience. His cinematic, double page layout approach to most of the book is packed with detail and crammed with characters who are all full of life and attitude. Always producing quality work, McGuinness keeps on this tradition in Amazing X-Men.
Ed McGuinness and Jason Aaron produce a really lively and amusing new title that has earned it’s place at the front of a massive sea of X-Men books. Anyone looking for a comic that embraces all the silliness and fun of superheroes and the Marvel universe would be satisfied with every page of this brand new ongoing.
Rob Neil Gruszecki is a writer, musician, podcaster and Wednesday Warrior
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