Giant-Sized Nightcrawler #1 Review - Why are Marvel Comics so Meh?
• Jonathan Hickman (Writer) • Alan Davis (Pencils)
• Marvel (Publisher)
I remember sitting down and reading the House of X - Powers of X mini-series and thinking these were some of the best comics that I've ever read in my lifetime. I added every one of the "Dawn of X" books to my pull list just to avoid possibly missing something important.
What I've seen month after month is diminishing returns and quality in the X-Titles. On top of the very mediocre quality of some of the books the line exploded. There are now over a dozen titles. An event looms on the horizon and at this point, I can't help but feel that the wrong lessons were learned from the success of Hickman's initial mini-series. If this keeps up I will begin dropping titles. It's just a lot of money being spent on books that barely spark any interest in ongoing storylines.
I'm not a fan of the 80's or 90's Excaliber. It always felt like a series shoehorned into the X-Line of titles because Marvel didn't know what to do with it. I also never got into Alan Davis's art style. It's a perfectly fine style that is just not that exciting in my opinion. The reality is that Excaliber ran over 100 issues and has a large fanbase nostalgic for the team and characters. For me, however, Giant-Sized Nightcrawler felt like a throwback to comics I didn't really connect with growing up.
Kurt and a team of X-Men arrive at the old X-Mansion to investigate disturbances at the Krakoan gate there. Since Mutants are the only beings able to interact with the gate it raises a red flag. Things get even weirder when dead mutants and older incarnations of X-Men begin appearing at the site, spooky...
I don't want to shit on the comic so at the outset of my rant, I want to say that the book is perfectly fine from an art/storytelling perspective. If you're a fan of Hickman, Davis, Excaliber, or even just like to see Nightcrawler on his own your enjoyment may fall in the decent to great range.
Still here? Let's get to some redundant criticism.
My primary concern is that Giant-Sized Nightcrawler doesn't justify it's existence or bump in cover price. There are additional pages but a solid editor could have condensed this into a single issue or a two-part arc in the main title. I got the impression that any of the X-Men could have been inserted into the book as the lead and not much of the story would have changed.
I didn't feel any passion for the project or that it needed to be told. This may change as Hickman is a solid dungeon master. This is a cynical assembly-line approach to a comic line. The book ultimately exists because Marvel wanted another book on the shelves. It's creation didn't have anything to do with demand.
Note: it didn't seem fair to rate the comic less than a 7 regardless of how bleak my review was. If you have an extra 4.99. you may like the comic. If you have read the issue let me know what you think.