We have the first Amazing X-Men Annual issue, which has Storm on the cover so it looks like it will be a Storm heavy issue, which makes me happy since I love Storm.
We are just going to ignore how late this review is; in last issue, the X-Men celebrated the return of Nightcrawler. Mystique crashed the party to find out where Azazel was so she could kill him. Which lead to a crazy family meeting and Mystique offering Azazel a job.
I got this issue on time; I learned my lesson from the last time. Let’s recap last issue, Nightcrawler rounded up all the remaining X-Men on the ship where they are awaiting to battle Nightcrawler’s father Azazel. In addition, Nightcraweler made some kind of deal with the red Bamf’s to turn them blue but we don’t know what it is yet.
The issue starts back at the Jean Grey School, which has not been seen since the first issue, where Warbird, Angel, and Rachel Grey (aka Rachel Summers) are all helping the blue Bamf’s fight the red Bamfs.
Well it’s nice to see that some of the teachers were left at the school just in case. It also answers my time question, apparently Storm, Wolverine, Northstar, Iceman, Beast, and Firstar have not been trapped in Hell for a very long time. Rachel cannot get a telepathic lock on any of the X-Men that went through the portal.
The red Bamf’s are trying to destroy the portal while everyone else is trying to keep it open because it seem to be the only way to get the rest of the X-Men back.
Back in Hell or at least on the pirate ship the Storm, Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Iceman, Firestar, Beast and Northstar are getting ready to battle Azazel and his demon pirates.
While the rest of the X-Men, battle Azazel demon pirate army, Azazel and Nightcrawler faceoff.
I have begun to find their interactions interesting because of how much Nightcrawler hates his father. Nightcrawler will do anything to prove that he is different and not his father’s son. Nightcrawler and Azazel continue to bamf around the ship fighting each other.
Azazel decides to be a bigger ass then normal and bamfs down to Wolverine and stabs him through the back. Now this normally wouldn’t be a problem but Wolverine lost his healing factor becasue of a virue and Azazel knows this – ass.
Nightcrawler bamfs down to Wolverine who tells Nightcrawler to on keep fighting. A voice begins to talk to Nightcrawler in his head, I wonder who it could be, why Professor X.
Professor X, tells Nightcrawler that Archangels are on their way, that Nightcrawler should let them finish the fight. Nightcrawler should come back to Heaven because what Nightcrawler is thinking of doing can’t be undone. What is Nightcrawler thinking of doing? Nightcrawler tells Professor X that he knows that no jail but one can hold Azazel, since Azazel is Nightcrawler’s father, Nightcrawler must be the one to do it. Nightcrawler then tells the one Bamf that he is ready to pay what he owes so tell the others that it is time. What kind of deal did Nightcrawler make?
Back at the school the portal begins to glow and Rachel reads the Bamfs minds and all they are saying is “It’s time.” Then the Bamfs begin to merge together well that’s what is looks like anyway. Why are the Bamf’s merging together?
Nightcrawler then tells Wolverine to hold on, Wolverine just wants to be propped up to he can stab some people before he dies.
Seriously, they can’t kill Wolverine that would cause an uproar. Nightcrawler goes back to fighting with his father but Azazel is planning to leave because the Archangels are coming. Nightcrawler commands his Bamfs so come and attack his father.
Nightcrawler tells us that his father had sired children so they could be used as pawns to transport his army to Earth. Nightcrawler has decided to make his father proud.
Azazel is bamfed through the portal and Nightcrawler is standing on the other side – naked. I am guessing the Bamf’s merged together to form Nightcrawler? Then Nightcrawler cuts his hand and lets the blood drip down. Azazel tried to taunt Nightcrawler saying the people will die because of this, but Nightcrawler just punches him.
Thank goodness, because I was really getting tired of hear Azazel’s cray. The reason that Nightcrawler cut his hand was to use Azazel’s blood to trap him on Earth. Storm tells everyone to grab a Bamf because it is time to go. Nightcrawler closes the door of the portal once everyone is through while Professor X waves good-bye. Nightcrawler has come back to life.
Wolverine finds Nightcrawler on the roof of the school, Wolverine talks to Nightcrawler about how hard this has to be for him. Wolverine and Northstar were the only X-Men to have actually been transported to Heaven. Nightcrawler says how while he was there all he wanted was another adventure but now he doesn’t know if he can ever go back. Wolverine knows that Nightcrawler did something to get that body but Nightcrawler says he did nothing.
Then Nightcrawler thinks to himself how he saved billions of souls at the cost of his own.
Let me be the first to say – yay Nightcrawler is back, I have always liked his character. I finally have my answer as to what kind of deal Nightcrawler made. I don’t know how I feel about Nightcrawler giving away his soul on order to defeat his father. I agree that something needed to be done to stop Azazel but did Nightcrawler really have to give up his soul. I guess we will see the effect of that when Nightcrawler gets his own series. Also I am going to miss the Bamfs they were adorable, well at least I think they are gone. In the next issue, we will see Nightcrawler come face to face with his mother (I guess she had to see for herself that he was alive) and Cyclops. Nightcrawler obviously does not know about the change in Cyclops that should be an interesting meeting.
Until next month.
Sorry for the late posting on this but it was sold out when I went to grab the comic the day it come out so I had to wait for them to get a new shipment. That is what I get for not telling them pull a copy for me. Lets recap what happened last issue well Beast was also pulled into the portal as well. The pirates on the ship holding Storm were getting pissed because she kept beating them up. Nightcrawler came in to save the day and had a moment with Storm. Beast was attacking Nightcrawler because something happened to him the sea of purgatory.
The issue opens with Logan in the frozen tundra looking rather cold.
Northstar falls into the snow saying how he has flown everywhere but all he could see was snow. Wolverine said that they have to keep going because they had to find Nightcrawler.
Firestar is still battling demons in hell with Iceman melting on the floor.
Firestar is wondering if she should kill Iceman mainly to stop his suffering. She realizes that he would do anything to save her and she figures if Iceman can freeze hell then she can make it burn.
Well Iceman can do things like that because he is an Omega level mutant, but I’ll just leave that alone.
Back on the pirate ship, Beast is still trying to kill Nightcrawler who tries to reason with Beast.
Storm notices a sword in Beasts back. In an attempt to stop Beast, Nightcraweler bamfs him around the ship, which caused Beast to vomit on him – much to Nightcrawlers chagrin. Nightcrawler did ask Beast not to vomit on him, which means he knew that it was a possibility so it’s Nightcrawler’s fault.
Nightcrawler begs Beast to remember something, which causes a flashback of the team going out to Harry’s but Beast and Nightcrawler did not join them. They instead played another game of Obstacle Chess, which Beast won.
Beast remembers that while Storm pulls the sword from his back. Beast is really happy to see Nightcrawler, who wouldn’t be happy to see their dead friend.
Nightcrawler told Beast that he liked his new face and that he should keep it. Beast likes to change him look around. Strom reminds them that they have the ship to themselves. Nightcrawler reminds them that they have to find the rest of the X-Men. One of the Bamfs gives Nightcrawler a hat, which makes Beast realize that Nightcrawler had sent them.
Iceman wakes up thinking his face is melting but then he realizes that he is not melting anymore. Then of course he naturally jumps to the conclusion he is dead. All right, I will give him that one because I would probably jump to the same conclusion.
Firestar lets him know that he is not dead she also hopes to stay an X-Men forever. I guess being an X-Men is a good thing now because she was not feeling it when they first got to Hell.
Firestar then lets him know that the Bamfs saved them. I learned during this scene is that all the Bamfs apparently speak is bamf and whiskey. Iceman thinks they should look around and try to find a cave painting or a magic sword because there is always a magic sword.
Why does Iceman still sound young and stupid, I thought that would stop once he grew up. Nightcrawler shows up which of course makes Iceman happy. Firestar beings to introduce herself (because that is what you do when you’re in Hell) but Nightcrawler says he knows who she is and what she did as he kisses her hand.
Nightcrawler is smooth; he is getting all the girls. He can have Firestar since Storm is with Wolverine or at least sleeping with him. Iceman asks about the Bamfs, which causes Nightcrawler to tell the story of what created them. Most importantly, how his father found them and fed them his blood, which caused them to look, like him.
That would explain the red Bamfs but what about the blue ones. Well the one red Bamf that was left in Heaven, Nightcrawler made a deal with.
What kind of deal I have no idea because Nightcrawler realized they were talking too much and that they needed to go. How long were these Bamfs building that machine in the school, because they must have been doing that for a while so how long has Nightcrawler been hunting down his dad? Does time work differently in Hell? Which makes me ask, how long have they been gone from the real world?
Northstar tells Wolverine that he is worried that they are both not going to make it out of the frozen tundra. Seriously, where did this tundra come from and it can’t be a part of Hell since Hell is hot. I know it’s not purgatory because is where the ship is so where is this frozen section. I doubt it is left over from Iceman. Wolverine tells Northstar that if he (Wolverine) falls that Northstar should keep going.
Northstar flies off to look around and Wolverine falls figuring that this is how he is going to die. Then Wolverine remembers how he once told Nightcrawler how he would like to die, it was not by freezing to death.
Nightcrawler tells him that when the time comes no one wants to dies alone. Wolverine than curses Nightcrawler because it gives him the motivation to go on.
Then a Bamf appears with Nightcrawler again another happy reunion.
Nightcrawler takes Northstar with Firestar to the pirate ship.
On the X-ship Nightcrawler spies his father’s ships, he asks the X-Men if they were ready for a battle.
I have to say I like this issue because it finally brought everyone together, I had been wondering what happened to Wolverine on the fall. I really want to know where that frozen section came from. I am happy to Iceman is not melting anymore, although I really wish his frozen Hell had lasted longer. Firestar definitely improved in this issue because I was not feeling her in the first and second one. I really liked how both Beast and Wolverine had flashbacks to moments with Nightcrawler, I am a fan of touching flashbacks. The Storm and Nightcrawler one from last issue was really nice. I am hoping there is an Iceman one in the upcoming issue. I also loved how everyone was so excited to see Nghtcrawler. I am looking forward to the battle between the X-Men and Azazel and at this point I am hoping that Nightcrawler will be allowed to come back with the X-Men. I also want to know that the deal was that Nightcrawler made with the Bamf creatures. I hope that comes out or more importantly we get to see it.
Until next issue, I will try to get the next one on time.
Last month Marvel started the Amazing X-Men comic, which is a new ongoing series. It is replacing Astonishing X-Men, which just ended in October of this year. It is suppose to be the continuation of the Battle of the Atom series. Amazing X-Men will deal with the aftermath of that series. The series starts with the search for Nightcrawler who died in the X-Men Second Coming series in 2010.
The series starts with Nightcrawler quickly reminiscing about his former life as he sits up in heaven. Surprisingly Nightcrawler is unhappy with his life in heaven. The peacefulness and serenity of heaven just is not for the warrior soul. He smells that something is out of place, which is true, there are evil monsters that do not belong in heaven. Nightcrawler is excited to fight them since he has not been able to fight with anyone in a long time. During the fight Nightcrawler smells brimstone – that is not his. That could only mean one thing, his father Azazel is in heaven. Azazel in heaven could only mean trouble, so Nightcrawler fights with his father.
Azazel reminds Nightcrawler that he is dead which means Nightcrawler cannot follow his father. That information is not accurate, all Nightcrawler has to do is jump.
At the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning (which is what it was renamed after Wolverine reopened the school), Angela Jones aka Firestar is reporting for her first day as a teacher. The school is always in motion, teachers and students with classes to be. Or course everyone has their own personal issues to deal with. Unfortunately, Firestar cannot get anyone’s attention to help her out. In the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning you need to be assertive. Firestar gets lucky when she comes across Beast who is trying to find the location of the Bamfs since they stole his coffee maker Eleanor. (I hear Eleanor and automatically think of Gone in 60 Seconds). Bamfs are creatures that resemble Nightcrawler or his father, with similar powers – they come from an alternate dimension. When Firestar and Beast find the missing coffee maker, they also discover a gateway device that the Bamfs have built in the mansion. Those cleaver little creatures, building a gateway device under everyone’s nose, while still having time to stealing Wolverine’s whiskey.
The head X-Men all decide to check out the gateway device that the Bamf’s built. Naturally they have to assess the situation that they caused when they did not get rid of the creatures months ago. Marvel needed a plot device to introduce Nightcrawler again, so the Bamfs had to have free reign of the mansion.
Breast thought that he had cut off its power supply to the gateway device but the Bamf’s had tapped into another power source. Apparently the Bamf’s are actually smarter then Beast and know the mansion better then him, which is scary since Beast is a genius and he built the mansion. Something activates the gateway device causing red Bamf’s to come out (much like the ones that came with Azazel earlier), the red ones are mean. (The Bamfs that are running around the mansion are blue and much nicer, they remind me of Gizmo.) The red Bamf’s were trying to keep the X-Men away from the gateway machine. Somehow, the gateway pulled in Wolverine and Northstar into it, sending them to an unknown place.
While Wolverine and Northstar are investigating their new location they come across a floating ship.
For the second issue we find that Storm, Iceman and Firestar have also been pulled through the gateway. Unfortunately, they were not transported to the same place as Wolverine and Northstar – they were transported to hell instead. In hell; Storm’s powers do not work, Iceman is melting, and it Firestar is freaking out. It is Firestar’s first day with the X-Men and she has already be sent to hell. Not to mention when she was with the Avengers they had a butler that made them pancakes. From what Firestar has seen the X-Men do not.
They also run across a different floating ship before they are attacked by hell monsters.
As Northstar attacks the ship it is discovered that Northstar and Wolverine are in heaven. That Azazel is stealing souls and it is the job of the pirates to fill the ship with souls. Wolverine saves one person’s soul only to be captured onto the boat. Wolverine begins a fight with the captain of the ship.
Back in hell, Storm is fighting the demons only to be captured onto the second ship by its captain – Captain Kid. Firestar goes to save Storm only to be stopped by one of the monsters of hell. Iceman then freezes over all of hell (if you ever said that something will happen when hell freezes over – guess what it happened), unfortunately that took a lot of energy from Iceman causing him to collapse and the ice starts melting. Captain Kid floats away with Storm on his ship.
Captain Jack of other ship has managed to get Wolverine onto the plank, which Wolverine falls off but manages to catch himself at the last second. A voice in Wolverine’s head tells him to hold on and not to fall down. Wolverine is at first confused as to who the voice is until he sees Professor X. The Professor tells Wolverine that he is in heaven and that he has to find Nightcrawler before his father does.
Unfortunately, while the Professor is communicating with Wolverine Captain Jack pushes him off the plank. Like a true man, Wolverine cannot multitask so trying to fight and have a mental conversation was too much. I blame that on Professor X, he really should have known that would be an issue.
It the last panels we see Northstar trying to save Wolverine, Storm tied up on the ship and Firestar doing what she can to protect Iceman. Nightcrawler is finally seen again even though he was giving background on the X-Men throughout the issue. Nightcrawler plans to do whatever needs to be done to save his friends souls.
What I liked about the first issue is that we see some contradiction in Nightcrawler, he admits to being a man of faith and that heaven is everything he imagined but that he is not content with being there. His found his life to be exciting while he was alive, he fought for good and in some ways that gave him a warriors soul.
I also really enjoyed the mention of Storm and Wolverine hooking up (which happened in Wolverine and the X-Men #24). I have been a RoLo shipper since I was 10, so I super excited that they kinda together in the comics and I am looking forward to more instances of them together. I also like the dynamic of both of them being Headmaster and Headmistress of the school. Storm has been a team leader in the past, thus the authority figure, so this put Wolverine on an even playing field.
I did find this issue to be a bit slow but it was the set up issue so that is to be expected.
I have to say I enjoyed the second issue much better, there was more action but I also felt that I could also understand where the story was going better. I am enjoying the fact that the group was teleported to different areas, one to heaven and the other to hell. Since Storm is one of my favorite comic book characters, it makes happy to see to that they showed that she is still tough even without her powers. Especially after the X-Men movies with really down played her a lot.
I also enjoyed the play on when hell freezes over. With that being said it was great to see that display of power from Iceman since he is an Omega Level Mutant. Being in hell is bad for Iceman and in some ways killing him, it was great to see even with that he could still do amazing things with his powers.
What I am looking forward to in the next issue to of course seeing more of Nightcrawler. I am hoping that we will get to see more of what Azazel is up to; it really feels like he is the devil right now. A part of me wants Wolverine to fall into hell so that the team can be reunited but at the same time, I do want Northstar to save him. I am not sure if I am ready for the team to reunite yet, that might be more fun to see in the 4th issue. I hope that Nightcrawler does not run into his father again until one of the later issues. With any luck they will play up the father son relationship a bit more since I know that Azazel and Nightcrawler do not see eye to eye.
Until next month when I review the 3rd issue.
- 4 Reasons to Read Amazing X-Men #2 (and 4 to skip it) (comicbooked.com)
- Amazing X-Men #1 Review (themarvelousrealm.wordpress.com)
- Amazing X-Men Volume Two Issue 1 (shadowandflamewithmagik.com)
- SDCC ’13: Nightcrawler Returns with a Bamf! (comicbooked.com)
- SDCC’13: Nightcrawler Returns in Amazing X-Men #1 from Aaron and McGuinness (comicsbeat.com)
- Amazing X-Men #2 – Review (weeklycomicbookreview.com)
- Review: Amazing X-Men #1 (forthebl0g.wordpress.com)
- Amazing X-Men 1 (retcon-punch.com)