|Nightcrawler #11 cover |
by Todd Nauck and Rachelle Rosenberg
Nightcrawler and Bloody Bess are racing to return Rico and Ziggy Karst, the captured students of the Jean Grey School, to safety. The Crimson Pirates are en route to deliver the students to the slave markets controlled by the despicable Voge.
What shapes up in this issue is a swashbuckling adventure that strikes at the heart of what Nightcrawler is all about as a character. There is action with a spattering of moralistic dilemmas that have to be overcome before we can see this story and series resolved.
As we have seen throughout this series, writer Chris Claremont has imprinted his own unique style that was so well established in previous runs on X-Men books. There are moments of forced dialogue and some cheesy one-liners, but all of this is typical of the writer. As such, it was good to see Claremont clarify early on the little lover's tangle played up in the previous issue. It is certainly evident that he considers the story from different angles, and so we have some carefully considered, if not convenient, explanations from the characters about their intentions, powers, or the general plot points that may pop out to readers.
There are some interesting aspects of art from Todd Nauck in this issue. The boarder art, with the auction figures and head shots were a nice distraction, although I am not sure what purpose it provided to enhancing the reading experience. At one point, I felt the encroaching art of the slave children heads was too close to the main interior art. It is an aesthetic decision from both the artist and the editorial team, and it is great to see something different being tried, but in an action-packed story such as this, it wasn't necessary.
|A lovers tangle|
Like Claremont, Nauck has continued to flavor the series with his own unique brand of art. His take on very recognizable X-Men characters has been bright and full of energy. It feels as though he has stayed true to his aims and purpose, seeking to introduce his take on some lesser known characters to a younger audience. This complements the encyclopedic knowledge that Claremont has in the X-Universe as we see some familiar characters, such as the Hounds and Warwolves, emerge in this issue.
Nightcrawler #11 and indeed the series itself wouldn't be what it is without the colors of the prolific Rachelle Rosenberg. There is a vibrancy and spark that is itself an attractive quality of this series. We get to see fight scenes in this issue jump to life as the color helps the reader fixate on the action. It feels like Rosenberg's colors are very complementary to the art style Nauck has brought to the fore. It is the uninterrupted run of the artistic team that has given endearment to Nightcrawler.
We are nearly at the end of the series; with one more issue Claremont, Nauck, and Rosenberg will wrap up Nightcrawler. It has so far been fun and played to the strengths of these artists. It will be slightly sad to see it go, but it will also feel fulfilled in a way.
|The slave market of Voge|
Nightcrawler was so spectacularly killed in X-Force #26 in 2010, that when he was brought back early in 2014 there was a certain amount of feeling and soul that returned to the X-Men of the Jean Grey School. Soon after, the death of Wolverine left its mark, but Nightcrawler continues to be a character of conscience, which is sorely needed among the X-Men. It will be interesting to see if any other solo X-Men books replace this one, but at least it was an enjoyable experience to read and with one more issue to go, I look forward to seeing how this story is wrapped up.
What do you think of Nightcrawler #11? Do you like where the story has taken us so far? How did you feel about the different boarder art in this issue? Tell us below or head over to the Fanboys Anonymous Facebook or Twitter and leave a comment. Make sure you come back next month for the final issue of this series.