Marvel is cranking out some great new comics as part of All-New Marvel NOW! Nightcrawler had a heroic death and while it's always a shame when a dead character returns and diminishes the death, you can't deny how great it is to have the fuzzy elf back.
Nightcrawler's return isn't the only one to celebrate. Chris Claremont back in the X-Universe was a pleasant surprise. A lot has changed in the X-Men comics since we last saw Claremont with the characters. Some good and some bad. With Nightcrawler having been absent himself for a period, it's a nice welcome home for both.
For long time readers, the tiny references to past continuity will bring a smile to your face. Having Kurt and Rachel Grey briefly talk about their time in Excalibur was perfect. There is another familiar face from Kurt's past that also was the perfect character to appear here.
Todd Nauck on the title is like a dream come true for me. Every time he'd post a sketch of an X-Men character on his Tumblr, it made me long to see him on an actual X-Title. That day has come. It may say NIGHTCRAWLER on the cover but of course there will be other X-Characters that appear. Rachelle Rosenberg's colors gives the feel of the story extra life as well and really captures the vibe of the book.
It's a pretty strong first issue but it does have a set up feel. That isn't necessarily a bad thing but we need to see Kurt get settled now that he's back. We may have seen his return happen in the first arc of AMAZING X-MEN but it's unknown what his direction will be. It appears he'll be occupying his time in one area but a confrontation later in the story could take him elsewhere. This issue is setting things up but it's not 100% clear what the direction of the series will be, other than big fun adventure with Nightcrawler. And that's not a bad thing either. The question is, will it be at the Jean Grey School, on the road, or a mix of the two?
There is so much to be happy about in this new Nightcrawler series. Nightcrawler is back and alive, as he should be. Chris Claremont is back writing in the X-Universe. Todd Nauck is drawing an X-Title. There's a great feel as Kurt returns to the world he left behind and adjusts to the changes. There is plenty of reminiscing, action, and story plots to move things forward. While we see Kurt in different areas, it's not clear exactly where this book will go. But with Claremont and Nauck on board, this title has secured a firm spot on my pull list.