Story & Words: Jonathan Hickman
Story & Art: Alan Davis
Color Artist: Carlos Lopez
Lettering by: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Jonathan Hickman’s current run within the X-men titles has probed the franchise’s history and legacy. This week both X-men #9 and Giant Size Nightcrawler revisit aliens first introduced in 1982 during Chris Claremont’s run. The Brood were a focus in X-men #8 and #9, and here in Nightcrawler Hickman returns to a lesser known race, the Sidri.
The Sidri had invaded the X-mansion before are were defeated by the team at the time which included Nightcrawler, Kitty Pryde, and Lockheed. It is fitting that Nightcrawler and Lockheed are back at the Xavier’s mansion for this story. Along with them are Magik, Cypher, Trevor Hawkins (Eye-boy). The classic New Mutant character Warlock also makes an appearance as Hickman continues the thread last seen in X-men #7 when Cyclops saw Cypher and Warlock together only to look again and not see Warlock. There is a growing storyline here with Cypher and Warlock and this issue hints at more to come.
Hickman’s X-men #7 is a good reference point for this issue. There Nightcrawler and Cyclops engaged in a deeply philosophical discussion of the island Krakoa, the life changing realities of mutant rebirth, and the structure the mutant leadership of the Quiet Council has created. It was the deepest questioning of the new mutant way of life since Hickman’s run started. The religious Nightcrawler was the perfect vessel to raise those questions.
Unfortunately, the strength of character and ethical, moral questions are absent from this one shot. Instead readers get a literal haunted mansion story. The story while enjoyable, is shallow compared to the depth Hickman provided Nightcrawler weeks ago.
As a one shot, Giant Size Nightcrawler is easy for any reader to pick up and follow. No knowledge of Hickman’s current story lines are necessary for the story to succeed. It reintroduces a classic character and inches some larger plot threads forward. In the context of Hickman’s larger narrative, Giant Size Nightcrawler is a missed opportunity.