by Chris Claremont, Todd Nauck & Rachelle Rosenberg
The issue starts with a Trimega attack at the circus where Kurt, Nightcrawler and Amanda grew up. Claremont and Nauck bring back a central character from their past. Reunions and a couple of nicely illustrated action sequences continue in the pages of the third issue of Nightcrawler.
Kurt and Amanda are still on run from the mysterious Trimega pursuers. Nightcrawler #3 opens where the second issue left off. There are some nicely animated fight scenes at Kurt’s boyhood circus. Todd Nauck skillfully captures action on each panel of the battle in Germany. Kurt and Amanda are reunited with their circus adopted mother. Kurt suggests going to the X-Men for help. Arriving at the Jean Grey school, Storm voices some trust issues with Nightcrawler’s traveling companions in a heavily scripted couple of pages. There is a non-subtle turn of events and the issue ends similar to the previous issue. Amongst the action and narrative there is a heartwarming discussion between Nightcrawler and Wolverine that is reminiscent of Claremont’s more touching moments from his tenure as X-Men during the 80’s. The majority of this issue is about transitions and unfortunately these transitions are done in long form. There is little character development because much of time is spent getting characters into place for the next installment.
Todd Nauck’s art is a perfect fit for this character. The action sequences are superbly illustrated. The panels explode with action poses providing excitement to the page. There are multi-colored beams of light and wonderful purple hues of bamf courtesy of Rachelle Rosenberg. Only two items weight the issue down. Claremont has made improvements scripting dialogue, however, some of the dialogue comes across forced and at times unnecessary. Claremont’s dialogue is choppy at times and seems to trip up the clever plot turns that he had creatively crafted. Characters dictate their actions in speech bubbles, while not the same amount as some of his previous X-Men issues, it’s enough to slow the pace of the story. Claremont shows a little restraint with the text boxes. Some panels could have been better without exposition; allowing Nauck and Rosenberg’s art to do the storytelling, especially during actions sequences.
Nauck and Rosenberg are giving fans a beautifully illustrated book worthy of such an animated character such as Nightcrawler. Claremont’s plot is fun as well and hopefully he will continue to show even more restraint with text boxes and dialogue. By doing so, future issues will have the pace that matches the kinetic energy of the art and characteristics of this fan favorite character.