The Amazing Nightcrawler #2
Nightcrawler has tasted the forbidden fruit but, so far, he’s none the wiser for it. Can he and Megan keep the studio afloat despite their illicit affair? And who is that redheaded lady in the black dress, and what does she know about Kurt?
When this series began I was curious about how the X-Man who spent his first 30 (pre-priest) years in existence flirting with any and every person who identifies as female and who holds up Errol Flynn as his platonic ideal of masculinity would fare in a world where romantic love (and, necessarily, sex) was forbidden and the answer is: not well.
The issue opens with Nightcrawler and Megan waking up next to each other and promptly freaking out about the repercussions of their fall, both for themselves and for their studio. Kurt flees the scene (getting dressed in a tree) before a chance encounter with a little girl reminds him of the importance of mythological figures in maintaining the balance of a culture and he returns (as Adam didn’t) to take responsibility for his part of The Fall from whatever passes, in this world, for grace.
What follows is a glimpse into the underbelly of this ‘perfect’ world. There is a sex club (marked with the sign of a moth- a recurring motif in AoX) where everyone wears masks to cover their identities (if only symbolically) because, as Megan says, ‘If everyone’s at risk, then everyone is safe’, a surface plot about inter-studio sabotage (Lady Mastermind is holding the third Cuckoo hostage in an effort to force a merger) and, of course, some spicy trouble with Mystique which will, I suspect, culminate with the revelation of Baby TJ promised in issue number four, but all of these elements of plot, enticing as they are, are the least interesting aspect of this story.
It’s far more fascinating to see how Nightcrawler’s seemingly innate sense of morality asserts itself, despite the propaganda he is steeped in and which he is helping to produce. He toes the party line, about families (all love) being evil, but he will defend the Cuckoos’s need to live together in order to be happy and he will not betray the confidences of a friend, even when he disagrees with the nature of the disclosure.
It was also incredibly interesting to see this take on Meggan. Without Brian, she has considerably more agency (while losing none of her empathy) and she’s much more certain about her own needs and desires — even when those needs are not supported by the conventional morality which surrounds her. Her fondness for apples (her role as Eve) was a delicious hint at the other thing which came alongside the mythical pair’s expulsion from the innocence of the garden: when Adam and Eve fled paradise they gained knowledge, and the ability to choose a future for themselves based on that knowledge.
The art continued to appeal to me, and frustrate me, for the reasons that I outlined in the last review.
Despite (because of?) this, I am very much looking forward to the next issue.
Reviewed by Bethany W Pope
This story balances surprisingly complex philosophy with a compelling popcorn-flavoured plot. It’s everything you want in a comic.
The Amazing Nightcrawler #2: Trouble in Paradise
Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
Storyline - 8.5/108.5/10
Art - 7.5/107.5/10
Color - 8/108/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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