Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Ed McGuinness
This has been a series that I've been looking forward to for a long long time now, and with the disappointing ending of Battle of the Atom I was even more excited for the release of this issue and the return of my second favourite X-Man.
Although he's in paradise Nightcrawler can't quite enjoy heaven, and even more so when his father Azazel turns up. Meanwhile Firestar joins the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning and learns that it's not your normal teaching environment.
This was an amazing issue and a terrific start for the series, with the first half being simply perfect. Jason Aaron does a brilliant job of setting the tone for this series, as well as starting what looks to be a great story, as although the issue would become slightly slow during the middle, overall it was extremely exciting and fun, being some of his best X-Men work in a long time. I also loved the character interactions in this issue, as although some would naturally be better than others, they all added some kind of fun or suspense to the issue. There would also be a bit of emotion at the start of the issue that would add more depth and drama to the issue as well.
The artwork on this issue would also be phenomenal and Ed McGuinness would do an outstanding job throughout. The detail in McGuinness' art is simply spectacular being to a very high standard, as well as being consistent throughout. His layouts would also be amazing, being very dynamic and would add a lot of depth and tone to the issue, helping the story to flow smoothly. I also loved seeing McGuinness' unique style showing throughout the characters, and especially with Nightcrawler and Azazel, with the character's facial expressions also adding a lot of tone to the issue. The colours from Marte Gracia were also fantastic and would add a lot of vibrance and tone, heping McGuinness' art stand out even more.
This series would have a lot of hype over the fact that X-Men fan-favourite Nightcrawler would be returning. Now I was one of the many that was excited for this to happen, and with the recent tease in Wolverine and the X-Men I've been even more excited. Nightcrawler in this issue however would be amazing and just as he was when we last saw him, being very lively and emotional, questioning whether being in paradise is what he truly wants. I would also love the change in his tone during the transition from talking about not wanting to go into paradise and springing into action, as it would be very contrasting.
This issue would also feature Nightcrawler's father Azazel, which I was very happy about. Not only has Azazel needed to appear in an X-Men story for a while, but to have him in the story that brings his son Nightcrawler back into the Marvel Universe is something else, and his addition is very appropriate. I also enjoyed that he'd have his own set of Bamfs and the interaction between him and Nightcrawler in this issue was simply amazing and has me excited for his future developments, and how much impact he'll have on this story as a whole.
We'd also see Firestar join as a staff member at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning. Now I'm not the biggest fan of Firestar, and only really know her basic history, but it was nice to see her added to this series, and especially given the way that she's being used. What I loved most about her addition was that it would show just how chaotic life is at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, and weird their lives are. I also enjoyed some of the interactions she would have with other members, and overall I'm looking forward to seeing more of her in this series.
A brilliant start to this new series with Aaron showing some of his best X-Men work for a long time. The issue would do an amazing job of re-introducing Nightcrawler, with some very fun and exciting moments throughout, all of which were made even more fun and exciting due to McGuinness' fabulous artwork. Due to all this I'd highly recommend this issue to both new and old X-Men readers and can't wait for the next issue to come out.