Reviewer: James Hatton
Story Title: THE DEVIL INSIDE: Part 4
Writer: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Penciller: Darick Robertson
Inker: Wayne Faucher
Letterer: Cory Petit
Colourist: Matt Milla
Editor: Mike Marts
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Rogue. Crap. Jubilee. Crap. Gambit. Crap.
Makes you think that there is no saving grace for an X-Man nowadays. Well guess what, Nightcrawler is actually pretty good. Between this, District X and Madrox, Marvel better watch out or these solo titles might start trying to be good instead of the standard layer of mediocrity that they’ve always been felt to have. Nightcrawler has shown itself to be inventive, fun, and a read that may not be the quintessential X-book ever, but it’s worth a looksie. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa might not be turning heads with MK FOUR, but he’s on the ball with the fuzzy elf.
Someone is behind the death of thirteen children. THEY WERE JUST KIDS! Well Seth, the last one of them left, and he’s not talking. Doctor Childs is stopping Nightcrawler at every turn, Seth’s ‘Aunt’ has shown up out of nowhere, and that leads us up to now – Seth is the center piece of a ritual to bring 14 demons to Earth under the command of some very rich people. Doctor Childs has to sacrifice the boy, much like he sacrificed poor defenseless kids to bring the last demon out and him and his fat cat friends will have more demon power than is allowed by local legislature.
The ending to the book is a bit of a deus ex machina, bringing in the perfect X power at the perfect time to save the day, but it’s written well enough for me to not care to notice. Now let’s address a couple of the things that hold this story back. First off, anyone catch the badly veiled Exorcist referencing? The last demon’s name is Pazuzu for cryin’ out loud! Also, the characterization of Nightcrawler falls a bit flat in this issue. I always loved the levity of his character, but the Austin Demon Revamp has made him just a little too dark for my tastes. It is a dark book, so again, it’s easy to ignore – just thought I’d mention it.
Robertson is one of those hot talents that is just waiting for his huge book. It’ll happen, give it time. For now, he is sitting on the sidelines on a book that is suited for him. This book needs to be dark, and Robertson brings the dark in spades. I would like to see if they can give us a story that happens during the daytime and not in Limbo, but I’m fairly certain it’s not going to happen. The art keeps me interested, as well as the well designed horror aspects that Robertson does very well.
As I said in my intro – Nightcrawler is a breath of fresh air in a world of mediocre X-Character titles. With nods to Kurt’s past with Amanda Sefton, and a story that touches Kurt’s demonic revamp, without engulfing us in it – I am looking forward to the second arc of this book to see where Aguirre-Sacasa can take us into the world of the fuzzy elf. I do hope, for the record, that we get to see a pirate costume, he looks so dashing in his pirate costume.