Review: Amazing X-Men #1 by Jason Aaron and Ed McGuinness

amazingxmen_1

Amazing X-Men #1

Written by Jason Aaron

Art by Ed McGuinness, Dexter Vines, and Marte Gracia

 

The short of it:

Once upon a time there was a man named Kurt Wagner, the X-Man known as Nightcrawler. He was awesome, then he died, but his story isn’t over. Because he’s in heaven he sits on the edge, not venturing inland towards paradise, because he doesn’t feel like his story is over just yet. A woman wants him to accepts his fate, and his paradise, but instead he teleports away…just as evil demony pirates show up to plunder! Kurt stretches the old muscles and beats them all down, trying to interrogate the final one before his boss shows up with a group of Red Bamfs. Even in Heaven, Kurt isn’t safe from the wrath of his father, Azazel…who is a pirate now, for some reason. They fight as Azazel sends his Bamfs to steal souls, and eventually he leaves….but not without reminding Kurt that he can’t stop him. Kurt’s already dead.

Today, though, Angelica Jones is reporting to the Jean Grey School as a teacher and finds herself in way over her head from the minute she realizes the school has a Danger Room for a doorbell. The students are all full blown mutants, and Broo walks right by, and then you’ve got Wolverine and Storm arguing over how to handle the students before seguing into them hooking up in the showers. Iceman and Warbird debate her lack of borders, Rachel gives Angel a migraine, and Northstar tries his best to reassure her, but Angelica finds no help. She does find Hank McCoy, however, and he’s a bit insane right now. The Bamfs stole his coffee maker, and now he wants to kill them all! He hunts them down into a secret room behind the walls, and while he finds his beloved coffee maker…he also finds some super high tech device that they’ve been building!

The X-Men gather around the device, a gateway to…somewhere, and there are discussions of what to do about it, and Firestar hitting on Iceman, and Warbird threatening Firestar. Beast tries to power it down, but the Bamfs have already prepared for such a thing. Red Bamfs emerge from the portal and things go crazy and people go missing, and the next thing you know….Wolverine and Northstar wake up in paradise. With a giant pirate ship flying out of the clouds to threaten them. And then Wolverine gets a way too obvious hint.

 

What I liked:

  • Alright, so Jason Aaron loves Nightcrawler and it shows. I can get behind this.

  • Iceman and Warbird. I dug the combination when it was first teased back in the days before Bobby hooked up with Kitty, and I’m digging it now. Warbird was a fun and unique character that wound up being buried in the giant-sized cast, and I know she’s not part of the initial team here, but I do love how hard she goes after what she wants. It makes Bobby’s reactions priceless.

  • Beast with murder in his mind because the Bamfs took his coffee maker. Love it, love it, love it. “Firestar! Perfect! You shoot blasts of deadly microwave energy, do you not?”

  • I love the art here. Ed and Dexter did a fantastic job, and much kudos for not going with the classic McGuinness “super buff” look. Everyone has a different look and build, and it’s kinda awesome. I wish Storm didn’t have a mohawk, but Nightcrawler looks amazing.

  • Jason Aaron writes a great Hank McCoy, and has since Wolverine and the X-Men launched. He embraces the crazy scientist that tends to fall by the wayside. The crazy makes for a lot of fun.

  • Firestar!

 

What I didn’t like:

  • I REALLY hate Storm’s mohawk.

  • Seeing Azazel is bringing back horrible memories of the Draco.

  • While I like that the Bamfs are finally getting to the point, I have to question them building a giant interdimensional portal inside of the school without anybody noticing.

 

Final thoughts:

So….why couldn’t this story be told in Wolverine and the X-Men? New teacher at the school, the potential endgame of the Bamf stuff, and I mean, it’s written by Jason Aaron. This issue feels like a new arc for Wolverine and the X-Men, not a new book. It’s weird.

Ed McGuinness fits in better with the current X-Men artistic climate than Frank Cho did. Wow, that sounded kinda pretentious. What I mean is that his art in this book has the same flow and energy that we’ve seen out of the teams of All-New X-Men and Wolverine and the X-Men (teams plural because I really don’t want to run down the three plus teams per book that have contributed similar styles to create a consistent tone of the Jean Grey School).

Though that could be entirely because of the contributions of colorist Marte Gracia, because dude has been a workhorse for the X-Office. I’m not sure if he does colors for Wolverine and the X-Men, but I would not be shocked if he were the glue keeping that consistent look together.

It’s easy to forget sometimes, but Jason Aaron is great at bringing the funny. This book had me laughing on several occasions, and save for a bad Ice joke from Bobby later on in the issue, there weren’t many that fell flat.

The teleporting stuff at the end was some of the most visually confusing crap I’ve seen in weeks. Northstar randomly appears on the other side, everyone else gets pulled in together, and then they wind up split in groups. How did they get split into groups? If they all went to the portal, why would some go to heaven and others hell?

Pirates. It had to be Pirates. Pirate Azazel is one of the silliest designs I’ve seen in a while. Still laughing.

I put this book on my pull list as soon as I realized it was out this week, without even reading it. Glad to know I didn’t make a mistake!

Overall: 9/10

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