Friday, December 30, 2011

"The End" Week: Nightcrawler #12!

Sometimes, when a comic is cancelled, there are unresolved plotlines. It's inevitable: the writer's trying to wrap things up, often in a hurry and with less space than expected, and something gets missed or left open. Sometimes, I write a bunch of intros for "The End" week and they all run together and I may use the same one more than once...And sometimes a bunch of new stuff is opened up in the last issue, instead of finishing up loose ends. Like this one! Nightcrawler #12, "Happy Birthday, Kurt!" Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, pencils by Darick Robertson, inks by Rodney Ramos.

The story doesn't open on Kurt's birthday (which is apparently probably November 3 or 10, unless it sometimes falls on Thanksgiving...) but with a typical week for him. Sunday he visits a local chapel for the elderly, with a blind priest. (That should tell him something about acceptance, if you ask me...) Monday, he gets a clean bill of health from the Beast, even though he still has the Soulsword in him. (Which would eventually be ganked by someone else's Mary Sue, Pixie.) Tuesday, he spars a bit with Logan. Wednesday, Emma Frost checks Kurt's mind, to make sure nothing is lingering in there from his recent troubles, then he visits his old girlfriend Amanda Sefton in Limbo. (Amanda was using the Magik tag at the time, since it was free.)

Amanda warns Kurt that the demons, ghosts, and other weird crap that he's seen lately, may just be the tip of the iceberg. Boundaries between mystical realms may be falling apart, and things may be moving...

Thursday is Kurt's surprise party, with an uninvited guest: Mephisto. Stopping time around everyone else, he has a little chat with Kurt, about why he was dragged into the supernatural investigations of late, after not really having a lot of experience with that before. Mephisto implies that a 'force of good' manipulated Storm into putting Kurt on the job, giving them no choice in the matter. Benevolently, he offers Kurt a choice: sit out the forthcoming biblical apocalypse, as a "conscientious objector." In return, Mephisto promises to spare his friends and family, and bring Kurt's foster brother Stefan back to life, whole and sane.
See where that gets you...
Not surprisingly, Kurt doesn't buy it. Socking Mephisto one, he lets him know what side he's going to be on. Time starts again, and Kurt returns to his party. His birthday wish is for his lost brother to be at peace, and when the time comes, to be strong.

...and the apocalypse was never brought up again. Well, that particular, specific apocalypse, anyway; since given the crossover schedule at Marvel, the world's been lurching from war to invasion to siege for years, who'd notice? A pity, since as Mephisto describes Leviathan rising, the Thing is there to face him.

We glanced at this issue before, while making fun of 'One More Day' way back when. Nightcrawler may not have been the best comic ever, and this wasn't even it's best issue; but I enjoyed it a ton, and the creators seemed to as well: they appear in the birthday party scene!

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