Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Nightcrawler comes prowling, prowling; next week maybe.


Today's book is one of the few back issues I specifically went after as a collectible: from 1976, Amazing Spider-Man #161, reprinted in Marvel Tales #214, "...and the Nightcrawler came prowling, prowling" Written and edited by Len Wein, illustrated by Ross Andru, embellishments by Mike Esposito.

Nightcrawler is surprised to see an old friend of his in the newspaper, recently murdered by a sniper in New York City. After a brief cameo/scuffle with Wolverine, Nightcrawler investigates a Coney Island carnival; incidentally attended by Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson. When the sniper claims another victim, Nightcrawler is able to recover the shooter's rifle, just in time for Spider-Man to find him with it. Cue Marvel-Misunderstanding brawl; but Nightcrawler teleports away. He does notice Spidey recovering his camera, though...
At the Daily Bugle, Spidey hits up Robbie Robertson for info: Robbie's sources say the sniper killings could be the work of the Punisher, even though it doesn't match his modus operandi at all. Unseen, a somewhat deranged looking J.Jonah Jameson overhears part of their conversation, as he examines a set of photos of Spider-Man disposing of a body that looks like Peter Parker...
The Punisher is also looking into the sniper killings, while Spider-Man gets jumped near the Roosevelt Island Tramway by Nightcrawler. After a couple sucker punches, Nightcrawler swipes Spidey's camera and runs for it. Spidey catches up quickly, and Nightcrawler cheerfully returns the camera, after exposing the film. (Man, that dates this story!)
As a pissed Spidey gets ready to lay the smack down, both heroes are surprised by the sudden stop of a tram, by the Punisher, who's there to kill one of them...!

Best guess, I think this was maybe Nightcrawler's sixth or seventh appearance since his introduction in Giant-Sized X-Men #1; but it was also the Punisher's seventh appearance since his debut in Amazing Spider-Man #129! So, still early on for both characters, and their looks hadn't quite solidified yet. Also, in older Punisher stories like this one, he sometimes comes across as a bit unwilling to do any research before shooting someone in the face based on a questionable character's word...

I wanted a few scans of Nightcrawler's early look, since that seems to be what the Marvel Select Nightcrawler is based on. Hopefully, it should be out on December 26th, if not earlier; and if so, I'll do a proper review of it! I'm sure it'll be completely unbiased, yeah.

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

Looking at that Marvel Select Nightcrawler, you're right; the makers really are using his earlier appearances as the basis/model for this one. I like it, and seems to have a good bit of articulation too, which is sometimes hit and miss on any non-ML figure, but sorely needed with a figure like Kurt.

I like the head and face myself, as unlike the friendly/heroic Cockrum face, this one looks he'd be more inclined to fuck you up as soon as he looked at you. Very cool indeed.

Unbiased huh? Ha, good luck on that one. But if you're going to do a full-on review, you got to do the obligatory mini captions and shit, especially with older Kurt and Deadpool.