It feels like 2019 was a lifetime ago, but in reality, it was only a year and a half ago that Jonathan Hickman introduced fans to the mutant utopia of Krakoa. However, even in the beginning, some have felt that there is a certain evil that has been hiding in the shadows of Krakoa. While there has been no concrete evidence of these sinister figures, a certain darkness has started to surround some of the residents of Krakoa. Enter Nightcrawler.
Kurt Wagner has had many roles throughout the years, but one of the most important ones has been as the spiritual compass of the X-Men. At times, this has led him to clash with some of his fellow X-Men and even caused him to question his own beliefs. From the founding of Krakoa, Kurt has criticized some of the choices that have been made by leadership. And one thing in particular that has been eating away at him is the lack of a higher power for his fellow X-Men to seek guidance from. It is that desire, to find that higher calling, that has led him back into the field to investigate shadow organizations that seek to harm him and his fellow mutants.
Way of X #1 drops the reader right into the middle of the action, with Nightcrawler and his team inside a museum. While the team makes their way through the building, Nightcrawler and Professor X check in telepathically. Despite this being the first mission that we as readers have seen, writer Si Spurrier creates a dialogue that makes it feel as if this is a team that we have been following for a while. The flippant discussions of death and resurrection lend well to the plot points of Nightcrawler being concerned about some of his fellow X-Men’s attitudes. The death of a teammate being met with cheers drives home how death is no longer a concern for these young X-Men.
While the actions of some of his team members concern Nightcrawler, it is a conversation and Magneto’s later actions that cause Nightcrawler to realize that he needs to find a way to stem the grotesque actions of some of his fellow mutants. And while the panels are text-heavy at times, Spurrier’s writing has a natural fluidity to it.
Furthermore, Bob Quinn’s art is a perfect match for Spurrier’s script. He excels at drawing both the action-packed scenes and the calm moments–even the simple idea of having a drink over conversation becomes engaging and important. Of course, Quinn’s art would be nothing without the brilliant coloring throughout Way of X #1. Java Tartaglia creates distinct moods from panel to panel as the reader is whisked away from a dusty museum to a local bar, to a cemetery.
Way of X #1 does an excellent job of bringing plot points that have been simmering for months to the forefront. Spurrier is able to expand on those events while also creating a book that is accessible, even to readers who have lapsed in their X-Men reading. And it is the final panel that provides the payoff that will end up bringing readers back.
Way of X #1
Building On Previous Plot Points10.0/10
Dialogue That Drives The Plot9.0/10
Weak Initial Threat7.0/10
Art that Jumps From The Panel9.0/10
That Final Panel Payoff!10.0/10
- Writer: Si Spurrier
- Artist: Bob Quinn
- Color Artist: Java Tartaglia
- Letterer: Clayton Cowles
- Publisher: Marvel Comics