Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Art: Alan Davis, Carlos Lopez, VC’s Clayton Cowles, Tom Muller, and Edgar Delgado
Release Date: March 25th, 2020
Jonathan Hickman teams up with another legendary artist Alan Davis to bring X-fans another Giant-Sized issue featuring everyone’s favorite blue mutant Nightcrawler. As one of the Krakoan Gates located in the old, abandoned Mansion in West Chester New York appears to be reacting to attempted breaches, Nightcrawler assembles a team to go check out what the disturbance might be. However, things take an unusual twist immediately as his team steps foot on the old Greymalkin Habitat. Let’s dive into this week’s GIANT-SIZED X-MEN NIGHTCRAWLER #1 by Jonathan Hickman and Alan Davis to detect what our fine, furry, teleporting Bavarian will do to figure out this bizarre tale.
This Giant-Sized issue was interesting, to say the least, and really gravitated my attention throughout the first half of the issue. It had all the elements of a haunting adventure with the essential thrills and supernatural twists that make a narrative genuinely mysterious and uncanny. Needlessly to say, I became a bit disappointed once I figured out what the disturbance really was and it really took the gusto out of this would-be bizarre tale. X-fans, it simply wasn’t what I was expecting.
Not only was the tale a bit different than what I anticipated, the art by Alan Davis really wasn’t my cup of tea either. The style was very conceptual late ’80s to ’90s and hit its purpose in stride. I ultimately respect the approach and objective behind the artistic license of Davis but his illustrations are not as crisp, natural, and realistic as I would prefer. His style is certainly distinctive and full of energy but it’s not as rich and vibrant as I hoped it would be. Maybe I’m just too biased after witnessing some of the amazing art on HOXPOX and many of the other X-MEN titles? That certainly could be the case. Everyone has their own tastes and I think I’m just not a huge Alan Davis guy.
On a more positive note, I thoroughly enjoy any story with Nightcrawler as a leader and any issue that promotes vibes from the “good old days” of X-MEN comics, which this does flawlessly. Additionally, the tie in to this “semi-insectoid” creature that pops up in this issue was a solid callback and shows an in-depth knowledge of the X-MEN and Marvel toy box. Even though I was not a fan of their use in the issue, I can still admit the clever nature of Jonathan Hickman and his mass array of comic knowledge that is overly expansive.
This Giant-Sized issue is solely for Alan Davis fans who adore the yesteryear X-MEN. Now, even though I love my X-Men, I’m still not the biggest Alan Davis fan which puts this reviewer in the sticky situation of trying to not condemn a book solely due to its artistic choice when in fact that is supposed to be its main purpose. Thus, my score is going to be based mainly on my enjoyment of the plot with some art on the side. With that in mind, the haunted mansion idea felt like a tease that was ripped away prematurely and replaced with something quite the opposite while the overall story was uneventful in its closure. Ultimately, the story was average and the art was a bit to abstract at times for my liking, which took me out of the issue multiple times. If Davis is your jam, then this story is a solid issue for you. If you’re on the fence with which X-titles to grab, especially in a week containing almost half a dozen, this could be one to set aside to save some money during these hard times of Cornacation. If you happen to read it, let me know what you think!