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 Age of X-Man

The Amazing Nightcrawler

Writer: Seanan McGuire

Pencils and inks: Juan Frigeri

Colours: Dono Sánchez-Almara

Letters: Travis Lanham

Editors: Chris Robinson and Jordan D. White

Original publication date: 2019

We promised we’d be talking about X-Man this week, and we didn’t lie because we are talking about that time Nate Grey created a perfect world for mutants where no one was allowed to have sex and hey guess what, it wasn’t so perfect after all. That’s right—we’re making a rare foray into the 21st century to discuss Age of X-Man: The Amazing Nightcrawler, starring Kurt Wagner and Meggan Puceanu as movie stars nursing forbidden passions in a dystopian utopia that some of us love and some of us don’t, but we’re all at least a little seduced by a particularly insightful characterization of Kurt. 

On characterization:

“I love the way the opening issue characterizes Kurt as a hopeless romantic and showboat who sees Meggan for who she really is.” -Andrew

On conceits:

“I can see the reasons I’m supposed to care about the tragedy at the heart of this story. But because I can see the strings, I want to cut them.” -Mav

On continuity:

“The main issue I have with this story is that it’s actually supposed to take place in continuity. Meaning there should be a ton of ramifications. And we’ve never seen any of that.” -Anna

On conflicts:

“I really admire the way this story negotiates Kurt’s competing romanticism and repression and utopian impulses and makes it all make sense. For me, it’s one of the best 21st century interpretations of the character.” -Anna

On complications:

“McGuire uses the environment of Age of X-Man to spotlight Kurt’s character, whilst framing it not as irrelevant but innate. This is who Kurt is, regardless of his memories, regardless of the reality he’s in. What matters endures.” -Andrew

On canonicity:

“This AU, where Kurt is a movie star glamorizing the X-Men, works with the symbology of Nightcrawler as the heart of the franchise, while being a neat subversion of how the public usually treats him.” -Anna

On charges:

“I liked the way this comic explored forbidden desires through the lens of queer allegory. I feel like Kurt is a character who should be leading that charge within the X-Men.” -Andrew

On constancy:

“Despite having his mind wiped hundreds of times by the most powerful telepaths on the planet, Kurt is not able to fully believe that sex and romantic feelings are wrong. That’s a really satisfying character read.” -Anna

On cuteness:

“The final scene, where the Bamf doll signals the special bonds between this family but also the tragedy of their separation, because it’s a mass-produced toy of the father who doesn’t remember them… that was heartbreaking.” -Anna

And as usual:

You can find Anna on Twitter (@peppard_anna) and at Sequential Scholars (@seqscholars). 

You can find Andrew on Twitter (@ClaremontRun) and at Sequential Scholars.

You can find Mav on Twitter (@chrismaverick) and on his podcast, VoxPopcast (@VoxPopcast).


-GGW Team