Nightcrawler, vol. 1: The Devil Inside

“I’m becoming the X-Men’s unofficial expert on the supernatural.”

Kurt Wagner, aka Nightcrawler, is investigating what killed thirteen children in a locked hospital ward, pulping them from the inside out, but leaving one survivor behind. Is the boy a mutant? Did he kill the other children? Or is something far more sinister at work? And why are there ghosts haunting the New York subway system?

Nightcrawler has, to me, long been one of the more intriguing members of X-Men. His demonic appearance is in direct contrast to his deep faith, a faith which once led him to study for the priesthood. This stand-alone volume is a fine introduction to the character, but will also be a great read for those more familiar with the Marvel Universe. Aguirre-Sacasa’s writing is by turns funny, scary, and serious. Kurt’s reaction to his first meeting with the lovely nurse Christine directly mirrored my husband’s reaction to the shapely red-head, and there’s a Hugh Jackman joke buried in there for the observant. In the first story the horror is of a religious/demonic bent, while the second is a more straightforward ghost story. Both are engrossing. Robertson’s artwork is more traditional and less dirty than in his work on Wolverine: the Brotherhood, but he perfectly captures both the darkness and the light, the two sides of Nightcrawler’s nature and his world. A terrific piece of comic literature and an excellent purchase for libraries–though be aware that any story involving demons isn’t going to be bloodless.

Nightcrawler, vol. 1: The Devil Inside
by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Darick Robertson
ISBN: 0785114289
Marvel Comics, 2005

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