X-Men Jean and Storm are speechless as they find out about the horrors deep inside Nightcrawler’s mind…
Kurt Wagner, a.k.a. Nightcrawler, our favorite fuzzy German elf, has been introduced as disoriented and traumatized, and we all knew something terrible must have happened inside of him, just not exactly what. Jean and Storm have decided to bond psychically and enter his mind in order to find out more and get their old friend back, but they’re not prepared for what they’re going to find! Meanwhile, the other X-Men find out about what brought Sunfire to Weirdworld, and Magik encounters a whole ‘nother danger.
We’re seven issues into Jeff Lemire’s take on the mutant side of the Marvel Universe, and even though his first and introductory story arc has not been well received by fans, he seems to finally have a grip on all of his characters and a specific plan for what to do with each of them.
After six issues in which Nightcrawler has been cast aside a bit, it’s nice to finally have an issue spotlight the processes within his psyche. The reveal towards the end of the issue is not only a satisfying and realistic explanation as to why Kurt has been at the brink of insanity but also a good indication of what Lemire plans for the character. The blue-skinned teleporter has always been a fan-favorite for his friendly, gentle, and vibrant personality, but what if something so horrifying happens that could take even the heart of the team to an extremely dark place? This premise for Kurt’s character arc is extremely interesting and, in this issue, well executed, with one of the more shocking and emotional scenes you’ll find in an X-Men comic. And the fact that Lemire has decided to deal with even more socially relevant topics, such as trauma due to racial violence, is definitely worth pointing out.
While the artist Victor Ibanez might not deliver as gorgeous and dynamic art as Humberto Ramos, whose work readers have gotten used to already, he still does a perfectly good job at portraying both the colorful awkwardness of Weirdworld (also due to great colors by Jay David Ramos) and the confusion and trauma within Nightcrawler’s mind. Scenes like the upside-down ship sequence, or a giant Cyclops bathed in white, are visually impressive, expressive, and well done.
Regarding the book’s other storyline about the rest of the mutant team, I just can’t help but think that Lemire hasn’t been consistent enough. There has been a lot of build-up to the Sunfire reveal, especially with Storm commanding Logan to take him down if necessary in the previous issue. But, disappointingly, little is done with all of that in #7. That said, the foreshadowing for Illyana’s arc is exciting, and I can’t wait to find out how all of this relates to Sapna.
Overall, EXTRAORDINARY X-MEN #7 is an issue with solid art that gives us a great insight into the character of Nightcrawler and makes me confident that Lemire’s future revelations will be just as satisfying.