They get better as they go.
X-Men Manifest Destiny: Nightcrawler
Probably one of the most popular X-Men characters ever, Nightcrawler is spotlighted in this Manifest Destiny one shot. With Pixie now a member of the team, and having the same teleportation abilities, but better, Kurt decides it’s time to leave the X-Men... again. An invitation of a Nightcrawler museum in the same town where he was once hunted, arrives and it gives him somewhere to go. He goes, finds a woman who actually appreciates him. Finds out the town still hates him, but there’s another monster in town that they hate more. The creature is actually a sixteen-year-old boy that ticked off the wrong gypsy. Throw in a quick guest shot of Mephisto to help Kurt realize that he still belongs with the X-Men and you’ve got a four dollar comic that could have been a four page back up story. I’m one of Nightcrawler’s biggest fans, and I did enjoy the nods to all his different incarnations by various writers (the sword bit being my favorite), but a story that has been told several times before, better, makes this story a major let down. My Score: D+
What a difference a writer who appreciates the characters, can make. Sean McKeever takes the reigns of this disaster of a book for his next big story arc that appears to tie this, Teen Titans, and Vigilante together. It’s a quiet story that is obviously mostly setup. Although there are a few story points that come out of left field (why is Roy suddenly back to his douche bag ways) the characters are much stronger here. Unfortunately, there is still a bit of stink from the first ten issues that lingers on this book. Was that harsh? Probably, but at least this month I actually didn’t feel cheated out of my money. My Score: C+
Booster Gold #18
Dan Jurgens finishes his first arc in a nice style as the real villain is finally revealed. Booster must accept the help of his past self to stop an ancient Egyptian from using the Blue Beetle’s scarab to resurrect Kha-Ef-Reh. Meanwhile, the other Booster confronts the main villain, Rex Hunter, who reveals to Booster’s sister, Michelle, that she shouldn’t even exist at this point. Well plotted, well thought out, and beautifully drawn; it makes this comic solid from beginning to end. My Score: B
There hasn’t been a book with more ups and downs in DC than this one. Decent story’s, followed by God awful ones have made this a rollercoaster series. The final issue of this arc, however, has made me a fan of the book all over again. Although the concept of Batman receiving Superman’s powers is not a new one, if done right it can be a great character piece. Michael Green got it right, and because he did, we get to see just how desperate Batman could be in his desire to wipe out all evil in the world. The interaction between Bruce and Hal is especially poignant. But as much as Bats is the center of this story; Clark’s constant desire to be normal is subtly explored as well. I really hope the next arc is as much fun as this one. My Score: B+