Age of X-Man: the Amazing Nightcrawler #1

Issue Date: 
April 2019
Story Title: 

Seanan McGuire (writer), Juan Frigeri (artist), Dono Sanchez-Almara (colorist), VC’s Travis Lanham (letterer), Shane Davis, Michelle Delecki & Federico Blee (cover artists), Victor Hugo; Inhuyk Lee; Carlos Pacheco, Rafael Fonteriz & Nolan WoodarKhoi Pham & Morry Hollowell; Inhyuk Lee; Carlos Pacheco, Rafael Fonereriz and Nolan Woodard (variant cover artists), Chris Robinson (editor), Jordan D. White (senior editor), C.B. Cebulski (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)
X-Men created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Brief Description: 

Nightcrawler is doing an action movie with his costar Meggan at his Studio X. After work, there is some friendly banter between the coworkers and Celeste Cuckoo reminds Kurt of the fan dinner he has to attend that evening. After a call to Jean Grey, Kurt gets ready with the others. On the red carpet, he notices a girl crying at the sides. He asks her what’s wrong and learns she is disappointed because she tried her best to get invited but it didn’t work. Kurt invites her a special guest. During the party, some guests are disgusted by the two Stepford Cuckoos Irma and Celeste, who display their familiar bonds but Kurt manages to defuse the situation. Later, he teleports himself and Meggan back to Studio X and, overcome with emotion, they make love.

Full Summary: 

The Age of X-Man:
A slum neighborhood: Surrounded by several monstrous villains are Nightcrawler, wearing his Age of Apocalypse outfit, and his partner Meggan. Nightcrawler tells their foes it’s not too late to let them help them. Meggan suggests they aren’t listening. What was her first cue? He deadpans. The violence, she retorts. Is that a suggestion or a complaint? he asks. Swiftly kicking one of their foes, Meggan votes both.

Kurt joins the battle by kicking a foe in the face and teleporting to dodge another’s blows. He tells Meggan they need to get out. They need back-up. She replies they have already been exposed. If the virus spreads… He agrees, then screams as one villain’s claws tear open his shoulder.

Meggan wants to look at the injury. He orders her to run. He can’t ask her to… He cuts her off – they knew the risks. One of them has to make it outside. He groans that it burns!

Wicked laughter comes from a balcony above. It is Callisto, who gloats that the infection spreads through the blood. She’d tell Meggan to run but it seems she has a teleporter. She cannot escape. All’s fair in love and war. And with her friend in their collective, they will spread both that much faster.

Meggan and Kurt smirk at each other, then both attack Callisto. Nightcrawler teleports behind her and takes her into a headlock. She screeches that he has to obey her. Alas, he doesn’t, Kurt mocks. Meggan outfits her with a power-suppressing collar.

The adventure over, she muses she is just glad those experimental antibodies worked. Who says they did? he grins and adds he has excellent self-control…

And cut! Celeste Cuckoo gives orders to drop the set and suddenly the three actors stand in a seemingly empty studio of Studio X. Meggan kindly helps Callisto to get off the collar while Kurt takes off his longer-haired wig.

Celeste informs Kurt he has a meeting with his agent at five, followed by the Mission Mutation Fan Dinner. Kurt has forgotten it. Celeste mocks him and tells him what to wear then sabotages his attempt to get out of this. Meggan snickers.

Meggan and Kurt compliment each other’s acting. Kurt hands Meggan her tea and she changes to a more comfortable form, a little less statuesque and sexy. There she is, he remarks and hands her an apple. He tells her they live in a world without masks. He appreciates it when she doesn’t have to wear one.

He complains about what the Cuckoos will have him wear that night and she tells him he will look amazing. If only he was amazing about remembering his stunt choreography! stunt coordinator Amara Aquilla aka Magma jokes and orders double gym with Colin this weekend. She tells Meggan she was great and leaves.

Meggan asks him why he never argues with Magma. He retorts she was right and he makes it a rule not to argue with women who can set themselves on fire. Irma Cuckoo shows up and drags Meggan into wardrobe.

Later, Kurt relaxes in his dressing room and muses that, as well as an X-Man, he is an actor, an icon for millions. Still, sometimes it feels like another part he is playing. He grabs an apple from a fruit bowl with his tail. When everyone wants a part of you, when you are never alone… how can you know who you are?

He takes up the phone and asks Celeste to connect him to home. Musing that secretaries still rule the world, he talks to Jean Grey at X-Sanctuary, happy to hear her voice. Jean asks if he will be at home tonight. He apologizes but he has a dinner to attend. Jean quips they are having dinner as well. Kurt retorts if she wants that many of his fans to host… She stresses that this is home. He knows, but Studio X requires upkeep. He has a room here exactly for times like this. He promises he is fine and not about to overextend himself. Jean reminds him they all need him.

In the evening, dressed to the nines, Kurt and Meggan walk the red carpet to the reception. Cameras flash around them. The tickets were all won as prizes and none were resold. Everyone wants to be here.

Suddenly, he spies something in the bushes and teleports there. He finds a sobbing young girl. He asks what is wrong. At first, she tells him it is stupid but, thanks to his prodding, she comes clear. She tried everything to win a ticket and didn’t! She berates herself for wanting more in a perfect world. Doesn’t everyone? Kurt asks and offers his hand, then teleports them both to Meggan’s side. Celeste and Irma Cuckoo provide the girl with a dress and together with Kylun and Magma they join the spectacle.

Kurt is aware that, as movie makers, they make magic. Even a perfect world needs them to say: look, things are good and have never been better. They provide a public service. They fact that it comes with champagne is simply a bonus.

They mingle with and entertain the mostly young guests. Kylun, Kurt’s personal trainer, mentions they have to up his workouts. Meggan playfully protests, telling him Kurt is working hard. He suggests she say that after he drops her. Meggan retorts she can fly. And they all know he will only drop her once. He suggests they eat. The food is divine.

Several guests openly express their disgust at the close, familial relationship the two Cuckoos Celeste and Irma display. Magma joins them and stresses how great the two of them are. They couldn’t run the studio without them. Everyone is special. That makes them unique and strong. Still the others retort it is not right of them to flaunt their sisterhood in front of decent mutants. They should show some decency! And they should show some empathy! Magma snaps. The Cuckoos offer to leave. Magma tells them if anyone is leaving, it is not them.

Kurt joins them and asks if anything is wrong. Some of his fans have some questions about the Cuckoos, Magma replies. Kurt gushes about the Cuckoos and shows some stunts and the resistance melts.

Later, Kurt teleports himself and Meggan away into his room at the studio. Meggan praises him for what he did for the girl Tiffany. He enjoys saving damsels in distress, he jokes. Meggan notes he hasn’t let go of her. He stammers then tells her he brought her some apples on the desk. She asks if that is why he brought her here. He looks at her. She likes apples. She replies, she likes him more. Kurt begins, they can’t… Why not? Meggan interrupts. They are the theater people. The strange ones. They have to understand things if they are going to portray them. She takes his hand. This is supposed to be a perfect world. Let’s be perfect together! They kiss…

After making love, Meggan sleeps and Kurt stays awake with self-doubt, fearing what they have to lose…

Characters Involved: 

Jean Grey, Nightcrawler (X-Men)
Callisto, Celeste, Irma (Stepford Cuckoos), Kylun, Magma, Meggan (Studio X staff)


Story Notes: 

Nightcrawler’s backstage room displays posters with versions of James Bond (here called Pod) with Kurt as the star and a version of Titanic with Kurt and Meggan as the two stars, as well as the cover to Nightcrawler (1st series) #1.

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