It occurs to me that I should have grouped the comic in this pair that involves robot smashing with Ms. Marvel, since she also smashed robots. Ah well.
Nightcrawler #2, by Chris Claremont (writer), Todd Nauck (artist), Rachelle Rosenberg (color artist), Cory Petit (letterer) - That's a nice cover by McKelvie there, though it makes me wonder if Kurt was given that particular sound effect as a joke, or a hidden message that he is a bad ass mofo.
Kurt and Amanda travel to Europe, to the off-season home of the circus they grew up in. Which also happens to be the town where Kurt was chased by a mob when Xavier found him. He sends the little bamfs out to find his and Amanda's mother, Margali, and also keep their eyes open for the Trimega guy from last issue. Meanwhile, he and Amanda will sit and chat. Kurt thinks back over their past, Amanda questions why he didn't give her the chance to save him, which I don't quite follow. Does she mean keep him from dying, or save him from fighting his father in the afterlife, or whatever it was Jason Aaron said Kurt was up to. Anyway, Claremont's clearly going with the route that Kurt isn't entirely comfortable being alive again, but is trying to make the best of it. At least he's less mopey than Buffy was.
The bamfs return and lead them to the circus, where they are attacked by many of their old friends, who aren't at all accustomed to people returning from the dead. Understandable, I guess. Things are sorted out eventually, Margali steps out and claims she has nothing to do with any of it. And then the Trimega guy appears.
I think you can definitely do a good story about someone struggling with the idea of being back from the dead, either because they were at peace, or because they found the afterlife was not what they imagined. I'm not sure Claremont is the one to do it, though. But after two issues, it's clear that Kurt's jokes and good humor are partially a cover for the questions he has about coming back to the land of the living. Also, if Amanda wants to convince us she could have saved Kurt, it would be nice if Claremont would let her do something useful. So far she's only succeeded in getting tied up twice, and teleporting them to Europe. Oh, and sassing her mother. I'm hoping that in the next issue it's going to turn into a big free-for-all against Trimega, and she'll get to show her stuff a little.
Nauck's artwork is still stronger than I can remember it being. His linework seems steadier, stronger, his figures are more consistent, he has a good flow in his fight scenes, and he draws the bamfs to be suitably adorable. I wonder if Rosenberg's colors help. Obviously they help the overall look of the book; they're bright and sort of upbeat, which suits a book about a swashbuckler like Kurt, even if he's putting up a facade at the moment. But are her colors also making Nauck's work look better, smoothing over some of the rough spots? I don't know, but it's still a good book overall. Here's hoping that over the course of this first arc, Kurt embraces being back among the living and ditches the doubts about it.
She-Hulk #4, by Charles Soule (writer), Javier Pulido (artist), Muntsa Vicente (colorist), Clayton Cowles (letterer) - Jen is rocking that trench coat. I know it's partially because her title is in the lower right corner, but it's kind of interesting Daredevil/Matt isn't entirely on the white half of the divide, since Doom is entirely in the green.
Jen is also not happy with how the previous issue ended, but isn't sure what to do. So she travels to San Francisco to consult Matt Murdock on just how far she should go to serve her client's interests. The conversation convinces her to travel to Latveria under an assumed identity. She storms Doom's castle and smashes many of his Doombots until she's grabbed by an enormous Doombot. Jen makes her case for easing off Kristoff, and Kristoff even backs her up on it, pointing out that Doom wants him to be a ruler, but how can he do that if Doom is also crushing him under his thumb. So Doom backs off, and Jen and Kristoff depart, though he still can't pay her in anything other than Latverian francs, which the U.S. Treasury Department will confiscate, because they're jerks. Back at the office, they're low and cash and cases, so Jen has no choice but to look into the strange blue file she has no memory of.
Oh man, one of the names in the file is Kevin trench, which sounded familiar but I couldn't place it for the longest time. Then I remembered, he's Nightwatch, the Spawn rip-off they created for the Spider-books roughly around the time of Maximum Carnage. Wow, that might be the obscure character callback of the year right there.
Beyond that, it's a nice issue. A little slight perhaps, but good. Pulido continues to draw it well, and continues to have Jen's hair get wilder when she really cuts loose. It's a nice shorthand for her holding back up to that point. Also, I'm curious to see how many issues Soule can have her fights robots of some sort to start his run. It's at 4 so far, pending last week's issue. I like that Jen actually removed her heels to walk down from the Golden Gate Bridge. Not that falling off would hurt her, but it would certainly damage the bridge, maybe cause a few wrecks. Better to remove the chance of stumbling or slipping. It's a little thing, but it's a nice touch.