OK, Barney's in a wheelchair, and Clint's deaf. Yes again. Counting the time as a child I didn't know about, he's up to 3. And he's being mopey, generally ignoring Barney's attempts to sign to him, which is what he did as a kid, apparently. But Barney finally gets through to him, with punching, and Clint calls a meeting of all the tenants of the building, where he explains they, meaning everyone there, will stop the Track Suits. Then he and Barney go tear up their strip club/meth lab and burn their vans. Hopefully, just the vans. I quite like that Clint is the guy who feels really strongly Avengers don't kill, and Fraction's on thin enough ice already without violating that one. Though he may have, it's been so long since I read some of the early issues I can't remember. Clint certainly didn't seem perturbed when Barney hucked that guy out the window.
You remember when Jaime Reyes got his first ongoing, in the post-Infinite Crisis days, there was a special
Cinco de Mayo issue all in Spanish. But at the end of the issue, they included a translation of all the dialogue for folks like me who studied German in high school instead of Spanish. Yeah, I could have used one of those here. I don't know what Barney's signing. I get the gist of the issue - he's trying to get through to Clint, asking him what he's going to do about this - but I'm probably missing some details. Which annoys me, but here we are. It's a nicely laid out issue. Lots of mirroring between Kid Clint and Adult Clint by Aja, but I really like Hollingsworth's coloring. The reds for all the stuff with the Track Suits. The way the background is yellowish when Barney confronts Clint in the hall, but then as they go to the roof, it switches to the purple that's been adopted as Hawkeye's color in this series (it really seems more lavender to me than purple, but oh well). The dark blues on the rooftop, that faded yellow/tan for the flashbacks to childhood. Everything has its own predominant color, which helps make everything distinct.
The school's under attack, but the X-Men are handling that. Amanda's able to put Storm and Beast back
together, which leaves Kurt to deal with Margali. Which he does, but the portal Margali opened to Heaven
is still open, which is bad. Kurt and Amanda plan to close it from the other side, but Kurt can't get back in. Kurt, if you'd talked to GrimJack, you'd have known leaving Heaven was probably a bad idea. So Amanda is left to close the portal herself, which leaves her who knows where. I mean, was she in Heaven proper, or somewhere on the path to it? Now Kurt's sad.
Well, I predicted after issue 3 this was going to be Claremont putting his own bow on the Kurt/Amanda
relationship. I was not predicting her making a noble sacrifice, but I should have figured she'd get a better death. Claremont's never seemed like one to send out characters like punks. At least, not the ones he likes. Having Kurt refer to Amanda as 'his heart', so he could say he'd lost his heart at the end was perhaps too cute, though. It seemed out of place when he said it to Logan initially, and then I get to the end and see why Claremont used it, and it makes it worse.
Another thing I noticed, he had Psylocke you the term "mates" in reference to her and Kurt. I noticed
when I read through X-Men Forever, he had her use more Britishisms, shall we say, than I remember
from when he originally put her on the team in the '80s. Maybe because she's in an Japanese body he feels
the need to use those to establish her cultural heritage, in that familiar shorthand he favors. Don't know
for sure, it was just something I had a bit of a hard time picturing her saying.
I probably shouldn't, but I found the panel where Kurt faceplants against the barrier funny. He was trying to be reassuring to Amanda and then SPLAT! Nauck's still doing a good job. He's got Kurt using all his appendages in fights, whether it's grabbing a Trimega arm with one foot, or holding a sword in his tail. That's always been a feature of Nightcrawler's I appreciated, that versatility and the chances it offers for artists. Kurt does seem to be teleporting an awful lot, though. Sometimes it seems like hardly a panel goes by he isn't bamfing somewhere. Wonder if that's significant.