Okay, alright - it has been gnawing at me for like, forever! i take issue with this issue - i actually despise this book... so much... so so much... this and anything else that connects back to the Beyonder... see, see what happened is this - first Kurt has to come apart, he's got to breakdown emotionally... (why? not for any good reason...for bad reasons) well anyway... i guess the way it had to happen was that he's got to be 'too weak' or 'too naive' or 'too prideful' or 'too vain' - and then he falls all the way...but this isn't who he is
Nightcrawler had never displayed the sort of hubris required to become so utterly tragic (and this sort of mistake repeats itself time and time again when it comes to Kurt's faith) - what the heck is this?! and why!? Why make somebody like Kurt sentimental fodder to fuel another character's story...why brand him like this...forever!?
I guess it should mean something that Claremont could make a comic that i could hate so much! I mean, if he wasn't good enough to make me care in the first place - there'd be no problem. Truth is, Claremont is incredible. But in THIS issue (and in the comics surrounding it) his treatment of the original Kurt Wanger went all wrong. So wrong that it took a whole new comic...Excalibur...to save even a vestige of what he was.
Good as Excalibur was... the effects of Kurt's treatment leading up to it have marred him irrevocably..and we, who truly dig and get him, have had to suffer this trauma- reading out beyond the comics and preserving our man as the fallible saint and good-spirited soulful Kurt we know him to be. He's a matured Peter Parker - same sort of heart, same sort of guy...but older.
The one thing about Claremont that i can't dig - is the way he goes through these obsessions with Cyclops then Storm and forces the other characters to regress into lesser plots that mimic the great dramas of the chosen one. There's that scene where Kurt - is laying in a coma after being wrecked by Claremont (his faith destroyed by the Beyonder, his self-confidence destroyed when he fails as leader of the x-men, his relationship with Amanda ruined by his increasingly volatile inner-demons, then physically battered by Nimrod only to be finally torn and shredded and put out of his misery by Riptide) - so, here's this scene with him laying in a coma and the 'goddess' Storm weeps over him (and i'm paraphrasing here) "Kurt, i need you...i need your light, your humor, i can't do this alone. Wake up and restore me...please!" and he doesn't - and why not, because THIS is not about him... it's all about Storm!
Making one of Nightcrawler's most pivotal moments a vehicle for the rising plot of another X-Man was wrong. Essentially sidelining him to this role and to actually have him be such an asshole...such an irredeemable dick...(drinking hard alcohol in the morning...wha? - gallivanting with his...tail out, into Arcade's murderhouse like he could give a damn about life...his or anybody's - setting Kurt out on a suicide's ledge) what Claremont did in this issue has forever marred Nightcrawler as fodder for the sidekick's sacrifice and for that sentimental 'death' or 'fall' - this issue made Kurt a 'less than' sort of hero. (And that's exactly who he was in the Ultimate X-Men run! Which makes sense...)
Okay, alright... i could rant forever about this... but there, that's enough... i got it out.
Someday somebody outta re-write this comic. Somebody (somebody brave and big-hearted and talented) ought to do one of those Bendis 'Ultimate Spidey' updates on this issue and events leading up to it with Nightcrawler as the focal point... not Storm, not Cyclops... but Kurt Wanger. My answer to "What Happened to Kurt?" is YOU F'IN BEAT THE CRAP OUT OF HIM...WRECKED HIM...YOU USED HIM!!! And now and forever...he's had to deal with that...with some sort of inner abuse that makes him weak...never a Wolverine but Wolvie's friend... never free of the X he got branded with during this time...
So yea, somebody outta make a new answer to "What Happened to Nightcrawler?"...and i have my misgivings about that guy being Chris Claremont.... unless he is willing to swallow his pride and fix this himself.