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Claremont's blue fuzzy phoenix

Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:25 pm
by sungila
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 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.

Re: UXM # 204 "What Happened to Nightcrawler"

Posted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:04 pm
by sungila
Judging by the lack of response here – I think either nobody cares, nobody dares or (most likely) this post was poorly executed – lacking grace, fair-play and chivalry – a vulgar bezeerker rant that embodies the very negativity I was confronting.
I myself flipping suit and dawning that prideful delusion of the ‘tragic’ Kurt. I had to exorcize that ol’ demon I guess. So I’d like to makes amends and be honorable about it.
I was myopic, cocksure and bitter – all venom from an old prepubescent sting I felt when my favorite hero (Nightcrawler) became all-too-human…all too fallible and more of full-fledged man, then my youthful idealism could understand.
Claremont is a genius… he spun me – and I love this feeling of having been swept, allez opp’d, and BAMF’d so deftly!
It’s that ‘sweet science’ of confrontation and the wounded aftermath from which we find the greatest humble epiphanies.
So, while I’m still dizzy and giddy at having drunk from the exquisite essence of Claremont’s genius – I’ll try to explain this all to you. (Forgive my exuberant incoherence) I’m gonna try and give a gist of things and hope that further discussion may sort this all out so we can all celebrate and honor Chris Claremont’s vision, acuity-in-craft and superfluous heart in molding Kurt Wanger into Marvel’s greatest swashbuckler - matched only by Peter Parker as comic book’s most human super-hero.
I’m going to begin here be sticking with my frustrations and anger at the trials and tribulations that heaped themselves upon Kurt from issue 192 – 211 of Uncanny X-Men. Everything I said up above in that first post is true. Perfectly true, that’s EXACTLY HOW CLAREMONT WANTED ME TO RESPOND … EXACTLY HOW I WAS SUPPOSED TO FEEL – EXACTLY THE POSSESION THAT HIS SPELL HAD CAST!!!
But what I failed to realize, and failed to understand was that from ‘The Sword is Drawn’ through issue 5 of Excalibur, CLAREMONT MADE THE WHOLE ARC OF KURT’S JOURNEY THROUGH HIS GREATEST DESCENT INTO HIS CULMINATING TRIUMPH!!! This April’s return of Nightcrawler couldn’t be in better hands. Claremont is the ONLY man for the job!!! (and B.M. Bendis is the only writer I’d really be okay with CC passing the pen to).
Here’s a quick rundown of the gorgeous storytelling and ingenious character development CC pulsed into Kurt through UXM 192 – Excalibur 5.
1. Kurt is reluctantly made leader of the X-Men: a role he takes seriously and with great misgivings…he simply cares too much about his teammates to make the sort of calculated and cold decisions a leader must. Regardless of how things go his self-doubt and self-esteem degrade – he becomes increasing reckless in his attempts to shield his teammates from physical, emotional and psychological pain…
2. Kurt’s encounter with the Beyonder (at this fragile time) profoundly challenges his faith in God. He turns to Father Whitney who challenges Kurt to endure when what Kurt may have needed was encouragement, understanding and a shoulder.
3. Kurt’s inner-demons persist and he internalizes the pain. In the past it was Nightcrawler who intuitively sought out companions…providing solace and hope. But there’s nobody left for Kurt to turn to and his condition has become manic.
4. Distracted and desperate Kurt makes a series of near suicidal battle mistakes. Over and over again…until he is wrecked physically and emotionally.
5. This brings us to issue 204 “What Happened to Nightcrawler” which I speak about in the post above.
6. Now reeling, Kurt takes his leap off the proverbial bridge right into Rip-tide and into a coma. While in this death-state his teammates presumably die in battle against the Adversary and Kurt is transplanted to Muir Island.
7. With his teammates “dead” – after a month of dream questing (who knows where the comatosed go) Kurt awakens in a new land, a new man…reborn and resurrected.
8. And this brings us to Kurt, in full swashbucklin’ mode, taking on an army of impossible odds…invoking his swashbuckling heroes and (as only Art Adams can draw him) being downright awesome!!!
9. Kurt soon faces Captain Brittan who is going through THE EXACT SAME DRINKING, BROKEN, DARKEST DESPERATION experience that Kurt was in issue 204 of UXM! Kurt tosses him into the ocean!!! And then he challenges him saying “I only call myself a hero in jest….i’m just trying to stay true to myself and to the spirit of my (x-men) family…” and when Capt asks Kurt “…how can you say these things? Have you ever died” Kurt says, no and then asks Brit…”have you ever truly lived.”
10. AWESOMENESS IS ACHIEVED…THE ARC HAS SWUNG FULLY…and now Claremont fleshes out just how amazing our ‘new’ Kurt is. Over and over again he is brave, insightful, dashing, true, beautiful, endearing, humble – he has become as he was always meant to be – the misfit soul of his people…the spiritual leader…the uncrowned king…the Lancelot…the d'Artagnan, the fool's Tarot...the Kurt we’re going to see back and better than ever this April – IN HIS OWN TITLE!!!

So yea, my apologies to Chris Claremont...but not really an apology...more of a bow and a tip of the hat and a smiling en garde! I sure hope he knocks me for another loop! God forbid a man should go too long without being brought down - and offered a hand up by the one who beat him... en garde!!!

Re: UXM # 204 "What Happened to Nightcrawler"

Posted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:25 am
by Angelique
It's not that nobody cares. It's that you can place the blame for Secret Wars and Uncanny 204 pretty squarely on editorial mandate. Basically, none of those were Claremont's idea, but he was left to deal with the fallout when he likely had other stories in mind that were derailed by these events.