Ever since House of X, the warts of Krakoa have slowly been revealing themselves. The person at the center of much of that ideological conflict has been Kurt Wagner, one of the X-Men’s most loyal and stalwart heroes. In Way of X #1, Kurt finally takes center stage, in a series that subverts expectations.
Though Kurt Wagner is a man of faith, determined to give the X-Men something to believe in, this series is much, much more than that. It’s a very different series than anyone might expect. It comes from Si Spurrier, Bob Quinn, Java Tartaglia, and Joe Caramagna.
There is something rotten in Krakoa. Something at the very heart of the society that few have even noticed, much less questioned. Nightcrawler is one of those few. His quest to find the truth, and the corruption in the middle of it, will take him to a terrifying place that he never expected and face to face with the one mutant who could single-handedly tear Krakoa to pieces.
Fans have been begging for Nightcrawler to take the spotlight for months now, and Way of X is definitely the story they’ve been waiting for. The issue digs into philosophical questions about Krakoa, ideological differences between Kurt and others, and a hefty dose of weird science. It does all that with a great emphasis on character- whether it’s Kurt or the supporting cast, particularly Pixie and Doctor Nemesis- and a strong use of superhero action.
Quinn and Tartaglia also put in some career best work. Quinn’s line work has a strong animated feel, with an energy that bounces along the page like its lead. He is able to embrace the weird- Doctor Nemesis’s first appearance on-panel in particular. Even when the story takes a dark turn, Quinn is about to shift his style a bit and shock us, such as a particularly violent instant that made my jaw hang open.
Tartaglia’s colors establish a mood for the series. The red that he uses early in the issue makes each page turn an unsettling new layer of the story. Its a great example of how colors are as much a storytelling device as the story and line art. Add Caramagna’s letters, which integrate into the art as they go, and it’s the whole package you’d want out of a comic.
This is easily the best single issue Marvel’s put out since SWORD launched late last year.
Way of X #1 is available now from Marvel Comics.
The dark side of Krakoa finally gets split wide open. In an engaging story full of energetic art, Way of X sends the X-Men line down a terrifying path. It’s the most unique series of the line to date, and one of the best launches since the current X-line kicked off.