AMAZING X-MEN #4
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Ed McGuinness
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: February 19, 2014
Jason Aaron has an uncanny (pun intended) ability to get to the root of what makes the X-Men special. The sense of family in this series is front and center and it is an absolute pleasure to read a group of X-Men that are working together toward a goal with no in-fighting or Mutant Civil War strings attached. Aaron writes a group of completely likable characters that hearkens back to the fun stories of the X-Men in the 90s, but with today’s production values. There is nothing but pure joy coming from every sentence of dialogue involving Nightcrawler and the camaraderie of these characters in this comic is quite touching. The issue is filled with a decent amount of action to keep it driving forward, but the flashback scenes showing Nightcrawler and the members of the X-Men who are searching for him are written flawlessly. Since the events of Schism there hasn’t been a team of X-Men this tight working toward a common goal and being reminded of better days for the X-Men in this issue was a treat. This isn’t a script with a ton of twists and turns, but Aaron paces the flashbacks and current events perfectly for a tight story that feels like nothing is missing. Driving home into the final issue of the arc readers have everything they need and one hell of a last couple pages to get you fired up for Amazing X-Men #5.
Ed McGuinness’ art is over the top to say the least, but fits this story perfectly. His clean & crisp line work is pitch perfect for the tone of story he and Aaron are telling and their pairing rivals his work with Jeph Loeb. His muscles & anatomy are jacked through the roof, but he also hits the emotional beats of this story very well. Nightcrawler’s trademark grin is perfect and you can see the bond between him and his fellow X-Men. That is not an easy thing to portray visually and McGuinness makes it look simple. The energy emanating from Nightcrawler and the bamfs leaps from the page and gives this story a real sense of fun. Nightcrawler really is the heart and soul of the X-Men and McGuinness captures his essence very well in this comic. This is some of the best art we’ve seen from McGuinness in this arc and his work going back to the beginning of Nova has been fantastic. The colour work by Marte Gracia takes McGuinness’ work to the next level and gives Hell, especially, a richness that captivates the eyes.
Aaron & McGuinness are four issues into Amazing and this swashbuckling adventure for the fate of Heaven & Hell is only getting stronger. This is the best X-Men book on the market today and it shows just how locked in Jason Aaron is to what makes the X-Men tick. This is the must read title coming out of the X-Office and Nightcrawler fans, if you still haven’t picked up this series act quickly. This is one of the most entertaining superhero comics on the market.
The Verdict: 9.0/10