"The Devil Inside, Part Three: Fourteen Demons"
Writer: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Artists: Darick Robertson (p), Wayne Faucher (i)
Publisher: Marvel Comics
As Kurt deals with the fact that his investigation into the murder of thirteen children is not going very well, we see he decides another visit with the surviving child is in order, but the information that the child provides him does little the clear up Kurt's sense of frustration. However, when the child's mystery aunt is revealed to be possessed by demons, we see Kurt finally gets a good grasp on the situation, but he's not happy with what he learns.
I've heard nothing but bad things about the work that Chuck Austen did with the character of Nightcrawler over in the pages of "Uncanny X-Men", nor do I have any desire to seek out the story to see how well Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's work on this title links up with the continuity elements that were established by Chuck Austen's efforts. I will say that I don't quite understand where the complaints are coming from regarding Kurt's reaction to the whole fallen angels element of the plot, as in spite of his being a deeply religious character who has been exposed to a number of fantastic elements, a well established element of the character has always been the idea that he is forever questioning his commitment to his religion thanks to the various comprises that he's been asked to make over the years, that it makes sense he would be disturbed by the confirmation of one of the more fantastic claims that is made in the Bible. In fact if nothing else, I would be crying foul if Kurt had blindly accepted the explanation he was given, as it's been well established that the character is not one who accepts something as the God's honest truth simply because the scriptures call upon him to do so. In fact the reason why religion is an engaging element of Nightcrawler's character is because he's forever finding himself at odds with the expected path that one is expected to follow. In any event this issue offers up the exposition that sets up the story up for its big climax, and I have to say this issue does an exciting job of setting us up for what looks to be a highly engaging finish.
Darick Robertson's work is a very welcome sight on this title, as his photo-realistic style is proving to be a great match for Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's darker writing, as while this issue is largely a talking heads affair, the art does manage to convey a nice creepy undertone during the scene where Kurt talks with the young boy, and this feeling is further enhanced during the scene where Kurt slowly becomes aware of the why the children were killed, and why the young child that survived is in serious danger. There's also some nice work on the book's action scenes, from the opening fencing duel, to the scene later in the issue where we see Kurt deals with the demon possessed elderly woman. The art also offers up some highly expressive facial expressions, with Kurt's expression as he dropped the demon possessed woman in the church being the highlight image of the issue. We also get another fine cover image from the ever dependable Greg Land.
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