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Nightcrawler #5

Posted: Thursday, February 3, 2005
By: Jason Cornwell



"Ghosts On The Tracks, Part 1 of 2: And Kurt Hopped The A-Train"

Writer: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Pencils: Darick Robertson
Inks: Wayne Faucher
Colors: Avalon's Matt Milla
Letters: VC's Cory Petit
Publisher: Marvel Comics
$2.99 U.S. / $4.25 CAN

Plot:
As a pleasant evening out is brought to a halt when Kurt in nearly run down by an out of control subway train, we see that after the train is brought to a halt he learns the conductor died thanks to an encounter with the ghosts that have taken to haunting the New York Subway tunnels. We than see Kurt is called upon by the Mayor to investigate this supernatural disturbance, and the issue ends with Kurt in a darken subway tunnel surrounded by a host of angry ghosts.

Comments:
This issue looks to be further cementing Kurt's position as an investigator of the supernatural, and while Kurt demon-like appearance does make him a natural fit in this environment I must confess I'm a little disappointed to see the character being painted into corner so early in his series. In fact if nothing else this early in a series, the writing should be about showing readers how much potential this title has for future stories, but Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa seems to be more focused on establishing a format for his stories. Now I will concede that there currently isn't a title coming out of Marvel that centres around the supernatural, and if the box-office is any indication of the public taste, horror movies are back in a big way, so it probably couldn't hurt to attach this series to the back of this bandwagon. I'll also confess I've always been rather fond of supernatural, and Kurt's inexperience in these types of adventures does add an extra level of enjoyment to the proceedings. There's also something refreshing about the fact that this current arc is only going to be two issues long, as it results in a story where Kurt is thrown headlong into the investigation of the mystery, and the mystery itself looks quite promising, though if I had to guess I'd say these are the ghost of seventeen workers who were trapped and left to died during the original construction of the subway system, and they are pushing for their bodies to be properly buried. In the end this is an entertaining show, but I'm a little concerned that this title has limited it's potential by focusing solely on the supernatural.

Darick Roberson turns in some lovely work on this issue, as he's called upon to capture the horror movie vibe as Kurt investigated the haunted subway tunnels of New York City. Now some of the quieter moments were a bit awkwardly presented, as Kurt's new girlfriend has a face that seems to change shape from panel to panel, and truth be told the ghosts that are haunting the subway tunnels really don't strike me as being all that terrifying. However, the art does some nice work on the scene where Kurt deals with the racing subway train, and the scene where he questions the wife of the dead conductor managed to offer up some lovely visual touches, like the panel where they're reflected in the tea kettle, or the silhouetted panel that perfectly captures the woman's grief. We also continue to get some lovely covers from Greg Land, and it's nice to see this month's effort is actually linked to the story we get inside.



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