The Fall of X is coming to an end soon. With that we are seeing all of the X-Men comics wrapping up their storylines ahead Fall of the House of X and Rise of the Powers of X. One of these plotlines is Nightcrawler’s new superhero journey as part of the Spider-Man Family. Things recently got a bit more complicated as Nightcrawler and Silver Sable, who was contracted to hunt him, have started a relationship. Give Silver Sable’s connections as a contract mercenary will this relationship continue to blossom or is it doom to fail? Let’s find out with Uncanny Spider-Man #4.
Writer: Si Spurrier
Artist: Lee Garbett
Colorist: Matt Milla
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
“SPIDER-MAN’S A MUTANT! Okay, not that Spider-Man, but we got your attention, eh? Orchis’ Stark Sentinels are wreaking havoc across Peter Parker’s home turf, and it’s not just mutants in the crosshairs now. But while Peter and Kurt thwip and bamf their way around the murderous machines, another set of eyes watches from the shadows. Secrets will be revealed in this penultimate issue!” – Marvel Comics
Uncanny Spider-Man #4 has all the elements that has continued to make this arguably the best X-Men series during the Fall of X direction. Unfortunately, that good will is almost completely overshadowed by the unnecessary slip up so this could tie into the upcoming Mystique one-shot. If it wasn’t for that this would’ve continued to be a great character study of Nightcrawler.
Keeping to the good of Uncanny Spider-Man #4, this issue continues to do deliver a lot of good character progression for Nightcrawler. Involving Peter Parker’s Spider-Man in the story was nicely done to enhance Nightcrawler’s narrative. While he has had his swashbuckling heroic past that is all that is for him. It’s the past. He hasn’t been able to be that type of superhero for a long time. So seeing Spider-Man selflessly defend a mutant against a mob and an Iron Man Sentinel we see Nightcrawler show jealousy of Peter’s freedom in his way of trying to calm the situation.
This leads in well into how Nightcrawler does want to have a genuine relationship with Silver Sable. There is clearly something more there beyond their sexual attraction. Though once they do get more real with each other their respective positions comes into play. Nightcrawler being the person Silver Sable was contracted to capture is an obvious rift between them. Even if Silver Sable does have a change of heart her commitment to her mercenary work is hard to shake.
This does place Nightcrawler in a spot where all of his experiences as Spider-Man will be tested. Spurrier has done a good job at building up this battle being what will test Nightcrawler to move forward. Vulture’s ties to Orchis also can lead the ending of Uncanny Spider-Man to have an impact on the way Fall of X ends.
Peter’s Spider-Man being part of Nightcrawler’s narrative also helps to further drive home how no matter how dark things have gotten the X-Men do have other superhero allies. Orchis plan for Fall of X has unintentionally united other heroes to work with and be open allies to mutants. It’s a nice change since normally the X-Men are left to fend for themselves.
For all that good there is one major weakness that holds Uncanny Spider-Man #4 back. That setback is the involvement of Mystique. With her involvement Spurrier confirms that her part in Nightcrawler’s narrative was nothing more than a promotional piece to her one-shot.
That is confirmed by the blank page we get that specifically states you have to read X-Men Blue: Origins #1. It was by far the worst transition between scenes. It leaves you with a sense of feeling robbed of genuine development that takes you out of being fully invested in how Uncanny Spider-Man #4 ends. Its an unforced creative and editorial error.
Uncanny Spider-Man #4 has all of the elements that have made this one of the best Fall of X stories. Si Spurrier and Lee Garbett have done a great job at exploring how the Fall of X direction impacts Nightcrawler on multiple levels. Unfortunately, the unnecessary promotional angle for a different comic stalls all the positive momentum this series has created. Hopefully the final issue can recover its momentum and end Uncanny Spider-Man as strong as it started.
Story Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10