Nightcrawler by Chris Claremont

Nightcrawler #2

Cover to Nightcrawler #2. The cover art has been some of the best part!

This week, I want to look at the new run of Nightcrawler by Chris Claremont. It makes sense that it’s Claremont writing it – he’s put decades into the character. Of course, that also means you might not expect to see something new from the comic – but instead more of the same.

Then again, more of the same took a lot of work. When I got back into comics, I found out that my favorite character – Nightcrawler – had died. I wrote about some of the signs they gave about potentially bringing him back. And finally, as talked about here on Sourcerer, Nightcrawler came back!

It happens all the time in comics – the dead character comes back. Clones, time travel, alternate dimensions, never dead in the first place… but in Nightcrawler’s case, he actually and fully died. And went to Heaven. And that’s where the X-Men found him – and brought him back from. That’s all chronicled in Amazing X-Men.

So he’s back, and has a solo comic – something actually pretty rare for the blue elf – and has his old creator back at the helm. What are they up to? Why bring Nightcrawler back? A few thoughts on that and on the comic Nightcrawler!

You Can Never Go Home Again

Oh. Except that you can.

That’s where things start in Nightcrawler. Kurt Wagner’s been dead. Ten years or so in outside world time (so who knows how long in the comics…). And he’s back. So what do you do? What would you do?

Cover to Nightcrawler #4

Cover to Nightcrawler #4

He goes looking for old connections, of course. He find Amanda Sefton, his lifelong companion and often lover. That leads them away to their old home, the circus that Nightcrawler was so quick to remind everyone of in X-2. There he is: back home again. The people are still there, and he knows them, but they don’t believe he’s back alive, and it’s full of laughs and happy. And action. And lots of teleporting.

From there, back to the X-Men, where Nightcrawler has to find a home back among his brethren, in a landscape that has changed quite a bit. New school, new headmaster (Wolverine?), and lots of new students.

Oh, and more swashbuckling and teleporting. They definitely know their audience!

It’s 7 issues in so far, and honestly, I don’t know what I think. It feels like a nostalgia ride, like a last hurrah, like a pet project and labor of love for Claremont. It’s some pretty obvious sorts of things that Kurt does once he’s back, some pretty normal sorts of adjustments. And by normal, I mean I’ve seen Buffy: the Vampire Slayer season 6. He was in Heaven!…

But can the comic be more than that? The thing I maybe have to compare it to most is the older run of Nightcrawler, a 12-comic run from before Kurt died. In it, he’s not going around fighting at every chance. He’s investigating a mystery – the sort that seems to follow him around. Demons and magic. Sure, there’s been magic in the new comic, but that older comic had some real twists and was a lot of fun. This is just a stroll down memory lane so far… once that’s done, will it become more? Or will it end, like a lot of one-character comics do?

Nightcrawler (2004-2005) #8

Cover to #8 of the 2004-2005 12-issue Nighcrawler

I have a theory (it could be bunnies! oh, no, not Buffy, sorry), and it has to do with the most recent issue. Continue reading

About my personal blog . . .

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Just so you know, I’ve got a new set of about pages and a new tagline for Just Gene’O coming soon. Posting this here because I want Suzie81’s #SundayBlogShare to spread as far as possible before the end of the week, so I’m not ready to disturb Just Gene’O’s front page yet. That’s an ultra-low-traffic blog, but every blogger counts. No telling who might see it and share it if I leave it up. The hardest part of blogging is knowing when not to post.

I’ve struggled for most of the year to figure out how my own blog fits into the scheme, and I believe I have nailed it down. It is an epiphany. It’s thanks to all you marvelous peeps who chatted with me about my Feminist Friday wrap-up at Part Time Monster and my crazy-long planning post here on Sunday, and who responded to my #SundayBlogShare tweets. I saw all those Twitter notifications yesterday after work. It was gratifying.

Just Gene’O can’t be writing-centric any more because it has to be blogger-centric to get us where we’re going. I haven’t done a serious writing piece in ages, and I need a blog for bloggers because that’s more inclusive.

I need an online space to introduce myself specifically to bloggers: geek bloggers, food bloggers, mommy bloggers, diarists, and every other type of blogger you can think of, as well as writers and book lovers. Not to worry, you writers and writing bloggers who have supported me this year. You have my gratitude, and you’re still getting the love from me. I value reading and literacy more than almost anything else, and I am a writer. Thanks for all you do.

I didn’t see the need to do this until now because I didn’t have the portfolio to make it work until recently. But now I do see it. My writing about blogging and social media is the most popular thing I’ve done this year, and it’s mostly bloggers who pay attention to me on Twitter. This change is the next logical thing. It needs to be done soon, while we’ve got things buzzing a little and before the heavy writing starts. I’m thinking I’ll make the changes live on Friday afternoon and roll them out in my coffee post on Saturday, but that is contingent on my schedule.

This doesn’t mean I’m going to write about blogging over there 24/7. The personal stuff will stay,  and I’m still planning to add a fun feature or two. It’s not a space to publish tons of content about blogging so much as place to do things like Social Saturdays and to pass along information (like #SundayBlogShare) that other bloggers might like to know.

Thanks, Luther, for the meme! Follow Luther on Twitter @nfinitefreetime and buy his books. You know you want to. (#JediMindTrick)  😉

– ed. If we manage to get through this next phase and come roaring back in January, there will be pirate and world-domination themed comedy aplenty!

This Space for Rent

For the low, low price of 250+ words accompanied by one or more shareable images per day.

Unless you’re running a hugely successful blog, this might actually be worth something to you if it’s the right fit. I’m looking to add a blogger or two before the end of the year. I’ve hesitated to post open invitations up to this point because we haven’t had much to offer, but now we have something to offer. We’re a credible pop culture blog with a small but growing audience. Our readers love television and comics, and I think they’d like movies and gaming, too. If you’d like to write about television, movies, or gaming here, I’m open to discussing it.

Possibly the first Jolly Roger every documented by the British Navy. (Hooray for the public domain, right?). I have taken it as my banner. Flock to my banner . . . ple-e-e-a-a-se?

Permission to come aboard, matey! 😉

What you get out to of the deal:

  1. A Monday or Tuesday A.M. posting slot.
  2. Links to your posts shared on Sourcerer’s social media.
  3. An opportunity to link to your own blog and one or two of your other social media accounts every time you post.
  4. An announcement a few days before we run your first post.
  5. Occasional opportunities to get to know other bloggers during things like my Social Saturday tweet-and-pinfests.
  6. Guaranteed attention from me on Twitter (if you’re active there) and Facebook (if you have a fanpage).

Requirements:

  • Must have enough experience blogging that I can look at your work, make an informed decision about whether it’s appropriate for our readers, and trust you with access to our dashboard. Creativity, humor, and a distinctive blogging style are a plus.
  • Must agree to minimal and reasonable policies (content must be SFW, must communicate if you aren’t going to get a post in on time, no copyright infringement, etc.)
  • Must be able to deliver posts that require minimal editing. I scan for typos, help with art when necessary, check tags, etc. That’s about all I’m willing to do as an editor at this point.

Ideally, I’d like to add one blogger who can post weekly, but I’m open to fortnightly and monthly arrangements.

Interested? Comment on this thread, or contact me in whatever way works best for you.

Bonus Post: WordPress Trick #1

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I figure since I asked you to read 2,000 words about my long-term planning today, the least I can do is give you a laugh at my expense and a WordPress trick you might not be aware of. Thanks, Diana, for the meme, and Luther, for the awesome conversation on Twitter that prompted her to dig it up. David, this is the post I promised you last time we talked about the technical side of WordPress. Join us all on Twitter, folks. It’s a laugh-a-minute over there on Saturday afternoons!

If you go and look at your WordPress account settings, you’ll see a checkbox right under the interface language that says “Surprise me (Fun mode).”

WP_FunMode

When you check that box and save the change, it enables a check-box in your dashboard called “This post is super-awesome.” You can find it right beneath your publicize settings and check it or not for individual posts as you see fit.

SuperAwesome

And what does it do, you ask?

I have no freakin’ clue. So far, the Internet has refused to yield that secret to me. Diana and I discovered it by accident. My two favorite theories are that it makes your post more likely to be seen by Freshly-Pressed editors and that it introduces some random bonus element into news feed placement. Both of those are speculation, though.  Diana tends to use it only for Part Time Monster’s best posts. I use it for just about everything.

We discovered it almost a year ago and I have yet to figure out what the point is, but it still counts as a WordPress trick. I’m assuming that whatever it does is entertaining at the very least, and I did get a trophy notification that included a Leetspeak reference once.

Notice how this is #1? That’s because I’m planning to do more of these once I get next year laid out and settle back in to the Sunday social media blogging for spring.

EDITED: And . . .  the Internet has yielded the secret. Or actually, All Thoughts Work yielded it 😉

In another recognition of the solitary nature of blogging, Mullenweg and Roth also wanted to celebrate the publishing efforts of the individual writer. Or, at least, allow the user to celebrate him or herself. So they added a “this post is super-awesome” button authors can check when particularly pleased with a specific post. And they’ve introduced video snippets of scenes replete with whooping, high fiving, slamdunking and general celebration that might play when someone hits the “publish” button. The Tiger Woods hole-in-one footage seemed off to me but there were some great clips. Randy Kennedy from the New York Times even filmed a little segment saying “from the world of publishing, congratulations on publishing.” I’d definitely smile if that played after I’d just sent my pearls of wisdom off into the ether.

From Businessweek.

One more reason to love blogging! Thank you very much, Anna!