With mutants relocating to the island nation of Krakoa, the X-mansion in Westchester, New York, has been abandoned. But there’s something strange going on in the empty Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters, and a team of mutants investigates in next week’s Giant Size X-Men: Nightcrawler, spotlighting the fuzzy elf as he uncovers horrors in his old stomping grounds. Last month’s Giant Size X-Men: Jean Grey & Emma Frost was a beautifully surreal, largely text-free homage to the classic New X-Men #121, sending the titular pair into Storm’s wounded brain to perform a psychic rescue mission. It showed how writer Jonathan Hickman uses these one-shots to enrich character while driving major mutant storylines forward, and given recent events with Nightcrawler in last month’s X-Men #7, there is a lot for Hickman to explore with Kurt Wagner’s current plan to create a new mutant religion.
After working with the phenomenal Thor and War Of The Realms art team of Russell Dauterman and colorist Matthew Wilson for Jean and Emma’s story, Hickman partners with an iconic X-artist, Alan Davis, for Kurt’s chapter. This exclusive preview of next week’s Giant Size X-Men: Nightcrawler is a homecoming for both Kurt’s team and Davis, who starts the issue off with a sequence of panels reintroducing readers to the X-Men’s former base, which is now overgrown with Krakoan vegetation. The splash page showcases why Davis is considered by many to be the Nightcrawler artist, drawing his acrobatic figure with body language that projects confidence and strength. Carlos Lopez’s coloring brings a sunny brightness to these first panels, setting a point of contrast for Nightcrawler and his team’s journey into the darker corners of the X-mansion.