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Nightcrawler #1 (1985, November)

April 3, 2015

Happy Good Friday. Here, by Dave Cockrum, is “How Much Is That Boggie In the Window?”

How Much Is That Boggie In the Window?

Swashbuckling ahoy.

Nightcrawler’s doing a no-teleport Danger Room session, watched over by Kitty and Illyana. He deals with the missiles by going through a guillotine gate that closes behind him and stops the missiles. Kitty and Illyana ask him about the no-teleport sessions, and he tells them about his adventure in Bizarre Adventures #27, when he and the Vanisher both ended up in a fantasy realm until they got home through the Well At the Centre of Time. Kitty finds that idea interesting, so she uses the Danger Room to create a simulacrum. They all go down to check it out, and a tentacle grabs Lockheed. Nightcrawler jumps in to rescue him, but then the Well disappears with the two of them.

They’re being held by some giant flying gas-bag creature. Nightcrawler teleports to its top, and Lockheed bites his way free, then spits fire at it. The creature whizzes off, leaving Lockheed and Nightcrawler behind. They teleport over to a flying ship. The crew thinks it’s the Great Boggie and his Frumious Bandersnitch. After a brief struggle, Captain Long John McGurk agrees to let Nightcrawler join the crew. After a week, they come across another ship, and get ready to attack it. It took him a week to learn he was on a pirate ship? That defies all logic.

Fight! Nightcrawler feels awful, and decides to put a stop to it, by getting onto one of the guns and blowing up the mast. He forces McGurk to stand down. Then he teleports to the royal ship that was being attacked. The crew thinks he’s the Great Boggie, and his Frumious Bandersnitch. He explains his situation, and then Jinjav Sabree comes out. She’s like a princess. So, naturally, Nightcrawler immediately hits on her, because that’s what swashbuckling heroes do on grand adventures. Of course, the crew shoves him away.

The ship reaches Bel Amee’ Anora, a giant floating city. As the Jinjav debarks, Nightcrawler tries to talk to her again, but the Chamberlain intercepts him. He offers Nightcrawler payment for services rendered, but NIghtcrawler angrily rejects it, saying he doesn’t sell his loyalty, he gives it. He teleports away, just before someone rushes over to say the Jinjav’s been captured.

He finds a bazaar, and the people think he’s the Great Boggie, and his Frumious Bandersnitch. One person asks if it shouldn’t be Bandersnatch, but someone else says it’s too small. He escapes, then steals a robe. A woman runs up asking for help, and lures him into a long, dark alley. He’s hit from behind by McGurk.

Nightcrawler wakes up on another flying ship, but this one’s attached to a giant flying squid. He’s been sold to Shagreen the Sorcerer, a shark-dude.

This is fun. It’s weird and goofy and silly and fun. It’s a high fantasy adventure, with pirates and princesses and sorcerers and comedy. The running gag of “It’s the Great Boggie – and his Frumious Bandersnitch!” is really funny. Bandersnatch, of course, is a reference to the Lewis Carroll poem, Jabberwocky. A poem I have never read, and likely will never get around to.

Nightcrawler was Cockrum’s favourite X-Man, and he’s clearly having a lot of fun making this book, and that sense of fun comes through and makes it fun for the reader, too. Lockheed’s great, too. He’s a fun addition to the book.

Song of the day: Season 5 of My Little Pony starts tomorrow, so I’ll go with one of my favourite songs from the show (and one that’s pretty timely right now), Winter Wrap-Up.

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