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Nightcrawler #3 (1986, January)

May 18, 2015

I almost forgot to actually do this post. Oops. Anyway, by Cockrum, “To Bamf, Or Not To Bamf.”

To Bamf, Or Not To Bamf

Big Bamf.

Nightcrawler meets a Bamf, on Bamf Island. Nightcrawler realizes it’s the character from Kitty’s Fairy Tale. The Bamf keeps calling him Daddy, because he’s so much bigger. The Bamf invites Nightcrawler to Bamff, the Bamf hometown, but first Nightcrawler has to recap the series up to now. The Bamf walks Nightcrawler to Bamff, and they pass a couple Pinis – little fairies, named after the Pinis, the creators of Elfworld.

In Bamff, Shagreen randomly shows up. Shagreen tries to blast Nightcrawler, but the Spellstone Kurt’s standing on reflects the spell back. Instead, Shagreen vanishes with all the Bamfs, except the first one. They need to follow him to the Fangs of Doom, and the fortress built by Barclay the Extemporaneous, who talked himself to death. The Bamf blows on a big horn, and the Fiend With No Name, named Mean, pops out of the ground. Mean and the Bamf bicker a little, and Lockheed the Giant Dragon With An Inexplicable Irish Accent arrive. Lockheed The Small Dragon hisses at Giant Lockheed, who blows him off. Nightcrawler explains the situation, and Giant Lockheed agrees to help.

On the flight, Lockheed asks about Nightcrawler, and the Bamf says he’s a Boggie, which pisses him off. Nightcrawler explains he’s from another dimension, and muses that the infinite universe theory must be true. Big Lockheed spots Kitty and Colossus’ ship. Kitty decides to join the party, and Little Lockheed is quite taken with her.

They arrive at the Fangs of Doom, and something in the water grabs Big Lockheed, which means everyone else gets dumped in the water. They swim to the shore, and get attacked by Dreadwings. Kitty gets captured. They get to the front door, which has a sign saying to Abandon Hope, except Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5-7.

In the normal world, Kitty is getting multiple readings on Nightcrawler, and grabs at one. Turns out to be a Bamf. It hits on the girls, and Kitty sends it back. But they heard it call itself Bamf, so Illyana guess, correctly, that he’s in Kitty’s Fairy Tale.

Colossus rips open a door, and gets a steel block dropped on his head, which he also tears apart. As they continue on, Colossus and Mean disappear, and a giant red Bamf appears. It’s Dark Bamf! The Dark Bamf defeats Nightcrawler.

With this issue, the series goes from odd to bizarre. It’s still a lot of fun, though. The return to Kitty’s Fairy Tale – and the reveal that it’s a real world – is cute. In an infinite number of universes, it makes sense that this one would be real, too. In fact, every story ever told would have its own universe. Bamf and Mean are both fun characters. The story moves along well, with clever twists. The art is good.

In retrospect, though, I do have one problem with this issue: Making the Bamfs real opened the door for Jason Aaron bringing them into his WatXM run. The modern Bamfs are an obnoxious concept, and one that absolutely no one can make the least bit bearable. It’s enough to make me wish that Cockrum had never done this story, so that Aaron never would’ve come up with the idea of bringing them in.

Still, it’s not fair to judge Cockrum for what later writers did. So this series remains light, silly fun. It’s an enjoyable read.


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