The Newest Spider-Man Is Missing His Most Important Quality


The Newest Spider-Man Is Missing His Most Important Quality

Readers of Spider-Man are used to the Webslinger’s tell-tale humor; the newest character to take the mantle needs to learn how to quip.

Warning: Spoilers for Uncanny Spider-Man #1!



Every incarnation of Spider-Man share one consistent character trait – except the newest Spidey, Kurt Wagner, f.k.a. Nightcrawler. With anti-mutant hate group Orchis waging all-out war against mutantkind, one of the few mutants still roaming the earth is Kurt, and in order to hide in plain sight, he has taken to protecting New York as a brand-new Spider-Man.

Uncanny Spider-Man #1 – by Si Spurrier, Lee Garbett, Matt Milla, and VC’s Joe Caramagna – begins Kurt’s new journey, with the issue opening as Kurt chases first pair of villains, two petty thieves, into a park.

During the fight, Kurt gets the opportunity to show off a Spider-Man’s most important quality: quippy one-liners. Needless to say, Kurt has some work to do.

Nightcrawler’s Spidey One-Liners Need Work

panels from Uncanny Spider-Man #1, Nightcrawler Spider-Man makes jokes

Spider-Man, or the Hellcrawler, takes out both men and, as Spider-Men tend to do, naturally attempts banter with the criminals. His first joke, and his official first line as Spider-Man in this series: “park-weirdo alert!” Not exactly off to an auspicious start, at least humor-wise. Kurt continues, admitting to one of the criminals that he is still working on his “pithy one-liners,” though he feels like this is the perfect opportunity to try a few out. The one he goes with is, “You need to practice your parking, pal.” Uncanny Spider-Man #1 is well-aware that Kurt’s joke-game needs serious improvement, and that is part of the fun.

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Kurt Needs To Adapt To All Of Spider-Man’s Skills

panels from Uncanny Spider-Man #1, Nightcrawler Spider-Man makes jokes

When the joke doesn’t land as Kurt hoped, he then proceeds to explain the meaning to the criminals. Clearly, he has a long way to go to understand the most essential aspect of the Spider-Man guise. Still, considering how bleak most X-titles have been lately, given mutantkind’s current circumstances, this is an amusing, and lighthearted, arc for Uncanny Spider-Man to set up. Quips are themselves a staple of superhero culture, but Spider-Man elevates them to an art form, to the point that quipping is a feature in his video game. The past has shown that quipping comes naturally to Peter Parker, Miles Morales, and other heroes within the Spider-Verse.

That doesn’t seem to be the case for Kurt Wagner – but then again, quipping is something that Kurt seldom ever did as Nightcrawler. He was always as charming, but not quite the jokester. One of the exciting things about a title like Uncanny Spider-Man is that Marvel has taken the opportunity to thrust an unexpected character into the spotlight, to take Nightcrawler and thrust him into the company’s most prominent role, forcing him to grow rapidly as a character in order to succeed. It seems being bad at quips will play a part in the character journey Kurt has to go to fully become Spider-Man.

Uncanny Spider-Man #1 is available now from Marvel Comics!

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