Comics
Published May 27, 2021

Hellfire Gala Previews and Predictions: Way of X

Look inside 'Way of X' #3 as Nightcrawler joins the Gala!

Krakoa is for mutants! But is Krakoa what’s best for mutants?

Kurt Wagner, AKA Nightcrawler, once believed that the newly formed mutant nation was a blessing. But heading into the Hellfire Gala on June 23, Nightcrawler is no longer as certain about Krakoa’s true nature or even his own role in this new society. He’s very troubled by some of the things that he’s seen and heard. And Nightcrawler has very good reasons to be alarmed.

WAY OF X #3 cover by Giuseppe Camuncoli and Marte Gracia
WAY OF X #3 cover by Giuseppe Camuncoli and Marte Gracia

Nightcrawler has always been a mutant of faith, and he even considered entering a seminary. Years later, he was also tricked into believing that he was a priest...but that’s neither here nor there. Regardless, Nightcrawler’s belief was only enhanced when he spent time in the afterlife following his first demise. He seemingly gave up eternal paradise to save his friends. But it was a confirmation of everything that he ever had faith in.

Additionally, Nightcrawler's boundless hope and optimism was buoyed by Krakoa’s miracle of resurrection. Lost friends and loved ones can now escape from the great beyond thanks to the good works of the Five. Unfortunately, conquering death has had an unsettling impact on Krakoa’s younger mutants. Nightcrawler has personally witnessed the cavalier attitude that they have towards danger. Pixie even allowed an anti-mutant terrorist to kill her after she was encouraged by her friends to experience resurrection for herself.  

WAY OF X #3 preview art by Bob Quinn with colors by Java Tartaglia
WAY OF X #3 preview art by Bob Quinn with colors by Java Tartaglia

Nightcrawler knows that what he saw was wrong, and he’s had trouble finding anyone on Krakoa who shares that sentiment. These incidents have also shaken Nightcrawler’s resolve to create a mutant religion. He doesn’t have the answers, and no longer pretends that he does.

That’s why Nightcrawler has attracted the attention of David Haller, AKA Legion. The son of Professor Charles Xavier is once again among the living, in a brand-new body of his own. And yet David rejected his father and Magneto because he can sense the secrets that they are holding back from Krakoa’s citizens. Instead, he’s drawn to Nightcrawler because of his intrinsic humanity and because his search for answers isn’t hidden behind false bravado; Nightcrawler humbly admits to himself and others that he may not be capable of solving his crisis of faith.

WAY OF X #3 preview art by Bob Quinn with colors by Java Tartaglia
WAY OF X #3 preview art by Bob Quinn with colors by Java Tartaglia

David’s arrival has also shed some light on the darkness creeping over Krakoa. Someone, and we don’t know who, placed something malevolent in Nightcrawler’s mind. And if that was in Nightcrawler, how many other mutants are infected? How deep does the rot go? And who has the power to do such a thing? The leading suspect may be one of the most dangerous mutants ever created: Onslaught. The fusion of Xavier and Magneto once brought Earth’s heroes to their knees. Now, he seems to exist without a body as a kind of mutant boogeyman.

Solving these problems isn’t going to happen overnight. For now, designer Bob Quinn has prepared Nightcrawler for Krakoa’s first major social event with a custom outfit. Ever the swashbuckler, Nightcrawler’s ensemble is dashing in red and black with a hat and cane that would make Errol Flynn green with envy. 

WAY OF X #3 preview art by Bob Quinn with colors by Java Tartaglia
WAY OF X #3 preview art by Bob Quinn with colors by Java Tartaglia

Quinn also designed outfits for the teenage girls Pixie, Mercury, and Loa. The three friends have been given lovely dresses that seem to reflect aspects of their costumes and personalities, although it should be noted that Pixie is going with a nearly all-black look, as opposed to the bright colors that she normally favors. Loa may not have noticed that because she’s far more interested in pursuing a romantic relationship with Mercury. And despite a high probability that Mercury will reciprocate her feelings, Loa seems hesitant to simply admit what’s in her heart.

Dazzler is also wearing a Quinn original for her performance at the Hellfire Gala. The former X-Men member is still a big celebrity among her people, and the dress she’s wearing revisits the bell bottoms of the ‘70s. She wasn’t called the Disco Dazzler for nothing! Even touches from her classic makeup have been incorporated into this show-stopping costume.

WAY OF X #3 design variant

Will true love prevail at the Hellfire Gala? And will Nightcrawler find the answers that he’s looking for? Find out when WAY OF X #3 hits stores on Wednesday, June 23!

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