Kurt Wagner is the child of the mutant terrorist Mystique and the demonic-looking mutant Azazel, being abandoned by his mother right after his birth in the Bavarian Alps. He was found and raised by the Romani witch Margali Szardos and lived a happy childhood despite his devilish appearance. He performed as a trapeze artist in the carnival where his adoptive family worked, alongside his siblings Jimaine and Stefan. After Stefan became a vile mass-murderer in Winzeldorf, Kurt unintentionally executed his own brother. Their conflict caught the attention of a mob, who believed Kurt to be a murderous demon and decided to hunt and lynch him. Kurt was ultimately saved by Professor Charles Xavier of the X-Men, who invited him to join the super-hero mutant group as Nightcrawler.
Nightcrawler soon became one of the most respected and beloved members of the X-Men, due to his charming attitude and kind soul. Eventually, the X-Men have become his family and he led the team in several opportunities. Nightcrawler was also a prominent member and even the leader of the British-based mutant group Excalibur for years. As a member of the X-Men, Nightcrawler paid the ultimate price to ensure the survival of the first mutant born after the M-Day, Hope Summers. Years later, he found his way back to the land of the living and to the X-Men.
When all mutantkind resettled on the island nation of Krakoa, by Professor Xavier's request, Nightcrawler was one of the first mutants to join. He was eventually offered a position on the Quiet Council of Krakoa, the supreme body of mutant government. Realizing mutant society was deeply altered by the migration to Krakoa and being a religious and spiritual believer himself, Nightcrawler shared his intentions of creating a mutant religion.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Early Years
- 1.2 Circus Life
- 1.3 X-Men
- 1.4 Excalibur
- 1.5 Priesthood
- 1.6 Drama Teacher
- 1.7 Divided We Stand
- 1.8 Manifest Destiny
- 1.9 Sacrifice
- 1.10 Wolverine Goes To Hell
- 1.11 Resurrection
- 1.12 Trimegas
- 1.13 Jean Grey School
- 1.14 Death of Wolverine
- 1.15 Second Death
- 1.16 Second Resurrection
- 1.17 House of X
- 2 Powers and Abilities
- 3 Paraphernalia
- 4 Notes
- 5 Trivia
- 6 See Also
- 7 Links and References
- 8 References
In the form of a German noblewoman, the shape-shifting mutant Mystique married Baron Christian Wagner. Meanwhile, Mystique had an affair with the mysterious Azazel from La Isla des Demonas and became pregnant with their child. Azazel told Mystique to raise their child as if it were the Count's. A heartbroken Raven agreed and, while Christian did become suspicious as to the baby's paternity, his sudden "accidental" death ensured no one else heard his suspicions. The baby was born visibly mutated with blue fur all over, pointed ears, iridescent eyes, and a prehensile tail. Due to the shock and the strain of the boy’s difficult delivery, Mystique lost concentration and accidentally revealed her true form. Word spread of her and the baby's condition and mother and son were chased by a torch-wielding angry mob. Mystique passed out and left young Kurt Wagner floating down a river during her escape.
Miraculously, the baby survived and was saved by Margali Szardos, a sorceress and Romani queen, who became a fortuneteller at Herr Getmann's Traveling Menagerie. Margali took the baby back with her to the circus. Wagner was never legally adopted by anyone but was raised within the circus, mostly with people who had no prejudices against "freaks" save for the ringmaster, Herr Max Getmann. Margali acted as Wagner's unofficial foster mother. Wagner grew up in Max Getmann's Circus and his two closest friends were his "adopted" brother and sister, Margali's natural children Stephan and Jimaine Szardos. Later, Kurt and Stephan forged a true friendship as they grew older, and Stephan knew that his magical heritage might lure him to evil one day. So, Stephan had Kurt promise him a blood-oath, that if he ever killed without reason, Kurt would kill him as well. Long before his teleportation power emerged, Wagner had tremendous natural agility and by his adolescence he had become the circus' star acrobat and aerial artist. Circus audiences assumed that he was a normal-looking human being wearing a demon-like costume.
As he got older, Kurt's abilities drew less and less of a crowd until one day, Herr Getmann could no longer afford to keep him sedated between acts and decided to sell him. Fearing the worst, Margali worked with Armen Freilich to free Kurt. As he fled, he accidentally knocked over a torch, igniting the circus. Getmann and his men chased Kurt through the forest and were about to shoot him in the face when he teleported for the first time. Astonished and pleased with his escape, Kurt wearily made his way to the nearby Father Wagner's church. Two days later, he was discovered and welcomed and Kurt happily found a home trading shelter for labor. One evening, Armen burst in the door, apparently being chased by Getmann and his goons for escaping. Father Wagner tried to stop them from taking the boys, but the men proved too strong and set the church on fire during the brawl. Kurt ported Armen to a nearby farm before going back and beating on Getmann. Just as he was about to kill Getmann, Father Wagner reminded Kurt of his humanity. With the tides turned, Getmann and his men took aim to kill both Kurt and the Father but were frozen. Professor Charles Xavier had arrived and taken control of the angry mob's minds, programming them all to remember Kurt dying in the fire.
Years later, the Texas millionaire Amos Jardine, who ran a large circus based in Florida, heard of the circus Wagner worked for and bought it. Jardine intended to move its best acts into his American circus. However, he demanded that Wagner be placed in the circus' freak show. Appalled, Wagner quit and made his way towards Winzeldorf, Germany, where Stephan was. Kurt discovered that Stephan had gone mad and had brutally slain several children. Two nights after leaving the circus, Wagner found Stephan and fought him, hoping to stop his rampage. In the course of the struggle, Wagner unintentionally broke Stephan's neck. Then the villagers of Winzeldorf, who assumed him to be a demon who was responsible for the child killings, discovered Wagner. They were about to kill him, when they were all psionically paralyzed by Professor Xavier, who had come to recruit Wagner into the X-Men. Wagner agreed to join the group, but before they left for America, he and Prof. Xavier went to the Bavarian circus so that Wagner could explain to Margali about Stephan's death. However, Margali was not there and she held Wagner responsible for murdering Stephan.
Wagner helped Prof. Xavier and Cyclops rescue the original X-Men from Krakoa. After most of the original team left for a time, Wagner, along with fellow new recruits Storm, Colossus, Wolverine, Banshee, and Thunderbird, stayed at the Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters as members of the new X-Men. The second group of X-Men were mostly adults and required no tutoring from Professor X, but trained in the use of their powers, in the Danger Room.
Kurt met Amanda Sefton and the two began to date. Investigating the murder of an old friend, Eric Hoffman, Kurt briefly battled Spider-Man and The Punisher until the real killer, Jigsaw, was revealed and the trio defeated him.
While meeting Amanda at an airport, Kurt recognized the plane of Arcade and overheard that he had been contracted, by Arnos, to kill Spider-Man and refused. After arriving at Arnos' circus, Kurt impersonated Spider-Man, to draw-out the new assassin, and the duo battled Cutthroat.
On Kurt’s twenty-first birthday, Jimaine transported Kurt’s soul to a simulacrum of Dante's hell. There, he faced Margali Szardos, who held Kurt responsible for the death of Stephan. When Nightcrawler convinced Margali that Stephan had gone insane, she forgave Kurt and departed. Jimaine revealed that she had been at Nightcrawler's side, magically disguised for months as Amanda Sefton, Kurt's girlfriend.
Kurt then accompanied Wolverine to Ottawa, Canada, where he learned Wolverine's real name "Logan", to make things right with Alpha Flight and Department H and together with Alpha Flight they battled Wendigo. Then, The X-Men stopped the attempted assassination of Senator Robert Kelly by the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants lead by Mystique. When Nightcrawler encountered Mystique for the first time in his adult life, he was shocked to discover how similar in appearance they were and that she knew his real name. Mystique only told him to ask his foster mother, Margali Szardos, about it, leaving Nightcrawler confused.
Kurt began a close relationship with Wolverine and Colossus, even taking a dare from Wolverine to walk down the main street of Salem Center undisguised, in his natural shape. When Miss Locke kidnapped Amanda, Kurt traveled to Latveria where the X-Men defeated a Doombot in the image of Dr. Doom to rescue Arcade.
Kurt took over leadership of the X-Men after Storm had seemingly lost her powers forever. Having recounted an adventure to his teammate, Kitty Pryde (Shadowcat), Kitty, excited by the story, attempted to create a simulacrum of the Well at the Center of Time inside the X-Men's Danger Room (based on Kurt's description). Instead of crafting a simulated hologram of the Well however, Kitty inadvertently opened a doorway into the Well itself. Kitty's pet dragon, Lockheed, flew towards it to investigate, when an alien, green tentacle reached out from beyond and dragged him inside of the vortex. Nightcrawler dove in after to save Lockheed and found himself instantly transported to a bizarre, alien world. Nightcrawler and Lockheed shared several adventures on various worlds, meeting Long John McGurk, Boggies, Jinjav Sabree, and battled the sorcerer Shagreen. At the close of each encounter, he found himself drawn back into a spiraling vortex, only to be literally spat out into a new foreign land. After a great deal of trial and error, Nightcrawler finally succeeded in navigating through the Well and returning home.
When both Cyclops and Storm returned to the team, Kurt was more than willing to step down and let them sort out leadership of the X-Men themselves. While the X-Men later battled the Beyonder again, Kurt was left behind and began to question his faith in religion. Before the team returned, Kurt again battled Arcade in Murderworld, this time, to save Judith Rassendyll.
After battling Nimrod with the Hellfire Club as allies, Nightcrawler was gravely injured and was lost after he teleported. After being rescued by Colossus, Shadowcat, and Magik, Kurt found that he could not teleport anymore. Later Kurt's abilities returned, but it became more strenuous to teleport and the X-Men were turned to X-Babies by Mojo, when they battled the New Mutants, until they were broken of their brainwashing and defeated the spineless one, Mojo. After, Kurt faced the Marauders in this weakened state, where he overexerted himself into a coma. Kurt was sent to recover on Muir Island and when he awoke from his coma, Shadowcat informed Kurt of the X-Men's apparent deaths during the time he was out. 
After having the same continuous dream, Nightcrawler and Kitty realized that Rachel might have been trying to telepathically reach them. After being attacked by Gatecrasher and the Technet, who were hired by Saturnyne to eliminate Phoenix, Shadowcat and Meggan Puceanu were captured and Kurt went to Captain Britain, who was in a drunken state after the loss of his sister, Psylocke. After leaving Captain Britain, Kurt tracked Rachel to London, where the Technets were fighting the Warwolves over Rachel. The combined efforts of Kurt, Shadowcat, Phoenix, Meggan, and Captain Britain resulted in the defeat of the Technet and the Warwolves. At the urging of Rachel to continue Professor Xavier's dream, Nightcrawler and Shadowcat became founding members of the British-based team Excalibur. After inspecting their new headquarters, at the Braddock Lighthouse, Kurt briefly witnessed Queen Ai'Sha of another reality, but, when he returned with Meggan, they scene had vanished. Kurt found himself attracted to Meggan, but unable to act, due to her relationship as Captain Britain's girlfriend. Later, Kurt attempted to rescue Shadowcat, who was posing as Rachel, from her plan to find the remaining Warwolves, but Kitty was captured. After saving people from a subway train, Kurt followed a mysterious police officer to the Warwolves' hideout and Excalibur rescued Shadowcat, who's intangibility saved her life, then placed the Warwolves on display at the zoo.
After battling the Juggernaut and a group of escaped prisoners, the team addressed Captain Britain's drinking problems, while moving into their new headquarters, Captain Britain's Braddock Lighthouse. Following a trail of forfeit money, Excalibur traveled to Murderworld and battled the Crazy Gang, to rescue Captain Britain's ex girlfriend, Courtney Ross. While battling the Crazy Gang, Excalibur's bodies were switched with members of the Crazy Gang, with Kurt trading places with Jester. After Kitty entered a virus into the Murderworld computers and sent Arcade into Murderworld, Courtney restored everyone to their respectful bodies. Kurt later accompanied Brian Braddock to the The Flying Finish, where he voiced his concern of the Captain seeing Courtney while dating Meggan. Following Rachel, who sensed her infant brother's telepathic distress, Excalibur traveled to the Empire State Building and battled demons, where Meggan was brought under the demonic influence of the demon, N'astirh, and became the Goblin Princess. While battling the Goblin Princess, Kurt also rescued Rachel from the marriage to the demon, Crotus, while she had been transformed into a mannequin. Reuniting with Kitty, Shadowcat had acquired Illyana Rasputin's Soulsword and eldritch armor and Kitty returned Meggan to normal.
After the demonic invasion, Kurt left to get the X-Men's old stratojet. Kurt simply teleported into the Skunk Works, a part of the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, and started-up the SR-71 Blackbird. After briefly returning to the School for Gifted Youngsters, Excalibur returned home to rescue W.H.O. from the Lightning Force, alternate reality versions of themselves and negotiated the return of Dr. Moira Mactaggert. After returning to the exchange of Dr. MacTaggert and the Highland Flyer crew with the Lightning Force Reichsrail Train, Reichsminister MacTaggart threw a nuclear grenade and Widget teleported Excalibur and Alistaire Stuart into another dimension.
Wagner finally learned that his mother is Mystique. He took charge of the Technet, renaming them his 'N-Men', and he became romantically involved with his teammate Cerise before she left to stand trial for the Shi'ar. Kurt eventually became team leader and moved the team to the Muir Island Research Center where he briefly reunited with Amanda Sefton, who had taken the codename Daytripper, and his former X-Men teammate Colossus joined the team as well. Following the disbanding of Excalibur, Kurt returned to the United States along with Shadowcat and Colossus to rejoin the X-Men.
When Kurt faced Astra, the creator of the Magneto clone Joseph, she stunned him with the revelation that she had some part in his birth or some past connection to Mystique. Astra escaped and Nightcrawler was left wondering.
Nightcrawler ended up taking a few leaves of absence from the team, one to enroll in a seminary and become a priest, and the other to mourn for Colossus. Kurt returned to the team and eventually gave up on the priesthood.
Azazel claimed to be Wagner's true father, spawning a number of mutants with dimensional powers to help him in his mad quest. It was unclear if Kurt or any of the others believed Azazel's claim. Kurt was a part of Storm's X-Men squad. When not on missions, he taught Drama to students of the reopened Xavier Institute.
Kurt traveled to Russia along with Wolverine and Colossus where they visited the cemetery where Peter's family was buried. Afterwards they went to a local bar, where they discussed the recent loss of Kitty Pryde and the destruction of the X-Men. A fight occurred in the bar, during which their cover was blown. Soon after, the three of them were captured by the Russian government which demanded to know why all their mutants were depowered and why Colossus, Wolverine, and Nightcrawler retained their abilities. After a battle with Omega Red, the three heroes returned to the U.S. and rejoined the team now living in San Francisco.
He took it upon himself to build a new chapel at Graymalkin Industries, the X-Men's new home and base of operations.
Nightcrawler soon quit the X-Men for a short time, feeling he wasn't needed since Pixie was a better teleporter than him, and planned to return to his homeland Winzeldorf. Another motive for leaving was when the denizens of Winzeldorf invited him to visit the new Nightcrawler Museum dedicated to him. He soon learned that the local townsfolk tricked him and needed Nightcrawler's aid in defeating a monster called the Vielfras. Nightcrawler fought with the creature, but quickly discovered that Vielfras was actually a sixteen-year-old boy named Henrik Weber, who was cursed by a Romani woman. After hearing Weber's tale, Nightcrawler sympathized with him, reflecting upon his own mistreatment at the hands of town villagers many years ago. Nightcrawler defended him when the townsfolk tracked them down, but was injured in the fight. Vielfras killed all of his attackers, then himself being unable to endure this monstrous lifestyle. Mephisto appeared to collect Weber's soul as well as the souls of the twelve men Weber had killed earlier, and Nightcrawler returned to the United States and rejoined the X-Men.
While on the run from Bastion, Kurt used his ability to get Hope as far across the country as possible. Bastion caught up with them, and anticipated one of Kurt's 'ports, putting his arm through Kurt's chest. Praying to God to give him one last jump of his life, Kurt brought Hope to Utopia, dying on its shore.
The X-Men were devastated by Kurt's death (especially Wolverine), some blaming Hope or Cyclops. His cremation and eulogy took place on Utopia. It wasn't a Catholic funeral, but it was the best they could do under their circumstances.
Despite being dead, Kurt somehow was able to still help his friends on occasion. Kurt was next seen during the battle between Wolverine and the demon that was possessing his body. He realized that Wolverine would lose his mind and body if he did not help him. As a result, Kurt went to a special part of Wolverine's mind where he housed his image of Jean Grey so they can defeat the demon. When Kurt and Jean showed up in the battle they asked Kurt if he was a part of Wolverine's mind, however, he replied saying that he is the actual Nightcrawler. After the battle Kurt begged Wolverine to not seek revenge on those who did this to him, however, he refused to listen.
Nightcrawler now resided in Heaven, where he was somewhat of a loner. Despite enjoying paradise, Nightcrawler continued to feel as though he had unfinished business, remaining on the periphery rather than actually joining the heavenly choir. When Azazel mounted an attack on Heaven using his connection to Kurt as a door, the other X-Men were able to create a portal to Heaven via the power of the Bamfs, allowing them to aid Kurt in his fight, and also intending to bring him back from the dead. The plan succeeded, with Azazel defeated thanks to Professor X's own spirit following his death at Cyclops' hand, and Kurt was resurrected by the Bamf's powers to rejoin the Jean Grey X-Men. Everyone celebrated his return but was cut short when Mystique came looking for Azazel. Kurt tried to stop both of them but was defeated.
Kurt continued readjusting to life back in the land of the living. In addition to lacking a soul, many of the changes the X-Men had undergone, such as Professor Xavier's death, Wolverine's loss of his healing factor and Cyclops' secession and subsequent mutant revolution, rattled him. Still, he tried his best to cope. To this end, he reconnected with his former lover, Amanda Sefton, surprising her at her apartment one evening. However, shortly after their joyous reunion, Amanda came under attack by a villain calling itself "Trimega." They temporarily thwarted its attack and escaped. Sensing the Trimega may target their mother Margali Szardos next, Kurt and Amanda traveled to their hometown of Winzeldorf to find the infamous witch. More Trimegas attacked, but they repelled them and returned to the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning in Westchester with Margali under their protection.
Despite the objections of the X-Men, Margali was allowed to stay with them while they figured out why they were under attack. Unfortunately, this turned out to be exactly what the mastermind behind the attack had planned all along--and why she sent the Trimegas after Kurt and Amanda in the first place.
The mastermind was soon revealed to be Margali Szardos. Once inside the X-Men's headquarters, Margali was able to forcibly extract from the X-Men the memories she needed to figure out how they traveled to the afterlife to rescue Nightcrawler--information she intended to use to bring the entirety of the afterlife under her control. Margali then opened a rift in the fabric of reality that led to the hereafter and prepared to subvert it to her will using her powerful magics. Nightcrawler and Amanda fought back and ultimately defeated her, but the rift remained open. Sensing that it could only be closed from the other side, Kurt and Amanda attempted to travel through the portal into the afterlife so they could seal it shut.
However, because Kurt had willfully chosen to leave Heaven once before, he was no longer allowed back in, leaving Amanda as the only one who could make the journey. To prevent the love of her life from destroying himself trying to reach her, Amanda sealed the rift with Kurt in the material world and her in the afterlife, asking him to find a way back to her somehow. Nightcrawler was left devastated as he found himself back in the realm of the living without the woman he loved.
Jean Grey School
Kurt picked up the pieces of his heart after losing Amanda. He got more comfortable with the Bamfs and learned he could piggyback on their teleportation powers to overcome the limitations of his own. For instance, he found he could teleport "blind" into places the Bamfs had already visited, and combine his powers with theirs to teleport much farther than the previous three-mile threshold that used to limit what he could do. He also accepted a role as an instructor at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, where he helped train young mutants to use their powers. He took a particular liking to a plucky student named Scorpion Boy who had a scorpion-like physiology. He and Rico later teamed up to save a mutant genius named Ziggy Karst from the Crimson Pirates.
Not long after losing Amanda to the afterlife, Kurt's best friend Wolverine, previously considered unkillable because of his healing factor, died as well. Kurt struggled to cope with losing yet another of the people nearest and dearest to him. Kurt and Piotr honored Logan by paying their respects to the grave of Mariko Yashida in Agarashima, Japan, and incidentally fighting waves of ninja warriors just like Logan would have.
Apparently Kurt's brief interaction with Bloody Bess left a strong impression on her. When she and her cohorts came under psychic attack by the Shadow King, Bess reached out to the first person she thought of who might be able to help her: Nightcrawler. In response to her telepathic S.O.S., Kurt 'ported across the globe with the help of the Bamfs to aid her. He helped her stave off the possessed Crimson Pirates for a while, but the situation worsened when the rest of the X-Men arrived in the Blackbird to aid their teammate and were in turn ensnared by the Shadow King as well. Thankfully, Nightcrawler, Psylocke and Bloody Bess were able to resist the Shadow King's possession long enough to send Kurt to the Astral Plane to confront Farouk directly. Kurt defeated him and the trio sealed him back in his prison. However, upon returning to the physical plane, Kurt and Bess were ambushed by the Crimson Pirates--no longer possessed but acting like jerks on their own accord--who then impaled Kurt after he and Bess refused to comply with their orders. Dying once more, Kurt ascended to the afterlife, only to be pulled into the Borderlands by Amanda Sefton. Amanda explained the Borderlands were a way station for people with unfinished business, and that Kurt had business to take care of back on Earth. After a brief encounter with the spirits of Phoenix and Wolverine, Kurt was sent back on his way to the mortal plane, where he returned to his mysteriously healed body.
While Kurt was dead, the Crimson Pirates kidnapped Rico and Ziggy and transported them to the other-dimensional hideout of Tullamore Voge, where they were to be sold into slavery. Nightcrawler and Bloody Bess traveled to Voge's domain and rescued the young mutants as well as the other children Voge had captured. They then returned home with the rescued children in tow.
Nightcrawler took a brief, romantic vacation with Bloody Bess before returning to the Jean Grey School to resume his teaching duties. He explained to his friends that his romance with Bess did not in any way affect the bond he shared with Amanda Sefton, and that he trusted things would work out for the best. While Bess is away getting revenge on the Crimson Pirates for their transgressions, Kurt--soul or no--remains busy at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, serving as a teacher and a role model for the next generation of mutants.
House of X
Nightcrawler was living on the sovereign Mutant nation state of Krakoa, created by Charles Xavier, Magneto and Moira X. Xavier and Magneto then tasked the X-Men with destroying the Mother Mold and preventing the creation of Nimrod. Mystique was sucked into the vacuum of space before she could accomplish her part of the plan, dying shortly afterwards in space. Both Wolverine and Nightcrawler gave their lives to finish Mystique's task to send the Mother Mold, the key in the development of Nimrod, into the sun. The X-Men (Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Archangel, M, Husk, Mystique and Nightcrawler) accomplished their goal, but the entire team was killed in the attack.
The team was later resurrected by a group of mutants known as “The Five” (Tempus, Proteus, Hope, Elixir and Egg). Merging their powers, the Five were able transfer the deceased X-Men’s minds into cloned bodies. They were later proclaimed as the heroes of Krakoa. Kurt then became a member of the country's government, The Quiet Council of Krakoa
While the mutant population had never been happier, Kurt soon began to have doubts about certain aspects of Krakoan culture. Such as the villainization of the Scarlet Witch, the process of "Crucible" where depowered mutants fight to the death in order to get their powers back or how the Resurrection Protocols have made all mutants cavalier about death. He also came to regret coming up with the first Krakoan law, "Make More Mutants" which people had taken in a different way than he intended.
He witnessed many of these disturbing behaviors on a mission to an Orchis anti-mutant museum with Pixie, DJ, Loa, and Blink. He overheard them talking about how Pixie was one of the few mutants on Krakoa who had never died and been resurrected by The Five. Her friends encouraged her to traumatize one of the guards by making him kill her, which he found deeply concerning. Later while processing what he'd just seen and wondering if Krakoa was really the paradise everyone thought it was, a woman came up to him and told him she was Lost, Unfortunately Kurt was too distracted by his own troubles, and refused to listen to her. After further discussing his doubts about the rules of Krakoa and whether any of them worked with Magneto and Dr. Nemesis, and overhearing Exodus' kids talking about something called "The Patchwork Man". Nightcrawler saw the woman he'd blown off again, fighting Magneto in the Crucible and realized she was trying to ask him to be her partner so he could grant her a quick, merciful death. Kurt had to watch in horror as Magneto, instead, slowly and brutally beat her to death.
Kurt later went to the Hatchery to check on Lost and Pixie. Lost was happy to regain her gravity control abilities; however her power made everyone around her nauseous and caused them to vomit, so she quickly escaped from The Hatchery, apologizing and in tears. Kurt was happy to see Pixie had been brought back safely but became disturbed again when he realized she had lost a day of memories. He began to wonder where mutant memories went when they were lost and who The Patchwork Man was, then he got a call from Xavier telling him he was worried about his wayward son Legion. Kurt went to the grave of his late girlfriend Blindfold hoping to find him there but was instead ambushed by him in a telepathic attack. It turned out that David was stuck in an astral form, after being captured by Orchis and having his brain harvested for the use of creating multiple probability scenarios in which to bring down the nation of Krakoa. He offered Nightcrawler a favor in return for freeing him as Kurt himself had a psionic coin implanted in his mind and causing him mental distress. David got rid of it and Kurt gathered Pixie and Doctor Nemesis to help him infiltrate the lab that was holding him hostage. When they got there they found David had been reduced to just his brain, to his dismay Kurt was forced to destroy it so he could be reborn on Krakoa, to spite him still thinking suicide and murder are wrong. Once he was revived, Magneto approached Legion about his plans for his fellow Omega-level mutants during the Hellfire Gala, but he rejected him and his father as he didn't trust either of them or the others on Krakoa due to the numerous secrets he claimed were floating around, with the exception of Kurt. David offered to help Kurt uncover the new secrets and mysteries that had occurred since Krakoa became a nation, revealing that the Patchwork Man was Onslaught.
Nightcrawler was forced to attend the Hellfire Gala pretending not to know that Onslaught was out there threatening Krakoa, to cope with the stress he got drunk and ended up embarrassing himself in front of everyone all night. Even revealing Meggan Braddock was pregnant. The morning after the gala he discovered the Bower, a place run by a repowered Stacy X that he initially believed to be a brothel, but she explained to him it was for people who don't know how they fit into Krakoa go to find a release for their frustrations and also a daycare for abandoned mutant babies. While there he ran into Lost again who came to visit them, but things turned dark when she overheard Fabian Cortez yelling about being the leader of the Acolytes and attacked him, both possessed by Onslaught, during the fight Cortez increased her powers causing her to make everyone in the room (including the babies) nauseous again. Stacy explained to him that her real name was Marinette and her parents were both killed when the Acolytes attacked New Orleans. Cortez would cause trouble for him again when he took Gorgon who had come back from his death in Otherworld not in the right frame of mind, to Central Park and amplified his telepathy so he could hear all the hateful things the people around were thinking. Fabian thought he could get Gorgon to kill everyone there so he could watch them die and not get thrown in The Pit, but Nightcrawler foiled this plan by teleporting into an ice cream stand, making everybody laugh. This allowed the confused Gorgon to calm down and he began serving humans ice cream, much to Fabians dismay. Fabian begged Nightcrawler not to report this to The Quiet Council but instead Kurt dragged him to Planet Arakko where Lost had been hiding out and tried to force the two to have an honest and upfront conversation. Too Kurt's frustration instead of talking it out the two continually tried to kill each other. Realizing he wasn't getting through to them, he teleported them both into the sky and let them fall to their potential deaths. He told Fabian if he made an attempt to apologize to Lost she could use her gravity manipulation to unsure they all land safely, but if not he'll block her powers so all three die. Fabian made an attempt to sincerely apologize to her and admitted there was something wrong with him but this reconciliation was ruined when Onslaught possessed him and made him overload her with power, burning her out. When Fabian came too, he was horrified by what had happened and told Kurt it wasn't his fault. He realized they were still falling and now as a result of Lost's power overload, the moon Phobos had fallen out of orbit and was now about to crush the planet. After Kurt stopped their decent, Fabian tried to convince him to teleport them to safety but Nightcrawler refused to leave without protecting those still on the planet. He told Fabian to overload him with power as he did to Lost, so with his last dying breath he could put Phobos back in orbit. Fabian broke down and in a shocking moment of humility, he confessed to Nightrawler that he believed he'd fail and that all he really wanted was for people to like and respect him, Kurt asked him how he expected people to like him when he clearly despised himself. Fabian briefly overcame his cowardice and selfishness and helped Nightcrawler save the planet. Once powered up to the fullest extent Kurt had a vision and saw exactly what he needed to do to stop Onslaught and gave Fabian the task of helping him restore his memories after his resurrection, unfortunately as soon as Kurt left to put Phobos back in place an Onslaught possessing Xavier appeared and ambushed him. Kurt used all the power he had to stop the planet being destroyed burning him out and killing him, he was resurrected alongside Lost with no memory of what happened but Xavier told him he was a hero, when he asked what happened to Fabian Kurt was shown his comatose body in the Healing Gardens and the still Onslaught possessed Xavier denied the option to kill and then resurrect him, ensuring Fabian could never help Kurt restore hiss memories and he wouldn't remember how to stop Onslaught. Unfortunately for Onslaught, Kurt was able to reclaim his memories of that night when he entered the House of L, a pocket dimension Legion created in his mind accessible through a Krakoan Gate on Arakko. Kurt brought Fabian, Lost, Stacy X, Gorgon, Pixie, and Dust to this place alongside Legion and the Xorn twins so their minds could merge and they could fully understand his plan to defeat Onslaught. He figured out that Orchis had somehow planted a fragment of Onslaught deep inside Lost's mind using her hatred of Fabian as a hiding place, from there he infected the rest of the island. He was now going to make every mutant kill themselves while Xavier deleted all their backups so they couldn't be resurrected. He sent Pixie and Doctor Nemesis to free them from Onslaughts control using her Soulsword and his Krakoan drugs, while he was able to remove Onslaught from Lost's mind by getting her to let go of her hate. Onslaught now no longer in control of the mutants of Krakoa took over Magneto and Xavier to create a physical form, Onslaught was defeated by Dust who attacked him with the consciousness of every mutant in the House of L infused into the individual grains in an Arakki sandstorm. Two months later Kurt had created his mutant religion, though he no longer considered it a religion as practitioners were encouraged to still worship their own gods, they operated in the House of L. Kurt pitched a group to Legion that would operate separate from the Quiet Council and use the House of L as an HQ, David described them as "mutant cops" but Nightcrawler claimed they would be a group that defends what unites them and he would call them "Legionaries".
When Mystique suggested his recently revived step-mother Destiny as a potential replacement for Apocalypse on the council, Kurt voted yes to make his mother happy. He also voted yes for his friend Colossus to take over Jeans spot.
Powers and Abilities
Nightcrawler is a mutant with the following abilities:
- Teleportation: Ability to teleport himself, the clothes he is wearing, and within limits a certain amount of additional mass which is in contact with him. He teleports by displacing himself into the Brimstone Dimension, traveling through it, and then returning to his own dimension at a certain distance from his point of departure. He consciously determines his point of return. The entire process occurs so quickly that Nightcrawler is unaware of being in the Brimstone Dimension at all. Nightcrawler guides himself through the Brimstone Dimension by a subconscious, natural direction-finding sense. Although Nightcrawler controls his teleportation ability with his conscious mind, his power to teleport is not psionic. Rather it is the result of an unknown biochemical/biophysical reaction which he triggers mentally.
- When he disappears in teleporting, Nightcrawler leaves behind smoke with a stench reminiscent of burning brimstone. This is a small portion of the atmosphere of the Brimstone Dimension that escapes while the aperture is open. His teleportation is invariably accompanied by the muffled sound of imploding air rushing to fill the vacuum left where Nightcrawler's body was, creating his signature *BAMF* sound.
- Nightcrawler's powers automatically displace liquids and gases when he arrives in the course of a teleportation. His powers will not displace solids, however, putting him at risk for materializing inside solid matter, causing serious injury or death. As a consequence, Nightcrawler typically teleports only to places he has been to before or knows the layout of, or line-of-sight teleportation (even though his actual range is much further). Kurt's intuitive spatial awareness allows him to track his movements instinctively and with greater precision than the average person, helping him to pinpoint locations for a "blind" teleport.
- The longer the distance over which Nightcrawler teleports himself, the harder and more exhausting it is for him to make the teleportation "jump". It is easier for him to teleport between north and south (along Earth's magnetic field lines) than it is for him to teleport between east and west (against the magnetic lines). Under optimal conditions, teleporting only himself and his costume, Nightcrawler can displace himself a distance of about 2 miles east-to-west, and up to 3 miles north-to-south. Making a vertical teleportation upwards is difficult and dangerous, fighting against both the electromagnetic and gravitational fields. Nightcrawler has made a vertical teleportation "jump" of one mile by pushing himself to his physical limits. Before his death Kurt was able to port Hope and himself from Las Vegas to San Francisco which is 585 miles and he was weakened and near death at the time. Some time after his initial resurrection Kurt appeared to have expanded on his teleportation abilities able to make longer jumps than before without the aid of the bamfs, having warped 7853 miles all the way from Dubai to the Savage Land in Antarctica, and again traveling 2936 miles from Prague to Al-Qasr in Egypt. More recently, before his rebirth by the Five, Pixie stated that his teleportation distance has increased a "crazy" amount. Having teleported from Krakoa to Rub' al-Kali, Saudi Arabia with two people effortlessly (even though he has never been there, it wasn't a blind teleportation since the coordinates were psionically placed in his mind).
- Nightcrawler's momentum is retained throughout the process of teleportation: he arrives with whatever amount of inertia he left with. For example, if he were falling from a great height, he could not teleport himself towards the ground in order to save himself; he would land with the same velocity that he teleported with. He can subtract this inertia by teleporting short distances upwards (as though taking two steps back for every one forward).
- The limits to the mass that Nightcrawler can carry with him while teleporting, and the limits to the distance over which he can teleport himself with additional load is unknown. When he transports a passenger over even moderate distances, they both feel weakened and ill, to the point of exhaustion. Teleportation over further distances could be fatal. Through practice, Nightcrawler has increased the mass he can teleport with him. (He once teleported himself and Storm from the center of a small island into the water just off its coast without harming either of them). The upper limits of this capacity are as yet unknown.
- Nightcrawler can use his powers offensively by grappling with an enemy and teleporting him or her in a series of rapid jumps. The strain of these "multiple ports" can exhaust foes without superhuman endurance while Nightcrawler remains strong enough to continue fighting. Some time after his resurrection Kurt appeared to have expanded on his teleportation abilities able to make longer jumps than before without the aid of the bamfs, having warped 7853 miles all the way from Dubai to the Savage Land in Antarctica.
- Beacon Teleportation: Before and after his resurrection, Nightcrawler has created for himself a rather unique means of expanding his teleportation range. Through the deal he made with his father's own nightmarish gremlins Kurt now has the capacity to lock onto their trans-spatial displacement signature as a means of warping to their exact location regardless of whether Kurt can see where he is warping or not. Enabling him to teleport over global or even cross dimensional distances so long as he maintains the connection with them, in his own words "Anywhere I go they can go" and vice versa.
- Subconscious Spatial Awareness: Nightcrawler has a very limited subconscious extrasensory ability that prevents him from teleporting himself so that his feet, for example, would materialize below the surface of the local ground. Because this ability is so limited, however, Nightcrawler will not teleport into any place that he cannot see or has not seen in the past. If Nightcrawler teleported himself into an unfamiliar area, he would run the risk of materializing partially or entirely within a solid object. If too much of his body materialized within a solid object, he would probably be killed.
- As part of his power, Nightcrawler has also exhibited a limited ability to sense the teleportation of other beings.
- Micro-Suction Discs: Nightcrawler can stick to objects with the surface of his hands and feet. This enables him to scale surfaces.
- Flexible Bone Structure: Nightcrawler's bone structure allows him great flexibility. He can remain in a crouched position for a long time and perform contortionist type feats without causing any damage to his spine.
- Camouflage: He has limited abilities to blend into shadows, both as a result of his indigo fur and his connection to the light-bending attributes of the dimension through which he teleports. This is also the explanation for why he constantly appears in shadow, even in direct light.
- Prehensile Tail: Nightcrawler has a tail allows him to grab onto objects with relative ease. His tail is strong enough to not only support his body weight but also lift an adult man completely off the ground. It is deft enough to fight with like a sword or blunt object.
- Night Vision: Nightcrawler's always glowing eyes grant him a marked degree of heightened night vision as well.
- Superhuman Agility: Nightcrawler's agility, balance, and bodily coordination are enhanced to levels beyond the human body's natural limits.
- Superhuman Reflexes: Nightcrawler's natural reaction time is enhanced to a level beyond the human body's natural limits.
Immortality: Nightcrawler cannot return from the afterlife due to sacrificing his soul in order to resurrect himself. This means Kurt cannot die by any natural means. Although he did die on a mission in space when he was consumed by a corona, but was later resurrected by the Five.
- Master Acrobat: Nightcrawler is an Olympic-class acrobat thanks to his flexible spine that allows him to perform contortionist-like feats and to go long periods in a semi-crouching position without injury.
- Master Combatant: He is a skilled hand-to-hand combatant and a master at fencing, which he can even perform with his tail, which is strong enough to support his entire body weight. Martial arts training.
- Aviator: He has served as the team's pilot and, with Wolverine, has also been the mechanic of the X-Men's Blackbird jet for a long time.
- Medic: He has been the team medic when there weren't any qualified X-Men around to do so.
- Multilingual: Nightcrawler is fluent in various languages due to his youth traveling around Europe as the star performer in a circus and knowing the language of wherever they were that week was very handy. He was a member of the X-Men when Professor Xavier telepathically taught the team Russian and Japanese. Kurt also speaks English, French, Spanish, Krakoan, and Italian, as well as his native German.
Nightcrawler possesses above average strength of a man of his age, height, and build who engages in intensive regular exercise. At his peak, Nightcrawler can lift about 250 lbs.
Despite Nightcrawler's superhuman powers, he is just as susceptible to disease and physical injury as any ordinary human. Also, because he is a Neyaphem, Angel's blood, which heals everyone else, hurts him, normally adding to whatever injury he received.
Image Inducers: At one time, Kurt always wore his image inducer in public because he was afraid of how people would treat him because of his mutation. However, after he lost a bet with Wolverine, he went out in public without his image inducer. He expected everyone's reaction to be fear and hate, but it turned out to be a reaction of curious interest. He still has his image inducer, but hardly ever uses it unless he needs to.
Fencing foils
- Kurt is known for being a devout Roman Catholic, and has attempted to become a priest in the past.
- Nightcrawler does not have blue skin but a fine coat of blue fur.
- A notable geography error appears in "The Winding Ways" (Nightcrawler (Vol. 3) #7-#11). Nightcrawler travels to Bavaria in order to visit his old circus, which he states is located in the Black Forest. The Black Forest region doesn't belong to Bavaria, it is actually part of the federal state of Baden-Württemberg.
- Dave Cockrum actually designed Nightcrawler while still in the U.S. Navy, stationed in Guam, when a typhoon made it too noisy to sleep. His original vision, a demon who refused to return to hell for punishment after he failed a mission, was meant to serve as sidekick for another of his creations, the Intruder. He later submitted the character for inclusion in DC Comics' Legion of Super-Heroes series, which he worked on just before coming to Marvel. DC editor Murray Boltinoff rejected the character as being "too funny looking." 
- A calendar in Kurt's room shown in Nightcrawler (Vol. 3) #12 indicates that his birthday is in November.
- Writer Chris Claremont had several different ideas for Nightcrawler's parentage, including Nightmare as his father, and Mystique as his father (with Destiny as his mother). The Nightmare connection was prevented by then-Dr. Strange (and later X-Men) editor Roger Stern, and the Mystique/Destiny idea was dropped almost immediately.
- Nightcrawler's "shadow-blending" ability was deliberately ignored by Marvel at one point. In the 80's reprint series, Classic X-Men #11, the scene where Nightcrawler first discovered the ability was slightly redrawn and rewritten to remove any reference to it.
- Nightcrawler is referenced in the song "In the Garage" by Weezer:
- I've got the Dungeon Master's Guide
- I've got a twelve-sided die
- I've got Kitty Pryde
- And Nightcrawler too
- Waiting there for me
- Yes I do, I do
- 1181 appearance(s) of Kurt Wagner (Earth-616)
- 145 minor appearance(s) of Kurt Wagner (Earth-616)
- 66 mentions of Kurt Wagner (Earth-616)
- 1339 image(s) of Kurt Wagner (Earth-616)
- 68 quotation(s) by or about Kurt Wagner (Earth-616)
- 1 victim(s) killed by Kurt Wagner (Earth-616)
- 2 item(s) used/owned by Kurt Wagner (Earth-616)
Links and References
- Kurt Wagner (Earth-616) on Wikipedia.org
- uncannyxmen.net Spotlight On... Nightcrawler
- Nightcrawler's Fan-Forums
- CEREBRO Podcast - Episode 002: Nightcrawler (feat. Daniel Kibblesmith)
- Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition #9 (August 1986)
- Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: X-Men 2004