May 2, 2010

Marvel Snapshot: Character Spotlight: Nightcrawler

Welcome to this week’s edition of Marvel Snapshot. In this week’s spotlight, I’ll be taking a look at Nightcrawler. If you’ve been keeping up with Second Coming, you’ll know exactly where this is heading. If not, turn away now for your own safety.

***Major Spoilers Ahead***

First things first. Nightcrawler was raised by circus people in Germany, and although his Origin was just recently retold, it isn’t too far off from the one presented years ago. Kurt’s first appearance was in 1975, in Giant Size X-Men #1. In this issue, we saw the original team brought together by Professor Xavier captured by the living island called Krakoa. Xavier recruited a new edgier team to deal with this problem. The team included Nightcrawler, Colossus, Storm, Banshee, Thunderbird, and Wolverine. The new team saved the day, but the old team slowly but surely left the ranks to make their own way (X-Factor). This left the new team to have multiple adventures with the likes of Magneto, Juggernaut, the Brood, Dracula, and a trip to Limbo as well.

Eventually though, Nightcrawler and Kitty Pryde founded Excalibur. It was a team that would be based out of Great Britain, that would be later moved to Muir Island. This team mainly consisted of Nightcrawler, Kitty, Rachel Summers, Captain Britain, Meggan, Douglock, Wolfsbane, and Pete Wisdom (Colossus for a period as well). This team usually dealt with more offbeat adventures, with the occasional crossover (Fatal Attractions).  The series eventually dropped off the face of the planet and was canceled in 1998. This brought Kurt, Kitty, and Colossus back to the X-Men.

Nightcrawler has also had two limited series and a short-lived ongoing of his own. In 1985, Kurt had his own limited series debut, and another followed in 2002 under the Marvel Icons banner. Both were mediocre at best, but there weren’t a lot of good supporting characters, especially in the first one. The ongoing series from 2004 focused mainly on other-worldly adventures with Amanda Sefton.

A few years ago it was confirmed that Kurt’s mother was indeed Mystique, but the identity of his father was not as easy to explain. Many thought that his father was a German Count that Mystique was shacked up with, but upon further review, she was screwing around with Azazel. This is who Kurt’s father really turned out to be, and it was quite a shocker. None of these revelations really slowed Kurt down, though. The only thing that ever seemed to get to him was the death of Colossus (“Dreams End” – great story by the way). That was short lived anyway, so Kurt really didn’t miss Petey all that much.

The big spoiler in this column, if you haven’t read X-Force #26 yet, is that Kurt has been killed by Bastion. The book was reviewed recently by our own InfiniteSpeech, and showed the gruesome death of the swashbuckling X-Man. He died saving Hope, and in his death-throws said, ” I believe in you,” while looking into her eyes. Obviously he won’t stay dead, and we know this from Marvel’s track record, but I will say that I was still stunned when I read it. Hopefully when they bring him back, it will be somewhat tasteful and relevant.

Finally, there are definitely two things that stand out for me personally about this character. The first being his fun-loving attitude. Kurt was always joking around, and kept the more serious characters like Wolverine and Colossus laughing in times of despair rather than sulking or being angry. The second thing is his devotion to his religious beliefs. He was portrayed mostly as a Catholic, but I’d like to think he rose above labels like that. His character showed a devotion to his beliefs most people don’t have in any facet of their lives. There are definitely lessons to be learned from his words and actions throughout his comic book appearances, and even the animated series from the 90s.

That’s it for now, but stay tuned for next week’s spotlight, as I’ll be showcasing another character that’s very hot right now in the Marvel U.

Suggested Reading
Giant Size X-Men #1 (1975)
Nightcrawler LS #1-4 (1985)
Nightcrawler LS #1-4 (2002)
Nightcrawler #1-12 (2004)
X-Infernus LS #1-4 (2008)
X-Men Origins: Nightcrawler (2010 -March)

Billy Dunleavy



  1. Great write up on one of my favorite comic characters man!

  2. Kristin

    And don’t forget his totally kick ass appearance and portrayal by Alan Cumming in the second X-Men film.

  3. Billy

    @Speech -Thanks man! I think he’s a great character too.
    @Kris -Good call. That was a great portrayal of Kurt.

  4. marie

    Great character! WHY did they kill him off???

  5. Aron

    Nightcrawler is my favorite X-Man. Nightcrawler is freakin’ amazing. I was shocked, stunned, and saddened by X-Force #26. But you’re probably right, Billy. He’ll be back.

    Oooh! You know what?! I bet he’s trapped in time!

  6. Billy

    @Aron- It’s probably all a ‘What If” story. 🙂
    @Marie- They killed him because he was always so blue… 🙁

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