Alternative versions of Nightcrawler

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Alternate versions of Nightcrawler
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Giant-Size X-Men #1 (May 1975)
Created by Len Wein
Dave Cockrum
See also Nightcrawler in other media

Nightcrawler is a Marvel Comics superhero and a member of the X-Men. There have been many alternative versions of him over the years.

Age of Apocalypse[edit]

In the Age of Apocalypse miniseries, Nightcrawler is similar to his 616 counterpart, but much darker and more violent, and he carries two sabers at all times, denoting his skills as a swordsman. Another important difference is that this Nightcrawler hates churches, having had a traumatic experience when he was younger. Nightcrawler is close to his mother, Mystique, and he even calls her "Mom." Nightcrawler is sent by Magneto to Avalon, an Antarctic utopia where humans and mutants peacefully coexist, to bring Destiny back to the United States to confirm Bishop's claims. While there, Avalon is attacked by Apocalypse's Pale Riders. Nightcrawler and Mystique vow to protect Avalon from the Pale Riders and are joined by fellow mutants Switchback and former Pale Rider Damask to face the Shadow King. Nightcrawler also goes by Kurt Darkholme instead of Kurt Wagner in this reality.[1]

The AOA Nightcrawler appears to always be "breathing fire" when teleporting. Presumably this is simply an optical illusion of his teleportation powers, as it does not appear to have any adverse effects on anything Kurt comes in contact with as he does so. Also, this version seemingly believes his biological father is Sabretooth as is evidenced by Mystique stating that she had gone to the trouble of "finding a father with fur" when Nightcrawler complains he is cold and, when the Shadow King possesses Mystique, the captions reveal "one memory is more interesting than the others" and flashes to Sabretooth taunting Nightcrawler.[2]

After the events of the Dark Angel Saga, AoA Nightcrawler chooses to remain in the 616 reality and join X-Force. Searching for the Sugar Man, Dark Beast, Iceman and Blob, Kurt promises to "kill the bastards who ruined our lives".[3] He is openly hostile concerning being mistaken with his alternative self; at one point he roughly shoves Kitty aside when she mistakes him for a returned-from-the-dead main universe Nightcrawler, declaring that he is not back and does not know her.[4]

He has successfully killed Blob by teleporting a shark into his stomach which devoured Blob from the inside and he has executed Iceman by leading him into a factory boiler room where the weakened Iceman begged for forgiveness, Nightcrawler proceeded to throw his former friend into the factory fire to his death.[volume & issue needed] He has also made several unsuccessful attmepts on Dark Beast's life.[volume & issue needed]

This version of Nightcrawler demonstrated the ability to control how much of another person traveled with him when teleporting, allowing him to kill a man by teleporting only his head.[5]

In March 2013, X-Treme X-Men, Age of Apocalypse, and Astonishing X-Men will all participate in the "X-Termination" crossover, which focuses on the AoA Nightcrawler's trip home.[volume & issue needed]

Bamf[edit]

In Uncanny X-Men #153 Kitty Pryde tells Illyana a bedtime story. In it she casts him as a cute creature called Bamf. He is only two feet tall and looks like a super deformed version of Kurt, even right down to his costume. He is fun-loving and somewhat lecherous. At first he only existed in a Fairy Tale, but Kurt himself met Bamf and the other characters from Kitty's story during an accidental interdimensional trip.[6] It soon turns out there are multiple Bamfs, including female versions; the Bamfs even declared him their "Daddy". The Bamfs later let their affection for Kitty Pryde get the best of them and even resorted to endangering Kitty's pet dragon Lockheed.[volume & issue needed]

Days of Future Past[edit]

Nightcrawler is dead in the alternative timeline Earth-811, but he had a daughter known as Blue. She inherited the power to teleport herself and others, and a similar appearance.[volume & issue needed]

Exiles[edit]

Nocturne is a member of the alternative-reality traveling Exiles, and a former member of New Excalibur. Like all members of the Exiles she is from an alternative dimension. In her dimension the Scarlet Witch married Nightcrawler, and Nocturne is their daughter.[volume & issue needed]

In her reality, Charles Xavier was attacked by a Shadow King-controlled Wolverine. Although the Shadow King was expelled from Wolverine's mind, Xavier was fatally wounded in the attack and Logan was left crippled. Shortly after, Jean Grey died and Cyclops, blaming Wolverine for both deaths, abandoned the team, leaving Wolverine and Nightcrawler as the leaders of the X-Men and the Xavier Institute.[volume & issue needed]

The demeanor of this Nightcrawler is very similar to that of the Earth-616 Nightcrawler, so the first time that Nocturne met 616-Nightcrawler she accidentally calls him "Dad." In subsequent meetings Nocturne and 616-Nightcrawler have developed a bond similar to a father-daughter relationship.[volume & issue needed]

House of M[edit]

In the House of M reality, Nightcrawler appears as a member of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Red Guard, a task force of elite mutants designed to quell insurrections; Nightcrawler has a small role when the Red Guard attempts to track down their leader, Wolverine, who remembers the world before the Scarlet Witch changed reality. Nightcrawler also appears in World of M, where he attempts to aid Apocalypse when the latter is under attack by Namor, Storm, and Sunfire.[volume & issue needed]

Kurt Waggoner[edit]

A Brooklyn boy on his world, Kurt is a fan of Spider-Man. He was taken from his world by force, an event he will not talk about as it resulted in the death of someone close to him. He was held by the forces of the Saviour until rescued through the efforts of Scott Summers. Kurt fought to save the multiverse as part of a cross-dimension X-Men team in X-Treme X-Men but was killed trying to save the team in the X-Termination event.

Marvel Zombies: Dead Days[edit]

In the Marvel Zombies universe at Earth 2149, where the superhero population gradually becomes infected by a zombie virus, Nightcrawler is among the remaining uninfected superheroes attempting to save what remains of the Earth population. Unfortunately, he is bitten by the zombie Fantastic Four in the one-shot Marvel Zombies: Dead Days, and is one of the last superheroes to be infected. When the Ultimate version of Reed Richards travels to the Marvel Zombies Universe, Nightcrawler is among the zombified superheroes who attack him in the ruins of New York, but the attempt failed. Zombie Nightcrawler also appears in Marvel Zombies vs. The Army Of Darkness, whereas he is seen as a zombie also, attempting to attack the fortress of the villain known as Dr. Doom. The zombified Hulk (comics) killed zombie Nightcrawler when he ripped him vertically in half.[volume & issue needed]

Misfits[edit]

In the Amerimanga series X-Men Misfits, Kurt's design is radically different with talon-like claws instead of toes and a metal tail with identical marks below each eye.[volume & issue needed]

Ultimate Marvel[edit]

The Ultimate version of Nightcrawler (Kurt Wagner) is a much more militant young mutant, only fourteen years old when first introduced. His first appearances have him forced to battle the X-Men alongside a team of Weapon X agents.[volume & issue needed]

He had been captured by Weapon X and forced to act as an assassin and black ops agent. His Weapon X origins link him more closely with Wolverine and Rogue than other teammates. Originally speaking only German, he learned to speak English with the help of Jean Grey’s mental powers. Though Nightcrawler returns home after he escapes from Weapon X, he soon joined the X-Men to fight Magneto.[volume & issue needed]

Nightcrawler is originally portrayed as a friendly, humorous man with a zest for high adventure that has gained him the friendship of many fellow X-Men. One of Kurt's closest friends was Angel, with whom he "misused" the Danger Room for Pirates of the Caribbean-like "role-playing" sessions under the name of "the dread Captain Blue Tail," as it is shown that he is a fan of the movie. He has a fan-crush on Keira Knightley.[volume & issue needed]

When Dazzler, Kurt's unrequited love, slips into a coma due to injuries inflicted by Deathstrike, Kurt begins to lose control of his delicate psyche, regressing to his Weapon X days. His loneliness is exacerbated by Angel's departure from the X-Men, and by the breakdown in his relationship with Colossus after Colossus reveals his sexual orientation.[volume & issue needed]

Shortly following Dazzler's awakening, Kurt's irrational, increasing obsession with Dazzler prompted him to teleport her to a secluded cave, telling her that the X-Men had been attacked and that he was protecting her. The X-Men rescued Dazzler and, learning what he had done, confronted Kurt, resulting in a battle. Kurt was defeated and placed in a vegetative state by Charles Xavier in the hopes that Xavier could treat Kurt's damaged psyche. At his bedside, Rogue, who had absorbed his memories during the battle, told him she now considered him as much a monster on the inside as he appeared on the outside. Whether this was in regard to his Weapon X assassin activities or something else remains to be seen.[volume & issue needed]

After Xavier was kidnapped by the time-traveling Cable, his hold on Kurt was broken, and Kurt vanished from the Institute. In issue #80 he saves Pyro from the Friends of Humanity. Pyro reveals the existence of the Morlocks. Nightcrawler is captured by the Morlocks, who believe he is a spy for Xavier. Shortly, the X-Men arrive to search for Toad, who was sent as an emissary. A fight ensues. During the battle, Nightcrawler helps his former teammates and subdues Sunder, the leader of the Morlocks. He decides to stay with the Morlocks since they were physically mutated like him. They elect him their new leader. When Sinister targets the Morlocks for sacrifices in his attempts to summon Apocalypse, Nightcrawler joins in the fight.[volume & issue needed]

Kurt returns to Xavier's on occasion to hang out with his former teammates and slowly starts to accept Colossus' homosexuality, even standing up for him when the X-Men discover that Colossus has been using a drug called 'Banshee'. Kurt is also seen to be part of Colossus' Banshee (Ultimate MGH) enhanced X-Men team. In this form, Nightcrawler seems to wield javelins of energy, similar to those Blink uses.[volume & issue needed]

Ultimate Nightcrawler's powers are very similar to his 616 counterpart. Kurt's demon-like physiology grants him dark, indigo skin (unlike the 616 version in which he is covered with a thin blue fur), a prehensile tail, superhuman acrobatic ability, and control over bonding between his molecules, which allows him to cling to any surface. Most notably, Nightcrawler can teleport short distances (although one teleport of two miles (3 km) was noted), leaving a burst of yellow smoke and flames. After use of the drug Banshee, Nightcrawler bursts purple (rather than yellow) smoke and flames when he teleports.[volume & issue needed]

Kurt is killed when the Ultimatum wave hits New York in Ultimatum #1. According to Nick Spencer, Nightcrawler will somehow be a supporting character in Ultimate Comics: X-Men.[volume & issue needed]

Universe X (Belasco)[edit]

In the futuristic Universe X maxi-series by Jim Krueger and Alex Ross, it is revealed that Nightcrawler became amnesiac and was displaced in time, finally becoming Belasco, a long-time enemy of the X-Men. After his origins are revealed to him by a resurrected Captain Marvel, Nightcrawler/Belasco finally joins the good guys again.[7]

It was originally stated in the original Earth X series that after surviving the tragedy that killed the rest of Excalibur, Nightcrawler lost his teleportation powers and eventually became human. In an ironic twist of fate, he was then killed by a group of superhumans affected by the Terrigen Mists for being human.[8]

What If?[edit]

Nightcrawler has made a number of appearances through the years in the What If? series, consisting of one-issue takes on potential alternative universes. Among his roles were What if the X-Men had stayed in Asgard? (vol. 2 #12), in which Nightcrawler stayed behind on Asgard to be a swashbuckler and eventually joined the Warriors Three.[volume & issue needed]

In What if the all-new, all-different X-Men had never existed?, an embittered Nightcrawler, having never been recruited by Professor Xavier, was talked into a life of crime by Erik the Red. However, after learning the truth about the X-Men, he sacrificed himself to destroy the Phoenix Force that was hiding in Earth's sun, reasoning that, while heroes like the X-Men would be mourned by the world, nobody would miss him.[9]

In "What If Mystique had raised Nightcrawler?", Rogue's attempt to free Nightcrawler from the attic where Mystique had kept him to 'protect' him resulted in him being mortally injured by the Brotherhood when they mistook him for an X-Man, Rogue's attempt to use his power to escape results in her permanently absorbing Nightcrawler's powers and appearance due to the prolonged contact she maintained.[10]

X-Men Forever[edit]

In this reality, Rogue has absorbed Nightcrawler's abilities when he gave her mouth-to-mouth, granting her Nightcrawler's skin and tail as well as exceptional athletic abilities, and leaving Nightcrawler with Rogue's powers and looking like a normal human.[11] He was left in a coma after he absorbed Thor's powers during a fight with the Avengers, his body unable to cope with the strain of absorbing the power of a god, although Thor promised Mystique and Rogue that he would find a way to help Nightcrawler recover.[12]

X Men Noir[edit]

Nightcrawler appears in the sequel to X Men Noir, X Men Noir: the Mark of Cain. The characters in the setting do not have superpowers and Kurt is a human wearing a blue demon mask and a costume tail. He was an acrobat with sharpened nails.[13]

X-Men: The End[edit]

Additionally, in X-Men: The End, he is shown to be a famous Hollywood action star (with Jubilee as his agent), and is married to Kymri; the pair have children, including another T.J. Wagner (which is Nocturne's name) however, in this timeline T.J. Wagner is a male. Nocturne is a character in this universe.[volume & issue needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ X-Calibre #1-4
  2. ^ X-Calibre #4 (June 1995)
  3. ^ Uncanny X-Force #19
  4. ^ Uncanny X-Force (vol. 1) #19
  5. ^ Ellis, Warren. "Body Heat", X-Calibre #3 (May 1995)
  6. ^ Nightcrawler vol. 1 #3-4
  7. ^ Paradise X #0
  8. ^ Universe X #10
  9. ^ What If (vol.2) #23
  10. ^ What If (vol.2) #98
  11. ^ X-Men Forever vol. 2 #3 (September 2010)
  12. ^ X-Men Forever vol. 2 #16
  13. ^ X-Men Noir: Mark of Cain #1-4