Azazel (Marvel Comics)
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|First appearance||Uncanny X-Men #428 (October 2003)|
|Created by||Chuck Austen
|Species||Demonic Humanoid Mutant|
Master of Dark Arts
Azazel is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, in particular those featuring the X-Men. A mutant with the power of teleportation, he is the father of the X-Men's Nightcrawler.
His first appearance was in Uncanny X-Men #428, during "The Draco" storyline, written by Chuck Austen. The character's name comes from Azazel, an angel from the Book of Enoch mentioned first at chapter 8 verse 1.
Fictional character biography
Azazel claims that many years ago an ancient horde of demonic humanoid mutants from biblical times called the Neyaphem were in an epic battle with a group of angelic xenophobic mutants, named the Cheyarafim. The Cheyarafim were victorious in the battle and banished the "demons" to an alternate dimension for all eternity. The Neyaphem's leader, Azazel, was the only one who was able to breach the dimensional void for brief periods of time due to his teleportation powers. His only hope to return to Earth was by impregnating women because his children are linked to his dimension.
Azazel began mating with women who had unusual characteristics, at least with looks and abilities other women did not have, as successfully birthing a Neyaphem takes a great physical strain. He met Mystique in Germany, at the time she was married to a rich baron named Christian Wagner, who was unable to give her children. When Mystique was introduced to Azazel, whom Christian knew as a business partner, she had an instant attraction to him. Although she was hesitant to betray Christian, she gave in to Azazel and became pregnant with Nightcrawler. While Mystique had actually fallen in love with Azazel, he seemed only to be interested in impregnating her, though in truth, he found himself in love with her as well, making her the only woman he ever truly loved. Shortly after his "mission" was complete, Azazel left Mystique because the Cheyarafim had learned of his location in Germany, thus would attempt to kill Azazel, Mystique, and their unborn child. Knowing that Mystique would be safe - having her resources and being the woman she was - Azazel left her to protect her and their child. Mystique, however, would never know of Azazel's true intentions and hated him for leaving her.[volume & issue needed]
Soon afterward, Mystique killed Christian and buried him because he suspected her betrayal. A few months later, Mystique gave birth to Nightcrawler. Due to the shock and the strain of the boy’s difficult delivery, Mystique lost concentration and accidentally revealed her true form. Considered a demon, Mystique was chased away by an angry mob. Barely escaping, she took the form of a townsperson and, acquiescing to the mob, tossed the baby down a ravine. The child was teleported away, apparently by Azazel, and given into Margali Szardos’ care. Azazel had past relations with women before, resulting in the births of Abyss (Nils Styger) and Kiwi Black.[volume & issue needed]
Azazel sired several dozen other children, who, along with Nightcrawler, were all mysteriously called together as adults to sacrifice themselves on the island known as the Isla Des Demonas. Doing this would open a portal and bring his army to earth to destroy the Cheyarafim, allowing the demonic mutants to live in the world and find their place in it. The mutant children worked together in a zombie-like state and opened the portal to Azazel's dimension, but the X-Men had followed Nightcrawler to the island, and jumped into the portal. Once inside, Azazel took great pleasure in toying with the team, having them believe that he was actually Satan.[volume & issue needed]
In the end, Azazel was not able to free the Neyaphem because the portal had to be opened in an area where Cheyarafim blood could not be found. As Archangel was present at the time, the portal was destroyed and Azazel vanished in grief.[volume & issue needed]
It has been rumored that Azazel is actually a demon, or at least holds the blood of one. Many mystical beings such as Mephisto and Blackheart have made slight references to the leader of the Neyaphem to be much more than he seemed and had a strange set of 'ties' to mortals.[volume & issue needed]
Azazel eventually returns to Earth thanks to Frankenstein's Monster's former ally Carcabria (a witch of The Winding Way that is affiliated with Margali Szardos). Azazel and his Azazel-like Bamfs side with Kade Killgore and the Hellfire Club where he works at the Hellfire Academy. Azazel also claimed that he took over Heaven and Hell. In the depths of Hell, he encounters thousands of worm-like parasites whom he feeds with his blood and thus reforms them as Bamfs in his own image.
Using his Bamf army and his link with Nightcrawler, who died in the meantime, Azazel begins invading the domains of afterlife - Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory - to gather souls and thus boost his power to divine proportions. However, Nightcrawler strikes a deal with some of the Bamfs and, with the additional aid of his fellow X-Men, draws Azazel from the afterlife and binds him to Earth, sacrificing his soul in the process. But as Azazel is sent to Rykers Island in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody, Mystique frees him, despite Nightcrawler's attempts to stop her.
Powers and abilities
Azazel possesses all of his son Nightcrawler's powers, but to a much greater degree; has unparalleled teleportation powers and does not suffer from the limits of needing to see or know where he is going.
Azazel also seems to have studied swordsmanship to such a degree that he has become extremely skilled with bladed weapons. He has also studied many academic fields.
Azazel displays a number of super-human abilities during his appearances; these include:
- Immortality: He does not age at all, and can apparently regenerate injured or missing cells from even near-fatal injuries.
- Teleportation: able to transport himself, his clothing, and additional mass across inter-dimensional distances.
- Paralyzation: ability to generate bolts of paralyzing energy.
- Metamorph: can disguise his appearance through unknown means.
- Will Bending: ability to manipulate minds, giving him influence over others.
Azazel could only spend limited time on Earth without the assistance of his children, but currently due to Nightcrawler interference he is bound to Earth. He and all other Neyaphem are negatively affected by the healing blood of the Cheyarafim which causes their body to begin to break down. He has knowledge of a way to reverse the curse.
In the patchwork planet known as Battleworld that debuted in Secret Wars, a zombified version of Azazel is shown to exist in the Deadlands, a Battleworld domain outside God Emperor Doom's jurisdiction that represents the remnants of Earth-2149 and goes by the name of Red Terror.
In other media
- Actor Jason Flemyng plays Azazel in X-Men: First Class. In the film, Azazel is a member of the Hellfire Club, alongside Sebastian Shaw, Emma Frost, and Riptide. He is the assistant of Sebastian Shaw and works alongside his other allies Riptide and Emma Frost. In the film, he displays incredible teleporting abilities, similar to that displayed by Nightcrawler in the film X2 but ranging over a much greater distance, and hand-to-hand combat skills, assisted by a short sword and a sharp tail on which he impales his victims. He also is of Russian origin, speaking in a Russian accent and at times using Russian phrases, such as "nyet" and "comrade". At the film's climax, he engages Beast in a brutal fight until Beast finally knocks him out, and following the death of Shaw and paralysis of Xavier, Azazel joins Magneto's Brotherhood of Mutants.
- In the sequel X-Men: Days of Future Past, it is revealed that Azazel is among the mutants experimented on and killed by Bolivar Trask. In viral marketing it is mentioned he and Angel Salvadore were killed by Project Wideawake members.
- Uncanny X-Men #433
- X-Men Unlimited #4
- Uncanny X-Men #428
- Wolverine and the X-Men #23
- Wolverine and the X-Men #30
- Amazing X-Men (vol.2) #4.
- Amazing X-Men (vol.2) #1-5.
- Amazing X-Men (vol.2) #6.
- Age of Apocalypse #1
- Marvel Zombies Vol. 2 #1
- Mortimer, Ben (2010-08-15). "Jason Flemyng Joining X-Men: First Class". Superhero Hype!. Retrieved 2010-08-15.
- "Flemyng: Being dad wins over X-Men". The Independent. March 8, 2013.
- Simmons, Harper (2014). "The Bent Bullet". thebentbullet.com. Marvel Studios/Twentieth Century Fox.
- Hunt, James (May 23, 2014). "11 questions about X-Men Days Of Future Past answered". Den of Geek!