Nightcrawler, or Kurt Wagner, is a mutant character in the Marvel Universe. Originally created for the DC Universe by David Cockrum, but was brought over to Marvel with him. Nightcrawler is one of the more popular X-Men, as he was rated as the fourth on the Top Ten X-Men of all time by Marvel Comics. Kurt is a blue-skinned, furred mutant with quite extensive physical mutations even beyond that. He has three fingers, three toes, yellow eyes and a prehensile tail. His most notable mutation though is his ability to teleport.
| Kurt has fine blue-black fur covering his blue-skinned body, two fingers with one opposable thumb on each hand. His feet are even stranger, as he has two toes, both longer than a normal humans, and one toe-like thing on the heel on each foot. With yellow eyes, canine-like teeth, pointed ears and a 3 1/2 (1.06 m) long tail he looks quite like a demon. |
Quite contrary to his demonic image, he is a devout catholic. He even went as far as almost becoming an anointed priest, but his training was interrupted by a group called "The Neo".
In stark contrast to his religious nature, is his fondness of the spontaneous and exciting. He is know to be quite a trickster, and even got the nickname "Trickster". With his skills learned at young age, and his teleportation he can perform quite elaborate pranks. He also sees himself as a swashbuckler, and often compares himself to Errol Flynn. This is also one person he sometimes disguised himself as with his image inducer (a holographic device made to mask his appearance). After a lost bet with Wolverine however, he learned that most people do not fear his appearance, and now uses the image inducer only when absolutely necessary.
Powers and abilities
Kurt's mutant power is the ability to teleport short distances. This is only his primary mutant ability though, when coupled with his training at the circus he has a wide berth of skills. With his teleporting ability he can teleport himself, clothing and a certain amount of mass from one point to another almost at once. He does this by displacing himself through another dimension, and then appears at another spot. His upper limit in terms of distance lies about 2 miles, but he once teleported over a distance of 50 miles. The reason for why he cannot teleport over long locations is because of the strain his body takes when teleporting. He also have to be certain not to teleport into solid objects, and because his ability to subconsciously avoid this is severely limited over long locations, he doesn't want to teleport over long distances. Liquids and gases are automatically displaced though.
Teleportation places a tremendous strain on his body, and the more mass he brings with him the bigger strain. He has however trained himself, and can now do many teleports without feeling the effects much, even with a passenger. Amounts of mass and the distance he can teleport has only increased, and his resistance is quite high. This resistance must be trained though, so passengers do not have that benefit. He therefore has a tactic where he grabs an enemy then teleports several times, rendering the enemy weakened or even unconscious.
Teleporting is always accompanied by a “bamf”, the sound of air rushing in to fill the space he occupied (due to this sound his teleportation has been called "bamfing" by many people), and a small amount of smoke smelling of burnt brimstone. This comes from the dimension he temporarily enters when teleporting. The teleporting itself is a biophysical/biochemical reaction he triggers himself.
Kurt's athletic skills far surpasses a human Olympic athlete, part due to his unique physiology. His bone structure is very flexible, and he can stay crouched far longer than a human, and is able to perform contortionist-type feats without damaging his spine. His agility, balance, bodily coordination and flexibility is at a superhuman level. He also has the ability to cling to surfaces, almost as well as Spider-Man. Besides his acrobatic feats, his dexterity is also at a superhuman level, and he is able to fence with both his hands, feet and his tail.
His tail is very flexible, and also very strong. He can easily support his own weight, and lift another human being. It is also deft enough to fence with, as mentioned, and he can grab objects without any problems whatsoever.
It is said he has limited abilities to hide in shadows, due to his fur and skin-tone, as well as the dimension he travels through. This has not been much touched upon though, but he nevertheless can hide pretty well in shadows without it being anything superhuman about it. His eyes can aid in moving through dark lit places, as they glow yellow, and gives him limited night-vision capabilities. It is also suggested he can see in the infra-red spectrum.
Quick Origin Bio
Kurt Wagner was born with all of his physical mutations, but his ability to teleport did not emerge until his teens. Margali Szardos found Kurt one hour after his birth, in a roadside shelter in the Bavarian Alps. She said she found his father, Eric Wagner, dead from a heart-attack nearby, and his mother dying besides the baby. It was later proven however, that his actual parents where the known mutant terrorist Mystique and an ancient demon mutant called Azazel. Mystique had thrown him into the river when a mob learned about him, and Azazel had rescued him, giving him to his sorceress lover Margali. From there Margali took him to a Bavarian Circus where she worked as a fortune teller to disguise her being a sorceress. Kurt was never adopted by anyone, but she acted like his foster mother, and he was raised by everyone at the circus, as no one at the circus had anything against mutants.
Even long before his teleportation power emerged, he was gifted with incredible agility and acrobatic abilities, and so he became a young star at the circus as the star aerial artist and acrobat. The audience believed it was a normal human, albeit a extremely talented one, in a demonic outfit doing the incredible feats.
After the circus was bought by a Texan millionaire, he was put in the freak show instead. The millionaire, called Arnos Jardine, drugged him in order to keep him from escaping. But a mutant with the ability to sense other mutants helped him escape. This led him to Winzeldorf, Germany, where he would find his foster-brother Stefan.Stefan had gone mad however, and killed several children. When they where young Kurt had promised Stefan to kill him if he ever took an innocent life. Kurt found him two nights after leaving the circus, hoping to stop his rampage. In the struggle he accidentally snapped his neck.
When the villagers of Winzeldorf discovered Kurt, they believed him to be the demon behind the dead children. They where about to kill him, when they where all paralyzed by Charles Xavier. He had come to recruit Kurt into the X-Men.
Trivia and fun facts
- Nightcrawler's mother is Mystique, the shape-shifting mutant. His father is an ancient mutant demon from biblical times called Azazel. He is from a dimension where his kind was banished to by another ancient angelic mutant race.
- Mystique and Destiny were to be Kurt's intended parents. Mystique, being a shape-shifter had shifted into a man in order to impregnate Destiny. This idea was discarded at the time however, as Marvel did not allow for gay or bisexual characters at the time.
- To be authentic, many writers insert German phrases into Kurt's speech. This has led to a lot of comedy for native German speakers, as they are often riddled with translation errors.
- Nightcrawler in the second X-Men movie, played by Alan Cummings, had only blue skin instead of the fur. This was due to the difficulty of making such an outfit. He also wear civilian clothes, as he is not a member of the X-Men. Little of his playful soul is shown in the movie, as it is more focused on the tortured and tragic aspect of his character. When Kurt is brainwashed in the beginning of the film, the scene where he attacks on the president showcases his abilities very well. The smoke from his trademark teleportation bamfing is also different in the movie, as it is more bright reddish-purple in the comics.