Wednesday, June 25, 2008

All-New, All-Different, X-Men X-tra: Nightcrawler

Nightcrawler (Kurt Wagner) first debuted in Giant-Size X-Men #1 (May 1975). Created by writer Len Wein and artist Dave Cockrum (although Cockrum had originally designed Nightcrawler to be used in DC Comics' Legion of Super-Heroes series). A mutant of German extraction, Nightcrawler possesses superhuman agility and the ability to teleport. His physical mutations include blue skin, three-toed feet and three-fingered hands, yellow eyes, and a prehensile tail. In Nightcrawler's earliest comic book appearances he was depicted as being a happy-go-lucky practical joker and teaser, and a fan of swashbuckling fiction.

Nightcrawler was first seen being pursued by the villagers of Winzeldorf, Germany who had mistakenly assumed him to be a demon that was responsible for a series of local child killings. They were about to kill him when they were all psychically paralyzed by Professor Charles Xavier, who had come to recruit Wagner into the X-Men as part of an effort (“Second Genesis”) to rescue the original team from Krakoa the Living Island.

Nightcrawler consistently places near the top of fan-favorite X-Men character lists and his Catholic faith, while not emphasized as much in his earlier comic book appearances, has become in more recent depictions a prominent part of his characterization.

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