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Alternative versions of Nightcrawler

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Alternate versions of Nightcrawler
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceGiant-Size X-Men #1 (May 1975)
Created byLen Wein
Dave Cockrum
See alsoNightcrawler 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 Earth-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.[5] He has also made several unsuccessful attempts 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.[6]

In March 2013, X-Treme X-Men, Age of Apocalypse, and Astonishing X-Men participated in the "X-Termination" crossover, which focuses on the AoA Nightcrawler's attempt to get to his home universe. During the event, the AoA reality seemingly is destroyed with Nightcrawler in it.[7]


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 pale Kitty's story during an accidental interdimensional trip.[8] 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]


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.[9]

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 killed zombie Nightcrawler when he ripped him vertically in half.[volume & issue needed]


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]

Old Man Logan[edit]

In the "Old Man Logan" storyline, Nightcrawler is among the X-Men who perish at the hands of Wolverine when he is tricked by Mysterio into believing his friends are super-villains attacking the mansion. [10]


In Warren Ellis' Ruins, Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler is seen of the deformed mutants jailed at a prison in Texas where he is seen gnawing on his own tail.

Secret Wars[edit]

Limbo Domain[edit]

A member of the X-Men, Nightcrawler battled the Limbo's Demon Horde when it assaulted Manhattan. The X-Men failed both to repel them and to save Illyana Rasputin from N'Astirh. The invasion was then contained behind a wall which split the domain in two. As part of a deal with Scott Summers, Illyana's brother Colossus would assemble a team once a year, on the invasion's anniversary, to try to retrieve Illyana. Nightcrawler's part of the mission was to pick a drop zone and teleport them in. When Scott informed Colossus that he refused to send a team to the demon domain, since the last time, both Scott and Colossus were crippled in the fight, Nightcrawler and Kitty Pryde refused to let Colossus down and offered him a last chance. Kurt, along with Boomer and Colossus' girlfriend Domino, formed the team. Teleporting in the demon domain, the team was soon attacked, and separated, with Kurt rescuing Boomer from winged demons. Back on the ground, Darkchild and N'Astirh appeared, capturing Nightcrawler and leaving Boomer mortally wounded. [11]

Imprisoned, he was tortured and his soul was corrupted by Darkchild, turning him into a massive demon under her control. Darkchild used Nightcrawler to pass the force field and assaulted the X-Men controlled area of Inferno.[12] The "Bamf Dragon" (as called by Scott, unaware it was actually Nightcrawler) caused great damages while battling the X-Men. As the science and magic teams quitted their post to assist the X-Men, Illyana and Kurt teleported inside the building to target the force field, maintained only by Hank McCoy and Strange. They were both killed and the field dropped out, letting all of Inferno's demons enter Manhattan. "Bamfy" later wandered through the streets with Darkchild, as the Demon Horde rampaged the city. "Bamfy" found the last X-Men survivors in a subway tunnel, and teleported N'Astirh and many demons. The team sent in Inferno returned along the Goblin Queen and her subjects, and rescued the X-Men. As Jean Grey had Bamfy immobilized and tried to connect with him, Madelyne stepped in and put him under her own control claiming that Kurt's mind had been destroyed when Darkchild turned him into a massive dragon.[13]

After Sinister proposed an alliance to the X-Men and the Goblin Queen, providing himself an army of demon/mutant hybrid clones made from Boomer's DNA, Madelyne avenged herself by controlling Boomer to kill him. The clones consequently turned against the Goblin Queen, who was then protected by Bamfy. With all the X-Men either dead or on the run, Madelyne, still accompanied by Bamfy, usurped the Hellfire energies from Darkchild's corpse, and became the new Baron of the domain.[14]

All-New, All-Different Marvel[edit]

After the end of the Battleworld, Bamfy along with the Goblin Queen and her Goblin Horde, managed to access Prime Earth.[15]

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 (Ultimatevers's Mutant Growth Hormone) enhanced X-Men team. In this form, Nightcrawler seems to wield flare/batons of energy, similar to those Blink's javelins.[16]

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.[17]

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.[18]

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.[19]

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.[20]

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.[21]

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.[22] 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.[23]

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.[24]

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]

X-2: X-Men United[edit]

The character appears as one of the many mutants in the critically praised 2003 film "X-2: X-Men United." In the film, he is shown as a German ex-circus performer named Kurt Wagner, who was brainwashed in the beginning of the film into attempting an assassination on the U.S. president's life. When his attempt fails, he flees the scene, leaving a note which read "Mutant Freedom Now." He is later picked up and returned to his kindhearted nature by the X-Men, where he introduces himself to the group as "The Incredible Nightcrawler." He is shown as an indigo-colored demon-like mutant with a long, pointed tail & yellow eyes, with a number of deep scars on his body. Each scar represents a sin, as he was viewed as a demon in his homeland. Being German, he has a German accent. He wears a long coat and striped pants. In this iteration, he was portrayed by Alan Cumming. In preparing for the role, he would extensively study the character's comic book appearances in order to accurately depict him on film.

A tie-in comic depicts his background as a circus performer, where he was in love with Amanda Sefton, a fellow performer. When Amanda falls from her trapeze, Kurt breaks character and teleports to save her, breaking his own ribs in the process. Unconcerned with his injuries, Kurt learns that Amanda is involved with Werner, a more traditionally handsome performer, and goes to a church to grieve. While there, he's confronted by Amanda, confessing her love to him and inviting him to elope. In fact, she is an illusion created by Mutant 12, who guides him to a Weapon X facility.

Marvel Mangaverse[edit]

In Marvel Mangaverse Nightcrawler is a member of the Brotherhood, led by Amanda Sefton, and an enemy of the X-Men and has a rivalry with Wolverine. Nightcrawler is killed by Wolverine.


  1. X-Calibre #1-4
  2. X-Calibre #4 (June 1995)
  3. Uncanny X-Force #19
  4. Uncanny X-Force (vol. 1) #19
  5. Volume 7: Final Execution, Book 2
  6. Ellis, Warren. "Body Heat", X-Calibre #3 (May 1995)
  7. "'Age of Apocalypse', 'X-Treme X-Men' canceled by Marvel".
  8. Nightcrawler vol. 1 #3-4
  9. X-Treme X-Men vol. 2 #13
  10. Old Man Logan Vol. 1 #5. Marvel Comics.
  11. Inferno #1
  12. Inferno #3
  13. Inferno #4
  14. Inferno #5
  15. All-New X-Men (Vol. 2) #12
  16. Ultimate X-Men #94
  17. Ultimate X-Men #95
  18. Paradise X #0
  19. Universe X #10
  20. What If (vol.2) #23
  21. What If (vol.2) #98
  22. X-Men Forever vol. 2 #3 (September 2010)
  23. X-Men Forever vol. 2 #16
  24. X-Men Noir: Mark of Cain #1-4

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