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Agent of S.T.Y.L.E. – The Swashbuckling Nightcrawler!

Agent of S.T.Y.L.E. - Nightcrawler

Almost since I learned what an X-Men was, my favorite mutant hero has been Kurt Wagner (pronounced “Vaug-nerr”) aka Nightcrawler. A devout Catholic swordsman who looks like a demon and buckles swashes with the best of them, Kurt won me over with his affable nature, his flamboyant humor and the fact that he seemed to be one of the few X-Men who actually enjoyed his life for the most part. Sadly, he left the X-Men soon before I got into comics and it was years before he came back. Then, some years later, he died. But hey, he’s back now (yah! comics!) and starring in his own series once again. Let’s go over the history of this charming acrobat, known to many close friends as “Fuzzy Elf.” 

ORIGINAL CONCEPTION

Demon Nightcrawler 2

Artist Dave Cockrum originally thought of Nightcrawler while he was in the Navy and stationed in Guam. As he explained, a typhoon kept him awake one night and he began sketching a new character who looked very much like the classic Nightcrawler except he only wore shorts rather than a full costume. Cockrum said, “Originally, Nightcrawler was a demon from Hell who had flubbed a mission, and rather than go back and face punishment, he decided to stay up here in the human world. He was supposed to be the sidekick of another superhero character that I had created named the Intruder.”

Nightcrawler Demon 1

We don’t have access to those original sketches, but the description sounds a lot like what we saw in an X-Men spin-off mini-series Magik where an alterate version of Nightcrawler became the corrupt slave of the demon lord Belasco. The image above is from that story.

In the 1970s, Cockrum helped bring fans back to Legion of Super-Heroes. He also created a few new heroes who joined the famous 30th century team. Cockrum then pitched some other characters he had imagined, including Nightcrawler, could star in a spin-off comic called The Outsiders. In this pitch, Nightcrawler now wore what we consider to be his classic costume and he was no longer literally a demon from Hell. His real name was Baalshazzar and he belonged to a race of beings who inhabited another dimension and had inspired many legends of demons. He had pointed ears, fangs, two digits and a thumb on each hand, an extended ankle and two toes that were as dexterous as fingers, golden eyes with no visible pupils, a prehensile tail, and his whole body was covered in fine indigo fur. His powers? He could cling to surfaces, vanish from sight in even dim shadows, and teleport in bursts of flame and brimstone. This last ability, Cockrum said, couldn’t be used too often as it drained his energy quickly.

The Nightcrawler would be an animalistic character who regularly stalked on all fours, howled during a fight, and possessed a sardonic sense of humor humor. One line read Nightcrawler “would find a truckload of dead babies hilarious.” Cockrum’s idea was he had all the makings of a villain yet chose to fight for good, even if he sometimes used underhanded methods to win.

This is a great costume. There’s a demonic idea about it in a nicely subtle way. No need for putting a pitchfork or demon symbol on the suit when Nightcrawler’s physical appearance already convey that idea. There’s just the suggestion of red horns on the gloves and boots, nicely complemented by the shoulders. Like Spider-Man, it’s a unique costume which truly works as a whole. Take it apart in pieces and it becomes less.

The Outsiders never made it to print (thought DC did use the name for an entirely different team in the 1980s). Cockrum then headed to Marvel and joined the effort to relaunch the X-Men series in 1975. I sometimes muse about the parallel Earth where Nightcrawler was never a swashbuckling X-Man but instead was a demonic anti-hero who fought evil in the 30th century. What if. . . ?

THE GERMAN ACROBAT

Introduced in 1963, X-Men stopped printing new stories in 1970. The mutant heroes who were known as the “strangest teens of all” just didn’t stand out anymore. Rather than end, the comic continued and simply reprinted it own old stories for the next twenty-eight issues. In 1975, it was time to relaunch the X-Men with a new roster, one which would have an international flavor and would include adults mixed with just a couple of teens. Team leader Cyclops and his mentor Professor Charles Xavier stuck around, recruiting the characters Sunfire (Japanese) and Banshee (Irish), each of whom had been introduced in the pages of X-Men years earlier as enemies who became allies. Xavier also recruited Wolverine, a Canadian government agent who had only recently been introduced in the pages of Incredible Hulk and was now revealed to be a mutant. The rest of the “all-new, all-different X-Men” roster was filled by brand new characters: the Russian teenager Colossus, the teenage Apache called Thunderbird, a young American woman called Storm who had grown up in Egypt and then spent years being worshipped as a goddess in Kenya, and our old buddy the Nightcrawler.

To make him a better fit into the X-Men world, Nightcrawler was reimagined by Cockrum and Len Wein. He was now Kurt Wagner, a 20-year-old native of Germany who was born with the X-gene which makes some people in the Marvel Universe “mutants.” The X-gene was now responsible for his teleportation, wall-crawling and shadow-camouflage ability. Like most mutants, his powers didn’t emerge until about puberty. Unlike many mutants, his genetic status was obvious immediately as he was born with a demonic appearance. Many of the X-Men had considered themselves normal until their X-gene activated during adolescence, but Kurt had been marked as an outsider his entire life.

The new team was introduced in 1975′s special issue Giant-Size X-Men #1. When we first meet Nightcrawler, he’s not a happy go lucky guy. He’s a man who finally left his home to explore the wider world, only to wind up targeted by an angry mob who believes he’s literally a demon who needs to be staked through the heart. Angry and panicked, Kurt lashes out at them, deciding that if he can’t escape at least he’ll die fighting (at this time, there was still the idea that he couldn’t use his teleportation power too often). Then Professor Charles Francis Xavier shows up, rescuing the young mutant and offering him a place among the X-Men. Still shaken after nearly being murdered by a crowd of strangers just because of his appearance, Kurt asks if Xavier can make him “normal.” Xavier asks if that’s what he really wants. Kurt concedes the point, saying, “I only want to be a whole Kurt Wagner.”

In his first adventure with the X-Men, Kurt was pretty serious and suspicious of a couple of his new teammates. In line with Cockrum’s original pitch, this Nightcrawler howled like an animal when he defeated an enemy. Starting with the very next issue however, things changed. After weeks of living with the X-Men and training alongside them, he loosened up considerably and showed he was not a dark person with sardonic wit but rather a kind and sensitive friend to those he trusted. After Cyclops had an loud argument with a teammate during a training session, Kurt approached his leader and got the normally stoic man to open up.

As the issues went on, with input from writer Chris Claremont and artist/co-plotter John Byrne, Kurt loosened up even further and became the jokester of the team. When the others feared their lives would be nothing but hardship, Kurt would remind them of their victories and point out the dangers of taking yourself too seriously. Rather than brood about how his demonic appearance would never go away, he’d joke that he loved the movie Star Wars because he resembled some of the aliens. He had been through bad times and tragedy, he didn’t deny that, but he chose to laugh and believe tomorrow could be a better day. Instead of a sardonic jerk who would’ve often been called “demon,” we got this whimsical adventurer affectionately called “Elf” or “Fuzzy Elf” by his teammates.

McGuinness Nightcrawler

Another aspect of Nightcrawler which changed was his powers. As Cockrum stepped aside, Claremont and Byrne increased Kurt’s teleportation power. In battle, Nightcrawler could now teleport rapidly a good dozen times in just a few moments before he started feeling tired at all. But this increase of power came with new weaknesses to even things out. The farther Nightcrawler traveled, the more it strained him. Likewise, strain increased if he carried large objects or people with him and the person would often get sick from the trip. Although his powers pushed liquid and gas out of his way, he didn’t dare teleport into a place he hadn’t seen for fear or teleporting into a solid object. If he were falling to his death, he couldn’t just teleport to the ground because he would meet it with the same velocity he’d had a moment before. If he traveled north or south, he had a maximum range of about three miles (which would cause real pain) and, because his powers were slightly affected by Earth’s magnetic poles, could only travel about two miles east or west.

In the past 15 years, writers and editors have come to ignore these limitations or simply assumed Nightcrawler’s power and control increased over time. In a story from a few years ago, Kurt was able to take the young girl Hope from San Francisco to Las Vegas in one ‘port jump, covering roughly 585 miles. The effort nearly killed him.

Along with the brimstone smell, crack of flame and smoke which appeared whenever Nightcrawler teleported, the now-famous “BAMF” sound effect was added. It was later explained Nightcrawler teleported by displaying himself into another dimension and then returning to Earth at a different point in space-time almost instantly. The smoke and smell were the atmospheric conditions of this other dimension. The BAMF sound was the result of air rushing in to fill the gap where Nightcrawler had once been standing or air being shoved out of the way as he made an entrance. Isn’t science cool, kids?

There was also Nightcrawler’s camouflage power. He discovered this by accident during an adventure with the X-Men and then often used it for stealth. This was perhaps his strangest ability, as characters mentioned that he basically became invisible. There are lots of qualities I can accept as mutant powers in the Marvel Universe, but this trait of Nightcrawler’s always seemed basically magical to me personally. I always wondered why the X-Men never recorded him with an infra-red or night-vision camera when he went invisible like this, just to see if they could detect any other change.

Shadow Powers Nightcrawler 2

Over the years, this power was seldom used. It got to a point where it seemed that only Claremont and writer/artist Alan Davis ever remembered Nightcrawler was able to become invisible in the right light and didn’t just blend in with shadows because of his indigo fur and largely black costume. It’s basically a forgotten ability now, much like how X-Men’s Gambit was once said to have a hypnotic charm ability which made you trust him but then it wasn’t mentioned for years.

Some of us were inspired into certain careers and fields of interest by our love of fiction. Kurt is no different. At times, he displayed he was an expert swordsman and he happily admitted he was inspired to train because of his love of actor Errol Flynn’s portrayal of the pirate Captain Blood. Soon after Kurt joined the X-Men, Xavier gave him a holographic “image inducer” designed by Tony “I am Iron Man” Stark to give disguise him when he went out in public. Kurt surprised his teammates by programming the inducer to make him look like Flynn. So even when he was hiding, Kurt found a way to display his flamboyant and whimsical attitude.

Later on, Kurt abandoned the image inducer, deciding he would not hide his mutant status or handsome face just because they made other people uncomfortable. He even enjoyed sometimes using his demonic appearance to intimidate enemies, convincing them that he would feed on them if they didn’t cooperate. He was the X-Men’s example of “out and proud.”

We also came to learn that Kurt was a devout Catholic. This led to interesting discussions and debates on God, the world and ethics between him and the atheistic, often cynical Wolverine. Fittingly, the two characters became best friends and were pretty even rivals for the position of “favorite X-Man” among readers.

While Colossus and Storm had been given costumes by Xavier, Nightcrawler had already been wearing his when he’d been recruited. It was explained Nightcrawler had been raised in a circus by a sorceress and fortune teller named Margali Szardos and this red and black outfit was his circus costume. While he could’ve easily fit into the freak show, Kurt’s pride was too strong and he instead became the prized acrobat, his unique skeleton and muscles allowing him to perform in ways normal humans couldn’t. People who attended his performances assumed they were watching an acrobat in demonic make-up and so Kurt chose the dramatic stage name of Nightcrawler. Margali’s daughter Jimaine (later known as Amanda Sefton) sometimes performed alongside Kurt and wore an identical outfit.

It’s really cool to me that you can totally change Nightcrawler’s back-story from “demonic entity from another dimension” to “mutant with a heart of gold who looks like a demon” and still make the costume work. It’s design totally works for me as a circus outfit. It goes nicely with his stage name and performance aspect. The fact that he kept it as his X-Men uniform also tells you how much Nightcrawler prizes his past and his upbringing, no matter how bad things may have been from time to time.

Flashbacks eventually revealed dark information about Kurt’s past, including the tragic death of his foster brother Stefan. These revelations weren’t used to make Kurt a darker character but to highlight that his continued idealism and affable nature were all the more special.

INTER-DIMENSIONAL ADVENTURER!

In 1985, Nightcrawler finally got his own mini-series, written and drawn by Cockrum. During a training session, odd circumstances sent Nightcrawler and the alien dragon Lockheed into another dimension where pirates ride on air ships and a shark-man wizard terrorizes the innocent. Cockrum took all of Nighty’s more whimsical qualities and turned the dial up to 11.

Nightcrawler became a pirate in this dimension and stayed that way for weeks, giving us this very fun variation of his classic outfit. I think it’s pretty great. It’s Nightcrawler embracing his love of Errol Flynn on a new level. On this costume, I prefer the boots being gold and red, as they were in the interior art.

This dimension was also inhabited by demonic beings called Boggies, little guys who could travel through mirrors and looked like Nightcrawler except with wings. Everyone who saw Nightcrawler believed he was some sort of giant boggie. Eventually, the real Boggies met Kurt and referred to him as “PhoneyBoggie.” I find them to be very cute, especially with their little red booties.

Soon after meeting the boggies and rescuing a princess, Nightcrawler found himself thrown into yet another dimension. Bizarrely, this parallel world was nearly identical to a fairy tale young X-Men Kitty Pryde made up some time before, in which she’d imagined fantasy-analogues of her teammates. Kitty’s story had reimagined Kurt as a romance-crazy elf called Bamf and, sure enough, Nightcrawler met the little guy. In fact, he met a whole race of Bamfs. The males were romance crazy and child-like, referring to Kurt as “Daddy” due to his larger size, while the females resembled adolescents and instantly fell in love with the character.

Of course, this was only a mini-series, so Nightcrawler finally made it back home by the end of issue #4 and went off to regale Kitty Pryde and her best friend Illyana Rasputin with tales of his adventures. If all of this lovely absurdity doesn’t inspire you to pick up this fun four-issue mini-series, then I bring you more evidence. 1, Wolverine was reimagined as a short creature called Mean aka the Fiend with No Name (referencing one of Logan’s influences, the Man with No Name); 2, the panel below is an actual scene which occurred in the mini-series.

Yeah. Dinosaur cowboy. That’s just great. This is superhero comics at its best. If you don’t enjoy the wonderful absurdity of a dinosaur cowboy who hates mammals, speaks with a Southern American accent, and wears rather fanciful boots and gloves but no trousers, then that’s fine but we will never truly be friends.

THE EXCALIBUR ERA

Anyway, Nightcrawler got back to Earth and the X-Men. Eventually, he became leader for a while. But the stories started focusing on Kurt as a guy losing confidence in himself and his world view. The things which made him fun slipped away as comics pushed further in the grim and gritty era that fully bloomed following deconstructionist stories such as Watchmen. The crossover story “Mutant Massacre” left Nightcrawler in a coma, so he and Kitty Pryde weren’t around when the X-Men then died in Dallas during a battle with a villain called Adversary. That’s right, the X-Men actually died. But then they were then magically resurrected by a friend(yah! comics!). Then the team relocated to Australia (as you do after being literally resurrected), deciding to let the world believe they were still dead so they could now act more covertly. This was a weird, weird way to relaunch the X-Men into a new direction and I wasn’t fond of it.

In the meantime, Nightcrawler, Kitty Pryde, Rachel Summers (now called Rachel Grey) and others formed a new team called Excalibur in the pages of the 1988 one-shot Excalibur: The Sword is Drawn, presented by Chris Claremont and Alan Davis. This led into an ongoing series by Claremont and Davis. Due to his injuries during “Mutant Massacre,” Nightcrawler really couldn’t teleport more than once or twice a day without straining and possibly injuring himself now. This limitation was finally removed in Excalibur #33.

While Nightcrawler was still a member of Excalibur, he learned the mutant terrorist Raven Darkholme aka Mystique was actually his mother. She had been married to a nobleman named Christian Wagner. But when she gave birth, her cover as a mutant was blown due to Nightcrawler’s appearance. She took off, disguised herself as a local, and threw the demon baby off a cliff. It was only a miracle the child survived and was found by Margali Szardos.

This wasn’t the original plan, however. Claremont, who created Mystique, had intended for years to reveal the shape-shifter was actually Kurt’s father and that she’d produced him with her best friend and lover Irene Adler aka Destiny. But rules against same-sex relationships at the time, thanks to the Comics Code Authority, stopped this from happening. By the 1990s, those rules were gone, but Claremont was no longer writing X-Men and apparently Marvel still thought that it was too weird to say Mystique was Kurt’s dad. So they just revealed, after over a decade of it being a mystery, that she was his mom, as many had already guessed.

Alan Davis left Excalibur and then so did Chris Claremont months later. Then Davis returned and took over art and full writing chores as well. After a while, he decided to give Kurt a new outfit. Excalibur #62 had Nightcrawler’s classic uniform shredded during battle. Then in Excalibur #63 (1993) a mutant artist named Silkworm, a fan of Kurt’s, used his powers to immediately construct a new costume for the hero. This new outfit took away the black area in the middle, turned the remaining black areas to a dark gray, and gave it a raised red collar. When asked why Silkworm had altered Nightcrawler’s classic costume rather than restore it exactly, Silkworm answered, “I am an artist. I don’t copy, I create!” Kurt himself was very pleased by the new design and wore it as his standard uniform for roughly three years.

This design by Davis definitely works. It reflects how Kurt had become more confident and professional during this time, now acting often as the leader of Excalibur. This evolution takes the design just a step away from circus outfit and more into “professional superhero” territory.

Davis left again and Scott Lobdell took over as writer. He decided the book needed to be darker, so Excalibur went through some tough times. In Excalibur #69 and #70, Kurt was without his costume again and briefly wore an alternate version while he worked with the space adventurers known as the Starjammers. This outfit definitely fit the style of the Starjammers but doesn’t really work for Kurt. I keep thinking the metal bits on his elbows and those metal knee pads will impede his acrobatic movements. I do like the golden collar though and how its cut mimics Nightcrawler’s classic gloves and boots.

Lobdell left Excalibur and was replaced by Warren Ellis, who brought some humor back into the book while also dealing with the grim experiences the team had recently faced. By this point, Nightcrawler had dealt with falling for a woman who was in love with a friend, only to then fall for another woman and then lose her soon after it turned out to she was a wanted criminal. In Excalibur #97 (1996) Kurt altered his look to emphasize his now rougher, more jaded personality. He grew a goatee (which a lot of readers didn’t think he could do since he was covered in fur), cut his hair quite short, and gave himself a more piratey look again. He also made a habit of having a saber strapped to his back.

I can get behind the idea but honestly, this is barely a full costume. Kurt through on a cape as a tunic of sorts, got himself fingerless gloves and toe-less boots, and then decided he didn’t need anything else beyond loincloth-like shorts and a belt. I go back and forth between thinking this makes sense since he’s covered in blue fur which would probably keep him a bit warm and thinking it’s weird Nightcrawler’s idea of “let’s get serious” means rocking out underwear that nearly matches his flesh/fur tone. Along with this, there was an inconsistency of his digits being covered, since artists tended to forget that his gloves and boots were supposed to leave his fingers and toes exposed now. Eventually he just had full gloves and boots again.

I also think it’s repetitive to have an X-Men belt buckle and an X-Men cape clasp, but that’s a general problem I have with X-Men outfits. Wait, what is that clasp attached to exactly?

Excalibur ended in 1998, by which point Kurt started looking like his old self again.

THE 21st CENTURY

2000 Armor Nightcrawler

In 2000, the X-books relaunched to bring in new readers. It was said that six months had now passed since the previous month’s issues, meaning a new era could begin. In X-Men #100, Claremont and Leinil Francis Yu brought back Nightcrawler and revealed he was now several months into training to become a priest. Circumstances led to him returning to the X-Men fold, now with a slightly armored costume.

I definitely agree it makes sense for the X-Men to have a shared uniform. Unlike the Avengers or the Justice League, they’re not a clubhouse of heroes with separate careers, they’re usually seen as a class of students and/or a counter-terrorist team that lives and trains together. But I’m not sure about this costume. I think the boots and gloves need a little something. Or maybe if the armor plates were red to nod back to Kurt’s classic outfit.

In 2001, Grant Morrison relaunched X-Men as New X-Men. The idea was the X-Men had never been superheroes in the traditional sense, focusing on combating mutant terrorists and training teenage mutants to be soldiers. So now they would embrace their difference in a new way. The X-Men went public with their identities, opened the X-Mansion’s doors to any mutant who wanted safe haven and an education, and told the media that they were basically a volunteer rescue force who specialized in mutant situations. The New X-Men team got new uniforms designed by Frank Quitely that set its members apart from costumed superheroes and emulated the black all-purpose gear seen in the newly released and quite popular X-Men movie.

The series Uncanny X-Men joined Morrison’s relaunch style with issue #395 and now starred the X-Men away team with Nightcrawler as leader. They also had new leather uniforms, designed by Ian Churchill. By this point, Nightcrawler had apparently completed his training as a priest and so he sometimes wore the priest collar with his costume. Nice touch.

In general, I like the idea of these suits, but I think the design and padded areas are a little too much for a comic book. The more complicated an outfit is in a comic, the less I dig it. Comic art doesn’t need to be so realistic that I see every seam and line of an outfit. Nightcrawler’s uniform here wasn’t bad, but it didn’t wow me either. I would’ve preferred seeing him in the more simplified leather jacket style that Frank Quitely gave Cyclops’ team. Later on, Nightcrawler’s outfit was given red coloring in the padded areas and symbol.

While Nightcrawler was still wearing this suit, writer Chuck Austen took over Uncanny X-Men. In a story called “The Draco,” Austen revealed that Nightcrawler actually hadn’t become a priest, he’d been hypnotized into thinking he had thanks to a group of religious zealots who intended to have him become the Pope, then use him to bring down the Roman Catholic Church. This story got a lot of basic information wrong about how the Catholic Church works and what it teaches and believes. But it got past editors and so, boom, Nightcrawler was no longer a priest.

Along with this, Chuck Austen revealed that Christian Wagner was not Kurt’s real father because Mystique had cheated on the guy with Azazel, a guy who looked just like Nightcrawler but red. Azazel was leader of a tribe of demonic mutants who shared genetic traits for some weird reason, inspired legends of demons, inhabited the smokey dimension that Kurt used to teleport, and hated another tribe of mutants who apparently all looked like angels, inspired angelic myth and included the ancestor of the X-Man called Archangel. Azazel, by his own account, was the inspiration for stories of Lucifer. This doesn’t really make sense when you consider that actual demons and angels do inhabit the Marvel Universe.

A lot of readers, myself included, thought that this whole revelation, which resembled some of Cockrum’s original pitch, undid the rather lovely idea Nightcrawler being a devout Catholic who was wrongfully thought of as a demon simply due to his appearance by saying “oh yeah, he kind of is a demon and his father is the Devil.”

Morrison’s run ended in 2004 and the X-Men books reorganized yet again. Uncanny X-Men now featured Storm leading a team of X-Men who worked as troubleshooters authorized by the United Nations. The team was called the X-Treme Sanctions Executive and was introduced in Uncanny X-Men #445. Nightcrawler joined the team and got a new costume in the process that emulated his first look but lost the shoulder extensions and added an X-Men badge.

Not a bad look at all and I dig the return of the classic boots and gloves. Kurt kept this look for the next five years.

In 2009, the Manifest Destiny crossover resulted in Nightcrawler getting yet another new uniform. I’m not a fan of this look. I don’t really get it. The gloves and boots are just plain again, though the boots now have odd ankle ornaments. The mid-section just doesn’t do anything for me. A couple of red chevrons don’t seem dynamic on Nightcrawler.

In 2010, Kurt sacrificed his life to save the mutant named Hope Summers. It was a brutal death, where he teleported into a lethal punch in order to prevent it from hitting Hope. With his powers, there are other ways he could have saved her, but that’s what happened. Nightcrawler died and the pain this caused fans was only soothed by the confidence just about everyone in the X-Men universe will die and return, often times more than once. Seriously, by 2010, many of the members had died more than once and literally been resurrected by outside forces.

AGE OF APOCALYPSE AND RESURRECTION

So back in the mid-1990s, there was a story where a time traveler killed Xavier years before he was supposed to form the X-Men. As a result of this, the X-books all temporarily shifted into a new timeline where Magneto led the X-Men and the villain Apocalypse had destroyed a lot of the world. In this Age of Apocalypse world, Kurt Wagner was a character who more closely resembled Cockrum’s original idea of his personality. He was sardonic, sarcastic, mocked faith and hated churches. The outfit he wore, I have to say, is a pretty cool take on the classic Nightcrawler suit as armor. Very well done.

Oh, he also didn’t call himself Kurt Wagner. In this timeline, he reunited with his mother Mystique and developed a close relationship with her. So he took her last name and called himself Kurt Darkholme.

I mention the Age of Apocalypse version of Nightcrawler because soon after our own Kurt Wagner died this guy wandered into our reality. He wound up joining the mutant black ops team called X-Force and, like most of its members, adopted a monochromatic look. I’m not a huge fan of it, but I know it was part of the team’s style. He later went home in 2013.

In late 2013, the real Nightcrawler came back in the pages of Amazing X-Men. I won’t tell you the details because some of you may be interested in catching up. This great story, presented by writer Jason Aaron and artist Ed McGuinness, started with Nightcrawler hanging out in Heaven and discovering his father Azazel was leading an invasion from Hell. Supernatural battles followed and there was lots of really fun, high-flying action. Plus, a pirate ship and Bamfs. But honestly, for me, it all came down to this scene below.

Wolverine and Nightcrawler: bros reunited. Our boy Kurt is back from the dead, bringing with him his classic swashbuckling attitude. Now he stars in a brand new Nightcrawler series written by Claremont. Check it out if you wish. I’m just happy to have Elf back amidst the living. Now if only we can see him in the movies again.

We hope you liked this look at Nightcrawler. Be sure to send in any suggestions you have for who else should be a focus of Agent of S.T.Y.L.E.

Alan Sizzler Kistler (@SizzlerKistler) is an actor and writer who moonlights as a comic book historian and geek consultant. He’s the author of Doctor Who: A History. He’s still waiting for a road trip movie featuring Nightcrawler, Kitty Pryde and Wolverine, with Dazzler guest-starring. It would take place in Vegas. Obviously.

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