- “My name is Kurt Wagner, but in the Munich Circus I was known as the Incredible Nightcrawler!”
Nightcrawler (born Kurt Wagner) is a mutant who is part of the X-Men. His abilities are superhuman agility, teleportation, and invisibility in deep shadows.
Kurt Wagner was a mutant orphan who was raised by kind circus folk in Germany. He had strong faith even though people were scared of him because of his devilish look. He took the name 'The Incredible Nightcrawler'. He was later captured by Weapon X as he was transformed into a living weapon like Wolverine and Deadpool.
Nightcrawler was controlled by Colonel William Stryker to assassinate the President. He stood undercover and watched as Alicia Vargas read a speech excerpt by Abraham Lincoln. He then raced through the White House with a combination of teleporting and running, attacking those he found on the way until he reached the Oval Office. There he jumped on the President and raised a dagger as if to stab him, but was shot by a guard - dropping the dagger and teleporting away. It fell next to the President and on it was written 'MUTANT FREEDOM NOW."
Following the abduction of several students from Xavier's School by Stryker's soldiers, Nightcrawler joins the X-Men in their rescue mission. After picking up Wolverine, Rogue, Iceman and Pyro, they are threatened by jet fighters. A missile tears through the X-Jet, and Rogue is sucked out before being rescued by Nightcrawler. Just before the X-Jet crashes, everyone is saved by Magneto.Later in the evening, Jean Grey read his mind, discovering the location of Stryker's base. He aided the X-Men with their mission to find Professor X and the abducted students. Following Jean's apparent death, Nightcrawler prayed for no more evil hoping everything will be good.
Later on, he appears with the X-Men for one last time when they travel to the White House to warn the President of a war that is coming.
After Stryker stole parts from Cerebro, The X-Men forgot them so they had to get them leaving Nightcrawler to be the most valuable candidate. When he reached Cerebro, Nightcrawler had to fight Sentinels. When Multiple Man attacked the Brooklyn Bridge, Storm and Nightcrawler come to stop him. Storm is left fighting the clones and Nightcrawler finds the real one. He defeats him sending him to a prison. During this time after Nightcrawler left Mastermind to die, He had weird visions as did Storm but mostly Nightcrawler. After a while, Mastermind reaches out to him asking for help. He helps his ghost to be free but he is still dead. Nightcrawler told Professor X and Beast that he is a simple man and does not want to fight. He left to Germany but was told that he was allowed to come back. Nightcrawler thanked him and went off to take a break.
Kurt was working in a Munich circus until he was captured and taken to a Mutant fight club. He tries to escape but the walls of the cage block his teleporting and he is forced to fight his opponent: Angel. Although initially he tries to dodge and avoid fighting, Angel tells him that if he doesn't fight they will both be killed. Kurt knocks Angel into the walls of the cage severely damaging his left wing. Mystique has found the fight club and shuts off the power to the fences allowing Angel and Nightcrawler to escape, Angel fights his way out but Kurt is taken by Mystique. Mystique takes him to Caliban in order to get a new identity to travel to safety. However, Mystique sees a news broadcast on Magneto and decides to go see Charles Xavier and she takes Kurt with him. At the school Kurt becomes friends with Jubilee who gives him a tour of the mansion, he also meets Scott Summers and Jean Grey. He tells Scott how he is unfamiliar what a mall is, so Scott decides the four teen mutants should skip school and go out and have fun.
At the mall, Kurt gets to experience normal teen activities, he shops for records, sees "Return of the Jedi" and experiences "brain freeze" from a frozen drink at the food court. Scott then drives the four friends back to the mansion, only to find it has been attacked by Apocalypse and the Horsemen and Professor X has been taken. Willam Stryker also arrives and kidnaps Mystique, Quicksilver, Moira MacTaggert and Beast. Kurt hides in the rubble of X Mansion with Scott and Jean, who manages to use her telepathy to keep them cloaked from Strykers soldiers. The trio sneaks on the jet with the captured X-Men, to Alkali Lake Stryker's base for experimenting on mutants, to rescue their friends.
At Alkali lake the trio is forced to hide from guards and encounter Wolverine locked in a cage, Jean sets him free and he goes on a killing rampage throughout the base. While teleporting in various locations inside, Kurt eventually finds the captured heroes and Scott use his powers to blast open their cell. Kurt, Scott, Jean, Mystique, Quicksilver, Beast and Moira don armored suits and board a jet to fly to Cairo to save Professor X.
The team is divided with Kurt tasked to retrieve Charles's body from Apocalypse before they transfer consciousness's, but he is attacked by Angel again. Nightcrawler defeats Angel again and retrieves Charles, the X-Men return to the jet and are preparing to escape but the Horsemen attack and Kurt is forced to teleport himself and seven others to safety, straining him and causing him to pass out. When he awakes, his fellow X-Men have defeated Apocalypse once and for all.
The mansion is rebuilt and Kurt stays on as a student permanently, also joining Mystique, Beast, Quicksilver, Cyclops, Jean and a reformed Storm as the new X-Men. Under the watch of Professor X. the team gathers in the Danger Room to train against an army of Sentinels.
Death of the X-Men
In 2028, Charles Xavier developed Alzheimer's and suffered a massive seizure that injured 600 people, and killed 7 mutants, including several members of the X-Men. It is unknown if Nughtcrawler was among those who were either killed or injured.
Nightcrawler is a devout Catholic and a very friendly character. Generally polite and cheeky, he is very protective of his friends and does whatever he can to help them, teleporting them to safety, helping infiltrate the Weapon X facility or even snoop on the adults on Rogue's behalf. Nightcrawler's friendliness and eagerness to interact with others sometimes leads to him being dismissed when trying to introduce himself, notable when Wolverine, Storm, Beast and Mystique generally dismiss him. However, he is seen to be respected by the other members.
In the official games, Wolverine has great respect for Nightcrawler's martial arts ability and finds it surprising Nightcrawler prefers to be against violence despite having a talent for it.
In the original timeline, Nightcrawler is generally portrayed as somewhat ashamed of his mutation, religious and timid mostly due to being brainwashed into assassinating the president which clearly had a strong effect as well as mutants were more openly discriminated. His interaction with Mystique shows that he believes she should try and look like human.
In the revised timeline, Nightcrawler is proud of his mutation to the point of announcing to Beast that he is blue in response to Beast's surprise at Mystique not in her blue form. He is still religious and dislikes fighting unless he is forced to do so.
In both timelines, he is seen many times praying for the forgiveness or the others like when Jean Grey died. He also is poetic and wise in a sense when he explains to Storm how faith is a better source of strength than fear or anger, he even pities the humans who hate mutants as he believes they are unfortunate not to understand what they see with their eyes. Due to his forgiving and friendly nature, not many characters dislike or hate him, except for Archangel. Despite his pacifistic and timid side Nightcrawler is a talented fighter and is shown to easily hold his own against most adversaries and is very courageous when necessary.
Powers, Abilities, & Weaknesses
- Prehensile Tail - Like Azazel, Nightcrawler's tail allows him to grab onto objects with relative ease. His tail is strong enough to not only support his body weight but also lift an adult man completely off the ground. It is deft enough to fight with like a sword or blunt weapon and its talon or stinger like tip is sharp enough to be a stabbing weapon. His tail was strong enough throw grown men with ease and even catch Angel off guard and slam the winged mutant into the electric cage.
- Shadow Camouflage - He has limited abilities to blend into and create gaseous, three-dimensional shadows. When he is hidden in the darkness, he shows that he is able to have great stealth. During his attack on the White House, Nightcrawler creates a cloudy shadow to confuse enemies, with his tail reaching out and grabbing enemies.
- Superhuman Acrobatics - Nightcrawler's agility, balance, reflexes, and bodily coordination are enhanced to levels beyond the human body's natural limits.
- Superhuman Flexibility- Nightcrawler's bones, muscle and joints have more elastic strength and durability allowing him to perform gymnastic and contortionist maneuvers without damaging his bone structure.
- Superhuman Reflexes - Nightcrawler reflexes are enhanced to a point where he can effortlessly dodge automatic fire and decisively teleport before being shot at. His reflexes appear to be equal to Archangel's. When rescueing Professor X, Nightcrawler teleport is shown ,from his perspective, to be travelling through wormhole like shadow. Whilst the time between disappearing and reappearing is almost one second, for Nightcrawler it feels like 6 seconds. This shows that 1 second is roughly 6 seconds long from Nightcrawler's perception.
- Superhuman Resilience - Nightcrawler is resistant to his own teleports, however teleporting with passengers continuously will weaken them as they do not possess the resistance he does. He can use this to grapple and incapacitate his adversaries. He may be possibly resilient to physical hits as a bullet does not seem to fully penetrate his arm nor slow him down at all. After being shot in the arm, Nightcrawler was capable of using repeated teleports to travel from the White House in Washington DC to an abandoned church in Boston. Professor X notes he could not lock on to Nightcrawler until he stopped teleporting as his teleports made a broken line when cerebro was tracking him. Showing that despite the gunshot wound and lack of rest, Nightcrawler possesses exceptional resilience, although he required medical attention as he is seen wearing a plaster over his wound. During his first encounter with Angel, Nightcrawler got repeatedly electrocuted by the cage, however he was capable of avoiding Angel with acrobatic maneuvers and teleports, thus proving his resilience .
- Surface Adhesion - Nightcrawler is also able to cling to solid surfaces, such as walls, via his hands and feet.
- Teleportation - Nightcrawler is able to teleport to any place, as long as he knows where he is going. His teleportation gives him the appearance of being vaporized into a very brief puff of blue or pure black smoke or gas wherever he teleports to or from. As a teenager, Nightcrawler could not teleport mulitple people without risk of extreme exhaustion or fatigue. Nightcrawler's teleports have a side-effect of weakening his passengers, especially those who are non-teleporters. Using repeated teleports, he was capable of repositioning himself and Archangel until he wore down his adversary and trapped him in a concrete and steel block. Though Archangel was able to recover and free himself, Nightcrawler's teleports exhausted the winged warrior long enough for Nightcrawler to rescue Professor X.
- Concious Spatial Awareness - Nightcrawler also possesses an extra-sensory spatial awareness, when teleporting into an area that he is not looking at. Nightcrawler claims there is a risk of re-appearing within a solid object, however his spatial awareness allows him to teleport and avoid re-appearing into an object that was moved or a person that is standing in what is normally open space.
- Master Acrobat - Growing up in a circus, Nightcrawler is an extremely a talented acrobat, contortionist and martial artist.
- Bilingual - He is fluent in English and German. Due to living as a circus performer, to is possible he is multi-linguistic in other European languages.
- Master Hand-to-Hand-Combatant- Kurt was able to expertly take out dozens of soldiers and secret service agents to get to the President. He was able to defeat Angel a highly skilled mutant cage fighter.
- Electric Field - If Kurt is caught in an electric field, such as an electrified chamber of any sort, it will hinder his teleportation and limit it to the volume of the space he is in. This is evident as he could not escape the electrified cage or enter the Weapon Plus prison.
- Long Distances - The further Kurt teleports, the greater the risk of injuring himself by re-appearring within a solid object or straining his body.
- Telefrag - Kurt must be able to visualize where he is teleporting, or he could end up in a dangerous position, such as inside a wall, though he managed to overcome this if he can visualize his destination in his mind, allowing him to teleport past an obstacle if he can imagine what is past it.
- Telekinesis - Telekinesis, or namely Jean Grey's powerful telekinesis, can be used to keep him from teleporting, as well as to completely lock him in place.
Friends & Family
- Azazel † - Possible Father
- Mystique - Former Teammate and Possible Mother
- Professor X - Friend and Ally
- Storm † - Former Teammate and Friend
- Wolverine - Former Teammate and Friend
- Jean Grey † - Former Teammate and Friend
- Iceman † - Former Teammate and Friend
- Rogue - Former Teammate, Friend, and Rescuee
- Artie Maddicks - Ally and Rescuee
- Cypher - Ally and Rescuee
Friends & Family
- Azazel † - Possible Father
- Mystique - Mentor, Teammate, Rescuee, and Possible Mother
- Professor X † - Former Mentor, Former Teammate, Friend, and Rescuee
- Beast - Mentor, Teammate, Friend, and Rescuee
- Magneto - Ally and Former Enemy
- Storm - Teammate, Friend, and Former Enemy
- Wolverine † - Former Teammate, Friend, and Rescuee
- Quicksilver - Teammate, Friend, and Rescuee
- Moira MacTaggert - Teammate, Friend, and Rescuee
- Jean Grey - Teammate, Friend, and Former Classmate
- Cyclops - Teammate, Friend, and Former Classmate
- Jubilee - Teammate, Friend, and Former Classmate
- Caliban † - Ally
- It has not yet been stated who is Nightcrawler's father in the film series. Although he and Mystique had a brief conversation in X2, there was no reference to the fact that she is his mother like she is in the comics and cartoons.
- If Nightcrawler is Mystique and Azazel's son in the films, that means he was conceived between October, 1962, when Mystique and Azazel joined the Brotherhood, and July, 1963, when Azazel was killed.
- Another popular theory is that John Wraith, who appeared in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, is Nightcrawler's father due to his teleporting abilities. This was even confirmed in the movie's tie-in game, although it's non-canon.
- Nightcrawler doesn't appear in X-Men: The Last Stand because Alan Cumming stated that the make-up process was uncomfortable. He still planned on returning when Bryan Singer was attached but left when Brett Ratner came to direct. Thoughts of replacement were considered but his part was so minimal so his part was cut. In the X-Men: The Official Game, his absence is explained saying that he doesn't wish to lead a violent life.
- According to the X2 film, Nightcrawler's tattoo-like markings represent each sin he has committed.
- In the revised timeline, Nightcrawler does not feel completely out of place. This may be because of the more positive attitude the world has towards mutants. He was also able to go out to a shopping mall without makeup or a disguise. During this sequence, he did not show any concern for his looks. In fact, he seemed eager to go, in order to experience American culture.
- Nightcrawler and Archangel's rivalry is based on the fact they are from rival mutant sub-species. Nightcrawler and his father Azazel are descendants of the Neyephem (Demonic mutants) whilst Archangel is believed to be a descendant of the Cheyarafim (Angelic Mutants).