Kurt Wagner is a prominent member of the X-Men and former member and leader of Excalibur. He possessed the mutant ability of teleportation, as well as incredible agility and a prehensile tail. Nightcrawler was a devout Catholic, contrasting his demonic appearance. A swashbuckling trickster and former circus acrobat.
Kurt Wagner is the product of a love affair between two mutants, both with origins that have never fully been explained. His mother was the terrorist Mystique, who at the time was the wife of Baron Christian Wagner, believed to be the father of Nightcrawler for a long time. In truth, his father is the Neyaphem warlord, Azazel, who had a great master plan to impregnate earth women with his children so he could escape the brimstone dimension.
When Nightcrawler was born, the townsfolk were horrified by Mystique' son's demonic appearance and so she threw him into a river, shape-shifted into another form and then claimed that she had killed the son and the mother. Azazel would not allow his son to die, so he saved him and gave him to one of his other lovers (and servant) Margali Szardos to raise. Margali tells a different tale to hide the truth and says that Nightcrawler was discovered by her when she was walking by his house. She discovered his father, Eric Wagner, had died of a heart attack outside and found his mother lying next to him dead. Margali took him in and raised him along with her real children Stefan and Jimaine (later known as Amanda Sefton) at the Bavarian circus. She worked as a fortune teller to hide the truth about her sorcery. Kurt had amazing agility and soon his mutant abilities would manifest. Because of these gifts, he did acrobat shows for the circus audience, while people assumed it was a man in a costume.
When a millionaire circus owner from Texas approached them join his circus, he planned to move the circus to America and demanded that Kurt be in the freak show. Kurt was appalled at this, so he quit the circus and headed to Winzeldorf, Germany. He arrives there to find that his brother Stefan went insane and had been murdering children. Kurt battles him, hoping to stop the atrocity, but accidentally kills Stefan by breaking his neck. He tried to tell Margali about her son but she was not at the circus at the time. The coincidence is that, as children, Stefan had made Kurt swear to kill him if ever he took an innocent life. In turn, the villagers thought Kurt was the demon that killed the children.
Powers and abilities Edit
Kurt Wagner is a mutant whose primary mutant power is the ability to teleport himself, his clothing, and a certain amount of additional mass from one point to another virtually instantaneously. He does this by means of displacing himself through an alternate dimension briefly and reappearing in a desired, pre-selected location. He has been shown to be able to teleport distances of up to two miles (3 km) under optimal conditions, although this is usually his extreme limit, and he can become severely fatigued if he tries to teleport that distance. He has exceeded this limit on multiple occasions. In one case, he teleports somewhere over 50 miles (80 km). Via coordinates received telepathically from Professor Xavier, Nightcrawler has teleported an unknown (but presumably large) distance. In a final, dying effort to rescue the mutant messiah Hope, he manages to teleport them both from Las Vegas, Nevada to the mutant safehold Utopia, just off the coast of San Francisco, a distance of approximately 413 miles (665 km). Nightcrawler's teleportation ability is also affected by direction — north-south along Earth's "magnetic lines of force" is easier than east-west against them.
He possesses a limited unconscious extrasensory "spatial awareness" ability which prevents him from teleporting into solid objects within his immediate vicinity, but this ability diminishes the greater the distance he teleports. Because teleporting into other solid matter would cause severe injury or death, he will only teleport to an area he is familiar with or that he can clearly see at the time or has seen in the past. His power automatically displaces liquids[volume & issue needed] and gases when he arrives.
The process of teleportation places a strain on his endurance and that of any passengers; carrying mass other than his body and clothing when teleporting adds additional strain through his body. Through practice he has been able to teleport with a passenger over a lengthy distance without exhausting himself. Extensive training has raised his tolerance for teleportation, but most of his passengers lack this tolerance. Therefore, one of his tactics is to grab opponents and make several quick teleportations with them. They usually become weakened or even pass out from the strain.[volume & issue needed]
After Nightcrawler teleports, he leaves behind smoke and a faint scent of burning brimstone; this is a small portion of the atmosphere of the dimension he travels through when he teleports. His teleportation power is due to a biophysical/biochemical reaction he consciously triggers within himself. A loud "bamf" noise is always present whenever he teleports (being the sound of air rushing to fill the space he was just occupying). His teleporting also causes a slight change in the atmosphere before he arrives, although only superhumans with heightened senses such as Daredevil can detect it.
In addition to his primary power of teleportation, Nightcrawler's physiology is unique in several different ways. His agility far surpasses that of an Olympic-level gymnast, and his bone structure allows him great flexibility. His spine is more flexible than an ordinary human, enabling him to remain in a crouched position for a long time and perform contortionist-type feats without causing any damage to his spine. Nightcrawler's balance and bodily coordination are all enhanced to superhuman levels. He has the ability to cling to surfaces through microscopic suction cups located on the pads of his hands and feet. He also possesses superhuman dexterity, being able to manipulate items and fence with either hand, both feet, and his tail.[volume & issue needed]
He has the ability to blend into shadows, both as a result of his indigo fur, and the dimensional portal which always surrounds his body and absorbs photons. At one point shortly after his initial introduction, it was suggested that he could actually travel through shadows (in much the same way Psylocke did after exposure to the Crimson Dawn) and this was shown in Bizarre Adventures, but never really touched upon after that. In the story, Vanisher removes some of the Darkforce that formed his costume and threw it at Kurt, who disappeared. He then reappeared from within the Darkforce on the ground, saying that it was like "a pool of shadow" and that he "fell right through it".
Nightcrawler has a prehensile tail, allowing 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 at the same time, and is deft enough to fight with while holding a sword or blunt object. Nightcrawler's eyes (which are constantly glowing) grant him a marked degree of heightened night vision.
Aside from the abilities granted by his mutation, Nightcrawler is a superb fencer and a very skilled hand-to-hand combatant, to the point of being able to stalemate super-beings as powerful as Captain Britain. He has also served as the team's pilot and medic when more qualified X-Men were not around to do so. He and Wolverine were also the mechanics of the X-Men's Blackbird jet for a long time. He is also recognized by other Marvel characters as the leading authority on teleportation, with Spider-Man and Daredevil contacting him for information and advice following their first encounter with Francis Klum. Nightcrawler deduced from analysis of photographs of a crime scene that a man had been killed by someone else teleporting inside the victim, despite having never witnessed such a thing before.
For a long period, Kurt's body housed the Soulsword. Magik states that Kurt is attuned to magic and thus able to wield her Soulsword and Pixie's Souldagger.
As an aftereffect of his death and resurrection, Nightcrawler has developed a heightened resistance against psychic domination which helped him resist the Shadow King's telepathic powers, even after the latter had possessed such strong minds as Rachel Grey and Psylocke moments before.
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