- "I'm blue. I'm Kurt. Kurt Wagner."
- ―Nightcrawler to Beast
Nightcrawler (born Kurt Wagner) is a mutant with the ability to teleport. He is a member of the X-Men.
A trapeze performance at the Szardos Traveling Circus in Canada goes horribly wrong when Amandas Sefton nearly plummets to her death, if not for a hasty rescue by the mutant teleportation ability of her foster brother Kurt Wagner, also known as the Nightcrawler. Nightcrawler receives a few broken ribs, and is chastised by his foster mother, Margali Szardos, for changing the cues in the middle of the performance before the net had been rolled out for the performers. Nightcrawler is not as concerned for his health so much as the heartache he feels over Amanda's relationship with the trapeze artist, Werner.
Nightcrawler visits a church, and Amanda Sefton follows him, without his knowledge. Amanda reveals that she cares for him more than a foster brother, and the two share a kiss. They make the decision to leave the circus, to find a new life together. Meanwhile, back at the circus, Margali interrupts Amanda and Werner making out in Margali's trailer and Margali asks Amanda where her foster brother is. Amanda tells her mother she has no idea, and recommends she visit a local church.
In the nearby woods, Nightcrawler makes a dash for freedom with what he believes to be Amanda Sefton, unaware that his mind is under the control of one of William Stryker's telepathic prisoner, Mutant 12. Stryker's soldiers apprehend Nightcrawler, and transport him to the Weapon X facility in Alkali Lake. Mutant 12's power wears off, and Kurt finds himself in a cell with William Stryker, an inhibitor collar preventing him from teleporting to safety. Stryker interrogates Nightcrawler, but the mutant refuses to cooperate with him.
As Amanda and Margali worry about Kurt's whereabouts, Stryker's soldiers beat Nightcrawler to a bloody pulp for praying. Amanda and Margali are left no other choice but to leave with the circus, hoping he chose to go his own way, as opposed to the alternatives. Back at Alkali Lake, Nightcrawler attempts to comfort Lady Deathstrike in their cell. Kurt believes her dying following her Adamantium bonding process, and she unleashes her claws for the first time. Stryker's soldiers rush into the cell, and Kurt learns that that the Weapon X Project had her claws grafted with the indestructible metal, before they knocked him unconscious.
Amanda and Sefton argue over the choices that they've made being responsible for Kurt's sudden disappearance, Stryker gives Nightcrawler the opportunity to kill his abusive guards. Kurt declines such savagery, and reiterates that his love of God will see him through. Amanda and Margali come to terms that Nightcrawler may never return, and Kurt reassures a rapidly healing and unconscious Lady Deathstrike that they will escape from their cell. One of Stryker's guards reveals that Amanda's love for him was merely a telepathic illusion to fool the mutant, and that she could never love a freak like him. The information wounds him more than all of Stryker's physical torture.
Stryker then performs a medical procedure on Kurt to control his mind. He forces Nightcrawler to teleport to the location of the soldier responsible for the revelation about Amanda, where Kurt slashes his throat with a Bowie Knife. Nightcrawler returns to Alkali Lake, where Stryker proclaims it time for the mutant to visit the president. Later, Amanda visits a church in Calgary, and asks God to watch over Kurt, no matter where his travels may take him.
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.
In 2023, Nightcrawler's whereabouts are unknown, despite having gone his separate ways. It was unknown if he was captured or is killed by the Sentinels.
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 that they should skip school and go out and have fun.
At the mall, Kurt gets to experience normal teen activities: shopping for records, seeing Return of the Jedi and experiencing "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.
Nine years later in 1992, Professor X is now an adviser to the President of the United States as he and the X-Men are revered as worldwide superheroes. Xavier and Hank McCoy witness the space shuttle Endeavor encountering problems in space. Xavier is then telephoned by the President to provide assistance to the astronauts. Xavier dispatches Beast, Mystique, Quicksilver, Storm, Nightcrawler, Jean Grey and Cyclops to head to space, with Beast piloting the X-Jet.
Nightcrawler transported himself and Quicksilver onto the space shuttle, where Quicksilver used his speed to unhook the astronauts' seatbelts and bring them back to Nightcrawler, who transported them back to the X-Jet. However, as they were preparing to leave, one of the astronauts informed the X-Men that their commander was still on the shuttle. As the cosmic force they believed to be a solar flare was too close and only Jean could stop it, Quicksilver use duct tape to affix a helmet to Nightcrawler, who teleported himself and Jean to the shuttle. As the cosmic force approached, Nightcrawler saved the commander and returned to the X-Jet; however, Jean was left behind on the ship, and absorbed the Phoenix Force as a result. Nightcrawler teleported himself to the vast abyss of space to save Jean's body and bring her back to the X-Jet, discovering that Jean was alive. Returning to Earth, he was applauded as a hero, with people parading signs showing their admiration for him, and a child even wearing face paint to mimic his appearance. After Jean accidentally kills Mystique on Earth after losing control of her augmented powers, Hank leaves the X-Mansion. Using Cerebro, Xavier realizes that Hank has gone to see Magneto and that they are planning to kill Jean to avenge Mystique. Cyclops enlists Storm and Nightcrawler to join them, and he fights Selene and Ariki on the streets of New York. He is eventually rendered unconscious by the U.S. military, who place mutant ability dispersing collars on him. On a train headed to a mutant internment facility, one of the soldiers notes his disappointment in Nightcrawler, informing the young mutant that his son idolized him. As the alien D'Bari begin their attack on the train, Nightcrawler implores the soldier to free them, citing they could help. After he witnesses his fellow soldiers get killed, the soldier liberates the mutants.
While Magneto and the X-Men engaged in combat, Nightcrawler distanced himself, not wishing to kill anyone. However, after witnessing the soldier get murdered, Nightcrawler becomes enraged and fights the D'Bari, using his teleportation to evade attacks while using his tail to impale them, before grabbing one of the D'Bari and teleporting them both outside the train to the adjacent tracks; grinning, Nightcrawler teleported himself back to the original train, leaving the D'Bari to get struck by the other train. Nightcrawler is eventually rendered unconscious by Vuk, although he is shielded by Jean, who derails and destroys the train before disintegrating all the D'Bari before seemingly killing herself and Vuk in space.
In 2018, after Deadpool blew himself up as he blamed himself for the death of Vanessa Carlysle, Colossus brought him to the X-Mansion to recover. While there, Deadpool began complaining that he never saw other X-Men around the mansion apart from Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead. While ranting, Deadpool was unaware that Professor X, Cyclops, Storm, Nightcrawler, Beast, and Quicksilver were in a room behind him. Beast quietly closed the door so that he did not notice them.
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 Nightcrawler 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 order to defend himself.
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 Angel. 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 and Abilities
- Superhuman Agility: Nightcrawler's agility, balance, reflexes, and bodily coordination are enhanced to levels beyond the human body's natural limits. As a result, his bones, muscle, and joints have more elastic strength and durability than humans, allowing him to perform gymnastic and contortionist maneuvers without damaging his bone structure.
- Superhuman Stamina: 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.
- 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 rescuing Professor X, Nightcrawler teleport is shown, from his perspective, to be travelling through a wormhole like shadow. Whilst the time between disappearing and reappearing is almost one second, for Nightcrawler it feels like one seconds. This shows that one second is roughly six seconds long from Nightcrawler's perspective.
- 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 multiple 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. Nightcrawler also, as a result of his ability, possesses an extra-sensory spatial awareness, used mainly 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.
- 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 to throw grown men with ease and even catch Angel off guard and slam the winged mutant into the electric cage.
- Invisibility: Nightcrawler 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.
- Wallcrawling: Nightcrawler is also able to cling to solid surfaces, such as walls, via his hands and feet.
- Master 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.
- Master Acrobat: Growing up in a circus, Nightcrawler is an extremely a talented acrobat, contortionist and martial artist.
- Bilingualism: 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.
- 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-appearing 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.
- Professor X - Former Teammate, Friend, and Rescuee
- Rogue - Former Teammate, Friend, and Rescuee
- Cyclops † - Former Teammate and Friend
- Iceman † - Former Teammate and Friend
- Jean Grey † - Former Teammate and Friend
- Storm † - Former Teammate and Friend
- Wolverine - Former Teammate and Friend
- Mystique - Ally
- Artie Maddicks - Ally and Rescuee
- Cypher - Ally and Rescuee
- Jubilee - Ally and Rescuee
- Jason Stryker † - Enemy
- Lady Deathstrike † - Former Cellmate and Friend turned Enemy
- William Stryker † - Former Captor, Enemy, and Torturer
- Magneto - Former Ally and Enemy
- Pyro † - Former Ally and Enemy
- Beast - Former Mentor, Teammate, Friend, and Rescuee
- Caliban † - Former Ally
- Jubilee - Former Classmate and Friend
- Magneto - Ally and Former Enemy
- Mystique † - Former Mentor, Teammate, Rescuee, Savior
- Professor X † - Former Mentor, Former Teammate, Friend, and Rescuee
- Storm - Teammate, Friend, and Former Enemy
- Wolverine † - Former Teammate, Friend, and Rescuee
- Cyclops - Former Classmate, Teammate, and Friend
- Jean Grey - Former Classmate, Teammate, and Friend
- Quicksilver - Teammate, Friend, and Rescuee
- Moira MacTaggert - Teammate, Friend, and Rescuee
- Apocalypse † - Enemy
- William Stryker - Enemy
- D'Bari † - Enemies
- In an outtake from X-Men: Apocalypse, Jennifer Lawrence mentioned that Nightcrawler was the illegitimate son of Mystique and Azazel. For this to be true, Nightcrawler had to have been conceived between October 1962 and July 1963, as Azazel was killed by Project WideAwake operatives on the latter date.
- In the video game adaptation of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Nightcrawler is revealed to be the son of Mystique and teleporter John Wraith.
- 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 Bryan Singer, the mutants Rachel Summers, Psylocke, Deadpool, Nightcrawler, Gambit, and Jubilee were meant to appear in X-Men: Days of Future Past, but were cut out for running time purposes.
Behind the Scenes
- Christopher Gordon was a stunt double for Alan Cumming in the role of Nightcrawler.
- Jesse La Flair was a stunt double for Kodi Smit-McPhee in the role of Nightcrawler.