The X-Men rank among the most universally loved superheroes teams in the world. With a diverse cast of characters, the X-Men have connected people across generations. For people who don’t know much about comics, I believe the X-Men are a brilliant introduction to the medium. A character that appeals to all ages is Nightcrawler. His background and approach to life makes him one of the most relatable members of the X-Men.
The first thing you’ll notice about Nightcrawler is his blue fur and tail, a product of his heritage. Kurt Wagner was born to Mystique and a demonic mutant called Azazel, though they chose not to raise him. Kurt was placed in the care of a sorceress, Margali Szardos, who raised him in a German circus.
Despite his unusual appearance, Kurt had a happy childhood. The circus members didn’t see him any differently, so he grew up in a loving environment. Nightcrawler became the circus’ star acrobat, with his teleportation powers developing in his teenage years. An incident in the German village of Winzeldorf caused Nightcrawler to be seen as a demon. Professor Xavier arrived, stopping Kurt from being lynched. Afterwards, Nightcrawler became an official member of the X-Men.
Having a relatable journey
Nightcrawler is the perfect character for describing someone who wouldn’t be considered normal by society. His appearance marked him as different and a lot of people have been singled out because they don’t ‘fit in.’ This might have come down to dress sense, hobbies, or simply choosing to stand out from a crowd. Kurt may have been different, but he chose to embrace it and get the most out of every moment.
Kurt’s joy for life can be seen in his personality. Considered a swashbuckler, Nightcrawler has compared himself to Errol Flynn. His sense of humour has earned him the reputation of a prankster. Often, Nightcrawler has used his teleportation powers to play jokes on other X-Men.
Religion is another important element of Nightcrawler’s story. As a devout Catholic, Kurt’s demonic appearance has come into conflict with his faith. Even so, Nightcrawler has attended Mass whenever possible and even studied to become a priest. Kurt’s faith is a great commentary on how religion can help someone feel more at peace. Although dedicated to his religion, Kurt’s spontaneous personality has always shone through.
Nightcrawler’s history makes him accessible for adults and teenagers who’re looking to get into comics. With social media, young people are prone to feeling self-conscious and often compare themselves to what they see on Instagram or Facebook. Nightcrawler has a different look, yet he’s chosen to live to the fullest. By reading a comic that features Nightcrawler, I think a young fan could see a positive representation of body image. It provides the opportunity to change their perception, encouraging them to read more comics.
Nightcrawler’s appeal to an adult reader comes from his rich personality. His various traits make him incredibly human, a superhero you’d like to have for a friend. Kurt’s faith makes him relatable for Christian readers as well because the religion has been portrayed in a realistic manner.
Whether you’ve been reading comics for years, or have recently become a fan, Nightcrawler should be on your list of characters to check out. His chivalry, compassion and humour leap off the page, a reminder that comics have the power to be magical when you give them a chance.