Kurt Wagner - also commonly known by the codename Nightcrawler - is a superhero from Marvel Comics. A human mutant who also possesses a demonic heritage, he has long served as a member of the mutant hero team, the X-Men.
Kurt Wagner was born in a rural area of Germany where he was shunned for his unusual appearance. It was believed that he had been abandoned immediately after birth, but in truth his abandonment and upbringing were arranged by his father, the demon warlord Azazel. Kurt would be left under the care of one of Azazel's followers, Margali Szardos, a witch who passed herself off as a circus fortune-teller. Kurt would not find out until much later in his life that his birth mother was actually the mutant terrorist Mystique.
Kurt's life in the circus was a relatively happy one. He grew up close to his adoptive mother's two biological children Stefan and Jimaine and was treated without prejudice by the other circus members. Kurt performed as a trapeze artist while in the circus, using his natural athletic gifts to impress and amuse the masses. When he reached puberty, his mutant power of teleportation surfaced.
Years later, the Texas millionaire Arnos Jardine, who ran a large circus based in Florida, hears of the circus for which Wagner works and buys it. Jardine intends to move its best acts into his American circus; however, he demands that Wagner be placed in the circus' freak show. Jardine drugs him to prevent escape but a young mutant child with the ability to sense other mutants helps Kurt escape. Appalled, Wagner leaves and makes his way toward Winzeldorf, Germany, where his foster brother Stefan is. He discovers that Stefan has gone mad and had brutally slain several children. When they were younger, Stefan made Kurt promise to kill him if he ever took an innocent life. Two nights after leaving the circus, Wagner finds Stefan and fights him, hoping to stop his rampage. In the course of the struggle, Stefan is killed.
The villagers of Winzeldorf, who assume from Kurt's appearance that he is the one who killed the children, attack. They are about to kill him when they are all psychically paralyzed by Professor Charles Xavier, who came to recruit Wagner into the X-Men. Before they leave for America, he and Xavier go to the Bavarian circus to explain to Margali about Stefan's death, but Margali is not there. Known as Nightcrawler, Wagner becomes a member of the X-Men.
Unlike most mutants, Nightcrawler was born with unusual physical traits rather than developing them when he came of age, most likely due to his demonic heritage. He has dark blue skin and hair, yellow eyes, pointed ears and long, devilish prehensile tail. He also only has three digits on each hand and foot.
Powers and abilities Edit
Nightcrawler is a natural acrobat who learned to hone and master his body's physical abilities during his time in the circus. He is capable of many aerial stunts and feats that would put most human aerial performers to shame and he is capable of grasping and manipulating objects with his feet and tail as easily as with his hands. Nightcrawler has also proven to be an excellent fencer, having demonstrated a talent for swordfighting on several occasions.
Aside from his physical talents, Nightcrawler also possesses the mutant power of teleportation. He is able to transport himself, his clothing, small objects and even another person from one point to another 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). Nightcrawler's teleportation is limited by line of sight; he has to be able to see where he is going otherwise he could teleport into a solid object or surface, resulting in his death.
Nightcrawler, despite his demonic appearance, is a kind and even gallant character. He has a taste for the dramatic and theatrical, no doubt due in part to his early life in the circus, and sees himself as something of a swashbuckler. He has a very jovial disposition and is known for playing pranks on his teammates and sometimes even his enemies.
Most ironically, Nightcrawler is also a deeply spiritual individual. He is a devout Catholic, though his appearance has made it difficult for him to openly practice his faith.