The Full Wiki

More info on Kurt Wagner (Earth-616)

Kurt Wagner (Earth-616): Misc


Marvel Database

Up to date as of February 09, 2010

From Marvel Database

Character Template Help
Real Name
Current Alias

Gainsborough, Bamf, Great Boggie, Elf, Fuzzy Elf, Herr Indigo



X-Men; formerly Excalibur, N-Men, X-Treme Sanctions Executive, Neyaphim

Baron Christian Wagner (step-father, deceased)

Margali Szardos (foster mother)
Azazel (father)
Mystique (mother)
Magik II (foster sister)
Stefan Szardos (foster brother, deceased)
Gloria Brickman (foster sister)
Rogue (unofficial foster sister)
Graydon Creed (maternal half-brother)
Nocturne (daughter)
Abyss (paternal half-brother)
Kiwi Black (paternal half-brother)
Ginniyeh (paternal half-sister)
Jillian (paternal half-sister)
Ophis (paternal half-brother)

Yidrazil (paternal half-brother)



5' 9"

161 lbs (73 kg)




Unusual Features
Nightcrawler has only three digits (including an opposable thumb) on each hand. He also has only 2 toes on each foot, each longer than an ordinary human's. He has a prehensile tail, approximately 3'6" long, which could support his own weight. Nightcrawler has pointed ears and pronounced fang-like canine teeth. His spine is more flexible than an ordinary human being's, allowing him to spend much of his time in a semi-crouching position without damaging his posture and enabling him to perform contortionist-like feats. His body is almost entirely covered with a fine indigo-colored fur.


Marital Status

Adventurer, teacher; former priest, Circus Performer

College Graduate


Place of Birth

First appearance

Giant-Size X-Men #1




Early Years

In the form of a German noblewoman, the shapeshifting mutant Mystique married Count Christian Wagner. Meanwhile, she had an affair with the mysterious Azazel from La Isla des Demonas, and became pregnant with their child. Azazel told her to raise their child as if it were the count's. A heartbroken Raven agreed and, while Christian did become suspicious as to the baby's paternity, his sudden "accidental" death ensured no one else heard his suspicions.

The baby was born visibly mutated with blue fur all over, pointed ears, iridescent eyes, and a prehensile tail. Due to the shock and the strain of the boy’s difficult delivery, Mystique lost concentration and accidentally revealed her true form. Word spread of her and the baby's condition, and mother and son were chased by a torch-wielding mob. Mystique threw young Kurt Wagner over a waterfall to expedite her escape.

Miraculously, the baby survived and was saved by Margali Szardos, a sorceress and gypsy queen, who acted as a as a fortuneteller at a local carnival as a "cover" for her activities as a sorceress. Margali took the baby back with her to the circus. Wagner was never legally adopted by anyone, but was raised by all the members of the circus, who had no prejudices against "freaks". Margali acted as Wagner's unofficial foster mother.

Wagner grew up happily in the circus, and his two closest friends were Margali's natural children Stefan and Jimaine. Long before his teleportation power emerged, Wagner had tremendous natural agility, and by his adolescence he had become the circus's star acrobat and aerial artist. Circus audiences assumed that he was a normal-looking human being wearing a demon-like costume. Kurt and Jimaine forged a relationship as they grew older.

Stefan knew that his magical heritage might lure him to evil, so he had his adopted brother promise him a blood-oath that if he ever killed without reason, Kurt would kill him as well. Years later, the Texas millionaire Arnos Jardine, who ran a large circus based in Florida, heard of the circus Wagner worked for and bought it. Jardine intended to move its best acts into his American circus. However, he demanded that Wagner be placed in the circus' freak show. Appalled, Wagner quit and made his way towards Winzeldorf, Germany, where Stefan was. He discovered that Stefan had gone mad and had brutally slain several children. Two nights after leaving the circus, Wagner found Stefan and fought him, hoping to stop his rampage. In the course of the struggle, Wagner unintentionally broke Stefan's neck.

Then the villagers of Winzeldorf, who assumed him to be a demon who was responsible for the child killings, discovered Wagner. They were about to kill him when they were all psionically paralyzed by Professor Xavier, who had come to recruit Wagner into the X-Men. Wagner agreed to join the group, but before they left for America, he and Xavier went to the Bavarian circus so that Wagner could explain to Margali about Stefan's death. However, Margali was not there. She held Wagner responsible for murdering Stefan, but years later, she learned the truth and she and Wagner were reconciled.


Wagner helped Xavier and Cyclops rescue the original X-Men from Krakoa. After most of the original team left for a time, Wagner, along with fellow new recruits Storm, Colossus, Wolverine, and Banshee, stayed as members of the new X-Men. As Nightcrawler, he remained with the X-Men for years, and encountered adversaries such as Proteus, Magneto, the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, the Brood, the Juggernaut, demons from the dimension of Limbo, and even Dracula on one occasion. Wagner was also happily reunited with Jimaine, who was now living in the United States under the name of Amanda Sefton. Eventually, after being beaten into a coma following the massacre of the Morlocks by the Marauders, he left the team recover on Muir Island.


Later, believing the X-Men were dead, he and Shadowcat became founding members of the British-based team Excalibur. Wagner finally learned that his mother is Mystique. Kurt eventually became team leader and moved the team to the Muir Island Research Center where he briefly reunited with Amanda Sefton, who had taken the codename Day Tripper, and his former X-Men teammate Colossus joined the team as well. Following the disbanding of Excalibur, Kurt returned to the United States along with Shadowcat and Colossus to rejoin the X-Men.

When Kurt faced Astra, the creator of the Magneto clone Joseph, she stunned him with the revelation that she had some part in his birth or some past connection to Mystique. Astra escaped and Nightcrawler was left wondering.


Nightcrawler ended up taking a few leaves of absence from the team, one to enroll in a seminary and become a priest and the other to mourn for Colossus. Kurt returned to the team and eventually gave up on the priesthood.

Azazel claimed to be Wagner's true father, spawning a number of mutants with dimensional powers to help him in his mad quest. It was unclear if Kurt or any of the others believed Azazel's claim. Kurt was a part of Storm's X-Men squad. When not on missions, he taught Drama to students of the reopened Xavier Institute.

Nightcrawler quit the X-Men for a short time, feeling he wasn't needed since |Pixie was a better teleporter than him, and planned to return his homeland Winzeldorf. Another motive for leaving was when the denizens of Winzeldorf invited him to visit the new Nightcrawler Museum dedicated to him. He soon learned that the local townsfolk tricked him and needed Nightcrawler's aid in defeating a monster called the Vielfras. Nightcrawler fought with the creature, but quickly discovered that Vielfras was actually a sixteen-year-old boy named Henrik Weber, who was cursed by a gypsy. After hearing Weber's tale, Nightcrawler sympathized with him, reflecting upon his own mistreatment at the hands of town villagers many years ago. Nightcrawler defended him when the townsfolk tracked them down, but was injured in the fight. Vielfras killed all of his attackers, then himself being unable to endure this monstrous lifestyle. Mephisto appeared to collect Weber's soul as well as the souls of the twelve men Weber had killed earlier and Nightcrawler returned to the United States and rejoined the X-Men.[1]

Powers and Abilities


  • Teleportation: He teleports by displacing himself into the Brimstone Dimension, traveling through it, and then returning to his own dimension at a certain distance from his point of departure. He consciously determines his point of return. The entire process occurs so quickly that Nightcrawler is unaware of being in the brimstone dimension at all. Nightcrawler guides himself through the brimstone dimension by an unconscious, natural direction-finding sense. Although Nightcrawler controls his teleportation ability with his conscious mind, his power to teleport is not psionic. Rather it is the result of an unknown biochemical/biophysical reaction which he triggers mentally. When he disappears in teleporting, Nightcrawler leaves behind smoke with a stench reminiscent of burning brimstone. This is a small portion of the atmosphere of the brimstone dimension that escapes while the aperture is open. His teleportation is invariably accompanied by the muffled sound of imploding air rushing to fill the vacuum left where Nightcrawler's body was. The longer the distance over which Nightcrawler teleports himself, the harder and more exhausting it is for him to make the teleportation "jump". It is easier for him to teleport between north and south (along Earth's magnetic field lines) than it is for him to teleport between east and west (against the magnetic lines). Under optimal conditions, teleporting only himself and his costume, Nightcrawler can displace himself a distance of about 2 miles east-to-west, and up to 3 miles north-to-south. Making a vertical teleportation upwards is difficult and dangerous. Nightcrawler has made a vertical teleportation "jump" of 2 miles by pushing himself to his physical limits. Nightcrawler's powers automatically displace liquids and gases when he arrives in the course of a teleportation. Nightcrawler's momentum is retained throughout the process of teleportation: he arrives with whatever amount of inertia he left with. For example, if he were falling from a great height, he could not teleport himself towards the ground in order to save himself; he would land with the same velocity that he teleported with. He can subtract this inertia by teleporting short distances upwards (as though taking two steps back for every one forward). As part of his power, Nightcrawler has also exhibited a limited ability to sense the teleportation of other beings. The limits to the mass that Nightcrawler can carry with him while teleporting, and the limits to the distance over which he can teleport himself with additional load is unknown. When he transports a passenger over even moderate distances, they both feel weakened and ill, to the point of exhaustion. Teleportation over further distances could be fatal. Through practice, Nightcrawler has increased the mass he can teleport with him. (He once teleported himself and Storm from the center of a small island into the water just off its coast without harming either of them). The upper limits of this capacity are as yet unknown.
Nightcrawler can use his powers offensively by grappling with an enemy and teleporting him or her in a series of rapid jumps. The strain of these "multiple ports" can exhaust foes without superhuman endurance while Nightcrawler remains strong enough to continue fighting.
  • Subconscious Spatial Awareness: Nightcrawler has a very limited subconscious extrasensory ability that prevents him from teleporting himself so that his feet, for example, would materialize below the surface of the local ground. Because this ability is so limited, however, Nightcrawler will not teleport into any place that he cannot see or has not seen in the past. If Nightcrawler teleported himself into an unfamiliar area, he would run the risk of materializing partially or entirely within a solid object. If too much of his body materialized within a solid object, he would probably be killed.
  • Micro-Suction Discs: Nightcrawler can stick to objects with the surface of his hands and feet. This enables him to scale surfaces.
  • Flexible Bone Structure: Nightcrawler's bone structure allows him great flexibility. He can remain in a crouched position for a long time and perform contortionist type feats without causing any damage to his spine.
  • Camouflage: He has limited abilities to blend into shadows, both as a result of his indigo fur and his connection to light-bending attributes of the dimension through which he teleports. This is also the explanation for why he constantly appears in shadow, even in direct light.
  • 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, and is deft enough to fight with like a sword or blunt object.
  • Infrared Vision: Nightcrawler's always glowing eyes grant him a marked degree of heightened night vision as well.
  • Superhuman Agility: Nightcrawler's agility, balance, and bodily coordination are enhanced to levels beyond the human body's natural limits.
  • Superhuman Reflexes: Nightcrawler's natural reaction time is enhanced to a level beyond the human body's natural limits.


  • Master Acrobat: Nightcrawler is an Olympic-class acrobat thanks to his flexible spine that allows him to perform contortionist-like feats and to go long periods in a semi-crouching position without injury.
  • Master Combatant: He is a skilled hand-to-hand combatant and a master at fencing, which he can even perform with his tail, which is strong enough to support his entire body weight.
  • Aviator: He has served as the team's pilot and, with Wolverine, has also been the mechanic of the X-Men's Blackbird jet for a long time.
  • Medic: He has been the medic when no more qualified X-Men were around to do so.
Power Grid [2]
Energy Projection
Fighting Skills

Strength level

Nightcrawler possesses above average strength of a man of his age, height, and build who engages in intensive regular exercise. At his peak, Nightcrawler can lift about 250 lbs.


Despite Nightcrawler's superhuman powers, he is just as susceptible to disease and physical injury as any ordinary human. Also, because he is a Neyaphem, angel's blood, which heals everyone else, hurts him, normally adding to whatever injury he received.



Image inducer; at one time he always wore his image inducer in public because he was afraid of how people would treat him because of his mutation. However, after he lost a bet with Wolverine, he went out in public without his image inducer. He expected everyone's reaction to be fear and hate, but it turned out to be a reaction of curious interest. He still has his image inducer, but hardly ever uses it unless he needs to.


X-Men Blackbird


Fencing foils


  • Citizen of Germany with a criminal record in the United States, later overturned by the courts; still wanted internationally as an outlaw.


  • Nightcrawler's origin is located in Bavaria, but the exact location seems to change with every incarnation. In the comics, he comes from a small village called Winzeldorf, and in the X-Men animated series, it is Neuherzl. In the movie X2, he makes repeated references to his time in the Munich circus, though it is never specified where he originated.
  • A notable geography error appears in Nightcrawler The Winding Ways. Nightcrawler travels to Bavaria in order to visit his old circus, which he states is located in the Black Forest. The Black Forest region doesn't belong to Bavaria, it actually is part of the federal state of Baden-Württemberg.
  • Dave Cockrum actually designed Nightcrawler while still in the U.S. Navy, stationed in Guam, when a typhoon made it too noisy to sleep. His original vision, a demon who refused to return to hell for punishment after he failed a mission, was meant to serve as sidekick for another of his creations, the Intruder. He later submitted the character for inclusion in DC Comics' Legion of Super-Heroes series, which he worked on just before coming to Marvel. DC editor Murray Boltinoff rejected the character as being "too funny looking." [3]
  • The form nightcrawler normally uses with his image inducer is Erol Flynn, most likely because people claim he has a similar personality.</ref>
  • A calendar in Kurt's room (Nightcrawler (Volume 3) #12) indicates that his birthday is in November.
  • Writer Chris Claremont had several different ideas for Nightcrawler's parentage, including Nightmare as his father, and Mystique as his father (with Destiny as his mother). The Nightmare connection was prevented by then-Dr. Strange (and later X-Men) editor Roger Stern, and the Mystique/Destiny idea was dropped almost immediately.[4]

Appearances in Other Media

Nightcrawler appears in movies, TV series, and various games.

  • X2: Nightcrawler also appeared in the recent movie X2. Played by Alan Cumming, Nightcrawler was captured by the Weapon X program, put under a temporary mental control, and sent to attack the President. After failing his mission, Nightcrawler fled to an abandoned church in Boston, where he was found by Storm and Jean Grey. Nightcrawler later played a pivotal role in the X-Men's and Brotherhood's mission to the Weapon X facility. He didn't appear in X3 because the preparation of make-up for Cumming had been taking long hours and it wasn't worth it, because his character was a minor role. It is generally suggested, that Cumming didn't like all the make-up preparations. Other explanation is given in the movie's official video game, it says the character didn't like the violent lifestyle of the X-Men.
  • X-Men Legends
  • Marvel Ultimate Alliance: In the basic version of the video game as well as in the Wii version of Marvel Ultimate Alliance, Nightcrawler appears as a non-playable character. In Mephisto's Realm, players are forced by Mephisto to choose between killing him or killing Jean Grey. Nightcrawler was added as a playable character in the Gold Edition and as a download on X-Box live Market Place.
  • Marvel Heroes (Fantasy Flight Games): In the strategy board game Marvel Heroes, Nightcrawler can be used as a supporting ally of the X-Men team.

Nightcrawler's German phrases

To keep authenticity, the writers - especially Chris Claremont - made Nightcrawler speak German phrases. But due to poor translation, these phrases were often a source of unintended comedy for native German speakers. Notable errors were:

English word False translation Correct translation
Kitten Katzchen (his pet name for Kitty Pryde) Kätzchen
Darling Leibchen (Shirt) Liebchen or Liebling
Understood? Verstehen? (To understand) Verstanden?
My Mien Mein
God in heaven Gott in Heimel Gott im Himmel
What? Vas? Was? (pronounced Vas?)


Discover and Discuss

  1. X-Men: Manifest Destiny Nightcrawler
  2. OHOTMU X-Men 2004
  3. "How a Typhoon Blew in Success", Wizard Special Edition: X-Men Turn 30, July 1993: Wizard Press.

This article uses material from the "Kurt Wagner (Earth-616)" article on the Marvel Database wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address