|DC/Marvel: Age of Infinite Heroes|
Nightcrawler for those who seen him back when he was younger in Germany and a bit older in the U.S. circus circuit, they would know him for the death defying acrobatic stunts, but also and most notable is his appearance which a lot of people would remember. Having been dubbed the Devil Man, Kurt Wagner behind the scenes would be known as one of the most kindest people one could meet. Having gained the respect of the members of the circus and having the support of his foster family, Kurt has grown to be a respecteable man willing to do what he can for those in need.
Also the general public would also note that Kurt's past is his past, he is currently a present member of the mutant faction called the X-Men. And that he's been serving on the team for quite some time now, but has also been seen helping in the community when he can.
Kurt Wagner was born to two mutants, though he would not know the truth of this for many years. His birth, in a small village in rural Germany, created a stir in the villagers. News of the child's demonic appearance got out, and it wasn't long before frightened people came to the manor with torches and pitchforks ready to claim the devilspawn. Kurt's mother took the child and fled, tossing him into a river, before misleading the mob into believing both mother and child had been killed.
Kurt was found downstream by a Romani sorceress who posed as a traveling fortune teller with the Munich Circus. This woman acted as a surrogate mother for the abandoned young child, raising him in a welcoming community within the circus, alongside her own biological children. Over time, Kurt, known by such stagenames as Herr Indigo, The Devil Man, and The Amazing Nightcrawler, became a sensational acrobat and leading performer. He loved his life with the circus. All the world was a stage, and he blossomed under the spotlight.
As time when on, the world advanced, and technology spread at a rapid pace. One side effect of this development was that the sense of wonder with the world that people had was lost, and that exact wonder was what fueled a traveling circus. Jaded and unimpressed, and able to watch spectacle on television within their own homes, people came less and less to the circus when it came into town. The circus fell into dire straights, and along came a millionaire, wanting to move the Circus to America. However, he wanted to put Kurt on exhibit with a freakshow. Mortified, hurt and angry, Kurt left the Circus and set off on his own in Germany.
Eventually, he'd cross paths with his adopted brother once again. Sadly, his brother, lost to despair and madness, had become a killer of children. Kurt, finding this out, resolved to stop his brother. The two fought, and in the process, Kurt accidentally snapped his brother's neck. This sequence of events led to the locals believing that the demonic looking mutant had been the one to commit the crimes.
Fate intervened, however, as a great man arrived just in time to save the cornered mutant. The mob was frozen in place, and a mental suggestion placed in their heads that Kurt had been thrown off of a cliff to his death. After that, Kurt joined the X-Men and started a life of grand adventure, the likes of which he had only ever dreamed of while watching his silver screen heroes like Errol Flynn.
After joining the X-Men, Kurt has fought tirelessly to keep The Dream alive. In one such encounter, Kurt came up against the mutant known as Mystique. Intrigued by their similar appearance, Mystique revealed that she was, in fact, his mother. He didn't believe, at first, but she surprised him by revealing details of his past that seemed to indicate that she wasn't lying. She used this moment of shock to make good on her escape.
This prompted Kurt to look further into his own origins. He journeyed to meet up with his foster mother, though when he did, she caught him in a spell that trapped him in what seemed like Hell. There, she toyed with him, blaming him for the death of her son, and promising to torment him for eternity. Eventually he was able to get through to her and explain what had happened. Broken hearted, the old sorceress freed Kurt and the two were able to reconcile.
At first, Kurt was using a piece of X-Men technology that allowed him to create a holographic projection around himself that would make him appear as a normal human being. However, a fellow mutant accused him of being ashamed of his appearance, and that he was a mutant, Kurt threw his image unducer away and hasn't used it again since.
Later, Kurt would find himself embroiled in a battle of X-Men versus vampires. His faith proves to win the day for the team, when he's able to ward the leader of the night creatures off by presenting the silver crucifix that he wore around his neck. It was because of his belief that the ward worked.
When the X-Men were swept up, along with the other heroes of two earths, Nightcrawler was among them. However, his teleportation powers were of limited use within the Labyrinth, both due to it's confusing structure and it's metaphysical qualities. Still, he used his other talents well, relying on his superhuman agility, quick thinking, and stealth to become an able and efficient scout.
During the Sentinel threat, Kurt went once more into the fray. He faced Sentinels directly, and was thought to be killed when one blasted him into seeming vapor. In truth, Kurt's teleportation power saved his life, but the Sentinel's anti-mutant technology had left him stranded in the dimension that he travels through when he teleports. There, in this Brimstone Dimension, he met a creature that looked very similar to him with red skin. This creature called himself Azazel, and claimed to be Kurt's true father. He told Kurt that he, too, had been trapped in the dimension since the villagers tried to kill him on the day when Kurt was tossed into the river by Mystique. Azazel offered to help Kurt learn the rules of the hellish dimension, and said that he was content with finally having not only companionship, but the companionship of his own son.
This, of course, proved to be a lie. In reality, Azazel was quite the villainous sort, and he had been intentionally trapped in the dimension that he resided in for his wicked ways. He was truly trying to use Kurt as a sort of backdoor get out of jail free card. The two fought, and Kurt proved to be the victor. After defeating his father, Kurt found that he was able to teleport once again, and returned to his home among the X-Men, where he took up, finally, as a fencing instructor at the institute.
Kurt Wagner is a man of many parts and complex nature. As such he has many facets to his identity that sometimes conflict, but manage to create a layered and insightful person, able to see things from multiple perspectives.
First, Kurt is, and will always be, a showman. It's in his blood. It's in his heart and soul. Kurt loves the spotlight, and the entire world is a stage for the nimble mutant. Every combat is taken with a sense of adventure. This is not to say that he doesn't take his life, or his missions seriously. He does. But just because it's serious doesn't mean that it can't be fun. Actually, it's all the more reason to have fun with it. He never knows when a mission just might be the final curtain on his last performance.
Kurt is also a devout Christian. Having been born with such a figure as his, life has been difficult, and at times in the past, Kurt's winning smiles and daring demeanor have been nothing more than a mask to place over his severe depression and death wish. It was only when he found succor in the Bible that he was able to overcome this deeply rooted self-loathing and come to accept, and even rejoice in his unique existence.
Kurt is an incorrigible flirt. He's a ladies man, and this is, in part, due to his fascination with the swashbuckling heroes of the silver screen. He dreams of romance and high adventure, and when he sees a pretty face, he sees an opportunity to play the part of the dashing rogue or the suave pirate. He really can't help it.
Kurt is fiercely loyal to those he considers his family. Having grown up without the care of a biological family, Kurt realizes that the only family we have is the one we make for ourselves. After all, he knows that the old proverb "Blood is thicker than water" is a bastardization of the true saying; "The Blood of the Covenant is thick than the Water of the Womb". He will go to great lengths to protect and nuture the family he has. He's a caregiver and a guardian, there with a shoulder to cry on, or a fist to drive into someone's face, as the situation calls for appropriately.
Kurt is also an eternal optimist. He sees the best in everyone, and believes that, even in the darkest hearts, there is the light of goodness. He believes this so firmly because he has seen it within himself. He is a testament to the idea that one needn't be the product of their fears and pain. That they can overcome and be the person that they want to be. He believes that, in the end, everything will be okay.
- 2012-03-04 - Acts of Vengeance: Finale - The Finale to The Chess Board's plans, the Avengers and X-Men have a climactic brawl with the U-Foes over the steps of the New York Public Library! (MTV: 2012-03-04 - Time for a Hammering)
- 2012-09-11 - Prime Anti-Mutant: The War Room - The X-Men discuss Operation Zero Tolerance and what to do about the Prime Sentinel threat.