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Real Name: Kurt Wagner

Identity/Class: Extradimensional (Earth-8280) human mutant

Occupation: Servant of Belasco, former superhero, circus acrobat

Group Membership: None;
    formerly X-Men of Earth-8280 (Ariel/Kitty Pryde, Colossus/Peter Rasputin, Storm/Ororo Munroe, Wolverine/James "Logan" Howlett)

Affiliations: Belasco, S'ym;
    formerly Illyana Rasputin

Enemies: Cat (Kitty Pryde of Earth-8280), Magik (Illyana Rasputin), X-Men (Colossus/Piotr Rasputin, Nightcrawler/Kurt Wagner, Storm/Ororo Munroe, Wolverine/James "Logan" Howlett)

Known Relatives: None, presumably his heritage is similar to Earth-616's Kurt Wagner

Aliases: "Demon", "slave" (nicknames used by Belasco), "Fuzzy elf" (nickname used by Kitty Pryde),  "Evil doppelganger", "schurke", "villain" (nicknames used by Kurt Wagner)

Base of Operations: Limbo (Otherplace);
    formerly X-Men headquarters on Earth-8280;
    formerly the Jahrmarkt, Germany, Earth-8280

First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men I#160 (August, 1982)

Powers/Abilities: Earth-8280's Nightcrawler possessed all the mutant abilities his 616-counterpart had, including short range teleportation by shifting himself and a limited amount of matter through an unrevealed, brimstone-like gas filled dimension. He was exceptionally acrobatic, as a result of both his powers and years of working in a traveling circus. Nightcrawler could blend in with the shadows, becoming almost invisible. He had three enlarged fingers on each hand, only two toes on each foot and a prehensile tail. Despite being decades past his prime (though the passage of time in limbo doesn't mean much) he was still fighting fit.  Due to his prolonged stay in limbo and Belasco's corrupting influence, Nightcrawler grew warped, evil and sadistic. He had unusually large, pointy fingernails. Belasco claims he owns Nightcrawler's soul, if that unrevealed deal granted Kurt additional (magical) powers hasn't been established. He didn't shy away from satisfying even the basest of urges and desires. As Belasco's servile underling he was exceptionally loyal and susceptible to his master's commands.

Height: 5'9"
Weight: 161 lbs.
Eyes: Yellow
Hair: Blue


(Uncanny X-Men I#160 (fb) - BTS) - Earth-8280's Kurt Wagner was a member of his reality's X-Men. At an unrevealed point in time, the team went to limbo to rescue Kitty Pryde and Colossus' sister Illyana who was lured there by the realm's demonic ruler Belasco. They were unable to escape limbo, which condemned them to a seeming eternity of fighting for their lives in a hostile dimension. In the end, Nightcrawler saw his friends slaughtered while he himself ended up mortally wounded. Belasco decided to spare the demonic looking X-Man, claiming his soul and turning the pious Kurt into a truly evil servile underling. Nightcrawler served in this role for an undisclosed amount of time, possibly decades (see comments).

(Uncanny X-Men I#160) - After a while, the X-Men of Earth-616 experienced an event similar to that on Earth-8280. Once again, Belasco lured Illyana to limbo, with Kitty in hot pursuit. She arrived in limbo dazed and confused, shocked by the horrific surroundings she suddenly found herself in. She was initially glad to see who she thought was her reality's Nightcrawler and rushed to hug him. Moments later, she recoiled in horror when he started to fondle her. Instinctively phasing, she watched as the sneering demon continued to grasp at her privates, explaining that he was merely offering her the opportunity to prove just how glad she was to see him. She ran away from Nightcrawler, only to trip over Earth-8280 Wolverine's skeleton. When she looked up, she saw Belasco who immediately captured her. A little while later, Nightcrawler was getting uncomfortably close to Illyana even for Belasco, who banished him away from his throneroom.

(Uncanny X-Men I#160 - BTS) - All this was witnessed by the Nightcrawler of Earth-616 who was thoroughly disgusted by the situation and his evil copy's reprehensible behavior.

(Uncanny X-Men I#160) - Earth-616's Nightcrawler managed to locate his double in limbo and immediately attacked. They fought a ferocious, almost animal-like struggle while teleporting around wildly.

(Uncanny X-Men I#160 - BTS) - In the end, Earth-8280's Nightcrawler lost the fight. He was knocked out, while the other Kurt took his clothes so he could get close to Belasco without causing suspicion.

(Magik I#1) - Nightcrawler was at Belasco's side early during 616's Illyana's stay in his citadel. He witnessed how his master fought off Earth-8280's Storm and Cat (Kitty Pryde). 

(Magik I#2) - Nightcrawler was around when Cat and a now early teenage Illyana entered Belasco's citadel to try and find a way to escape limbo and return to the girl's own reality. Nightcrawler tried to stop them but when his initial assault failed, he ran off to warn Belasco. Illyana attempted to kill him by throwing her knife at him, but he dodged the attack by teleporting out of the way.  He then decided to deal with them himself, picking up three swords from a nearby wall and charging the heroines (holding two in his hands, one in his tail). Leaving Illyana to fend for herself for a while, Cat phased out of sight only to reappear right next to Nightcrawler. Quickly grabbing his left leg, she dragged his now intangible appendage into the floor before letting go. Kurt's leg materialized within solid stone, shattering the extremity beyond repair. In pain and shrieking, Kurt couldn't defend himself against Cat who picked up one of his swords and stabbed him through the chest. The two women left their old, dead friend behind while heading for Belasco's altar from which they tried to return home.

(New Mutants IV#25 - BTS) - While under Belasco's tutelage Illyana Rasputin was reminded how her friends Nightcrawler, Storm and Kitty Pryde had become twisted and changed under Belasco's magic.

(Magik I#4) - Belasco used his magics to reanimate the corpse of Nightcrawler and the other fallen X-Men of Earth-8280 to chase the teenage Illyana Rasputin back to her home in Russia. After they captured her, Belasco returned to limbo with Illyana. As soon as he left, the enchantments keeping the X-Men around vanished, allowing the ghouls to crumble to dust.

(Uncanny X-Men I#171 - BTS) - Subconsciously still traumatized by her time in limbo, the now teenage Illyana Rasputin reprogrammed the Danger Room during an X-Men training session. Without warning, the environment changed to display Belasco in his throneroom, flanked by Nightcrawler and S'ym. Before the simulations could act, Kitty Pryde shut down the system.

Comments: Created by Chris Claremont, Brent Eric Anderson and Bob Wiacek.

Talk about a horror character... The already demonic looking Nightcrawler was turned into a barely disguised pedophile. Not only did he fondle the 13 year old Kitty Pryde as soon as he saw her, he also tried to tempt toddler Illyana Rasputin in "playing" with him. Urgh.

Time works differently in limbo (or not at all, depending on your definition). This makes it next to impossible to determine how old Earth-8280's Nightcrawler was by the time we first met him in Uncanny X-Men I#160. Apparently, enough time had passed for his former teammate Storm to grow into an old woman. Yet, Nightcrawler was still youthful in appearance, so much so that his supposedly younger 616-counterpart could replace him without Belasco noticing.

So, just for the record, technically speaking the magically cremated remains of the zombified Nightcrawler and his fellow Earth-8280 X-Men are now on Earth-616, a few yards away from the Rasputin farm. Ah... comics.

In at least one alternate reality (Earth X) it was revealed that Belasco was actually an older version of his dimension's Nightcrawler. Even though it's not unthinkable Belasco was corrupting Kurt to groom him for his future role, Snood was quick to point out that nothing from Earth X applies to Earth-616 or other realities unless specifically stated in those realities. Belasco has his own history that clearly differentiates him from Nightcrawler...the fact that they both had pointed ears and a tail is really all they have in common.

Profile by Norvo.

Nightcrawler should not be confused with

images: (without ads)
Magik I#2, p16, pan5 (main image)
Uncanny X-Men I#160, p6, pans4&5 (touching Kitty)
Magik I#2, p17, pans1,2,3,4 (dies)

Uncanny X-Men I#160 (August, 1982) - Chris Claremont (writer), Brent Eric Anderson (pencils), Bob Wiacek (inks), Louise Jones (editor)
Uncanny X-Men I#171 (July, 1983) - Chris Claremont (writer), Walter Simonson (pencils), Bob Wiacek (inks), Louise Jones (editor)
Magik I#1 (December, 1983) - Chris Claremont (writer),
John Buscema (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Louise Jones (editor)
Magik I#2 (January, 1984) - Chris Claremont (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Louise Jones (editor)
Magik I#4 (March, 1984) - Chris Claremont (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Louise Jones (editor)
New Mutants IV#25 (May, 2022) - Vita Ayala (writer), Rod Reis, Jan Duursema (pencils, inks), Anita Okoye, Sarah Brunstad, Jordan D. White (editors)

First Posted: 10/29/2015
Last updated: 12/09/2022

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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