Marvel Comics Retcons Nightcrawler’s Origin, Reveals X-Men Teleporter As Biological Son Of Lesbian Mutants Mystique And Destiny
One ‘bamf’ forward, several dozen ‘bamfs’ back
Replacing one questionable editorial decision with another, Marvel Comics has finally retconned Nightcrawler’s widely-panned ‘mutants are demons’ backstory by revealing that rather than Mystique and Azazel, the furry blue teleporter is actually the biological son of the blue shape-shifter and her lesbian lover Destiny.
Buckle up readers, as it’s time to take a ride through the tangled history of the X-Men’s resident swashbuckler, beginning with a stop in the franchise’s heyday of the 1980s.
During his famous run on the team, writer Chris Claremont consistently teased a familial connection between the two respective mutants, primarily due to their shared blue-skin and fully yellowed eyes.
Notably, at no point during his run did Claremont ever directly address the topic of Nightcrawler’s paternal heritage, though according to artist John Byrne, who served as the illustrator on many of the writer’s stories, it was at certain points respectively intended to be Nightmare, then Destiny.
“At one point Chris wanted to ‘reveal’ that Kurt’s father was Nightmare,” said Byrne while speaking to fans on his Byrne Robotics Forum. “Roger Stern, as editor, put the kibosh on that one.”
[As explained by Stern in a 2009 interview with CBR’s Timothy Callahan, “I put a stop to the Nightmare connection before I became the X-Men’s editor. It happened when I was the writer of Dr. Strange, back when writers were still occasionally listened to. Chris had come up with the latest of several crazy ideas and declared that Nightcrawler’s father was Nightmare. And I replied with something like: ‘No, he’s not. I’m not going to let you appropriate one of my character’s major villains.’ As I recall, Len Wein crossed the room and shook my hand.”
But eventually, said Byrne, “Chris decided Kurt’s mother was Destiny—and his father was Mystique.”
Unfortunately for Claremont, thanks to Stern’s editorial oversight – again speaking to Callahan, Stern noted that no plan ever existed to reveal Nightcrawler’s parentage as it “simply wasn’t that important to us then,” – this concept was never canonized and instead left on the cutting room floor.
Then, after nearly a decade of teases regarding their relationship, 1994’s X-Men Unlimited Vol. 1 #4 saw author Scott Lobdell build upon his predecessor’s connective tissues and finally confirm that Mystique was, in fact, the biological mother of one Kurt Wagner.
Further, at the time his father was established as one Baron Christian Wagner, a German nobleman whom Mystique had married in order to take personal advantage of his social influence and immense wealth.
And for the next ten years, thus would remain the circus elf’s family tree.
Then came Chuck Austen.
One of the most notorious X-Men writers of all time and a very noted critic of religion in all forms, when Austen took over Marvel’s merry band of mutants, one of his main goals – ostensibly inspired by Nightcrawler’s noted Catholicism – was to subvert the concept of ‘angels’ and ‘demons’ by revealing that rather than being of divine origin, these beings were nothing more than a species of proto-mutants.
This of course included ‘Satan’, who according to Austen’s retconning was not a fallen angel, but rather an ancient, red-skinned proto-mutant teleporter known as Azazel.
At one point in history seeking seeking to sire children with Earth women in order to allow him a stronger connection to the mortal plane from his home in the Brimstone dimension (unsurprisingly, it’s a long story), Azazel’s machinations eventually lead him to make the the acquaintance of Baron Wagner and Mystique, who at the time of their meeting were reeling from their recent discovery that the Baron could not sire any children.
Taking advantage of her desperation for his own ends, Azazel seduces Mystique, their affair ultimately resulting in the birth of a dimension-tethering-child who shared his parents’ blue skin, pointy tail, and teleportation abilities.
If any of that sounds completely bonkers to you, worry not, you’re not alone.
Between its obvious and surface level criticisms of religion and complete disregard for the actual ‘characters’ of its main cast, Austen’s run ultimately went down in history as one of the worst X-Men runs of all time.
To this end, newer readers may even be completely unaware of Kurt’s ‘demon’ background, as Marvel has chosen to quietly avoid addressing the subject ever since Austen left the book.
That was, until 2023’s X-Men: Origins – Blue Vol. 1 #1.
Released on November 29th, 2023, the one-shot spin-off from Kurt’s current Uncanny Spider-Man solo series reveals that rather than Azazel and Mystique, the fan-favorite mutant is actually the offspring of the blue villainess and her female lover, Destiny.
As detailed by writer Si Spurrier, continuing her affair with Destiny throughout her marriage to Baron Wagner, Mystique is eventually met by an admission from the mutant precog that she “would like to build a family, Raven. I find that I would love to build a family with you.”
From there, as recalled by Mystique to her son, “There were other pregnancies. Other births. Before and after. Accidents. Inconveniences. Tragedies upon arrival. But never a child conceived in love. So we made a baby. Just her and me.”
Taking note of Nightcrawler’s obvious bewilderment regarding the exact ‘mechanics’ of his new origin, Mystique proceeds to explain that the pregnancy was made possible by her ability – as first introduced in this moment – to manipulate “cells, hormones, [and] ribosomes”.
To this end, she then details that thanks to this command of genetics, she was able to ‘craft’ Kurt’s own traits at the time of his conception, noting that “Christian, Azazel, and countless others – they were but the shades on my palettes.”
In further detailing Mystique’s new power upgrade, an in-story letter penned by the X-Men’s resident ‘mad genius scientist’ Doctor Nemesis featured within the issue elaborates, “She is not simply adjusting musculature and skin, but rewriting the genomic instructions in every single cellular nucleus of her body. All at once. And all without conscious thought.”
“To put it differently,” adds the Doctor, “Mystique is not a shape-shifter. She’s a gene-shaper. Her flesh is the most sophisticated biological apparatus I’ve ever encountered.”
X-Men: Origins Blue Vol. 1 #1 is on sale now.
Meanwhile, Kurt and Mystique’s story is currently set to continue swinging on in December 20th’s Uncanny Spider-Man Vol. 1 #5.
More About:Comic Books