Comics
Published January 25, 2019

‘Age of X-Man: The Amazing Nightcrawler’: A Look Back at Kurt's First Solo Series

We’re looking back at the adventure that dared to ask: “What’s a Boggie?”

The Age of X-Man is upon us! The X-Men have been thrust into a strange world where mutants have achieved their wildest dreams. In this realm, Kurt Wagner is both a Super Hero and a celebrity on par with Dwayne Johnson. He’s even dating his former teammate, Meggan, which fulfills an attraction he had for her all the way back in EXCALIBUR! But there may be something more unsettling in Kurt’s new life than he’d like to admit – and his dreams could be shattered before all is said and done.

Writer Seanan McGuire and artist Juan Frigeri are the creative team behind AGE OF X-MAN: THE AMAZING NIGHTCRAWLER #1, which goes on sale Wednesday, February 20. To celebrate the upcoming release of this five-issue miniseries, we’re taking a look back at the NIGHTCRAWLER miniseries from 1985. This was the first time that Kurt ever headlined his own comic, and it was written and illustrated by Nightcrawler’s co-creator, Dave Cockrum. Paty Cockrum, Dave’s wife, provided the colors for this four-issue miniseries which gave Kurt more than enough adventures for any lifetime.

Nightcrawler (1985) #1

    • publishedNov 1, 1985
    • added to marvel unlimitedSep 12, 2016
    • penciller (cover)
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Cockrum actually featured a significant callback to Nightcrawler’s first solo story in BIZARRE ADVENTURES #27 and his encounter with the Well at the Center of Time. Somehow, Kitty Pryde was able to recreate the Well based on Kurt’s description, and he leapt into the void to save Kitty’s pet dragon, Lockheed. That gave Kurt his sidekick for the story to come while Kitty and her friend Illyana Rasputin aka Magik desperately tried to get them home. 

Nightcrawler has always had an affinity for Errol Flynn and the swashbuckling movies of his era. The first issue gave Kurt the chance to live out some of those fantasies by joining a group of sky pirates on another world. However, Kurt’s pirate fantasy camp took a darker turn when he realized that his fellow marauders were going to harm innocent people. He single-handedly stopped the attack, and he ended up on a royal sky ship.

Nightcrawler and Lockheed and Boggies

In this world, Kurt had a striking resemblance to creatures that were called Boggies. That led to a running gag in the series as Nightcrawler constantly had to explain that he wasn’t actually a Boggie. Cockrum demonstrated a pretty wild sense of humor, including the time Kitty and Illyana accidentally teleported Nightcrawler’s costume back home, while leaving Kurt naked in front of the lovely Jinjav Sabree. Jinjav was a title that was the equivalent of princess. However, Nightcrawler’s time with Sabree was all-too brief.

In saving Sabree’s life, Kurt made a mortal enemy out of Shagreen, a humanoid shark who was also a dark wizard. Shagreen followed Kurt to a world where Kitty’s fairy tale from UNCANNY X-MEN #153 was somehow a reality. That meant Kitty, Colossus, Storm, Wolverine, and even Lockheed had counterparts in this realm. As for Kurt, he had the Bamfs, a race of teleporting pranksters who immediately greeted him with “Daddy!”

Naturally, it all led to a final showdown with Shagreen and the creature known as Dark Bamf. This story never took itself too seriously, and it seemed to celebrate the X-Men while mercilessly mocking them at the same time. Even the throwaway gags like Cretaceous Sam were memorable and hilarious.

Nightcrawler swordfight

It was definitely an outlier for its era. But that also makes this story timeless and easy to appreciate nearly two and a half decades later. Nightcrawler has had a few solo comics since this series was released, but none of them have fully recaptured the sense of fun of these four issues. It’s a terrifically executed tale that deserves to be revisited – and it’s all available on Marvel Unlimited!

AGE OF X-MAN: THE AMAZING NIGHTCRAWLER #1, written by Seanan McGuire with art by Juan Frigeri, goes on sale Wednesday, February 20. Pre-order your copy online or at your local comic shop!

Nightcrawler Oooga Bamf