Published April 27, 2023

Spider-Man and Nightcrawler's Greatest Team-Ups

Before Nightcrawler picks up Spider-Man's mantle in 'Uncanny Spider-Man,' check out a few of their previous team-ups!

Kurt Wagner has always been something of a wall-crawler, but the beloved X-Man will earn that nickname in a whole different way when he becomes the Uncanny Spider-Man later this year. However, UNCANNY-SPIDER-MAN is far from the first time that Nightcrawler has found himself involved in the Web-Head’s mythos. The hero has a long history of working with—and against—Peter Parker in the comics. Let’s break down a few of the duo’s greatest team-ups. 

Nightcrawler and Spider-Man’s Original Team-Up

Wagner and Parker officially met in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (1963) #161. In that issue, Nightcrawler went to Coney Island after learning a sniper at the amusement park had killed an old friend from his carnival days. When he arrived, he found the sniper had taken another life. Parker just happened to be on Coney Island at the same time. 

In the tradition of most classic Super Hero introductions, Nightcrawler and Spider-Man ended up tussling with each other, as both heroes believed the other to be the killer. This eventually led to a confrontation and team-up with the Punisher, during which the trio took down Jigsaw in that villain’s first appearance.

Spider-Man and Nightcrawler’s first team-up set the stage for just how effectively the duo could work together. While Spider-Man remained ever the jokester, Nightcrawler played more of the straight man, with just the right twinge of puckishness, resulting in some genuinely funny moments.

Spider-Man and Nightcrawler vs. Wolverine

Following their original team-up, Spider-Man worked with Nightcrawler again in MARVEL TEAM-UP ANNUAL (1976) #1, though this time the teleporter was accompanied by the X-Men. In this team-up, Spider-Man and the X-Men fought against the Lords of Light and Darkness. 

However, Parker also found himself facing the incessant goading of Wolverine. Nightcrawler— who had also struggled with Wolverine’s boorish behavior up until that point—played peacemaker, while acknowledging the frustration of dealing with cranky Canadians. 

Nightcrawler and Spider-Man’s interactions in MARVEL TEAM-UP ANNUAL #1 show their similarities, as well as their mutual respect and budding friendship. At the same time, MARVEL TEAM-UP ANNUAL #1 weaves together a bunch of other established characters as well, showcasing what makes crossovers so great.

MARVEL TEAM-UP Brings them Together Again

Although Spider-Man did team up with the X-Men at other points, Parker and Nightcrawler didn’t get any more one-on-one time again until MARVEL TEAM-UP (1972) #89. In that story, Nightcrawler and Spider-Man ended up at the same circus, where an assassin named Cutthroat attacked them. This led to, among other things, Spider-Man fighting a bunch of circus animals.

Spider-Man and Nightcrawler spend much of MARVEL TEAM-UP #89 on the defensive. As the two figured out how to deal with their attacker, they also caught their breath long enough to make an offensive push, building some excellent tension in the meantime.

Spider-Man and Nightcrawler Join SECRET WARS

Not only was SECRET WARS (1984) the Marvel Universe’s first major crossover event, but it was also another example of Spider-Man and Nightcrawler teaming up! In that event, a powerful being known as the Beyonder brought Earth’s mightiest heroes and villains to fight on Battleworld, leading to some shocking battles and team-ups as the mightiest warriors in all the universe fought for survival. 

Both Nightcrawler and Spider-Man were among the heroes brought to Battleworld. However, the duo weren’t on the same team for much of the event. Instead, Spider-Man investigated the X-Men, as he was suspicious of their intentions, and even ended up battling them. 

During the fight, Spider-Man proved how formidable he is, and Nightcrawler admired Parker’s combat prowess. Although they did end up on the same team by the end of the event, Spider-Man held onto some negative feelings about the X-Men and Nightcrawler in the aftermath of SECRET WARS.

The Wall-Crawling Duo Patches Up Their Relationship

Following SECRET WARS, Spider-Man’s low opinion of the X-Men came up in MARVEL TEAM-UP (1972) #150, the last issue of that series’ original run. In this story, Juggernaut gave his best friend Black Tom Cassidy a Crimson Gem of Cyttorak, which granted them both incredible powers, so that they might rampage together. To stop them, Spider-Man again teamed up with the X-Men, including Nightcrawler.

Despite a lot of initial tension between Spider-Man and the X-Men, MARVEL TEAM-UP #150 put both groups to the test. By the end, Spider-Man’s relationship with Nightcrawler and the rest of that hero’s team was patched up. There’s no relationship problem that fighting Juggernaut can’t solve!


SPIDER-MAN/BLACK CAT: THE EVIL THAT MEN DO (2002) was mainly a team-up between the two titular characters as they investigated mysterious killer and drug dealer Garrison Klum, AKA Mr. Brownstone. Towards the end of the series, though, Spider-Man got help from Nightcrawler, who provided some information that was key to taking down the deadly villain.

Nightcrawler’s appearance in SPIDER-MAN/BLACK CAT: THE EVIL THAT MEN DO shows that the two have indeed buried the hatchet despite their past confrontations and are once again able to work as a team. Their interactions also show the power of crossovers, which allow characters to share knowledge that the others might not have.

To find out just how Nightcrawler fares when he takes up Parker’s famous mantle, pre-order UNCANNY SPIDER-MAN (2023) #1 by Si Spurrier and Lee Garbett! The series debuts on September 6. And in the meantime, don't miss Nightcrawler's major decision in X-MEN: BEFORE THE FALL - SONS OF X (2023) #1, on sale May 3!

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