10 Mysterious Nightcrawler Superpowers You’ve Never Seen In X-Men Movies

Alan Cumming and Kodi Smit-McPhee as Nightcrawler in X2 and X-Men Apocalypse with Kurt Wagner teleporting in Marvel Comics

Nightcrawler has only displayed a couple of his mutant abilities in the X-Men movies despite the wide range of superpowers he possesses in Marvel Comics. First translated to the big screen in 2003’s X2: X-Men United, Nightcrawler has only appeared three times in live-action; once played by Alan Cumming in the second X-Men installment, and later played by Kodi Smit-McPhee in X-Men: Apocalypse and Dark Phoenix. Although Nightcrawler is one of the most famous mutants in X-Men history, he didn’t receive a sizable role in any of his three X-Men movie appearances.

In Marvel Comics, Kurt Wagner is Mystique and Destiny’s mutant son. Thanks to Mystique’s shapeshifting abilities, Nightcrawler derives his teleportation abilities from the demonic mutant Azazel, whose body Mystique mimicked in order to conceive Kurt. Despite featuring Mystique prominently and introducing Azazel in X-Men: First Class, Fox’s X-Men movies ignored Nightcrawler’s origins. The films also focused solely on Nightcrawler’s teleportation, even though Kurt Wagner possesses at least nine other powers and abilities in the source material.

Nightcrawler’s Camouflage Has Otherworldly Origins

Kurt Wagner Wears A Permanent Veil Of Pure Darkness

Nightcrawler crouching on the fire escape in Marvel Comics

Nightcrawler’s skin is usually depicted as indigo or navy blue, with pitch black shadows. For a long time, comic books had to use blue accents on black colors in order to convey a sense of darkness due to limitations in printing accurate shades of gray. As a result, characters like Beast ended up becoming fully blue. In Nightcrawler’s case, this effect was adapted into the narrative: Nightcrawler wears a permanent veil of darkness on his skin. This ability comes from Kurt’s connection to the Brimstone Dimension, where time, space, and light work differently.

Even when lit up directly from the front, Nightcrawler’s skin is partly covered in shadow. Kurt Wagner uses this rare trait to lurk in the shadows; and coupled with his enhanced agility, teleportation, and wallcrawling abilities, Nightcrawler is able to hide in any dark corner of every building or structure. In short, Nightcrawler’s camouflage more than does his superhero name justice.

Nightcrawler’s Yellow Eyes Give Him Night Vision

Kurt Wagner’s Bright, Yellow Eyes Are A Blessing And A Curse

Nightcrawler makes a blood pact in X-Men comics

Fittingly, Nightcrawler possesses highly developed night vision, which allows him to see perfectly in the dark. Night vision is quite a useful ability for a creature of the night, as Nightcrawler uses it to prey on his targets when he hides in the shadows. The biggest downside of Nightcrawler’s night vision is that his eyes shine a bright yellow at all times, which can reveal his position.

Writer Dave Cockrum originally pitched Nightcrawler to DC Comics, but took his creation to Marvel after it was rejected.

Nightcrawler’s yellow eyes have no pupils — a trait he shares with his biological mother Mystique and his semi-biological father Azazel. However, Kurt Wagner’s enhanced night vision may come directly from Azazel’s genetic material, as Azazel’s eyes also shine brightly in the dark, while Mystique’s eyes don’t. On the other hand, Nightcrawler may have inherited his blue skin from Mystique.

Nightcrawler Has Been Able To Turn Fully Invisible

Kurt Wagner Briefly Possessed The Ability To Disappear In The Shadows, Quite Literally

Nightcrawler turns invisible in early X-Men comics

At one point, Nightcrawler’s camouflage transformed into literal invisibility. Instead of blending with the shadows due to his dark skin and fur, Nightcrawler’s body seemed to disappear as soon as he stepped into any shadow. Onlookers would see the dark room around her, but no trace of him. Somehow, the only parts of Nightcrawler’s body that didn’t turn invisible were his bright, yellow eyes, which brought the humorous implication that Nightcrawler had to close his eyes in order to hide.

Nightcrawler’s invisibility was soon abandoned, though he retained his ability to hide effectively in the dark. Several X-Men heroes and villains have gained and lost secondary and tertiary mutations throughout the years. For instance, Angel’s powers briefly included blood with healing properties and Cyclops had a complex, innate understanding of geometry that helped him understand the exact trajectory of his optic beams. However, these abilities were forgotten not long after being introduced.

Nightcrawler Has Wall-Crawling Abilities Similar To Spider-Man’s

Kurt Wagner Can Cling To Walls And Ceilings With His Bare Hands And Feet

Nightcrawler crawls up a wall in the comics

While he’s more famous for a different form of transportation, Kurt Wagner can crawl up walls using only his bare hands and feet, which have natural suction cups that allow Nightcrawler to stick to almost any surface. Nightcrawler only has two big fingers and a thumb on each hand, as well as two big fingers and a toe on each foot. This makes it easy for Kurt Wagner to move swiftly across any environment, swinging through and perching on any object in his path.

Nightcrawler often wears long white gloves and boots that impede him frow using his wall-crawling abilities. Spider-Man also uses gloves and shows, but his ability to stick to walls has been explained to work thanks to electrostatic force, not microscropic blades or hairs, as shown in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man. Since Nightcrawler’s wall-crawling works differently, Kurt prefers to use teleportation or his gymnastic skills to move and fight.

Nightcrawler’s Skeleton Gives Him Super Flexibility

Kurt Wagner’s Ultra-Flexible Skeleton Complements His Agility And Speed

Nightcrawler serves drinks to the X-Men in the comics

Nightcrawler was raised in a circus as a performer, developing incredibly acrobatic skills from a young age. Part of the reason why it was so easy for Kurt Wagner to become an acrobat was his natural super flexibility, which comes from his highly flexible bones and joints. Nightcrawler’s flexible skeleton is difficult to damage, and he can fit through tight spaces comfortably.

Nightcrawler’s Teleportation Comes From His Connection To The Brimstone Dimension

Kurt Wagner Can Enter An Alternate Dimension That’s Completely Inaccessible To Most Marvel Characters

Nightcrawler understands the Brimstone Dimension in X-Men comics

Nightcrawler’s main mutation is his most famous one: he can teleport short and medium distances, leaving a cloud of dark smoke behind. However, Nightcrawler’s teleportation powers are more complex than they seem. Nightcrawler actually has access to the Brimstone Dimension, where he briefly enters and exits every time he teleports. Therefore, Kurt Wagner doesn’t just disappear in one place and appear in another. Instead, Nightcrawler enters the Brimstone Dimension for a moment and chooses the exact position in the universe he wants to return to, bringing with him some of the Brimstone Dimension’s air and atmosphere.

Nightcrawler Receives Support From The Bamf Creatures

Kurt Wagner Has An Army Of Tiny Nightcrawlers Who Have The Same Abilities

Nightcrawler relaxing with the Bamfs

Nightcrawler isn’t the only teleporting character with ties to Azazel. The Bamfs are small creatures that look identical to Kurt Wagner and possess all of his abilities. However, they are naturally mischievous and behave like a pack of little wild animals. First found by Azazel, the Bamfs served the demonic villain for a while before invading Charles Xavier’s school. Of course, once they met Kurt Wagner, they idolized him and began helping him and his allies in battle.

In fact, the Bamfs were originally thought to be fictional creatures imagined by Kitty Pryde until Nightcrawler encountered them himself.

The Bamfs’ abilities can help enhance Kurt Wagner’s own teleportation powers, allowing him to reach longer distances and places he hasn’t visited before. The Bamfs’ exact origin is unknown, and why they look almost exactly like Nightcrawler despite the fact that Nightcrawler is technically the biological offspring of Mystique and Azazel is still a mystery. In fact, the Bamfs were originally thought to be fictional creatures imagined by Kitty Pryde until Nightcrawler encountered them himself.

Nightcrawler Has Become A Master Swordsman

Kurt Wagner’s Favorite Weapon Is A Pirate Sword He Started Using After An Unexpected Adventure

Nightcrawler wielding three swords in X-Men '97 trailer

Ever since he was accidentally transported to an alternate dimension where he took up a sword to fight pirates, Nightcrawler has grown fond of wielding swords. Curiously, Kurt Wagner revealed he was skilled at fencing even before this event, but he had never fought with a sword prior to his interdimensional trip. Nightcrawler can wield swords on all four limbs, including his feet, thanks to his long and flexible toes. Kurt also likes to handle swords with his tail, and he can wield up to three swords at a time.

Nightcrawler Can Use His Teleportation Clouds As Explosive Attacks

Kurt Wagner Can Use His Teleportation Ability Creatively As An Attack Strategy

Nightcrawler teleports in a cloud of purple and blue smoke in X-Men Comics

The cloud of dark smoke Nightcrawler leaves behind after teleporting is accidental, and it took a long while for him to understand where it came from and what it was made of. Nightcrawler can weaponize his teleportation’s side product to attack and confuse his enemies. By teleporting close to them or teleporting multiple times in a row, Nightcrawler can temporarily blind and suffocate his opponents with the cloud of smoke he brings with him from the Brimstone Dimension.

These clouds of smoke are made of sulfur, which is what gives the Brimstone Dimension its name. Characters who have access to the Brimstone Dimension, such as Nightcrawler, Azazel, and the Bamfs, seem to be immune to the adverse effects of inhaling sulfur. Hence, they remain unaffected despite long-term exposure to it, while their enemies are easily incapacitated if they breathe the chemical directly.

Nightcrawler Was Literally Immortal For A While

Kurt Wagner Ascended To Heaven And Returned To Earth Blessed With Immortality

Nightcrawler dies after Basion impales himw with his hand

Nightcrawler once sacrificed his life to protect Hope Summers from the mutant-hating supervillain Bastion. Unfortunately, Basion knew exactly how to sabotage Nightcrawler’s teleportation abilities. Just like Sabretooth kills the teleporting mutant Wraith in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Bastion predicted Nightcrawler’s destination and positioned himself appropriately, causing Nightcrawler to teleport into Bastion’s arm. Due to his heroic death, Nightcrawler earned a pass to heaven in the afterlife.

However, Azazel took advantage of his shared access to the Brimstone Dimension with Nightcrawler to reach Heaven. The X-Men also arrived with the help of the Bamfs, stopped Azazel, and brought Nightcrawler back to Earth with them. Since Nightcrawler exited Heaven without being resurrected, he couldn’t be killed. Of course, Nightcrawler’s immortality didn’t last too long, and he eventually lost it, earning his soul back in the process.

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