X-Men’s Mystique confirmed as Nightcrawler’s father in new gender-swap back story
Marvel’s latest X-Men comic, X-Men Blue: Origins #1, offers a gender twist in a reimagining of Nightcrawler’s story.
Nightcrawler, aka Kurt Wagner – famously played by queer actor Alan Cumming in 2003’s hit X-Men sequel, X2 – has long had a contentious story.
According to his first origin story, the blue, furry mutant was the son of Mystique and German nobleman Baron Christian Wagner. However, the 2003 comic Uncanny X-Men: The Draco, updated his background to reveal his father was actually Azazel, to account for Nightcrawler’s look and ability to teleport through demon lord’s realm.
Now we can discount both explanations.
The truth has finally come to light in X-Men Blue: Origins – from writer Si Spurrier and artist Marcus To – and it shakes the mutant family to its core.
In the comic, Nightcrawler confronts Mystique about the buried secrets surrounding his parentage and they involve Mystique’s wife, Destiny – a queer relationship always recognised and loved by fans, but only acknowledged in print by Marvel in recent years.
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After Destiny shared her hopes of starting a family, Mystique used her shapeshifting abilities to fundamentally change her reproductive organs and present as a man, using Azazel’s genetic code.
When Kurt was born, Destiny and Mystique were forced to abandon him after being driven out of town by rage-filled, mutant-wary villagers. To cope with the trauma, Mystique had Charles Xavier alter their memories so she truly believed the baron to be the father.
It has long been believed that X-Men writer Chris Claremont had always intended for this to be the canon version of Nightcrawler’s birth.
In 1995’s X-Men Unlimited #4, Scott Lobdell wrote: “It was always Chris’ plan that Mystique and Irene Adler (Destiny) were lovers, and that Mystique at one point had transformed into a man and impregnated Destiny and she gave birth to Nightcrawler. So, Mystique and Destiny were actually Nightcrawler’s father and mother.”
So, there you have it. Destiny and Mystique are Kirt’s mother and father. Much to the joy of fans.
The comic-book world has long been subversive in its approach to gender. Earlier this year, DC comics played out a brilliant dream sequence which saw Batman villain The Joker fall pregnant – much to the fury of right-wingers.
At the time, DC writer Matthew Rosenberg made it clear that the plot line was a joke, but added: “I will say, so this doesn’t come off as some sort of back-pedalling, I believe trans rights are human rights.”
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