Tuesday 6 January 2015

Remembering the Very Reverend Nightcrawler

How long has it been since your last confession?
Catching up on some comics last night I read the last two issues of Amazing X-Men, both of which were focussed on Nightcrawler. The first had him, Northstar and Anole fighting Lady Mastermind with a side order of positive body image; the second was an Axis tie-in with a good Mystique trying to stop an evil Nightcrawler killing a priest in Winzeldorf, the town where he was almost lynched in his first appearance.

Both comics placed a big focus on Nightcrawler's faith and that made me think the same thing I always think under those circumstances: I wish they'd kept him as a priest.

See, in the late-90s when Chris Claremont was writing the X-Men comics again he made Nightcrawler a trainee priest (for which I'm sure there's a name but it escapes me). I loved it as an idea but it never really reached its potential which is just 90s comics in a nutshell, isn't it? Anyway, Chuck Austen took over the title and made the whole thing a mind trick played on Nightcrawler by anti-mutant fundamentalists the Church Of Humanity. The Axis issue is, to my knowledge, the first time its been mentioned since.

But imagine what could be done with it now? Priest is about the only profession I can think of that hasn't had a superhero attached to it (though I'm sure there will have been one). It would be a minefield in many ways, matters of faith being a touchy subject these days, and would require a lot of reading or a deep personal understanding of Catholicism on the part of the writer but I think it could be done well by the right creative team.

There's also a part of me, if I'm being perfectly honest, that would love to see Nightcrawler taking Matt Murdoch's confession. 

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