Among Marvel‘s numerous mutants, Nightcrawler is not usually considered one of the most powerful. He can teleport, which is helpful, but its uses are limited, and he doesn’t have the same impact as other mutants in battle.
That, however, does not mean that he is not capable of incredible feats, as his actions in the Way of X #5 demonstrated. In the comic by Si Spurrier, Bob Quinn, Java Tartaglia, and Clayton Cowles, the hero used his teleportation ability in extraordinary ways, going far beyond his conventional limits.
His incredible feat ends up being responsible for saving the lives of millions of people but comes at a tremendous cost to the mutant himself due to his shortcomings and what he needed to do to overcome them.
What are Nightcrawler Powers and Abilities?
Nightcrawler‘s main power is the ability to teleport. In practice, what happens is that he moves through the Brimstone Dimension, traveling through it and then reappearing in his own dimension. Although deciding where to reappear is conscious, the trip through the Brimstone Dimension happens so fast that the mutant doesn’t even notice the time spent there.
Thus, he relies on an unconscious and natural sense to locate himself in this place, which directs him to the right path. Similarly, he has a subconscious sense of space, which prevents him from teleporting inside a solid object or below ground. This sense, however, is limited, which is why he always chooses not to travel to a location without first seeing it.
Although his mind is an essential part of the process and he chooses his destination consciously, the hero’s powers are not psionic. Being originated by biochemical and biophysical reactions, only the beginning of the process is mentally triggered.
The Earth’s magnetic fields influence his ability, and it is easier for him to move between the north and south of the planet, following the magnetic lines, than east and west, having to go against these lines.
This adds to the limits encountered by the character, who cannot teleport just anywhere. The farther away from where Nightcrawler intends to go, the more complex and tiring, reflecting the maximum distance he can travel. In this case, he can travel for about 2 miles from east to west or 3 miles from north to south.
Another issue related to his power is that he arrives at his destination with the exact inertia as he left. So if he is falling from a great height, he would come falling at the same speed. There is also a limit to how much he can teleport with himself. His “passenger” often gets weakened when he carries other people, so he sometimes uses the ability offensively.
Finally, it is worth noting that going beyond these limits could be fatal, although he can improve his skills over time through practice.
In addition to teleportation, he can climb walls and blend in with shadows, which he uses to camouflage himself. His body is also more flexible than that of an ordinary person, and he can scale surfaces. His agility, reflexes, and strength are also superior to ordinary people.
Nightcrawler In the Way of X
In the comics, Nightcrawler‘s mission was to form the basis of a mutant religion, a task that turned out to be as tricky as it sounds. Besides the numerous philosophical issues related to the goal, the different beliefs of the mutants, and the disagreements between them, didn’t make things any simpler.
Things are made even more difficult by the presence of Onslaught. For those unfamiliar, the psionic creature emerged from the fusion of the darkest parts of Magneto and Charles Xavier‘s minds after the latter used his telepathic powers to shut down the mind of his great adversary.
The series dedicated to Onslaught explains that from this fusion came a conscious being that developed into an entity entirely separate from the two.
During the events of Reign of X, Nightcrawler realizes the existence of a force that has been influencing and altering the minds of mutants, leading them down sinister paths.
In addition, he discovers another mysterious figure, who is appearing in the dreams of mutants and haunting them.
While investigating, the character rescues Legion, who Xavier had suggested as the possible culprit for the events. Together discover that everything was being caused by Onslaught, who aimed to destroy what was being built in Krakoa.
In Way of X, Onslaught acts again, forcibly taking control over Fabian Cortez‘s body and using his amplification powers to overload Lost. As a result, the mutant loses her ability to control gravity, which causes Phobos, one of the moons of Mars, to fall toward the planet Arakko.
The overload is such that Lost ends up dying, making it impossible for Fabian to use his powers to amplify her again and allow her to return the moon to its proper place.
With no options to prevent the deaths of millions of people, Nightcrawler decides to act. Fabian, at his request, amplifies the hero’s powers to the maximum, and Nightcrawler quickly teleports to the collapsing moon.
He then teleports with the entire moon away from Mars, saving all the people on the planet. This, however, comes at a high cost to the character, who, in pushing his limits, sacrifices his own life.
He is soon revived by Xavier and the Five, but it is clear that everyone in Krakoa and Arakko knows about his impressive feat.
Even if his abilities have been amplified, transporting an entire moon for a long distance is no small thing and is one of the most impressive things the mutant has ever accomplished.
In addition to showing the full capability of Nightcrawler‘s power, the action says a lot about the character himself, who is even willing to sacrifice himself to save others.