Portrayed by Alan Cumming
|Affiliations:||X-Men, Xavier Institute - Staff|
|Birthdate:||24 December 1976|
Kurt is a full-fledged member of the X-Men under the name Nightcrawler, a respected and valued part of the team despite having a more complicated family history than the Summers boys.
- 1 Details
- 2 Biography
- 3 Physical Characteristics
- 4 Powers
- 5 Equipment
- 6 Trivia
- 7 External Links
- 8 Plots
- 9 Meta
Character Journal: xp_nightcrawler
Real Name: Kurt Sefton
Aliases: Kurt Wagner, legally changed his name to Kurt Sefton in January 2007.
First Appearance: May 14, 2003
Date of Birth: 24 December 1976
Place of Birth: Bavaria, Germany
Relatives: Szardos Clan: Margali Szardos (adopted mother), Ivan Szardos (adopted father - deceased), Stefan Szardos (adopted brother), Jimiane Szardos/Amanda Sefton (adopted sister), Meggan Szardos (adopted sister), Mystique (mother), Baron Eric Wagner (father), Marie D'Ancato (half-sister).
Education: Limited to the basics - he can read and write in at least three languages, and is intelligent, but had never gained any formal qualifications. he has since achieved his GED and basic teaching qualification.
Relationship Status: Single
Occupation: X-Man, teacher of dance, German and gymnastics at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters.
Team Affiliation: X-Men
Kurt was left with the Szardos clan as an infant - his mother, the shapeshifter Mystique, gave birth to him in the guise of a homeless young German woman and vanished shortly afterwards, naming the blue infant 'Kurt Wagner' before she did. He had a mostly happy childhood growing up among the Szardos clan, and as a performer in their circus as soon as he was old enough - his physical agility and talent for acrobatics, given by his physical mutations, made him a natural. Kurt mastered walking faster than most children, once he learned to use his tail as an aid to balance, and began basic acrobatic training not long after, though those earliest lessons were more like games. He became known as "The Amazing Nightcrawler" for his ability as an acrobat.
There were tensions outside the immediate family brought on by Margali's adoption of him, and he has always felt a little set apart by his physical differences and the fact of his adoption, but these were minor issues and he was loved by most of the clan. As a child he was reluctant to wander far from the caravan, only going to places where there were likely to be no other people or when he was with a group of the clan. His elder brother Stefan was a near-constant companion during his childhood and adolescence, the two boys roaming the woods and fields. Stefan was Kurt's protector and champion as well - being much larger than the other children their age, and Kurt being smaller, Stefan regularly fought off prospective tormentors. Kurt in return tended to his brother's bruises and scrapes, in order to avoid getting into trouble with Margali and Ivan for fighting.
It was on one of these rambles that Kurt's teleportation power manifested, when he was thirteen. Having wandered too far and facing the prospect of being late home and incurring parental wrath, Kurt suddenly found himself back at the caravan, having instinctively teleported to the place he was thinking of. Of course, being the loyal brother he was, he immediately teleported back to Stefan and brought the two of them back - and promptly collapsed from the effort. He was a quiet, solemn child and this has persisted into adulthood, though he did and does have a playful side under the surface.
The worst point of his childhood was the abduction of his two-year-old sister Gemile by the magical practitioner Rack, when he was twelve. Kurt was not aware of what was going on until he heard Gemile screaming as Rack tried to get her into his car, and came running... only to be forcibly restrained by Stefan and their father, who were afraid of the boy attracting official attention and being the next on the list to be taken away. He didn't speak to his family for a week as a result of this, not understanding why they'd just let Rack take her. Immediately after the incident he ran away, taking shelter from the rain in a church. He was found by Michael Wahler, the priest of that particular village, and the two became friends over time, the priest being a compassionate man able to see a troubled young boy under the demonic appearance. It was through him that Kurt learned his faith and became Catholic.
After his adopted father's death in 1995, eighteen-year-old Kurt began carving angelic symbols into his skin, as an expression of guilt. Initially he hid this from his family, although he did confess to Father Michael what he was doing. The old priest did not approve of Kurt's behaviour, but he could understand the drive behind it, and sought to try and help him overcome his feelings of guilt and self-loathing. Stefan, when he discovered Kurt cutting himself, was less understanding and the two brothers came to blows over it, with Kurt breaking Stefan's nose when he suggested Father Michael might be responsible. They finally agreed to disagree on the matter, and it was never brought up again.
Arriving and Living At The X-Mansion
In 2003, Kurt received the opportunity to go touring through the United States with the Munich Circus. Whilst in Boston, he was abducted by Stryker's men, the teleporting mutant having come to his attention via media coverage and been deemed perfect for his plan to wipe out mutant-kind. Using his brain-washing drug, Stryker sent Kurt to assassinate President McKenna. Fortunately, the attempt failed, and upon regaining his senses due to the bullet wound he received, Kurt instinctively headed back to the last place he remembered being - Boston - in a series of jumps, and holed up in an abandoned church there. It was there that he was found and recovered by Jean Grey and Ororo Munroe; he then assisted the X-Men in foiling Stryker's plans and rescuing Charles Xavier and the abducted children of the school.
Kurt was quickly accepted into the X-Men as a trainee after the incident with Stryker, when he chose to remain at the mansion rather than going back to the clan, and was raised to full membership sometime afterward. This choice was partly as a way to make up for the things Stryker made him do, partly because once he'd seen what good the team did, he found himself reluctant to walk away. He has been a team member ever since, and seemed to be happy and fulfilled in this.
However, the events on Youra, including Kurt being forced to severely injure the operative Radonic, and subsequently, especially the events of Bleeding with its echoes of Youra, contributed to a building pressure on Kurt, much of it self-inflicted. Another factor in this was his discovery that Mystique was his birth mother, which came about when Moira MacTaggart made a simple keying error in running his standard physical, though learning that Amanda was his sister proved to be a positive event, when she had come to accept it and their relationship improved. The loss of one of his few confidantes, Madelyn Bartlet (who he also had feelings for, before she chose Henry McCoy), on her departure from the school also caused him to withdraw further into himself.
Things came to a head with X-Men Mission: Alcatraz, where Kurt snapped and almost killed the terrorist he was meant to be securing after Rogue and Wolverine were badly hurt partly due to his freezing up at a critical moment. This led him to leave the mansion in search of Mystique and the answers only she could give him (Mommy Dearest Redux). When the X-Men realized where he was, a team was sent to his "rescue", only to see him help Mystique escape before returning to be taken back to the mansion. This led directly to his being cast out from the Szardos clan, once Margali learned what he had done. Following this, he was put on stress leave from the team and began regular therapy sessions with Jack Leary.
His casting out also led directly to his decision to change his name to Kurt Sefton, after Amanda announced that she had made Amanda Sefton her legal name.
Recovery and Starting Over
In December 2006, Kurt suffered a training accident, leaving him with serious chemical burns to the skin, eyes and lungs after he was caught in the dimension he teleports through. With the help of Cain and Logan and supervised by Jean, Amanda was able to heal him fully, with the unexpected side effect that all his scars were wiped away. After a few days to think, he decided not to put them back, and sealed the decision by throwing his knife into the lake. The next day, he asked for his position on the team back and got it.
In March 2007, during the Kaiten mission to Portugal, Kurt's hand was broken in the course of the Blackbird crashing after having holes shot in her (he was the pilot, but he was unconscious at the time). It quickly became clear that giving a teleporter heavy painkillers is almost as bad an idea as giving a psi go-pills, especially when that teleporter has an important anniversary to mark in Washington DC. Kurt almost made the trip to Arlington successfully, only coming unstuck on the last jump when he accidentally landed in the Potomac. His friends and family were not impressed, least of all Amanda.
He received another shock in May 2007 with the revelation that the anti-mutant politician Eric Wagner was his biological father. Greater still was the shock to find his father hated him, to the point he tried to kill his own son. Kurt remained conflicted, although the discovery that Marie D'Ancato was his half-sister (through Mystique), was a far more welcome surprise. His confusion and self-doubt were only exacerbated by Margali's actions against Amanda, sending Jimiane to set her up and then stealing her body. While Kurt's adoptive mother recanted and asked forgiveness on her deathbed, her actions and her death hit him extremely hard.
Following a dance competition caper, he and Wanda began dating. Following the Shadow King incident, he received Strange's 'blessing' to do so, the older man feeling he was no longer good enough for her without his magic. Chased out of the apartment by an insulted Wanda, Kurt and Strange indulged in manly bonding of the traditional sort - getting drunk.
2008 was a year for Kurt's family issues to come to a head. Following an incident in Germany where his father, Baron Eric Wagner was involved in an anti-mutant mob, Kurt was determined to see the man suffer a fall, enlisting Emma Frost to assist him in financially ruining the man. His mother issues were less clear-cut, due in part to Mystique's own manipulations. Needing some kind of resolution following Mystique's part in the torture of several younger X-Men and feeling rejected after his relationship with Wanda ended, he took some personal time and sought her out again, only for both of them to be injured when struck by a car. Kurt awoke to find himself in Magneto's care, and was subjected to a bewildering series of conversations apparently aimed at converting him to the Brotherhood of Mutants. Upon his rescue, no-one was happy with him, and he promised Scott and Amanda that he would not deliberately seek Mystique out again.
In October 2008, Meggan returned to the school, no longer a small furry monster girl, but a teenager needing more powers training. It was a happy event, but one overshadowed by Apocalypse and his attack on New York. With Meggan lost with the other New Mutants in the embattled city, it was difficult for Kurt to concentrate on his job of evacuation and search and rescue. The lost students were found, having taken care of themselves, and the three Szardos siblings at the school - Kurt, Meggan and Amanda - had some serious family bonding time in the aftermath. This was extended to that Christmas, when Amanda, distraught over the loss of Pete and several others, refused to come back to the States until she had done all she could to locate those responsible. Colluding with a concerned Wanda, Kurt and Meggan went to Berlin, posing as a meeting and then insisting Amanda come back to the caravan for a break.
The year ended not unlike the same way 2007 had, with a new relationship, although this time without a battle against a life-sucking mutant. In a moment of festive celebration, Kurt found himself having dinner with Monet St. Croix, and things followed on from there.
Despite this new beginning, Kurt remained dogged by his doubts about Mystique. A mission in New York once again threw him in her path, but this time her attempts to manipulate him failed as he saw through an attempt to have him abduct the son of a prominent anti-mutant politician. Kurt's sudden disappearance in the middle of a mission, however, resulted in the injuring of his team mates, and the ire of others. Compelled to be honest with his friends and family, he composed a journal post outlining his biological relationship with Mystique and asserting that any relationship he might have had with her was over and done with, that he was moving on with his life.
A New Leaf
Having cut his ties with Mystique, Kurt did his best to move on. He concentrated on the team and the school, 'adopting' prickly newcomer Carmilla Black after a rescue from Houston and attending a conference on mutation as Charles' aide. A holiday with Monet nearly ended in disaster when she was 'possessed' by an irate mutant archeoogist, but between Laurie, Crystal and himself, they managed to contain her without too much damage. The relationship progressed even further when, caught up in the attack on Budapest, Kurt revealed to Monet that he loved her. Things became a little strained between them during a powers swapping incident, with Kurt taking on Laurie's pheromones and essentially hiding for the week while they lasted.
With the departure of several teachers from the school, Kurt expanded his teaching repetoire to include the literature class. He also became a confidant of many of the students, including Nicholas Gleason, Doreen Green, Megan Gwynn and Catseye, as well as taking an interest in his sister's magical student, Nico Minoru. Following Nick's discovery that his sister was with the Purifiers, Kurt broached the subject of adopting the boy he'd come to think of as his son, a proposal Nick accepted, although at first a little nervously.
Family ties, always important to Kurt, became paramount when his sister Meggan was targeted by Selene. With Meggan possessed by the witch, Kurt, with Amanda and X-Force, swung into action to rescue her, with Kurt doing his best to reach his sister. When Nick received word from his sister that she needed out of the Purifiers, it was Kurt, with Hank, who went to rescue her. It turned out to be a mistake, as Natalie was a plant for the Purifiers; at the school's graduation ceremony, the Purifiers and the Reavers attacked, with Nick being critically wounded and disappearing during the confusion. Kurt was devastated by his son's disappearance and spent months searching for him unsuccessfully, enlisting X-Factor to help. His family and friends rallied around him and he threw himself into his work as an X-Man, with missions in Chicago, Wyoming and Florida. But he never gave up hope that he would find his son alive, even when it seemed hopeless.
In February 2011, while taking Julian Keller to the airport, they came across a young man called John, working as a paramedic. It was Nick, alive but with no memory of the last six months. Doubtful at first about the two strangers telling him they knew him, "John" allowed himself to be convinced to come back to the mansion. With Kurt's unflagging support, he began to settle in, although his memory failed to return.
The next six months continued with life back to almost normal - for the mansion, any way, with a quest to to retrieve photos for Warren Worthington, the deaths of the Grgic brothers in jail at the hands of Wade Wilson, an undercover mission at an illegal roller derby ring and rescuing the New Mutants from the Morlock Tunnels. In the wake of the last, Kurt's protectiveness of Meggan resulted in him losing his usual calm and berating Artie Maddicks on the journals.
When the mansion was invaded, a rescue attempt by Kurt resulted in the death of Amelia Voght and when Kurt was thrown into the group nightmare, he was forced to kill his brother Stefan and almost killed Klara Prast to prevent her being taken by a mob. Overwhelmed by Amelia's death, Kurt blamed himself for her being killed and it was only after being called a martyr by an angry Amanda and a very Monet-esque pep talk, he began to try and deal with things.
In August, in assisted in helping rescue people from the Eulud Pharm plant after the Hellfire Club set it on fire in an attempt to kill Garrison and punish Adrienne. Halloween was spent under a spell accidentally unleashed from one of Amanda's old talismans, and the year was rounded off in Milwaukee, where the X-Men and the FBI worked together to uncover the truth behind a group of misled mutant criminals calling themselves the Great Lakes Avengers.
2012 began on a somber note with the departure of John to Muir Island in January. March saw the end of Kurt's relationship with Monet after an explosive fight, though the end was hardly something he was upset about.
In May things took a turn for the worst after a group of students and assorted Xaverites were kidnapped from a rally at the Genoshan Embassy. The infiltration of Genosha to get them back resulted in Kurt, along with a number of other X-Men and X-Force members, being captured and sent to prison. The next day, after witnessing the death of Rachel Kinross-Dayspring at the hands of the mutate process, he was loaded onto the Mutant Train with a number of others and sent off to be put through the mutate process. Everyone escaped, though, when the train was derailed by Jenny Ransome and her team of rebels. Upon their escape, he and a team took down the geothermal plant, which ended with him helping Angelica Jones blow the entire place up. He assisted in taking down Mutate 606 (Amara Aquilla). He was also involved in the final battle with Thomas Moreau.
The return from Genosha wasn't an easy one. After a call from a concerned Adrienne Frost, he found David North had ODed in his apartment, and later joined Cammie on a trip to visit the grave of her first boyfriend. After lashing out at Artie on the journals, Kurt decided to leave for a bit, and he and David left for Germany with a little help from Clarice.
While in Genosha, Kurt had become closer with Jubilee, taking care of her when they were imprisoned together, and not long after their return to the states they began dating. The relationship had a bumpy start, with Jubilee worrying that Kurt would not be able to handle the nature of her job, but he assured her that it didn't bother him.
July brought more surprised when Rachel Kinross-Dayspring appeared in Madrid, eighteen years old and claiming to be from an alternate universe, where she survived Genosha but Apocalypse ruled. This was understandably off-putting for Kurt, who had watched her six-year-old self die. In August he assisted in patrolling a pro-mutant concert that was being threatened by the Purifiers, against whom he admitted he still held a grudge because of what they'd done to Nick, and only a few days later he joined a team in England, where Angel had discovered her old roommate had been abducted by a gang of mutants. In September he and Jubilee accompanied Sam and a group of Xavierites on what was supposed to be a peaceful trip to the Guthrie homestead. An altercation with the local Friends of Humanity chapter, however, led to Sam being arrested, and the remaining group was forced to defend his home when the FOH attacked. November saw him joining a group of X-Men in rescuing Tandy Bowen after she was kidnapped by her father and handed over to a a demon in order to be used as an energy source. He was nearly killed by Tandy's father, who was stopped by Tandy unleashing her daggers at him, putting him in a coma.
He spent Christmas day taking care of Jubilee after the Brownstone was attacked.
The year began with Kurt joining an X-Men team to rescue Garrison Kane and Adrienne Frost after they were shipwrecked on a mutant island being run by Magneto. While there he encountered Mystique for the first time in years - it wasn't a happy family reunion. He also semi-bonded with new student Topaz, assisting in helping to save her from her father after she ran away. And in December he and Jean were attacked on the grounds by demons when they invaded the mansion.
In February, the mutant island Avalon was threatened by a tsunami and Kurt joined a Red-X team in going to help evacuate the island, and later rescuing people who hadn't been evacuated in time. For the most part he lived a quiet life, at least until August when he helped Jean and Garrison rescue a young mutant who had accidentally run afoul some incredibly vengeful people.
The End of the World
Everything went to hell in 2015 when Muir Island was attacked. Kurt went with the X-Men to try and defend it, only to witness the death of many of his friends and fellow team members, and even nearly be killed himself. He was, unfortunately, laid up in the med lab for events that followed, but was forced into action again when the mansion was destroyed by The Dark Phoenix. He helped try to evacuate those who had been fighting, but it was already too late - reality fell apart around them. The survivors were rescued by Xorn and sent to a new world.
The New World
Kurt was among those who woke up on the lawn of the mansion in the new world, and was relieved to find that Jubilee and his sisters had also survived. He laid low for the most part, taking care of people where needed (including dragging Jubilee off for a much needed vacation). He was upset when Amanda found out that Jimaine didn't exist in this world - rather Amanda herself was Jimaine. When Topaz left in July, he took it upon himself to call her and extract a promise of once a week phone calls from her to make sure she was still alive. In August he helped to rescue Alex Summers from the Brotherhood, and encountered his mother once more. The encounter was much the same but blessedly brief. He was pleased when Topaz returned to the mansion in October, if not a little unamused by her injuries, and in November he and Jubilee got engaged. It was a decent end to what had ultimately been a not-so-great year.
2016 was a very quiet year for Kurt. He spent most of it keeping up with his sisters, and getting time in with Jubilee between her many work trips. Quiet was preferable to the alternative, though.
2017 was quiet and Kurt was enjoying life, until Jubilee abruptly ended their relationship, stating her job as reason for them to not be together. Kurt left the suite to her, moving into a suite on his own, and handling the break up as stoically as possible, while trying to keep Amanda from killing Jubilee.
The Year of Weird
2018 was a rather... odd year. From finding out Amanda's past with Adam Destine was a lot more complicated than they had thought (and then her getting hurt), to Topaz lashing out at him following yet another kidnapping attempt from her father. And that's not even counting turning into a fish to rescue Scott's father, getting caught up in a Danger Room malfunction, or a mission that ends up going horribly wrong. There was truly no rest for the wicked.
General Build: Compact and athletic.
Hair: Dark blue.
Other Features: He had a great deal of self-inflicted scarification all over his body, in patterns, as well as one straight scar on his face, inflicted by Marius Laverne during Bleeding, but these were removed as an unexpected side-effect of Amanda healing him in December 2006 (this also resulted in the regrowth of his natural blue fur, previously shaved to avoid patchiness around his scars). In addition, he has a pointed tail, blue skin and only three digits on each hand and two on each foot.
Kurt's primary power is teleportation - his particular method involves split-second travel through another dimension to arrive at another point in this one. The side effect of this is clouds of blue sulphurous smoke whenever he teleports. There are limits to how far he can 'port at a time, and how many passengers he can carry as well as the weight involved.
He can also draw shadows around himself, as a way to hide or to move in stealth (where it's already dark). This is done by halfway opening a doorway to the dimension he uses to teleport, meaning that light is drawn in but nothing else. He rarely uses this aspect of his powers, however.
His natural agility might also count as a power, since it's a result of his physical mutations. His ability to use his tail as a balance aid is one of several catlike aspects of his physical nature and abilities, though this does not carry across to his personality and he is not a feral. These include very good night vision, slightly sharpened hearing, excellent agility and the ability to 'fall on his feet', when for some reason he can't just teleport from a fall.
Kurt's X-Men uniform has been custom designed to allow his tail to hang out and he doesn't wear the boots to enable him to use his prehensile feet for climbing.
For a time, Kurt taught circus skills to various students at the school as a summer program, beginning in June 2003.
Kurt has a fine singing voice, but rarely gets the chance to demonstrate this.
Though he's unlikely to admit it to (almost) anyone - ever - Kurt was a virgin until his relationship with Wanda.
He is a not-so-secret fanboy of Errol Flynn. And a slightly better-kept secret fanboy of Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor.
He maintains a regular correspondence with Father Michael, writing to the man at least once a week and telling him everything - or at least, more than he tells anyone else.
The Rictor Effect (as part of Red X)
Player Icon Base: Alan Cumming
Kurt was originally played by Morgan Myers and then adopted by Kate in September 2004.