28 Years Later, Marvel Finally Makes Good on the Wildest X-Men Idea Ever

Leave it to a superhero to have a complicated story about their parents.

Marvel Comics

When it comes to Marvel Comics, no origin story is safe. One issue and one retcon can change everything we know about a character, and the X-Men are especially vulnerable to such tinkering. The genetic differences in mutants can come from all over the comic book world, and often they prove to be hereditary. That’s how the powers of Kurt Wagner, aka Nightcrawler, were originally explained: his physical similarity to blue-skinned shapeshifter Mystique came from her being his mother, while his father was Christian Wagner, a German baron.

This was rewritten in 2003, when his father became the demon Azazel. But this was a divisive choice, and nothing seemed to stick. Recently, another retcon established Nightcrawler’s origin story as one an original X-Men writer intended for decades, and it’s a surprising yet touching choice for the character.

Mystique reveals Nightcrawler’s true parentage in X-Men Blue: Origins #1.

Marvel Comics

The new comic book series X-Men Blue: Origins, written by Si Spurrier with art by Marcus To, sets up the retcon right away when Nightcrawler (currently in the guise of Spider-Man for reasons we won’t get into here) confronts his mother, Mystique, in a park. Mystique, whose mental state is crumbling in the wake of her efforts to resist mind control, suddenly has a memory come flooding back.

She reveals that, while married to Baron Wagner, she was having an affair with Destiny, a blind, precognitive mutant who’s been a longtime lover of Mystique. Thanks to Mystique’s shapeshifting powers, she could impregnate Destiny and then fake her own pregnancy. This means Mystique isn’t Nightcrawler’s mother, but his father, while his biological mother is Destiny.

Destiny and Mystique’s relationship was finally given its due in Immortal X-Men #3 in 2022.

Marvel Comics

While this is a retcon, it’s not a new idea. Scott Lobdell, who wrote Uncanny X-Men #4, told the Danish website in 1996 that Mystique and Destiny creator Chris Claremont thought of this idea for Nightcrawler’s parentage long ago. “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,” he said. “So Mystique and Destiny were actually Nightcrawler’s father and mother.”

Unfortunately, Mystique and Destiny were caught by Baron Wagner, and Mystique was forced to murder him. She chose to have her memory of the entire ordeal erased, which explains why it never came to light until now. But while this storyline may be new canonically, it’s been in the works for quite a while. A mutant with two moms may have been too much for ’90s comics, but in 2023 it’s just another day.

X-Men Blue: Origins #1 is available at comic book stores.

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