I Love Ya But You’re Strange – The X-Men and the Case of the Exploding Communion Wafers
Every week, I will spotlight strange but ultimately endearing comic stories (basically, we’re talking lots and lots of Silver Age comic books). Here is the archive of all the installments of this feature. Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a suggestion for a future installment!
Today we look at a bizarre tale that involves Nightcrawler being groomed into becoming the Roman Catholic pope, exploding communion wafers and much more silliness!
Okay, as discussed in the most recent installment of Abandoned an’ Forsaked, Kurt “Nightcrawler” Wagner was tricked into believing that he has been ordained as a Roman Catholic priest.
The only question was (and it was a fairly notable question) WHY did someone want to trick Kurt into thinking he was an ordained Catholic priest?
This is revealed in Uncanny X-Men #424, written by Chuck Austen with artwork by Ron Garney (and a bunch of inkers).
So Kurt and the X-Men show up at the Church where Kurt THINKS he used to work and they discover Kurt’s old priest friend and mentor, Father Whitney, who is turns out was working with the bad guys all along to use Kurt for their evil ways…
So we cut to the Church of Humanity, who reveal part of their plan was to get Kurt Wagner selected as the Catholic Pope (somehow) and then reveal he is a devil-ish looking mutant, thereby blowing everyone’s mind!
But wait…there’s much more!
That’s not enough, instead their plan involves simulating the Rapture by having Catholics the world over explode vis disintegrating Holy Communion wafers…
Now I know what you might be thinking. “But Brian, Catholics don’t even BELIEVE in the Rapture as is described here with the whole ‘true Christians being taken straight to heaven’ thing! Did Chuck Austen not even bother to check with the religion he was writing about for a pretty basic tenet that he was basing the entire plot on?”
Well, it does not appear that he did, no. Or if he did, he just didn’t care.
On to fighting! Kurt and Havok take on the bad guys while, of course, quoting scripture (Austen establishes in this issue that Havok was raised Catholic and although he is no longer a believer, he has memorized a ton of scripture for whatever reason)…
And then the reveal that the big bad guy is a WOMAN!
The revelation behind her motivations is pretty rough…
And so that was that.
It doesn’t really tie into the main plot that much, but in the previous issue, the Church of Humanity also crucified a bunch of mutants on the front lawn of the Xavier Institute (somehow without anyone noticing them setting up all of these crosses). Here Nightcrawler shouts to God while the X-Men try to save the crucified mutants (who include Jubilee).
A couple of mutants actually died here, including Skin of Generation X and Bedlam from X-Force.