Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
COMIC LEGEND: Nightcrawler’s original father was going to be the Dr. Strange villain, Nightmare.
I am honestly surprised that I have never featured this one before. It certainly seems like something I would have done years ago (I even checked my own archives to see if I was just blanking on it and I had used it before).
Anyhow, currently Nightcrawler’s father is the demon-looking mutant known as Azazel (we discussed Nightcrawler’s origin as well as his rumored multiple body parts in last week’s Comic Book Legends Revealed). However, that was not always the plan for Nightcrawler’s father.
At one point, as featured in an old Comic Book Legends Revealed (like, REALLY old, #14!), Chris Claremont wanted Nightcrawler’s father to be the shapeshifter Mystique.
Instead, Mystique was eventually revealed to be Nightcrawler’s MOTHER.
But as it turns out, before that, Claremont had another established Marvel villain in mind for Nightcrawler’s dad – the Doctor Strange villain, Nightmare!
My pal Tim Callahan got the scoop from Roger Stern in Back Issue #29.
Stern, at the time, was the writer on Doctor Strange’s ongoing series and, Stern noted, that was back at a time when the writer of a book had stronger control over how the characters in the book were handled throughout the Marvel Universe.
Chris had come up with the latest of several crazy ideas and declared that Nightcrawler’s father was Nightmare. And I replied with something like, “No, he’s not. I’m not going to let you appropriate one of my character’s major villains.” As I recall, Len Wein crossed the room and shook my hand. And not too long after that, I did become the X-Men editor and was able to make sure that didn’t happen for long enough that Chris eventually changed his mind.
My buddy JohnByrneSays found an important quote from John Byrne on the subject, suggesting why Stern didn’t like the idea:
“Back when I was on the book, Chris wanted to reveal that Nightcrawler’s father was Nightmare, the Dr. Strange villain. Roger Stern, as editor, said no, pointing out that that would make Kurt a hybrid, not a mutant.”
Years later, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa had Nightcrawler meet Nightmare in the pages of Nightcrawler’s first ongoing series (he currently has a new one out written by Chris Claremont!).
Thanks to Tim and Roger Stern for the information!
On the next page, did Pat Boone actually do a cartoon for the Pat Boone comic book series?
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