Nightcrawler’s son turns his powers into an R-rated weapon

The bouncing ‘Fuzzy Elf’ Nightcrawler is often considered the core of the X-Men, but his son became one of their most brutal members. As a result of Kurt Wagner’s powers, he is able to pass through the Brimstone Dimension, effectively teleporting across great distances in a burst of sulfurous smoke. Despite Kurt’s abiding faith and heroic nature, he rarely uses this power to harm others. However, it appears that the next generation may not be as good-natured as he was.

Marvel’s various alternate universes demonstrate Kurt’s ability to live up to the Krakoan nation’s law to “Make more mutants.” Kurt has produced powerful children across the multiverse. As his daughter with Scarlet Witch, the body-stealer known as Nocturne, works to save the multiverse as one of the Exiles, his relationship with Meggan Puceanu in the Age of X-Man pocket dimension resulted in Tenia Jean, a fellow teleporter and mystic.

Nightcrawler’s most brutal child is however introduced in the world of the Offspring. Originally created by Alan Evans and Buddy Scalera for X-Men: Millennial Visions, Salamander is Nightcrawler’s son who fights against the Morlocks in New York City in 2035. A world where attacks by the sewer-dwelling faction have strained relations between mutants and humans, the X-Men decide to eliminate the Morlocks and stop their nefarious plans. Salamander, however, has a different form of his father’s powers than Nightcrawler, who acts as the group’s teleporter. Although Salamander cannot teleport through another dimension, he can tear it open, spilling “burning plasma” upon his opponents.

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In addition to possessing the same basic connection to another dimension as his father, Salamander also possesses a far more brutal application that allows him to burn his opponents alive with interdimensional matter. The story does not specify who Salamander’s mother is, but it is clear that the new generation of mutants are much more powerful than the first generation, often combining their parents’ powers in new ways. Salamander may return at any point in the future, especially given the tendency for mutant heroes’ children to travel back in time to help their parents. Millennial Visions is an anthology of potential futures for the X-Men franchise, which includes characters from its pages that have made the jump to mainstream fiction in the past.

In addition to reimagining Nightcrawler’s powers and taking his name from a subterranean creature, Salamander also continues Nightcrawler’s legacy in a number of other ways. However, the cruelty and violence of his abilities are in direct conflict with Kurt Wagner’s values, as is his mission of harming fellow mutants to pacify humanity. Perhaps the mainstream Nightcrawler will be able to meet his wayward son, setting him straight on the X-Men’s core mission, and possibly helping him find a less R-rated use for these powers.

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