Introduced during the original Age of Apocalypse, the shadowy version of Nightcrawler ended up making his way to Earth-616 in a surprising arc.
In the world of Era of the apocalypse – a reality created by Legion’s attempt to kill Magneto, changing the tide of time and leading to a desolate world – there are only a handful of heroic figures, each of whom have embraced darkness to survive the brutal lives that it has been given to them. One of the most memorable heroes of the Era of the apocalypse It was the particularly dark version of the story of the typically optimistic teleporter member of the X-Men, Nightcrawler, who ended up playing a surprisingly important role in the core of the Marvel Universe from Earth-616 after the events of its original introduction.
In most versions of the Marvel Universe, Mystique ended up abandoning her son in an effort to stay alive and ahead of a gang of murderous humans. But in the world that would eventually become the Age of Apocalypse, she was left with her son, and although their relationship would eventually become strained due to her mercenary ways, they remained on much better terms than most incarnations of their relationship, with Nightcrawler never took the Wagner surname and instead went by Kurt Darkholme. In this world where mutants became the dominant species through a violent uprising led by Apocalypse, Nightcrawler was one of the few heroic figures to join Magneto’s rebellious X-Men, fighting for a world where humans and mutants could coexist.
When the X-Men discovered a time-displaced bishop and learned what the world was supposed to be like, the various mutant heroes were given unique missions to help ensure the timeline was restored, with Nightcrawler and Mystique being forced to. extract Destiny from your home. in the Savage Land. Nightcrawler was one of the X-Men who eventually survived his world’s final battle and continued his work as the X-Man. However, the world was soon thrown into chaos again when the Logan of this reality was forced to use a Seed of Heavenly Death to become the new heir to Apocalypse. Nightcrawler was one of the only mutant heroes who were able to stay in the fight, but he got even colder after his wife Linda was killed by Blob.
Eventually, he and the rest of his remaining allies encountered the Uncanny X-Force from Earth-616, who had forced the Dark Beast to take them there in search of a Seed of Life. Nightcrawler became a reluctant ally of the heroes of Earth-616 and eventually accompanied them to their home reality in order to hunt down the Iceman and Blob from his own world (who would escape to Earth-616). This version of Nightcrawler resisted any attempt to really befriend him, with the other X-Men scorned for the recent loss of their own Nightcrawler to make Kurt Darkholme feel more at home. Although they helped him hunt down and kill the traitorous Iceman, this Nightcrawler ultimately betrayed his allies to the incarnation of Mystique on Earth-616.
In return, he gave up on Blob, whom Nightcrawler killed by teleporting a shark directly to his stomach and allowing it to eat him from the inside. Fleeing the mutants he had betrayed, Nightcrawler ended up approaching Dark Beast once more in hopes of returning to his native world. Unfortunately, the Dark Beast’s attempts resulted in a massive tear in the multiverse, threatening the reality stability of Earth-616 and the Age of Apocalypse by allowing the Celestial-level threat called Exterimantors to move to the worlds in X-Termination. Upon encountering a more hopeful counterpart of himself in the reality-life-threatening Kurt Wagoner of X-Treme X-Men, Age of Apocalypse-Nightcrawler was humiliated when he saw his more noble counterpart sacrifice his life to help stop him. the Exterminators.
Trapping the beings in the Age of Apocalypse reality and destroying it to completely and finally contain them, Nightcrawler used his powers to help seal the door, despite the act ultimately killing him in the process. In many ways, Age of Apocalypse Nightcrawler was one of the few genuinely heroic figures in that dark universe, driven by pain to become a murderer and redeemed in his final moments.
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