How X-Men Blue: Origins’ retcons change Nightcrawler and Mystique’s relationship

Christopher Baggett
Nightcrawler with MystiqueMarvel Comics

X-Men Blue: Origins turns the long-tortured relationship between Nightcrawler and his mother Mystique on its head, dramatically retconning decades of X-Men stories. 

The Krakoa era of the X-Men is imploding in grand fashion, but some harsh truths are coming to light. X-Men Blue: Origins is bringing the harshest of those, examining the origins of Nightcrawler. 

Nightcrawler has been on the run from Orchis in the months since the Hellfire Gala massacre. But he’s also had to contend with his mother, Mystique, who has been wandering New York in a furious rage, seemingly unaware of her actions. 

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The payoff to that happens in today’s landmark issue, which challenges everything fans have long known about the X-Men’s blue elf and his terrifying mother. 

Warning, spoilers for X-Men Blue: Origins to follow

X-Men Blue: Origins establishes Nightcrawler as the son of two women

Many fans had successfully figured out that X-Men Blue: Origins was going to retcon Nightcrawler’s origin. Still, that doesn’t make it any less shocking

Mystique reveals she and Destiny are Nightcrawler's parentsMarvel Comics
Mystique’s shape shifting powers allowed her to have a child with her lover, Destiny.

In Origins, we revisit some old lore. Mystique was posing as the wife of German nobleman Baron Christian Wagner.  However, it’s revealed that she finagled her wife, Destiny, a role on Wagner’s staff so they could secretly be together. 

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When Destiny implores Mystique to start a family together, Mystique uses her mutant power to shapeshift, rewriting her DNA to be male. Nightcrawler is the progeny of that relationship, though Destiny’s actual reasons for wanting a family would be much darker. 

Nightcrawler’s parents were originally Mystique and Azazel

This retcon undoes a pretty significant piece of X-Men lore. The history of Nightcrawler’s parentage was a long-known and somewhat underwhelming bit of storytelling. 

Azazel deceives MystiqueMarvel Comics
In the original origin for Nightcrawler, Mystique had a child after an affair with Azazel.

In the original storyline, Nightcrawler is the result of Mystique’s affair with Azazel, a seemingly immortal mutant. Given Azazel’s demonic appearance and teleportation powers, he just made sense as Nightcrawler’s dad. 

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Though the new origin removes Azazel from the familial picture, he’s still factored into the story. A vision of Azazel conquering the world is what inspires Destiny to start a family with Mystique. 

X-Men Blue: Origins reveals Mystique never really abandoned Nightcrawler

Seeing a vision of Azazel conquering Earth and killing the X-Men, Destiny manipulates Mystique into starting a family. Destiny has a vision that Azazel can be thwarted if he believes he has a child who can stop him. 

Destiny's vision of AzazelMarvel Comics
Destiny deceived Mystique to allow Nightcrawler to be raised in oppression so he could stop Azazel

Perhaps darker than that, though, is how far Destiny’s vision took her. She foresaw that Nightcrawler would need to suffer in his life in order to oppose Azazel, and intentionally left him to be captured. 

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The reveal pushes things further, with Mystique eventually learning that Nightcrawler’s disappearance was foreseen by Destiny. With no recourse, Mystique and Destiny ask Xavier to erase their memories, explaining the much more cynical, aggressive Mystique we see in stories who willingly abandoned her child. 

Mystique and Destiny are Marvel’s ultimate ride-or-die couple

X-Men Blue: Origins does reaffirm one thing fans have been in love with: the seemingly unbreakable relationship between Mystique and Destiny that has survived decades of turmoil.

Destiny and MystiqueMarvel Comics
The long-burning flame between Destiny and Mystique isn’t likely to go out, but their reunion will certainly be bitter.

That may not be the case for much longer, though. While it seems inevitable the two will reconcile, the newly revealed truth about Destiny manipulating Mystique and Nightcrawler is sure to put a strain on that reunion. 

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That’s also not to say what Nightcrawler’s future could be, as the Uncanny Spider-Man was recently captured by Silver Sable in a story set after this issue. 

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About The Author

Christopher Baggett started writing about comics on the Internet when he was 14 years old. Since then, he's written professionally for a host of sites, including ComicsBeat, Comic Book Resources, and The HomeWorld. He's most knowledgable about the legacy heroes of the '80s and '90s that he grew up with and believes Wally West is the best Flash - and he'll fight anyone over it. For tips, news, press and more, contact Christopher at christopher.baggett@dexerto.com