How should nightcrawler return?

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How should nightcrawler return?

Post by The Drastic Spastic » Fri May 07, 2010 8:33 am

Ult_Sm86 wrote:More Austen's will come, and they will continue to botch him with religious dialogue that most comic readers will be turned away from, killing our Blue Fuzzy Fanbase. I already have about 6 friends who avidly read comics who DO NOT read anything Kurt related BECAUSE of how he has been written in the last decade and it is because of that they're glad he's gone.
I didn't know you considered me a friend. :coy

Seriously though, I know my attitude towards religion is not unusual. A lot of people in my generation heavily resent that we had religion forced on us in our childhoods. My parents were always reasonable, except about that. They would rather beat me into submission than let me skip church on Sunday. I guess the reasoning is that a beating is better than going to Hell. Frankly, it was child abuse and I'll probably never completely get over it. Religion makes people go nuts, people including me, and I try to keep its influence out of my life as much as possible.

I'm less anti-religion than I used to be (like, seeing a poster with a Bible quote on it no longer fills me with rage) and generally take a live and let live attitude, but seeing religion forced on a character I loved was devastating. I don't really expect it to happen, but I want it eradicated from his character. On this, I am not reasonable and I'm not going to take my "anti-religion agenda" and leave, and I don't expect other posters to take their "pro-religion agenda" and leave. That people would even suggest it only reinforces my opinions on religion.
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How should nightcrawler return?

Post by Wahnsinn » Fri May 07, 2010 9:25 am

I'll take the middle road on the religion angle. It doesn't have to be eliminated, but it should be toned down. I'm a Pantheist, for the love of pants! I can't think of one character that holds anything close to my beliefs, and it doesn't bother me at all. My life is more than my ideas about the Great Unknown.

Kurt was already Catholic by the time I started reading comics, but he wasn't an in-your-face, scripture-reciting, my-religion-defines-me Catholic. It was secondary and didn't come up every other issue. It made it easy for any reader to relate to him because it was his personality and way of interacting with others that were central to his character. When his religion took center stage, it felt forced and became off-putting.

Now, maybe the writers can't think of a way to bring him back to a simpler, more accessible state without killing Kurt and rezzing him. That's rather pathetic, but it's the path they've chosen. There are enough things to give him a crisis of faith in the MU without sending him off to the afterlife. The most logical religious path in the MU is polytheism, anyway, because everybody knows there's more than one god. What needs to be determined is which ones don't exist. Members of the Greek and Norse pantheons have been run around on Earth 616 for decades, but you don't see the Abrahamic deity making too many appearances, do you? :smirk

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How should nightcrawler return?

Post by Ult_Sm86 » Fri May 07, 2010 2:45 pm

Now, maybe the writers can't think of a way to bring him back to a simpler, more accessible state without killing Kurt and rezzing him. That's rather pathetic, but it's the path they've chosen.
I agree entirely, it's bad writing, it shows a lack of creativity or a lack of wanting to be creative. Which makes me really unsure if this is going to be a good Story Arc or not, especially since it seems they don't WANT it to come out right.

That said, there are better ways, but instead of griping about it, this is the path they chose, so let's hope when they bring him back he'll be clean and ready for action.
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How should nightcrawler return?

Post by Angelique » Fri May 07, 2010 3:40 pm

The members of the Greek and Norse pantheon running around the Marvel universe aren't written like gods, but as if they're on equal footing overall with pretty much any superpowered human. I'd be inclined to think that practitioners of Aseratu would regard the Thor of the comics as roughly based on but not at all the same as the Thor they worship. For one thing, according to the real mythology, would any human be capable of stealing Mjollnir?

So a Christian in the Marvel Universe would know Thor and Ares and such exist, but would not acknowledge them as gods.

At this point, as long as Nightcrawler returns with every aspect of his character intact (I'd only have liked some of the convoluted history like his ancestry, the whole insta-priest and CoH fiasco, and everything to do with Amanda being Jimaine cleared up), I don't care how they bring him back, provided he's the last character they do this to.

[Edited on 7/5/2010 by Angelique]
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How should nightcrawler return?

Post by Diablo » Fri May 07, 2010 6:03 pm

Wahnsinn wrote:I'll take the middle road on the religion angle. It doesn't have to be eliminated, but it should be toned down.
I agree with that. It's a question of subtlety.
I understand his faith can be important for a part of his fans.
But as I said elsewhere, Dave Cockrum, Nightcrawler's creator, wasn't pleased with Kurt being a catholic.
The man earns our respect.


Kurt could believe in God, but not preach all the time.
During Excalibur, the early X-Men days or the solo series, his faith was there, but it remained subtle.
Recently, he was only about praying, building churches, quoting the bible.
Talk about caricature.





[Edited on 7-5-2010 by Diablo]
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How should nightcrawler return?

Post by Wahnsinn » Fri May 07, 2010 10:27 pm

Note to self: Copy post before experimenting with clicking buttons. :doh!

Whether or not we would define the Norse, Greek, and other gods in the MU as gods doesn't really matter. The characters in the MU do refer to them as gods, so they fit whatever definition the characters use. While a Christian character may not worship every known god in the MU, they'd be a fool to deny that they exist. All those gods running around make monotheism and atheism not work very well. Irreligious polytheism would work very well. Monism would be a bit trickier but could work, and it would provide an interesting perspective.

In any case, Kurt's religion was getting more focus than he was. He needs to be the focus again, and that really can't happen without his religion getting toned down significantly. Will that be a result of his death and inevitable resurrection? I hope so, but we'll have to wait and see.

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How should nightcrawler return?

Post by Angelique » Fri May 07, 2010 11:14 pm

What I'm balking at is the notion that any character's religion needs to be "toned down." Of course it should not be the sole defining trait of a well-rounded character being written well. But giving all aspects of a character time to shine is not toning down any quality.

Take me as an example. I am a devout and somewhat outspoken Catholic. I also am a dance teacher, musician, athlete, outdoorswoman, wife, mother, writer, and health care provider. Being all these other things does not by any stretch tone down my religion. Rather, my religion informs my decisions and responses in all these other areas of my life.

Nightcrawler is an openly devout Catholic. He is also a superhero, fun-loving adventurer, acrobat, climber, swordsman, scrapper, flirt, etc.,. But being all those other things doesn't make him any less Catholic.

I might wonder if you'd also like it for Scarlet Witch to tone down her occult practices, for Shadowcat to tone down her Jewishnesss, etc.,.

I'd simply like religion to be dealt with, and for some effort to be made at getting it right. Toning it down accomplishes neither.

[Edited on 7/5/2010 by Angelique]
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How should nightcrawler return?

Post by Ult_Sm86 » Sat May 08, 2010 3:58 am

Take me as an example. I am a devout and somewhat outspoken Catholic. I also am a dance teacher, musician, athlete, outdoorswoman, wife, mother, writer, and health care provider. Being all these other things does not by any stretch tone down my religion. Rather, my religion informs my decisions and responses in all these other areas of my life.
No offense, you're not a superhero in a comic book, no one is reading about your adventures with the X-Men. If they were, you'd probably come off pretty boring, the way Kurt has. (Again, no offense meant, but that's the short of it).
Nightcrawler is an openly devout Catholic. He is also a superhero, fun-loving adventurer, acrobat, climber, swordsman, scrapper, flirt, etc.,. But being all those other things doesn't make him any less Catholic.

To a standing population of a generation which is DISTINCTLY less religious than the one before it, and more importantly, to an audience that reads daily, in and out, adventures and space and magic and mythos in multiple comic series and various films/television shows, yeah.... yes it does make him less of a Catholic because they don't understand how a swashbuckling character who likes to flirt with the ladies can not want to have sex with them or get tipsy like a pirate. The pieces don't connect. Kurt is essentially two characters.

Also, a lot (not necessarily most, but definitely a good percentage) of readers of comics (not comic fans, I said readers of comics, this means people who will be giving Marvel their money via comic sales not movies) are pretty liberal. It's hard to have a character who believes in equality for everyone, who understands intolerance to the core because of his appearance, be a conservative Catholic. I mean... people who I know who don't read Kurt-related comics say they feel like he's about to drop the words: "So you don't believe in Jesus huh? Guess YOU'RE going to hell!"
And that's not Kurt. And you know that's not Kurt. Again, it's two character-types clashing inside one creation. This was a thought-out decision by Marvel to end Kurt's life, and I actually get it now.
I might wonder if you'd also like it for Scarlet Witch to tone down her occult practices, for Shadowcat to tone down her Jewishnesss, etc.,.
Whoa, whoa, whoa.
First off, it's Judaism. Jewishness, I can't believe that's actually a word. And no, I would not expect her, or Wanda, or Sooraya to tone down their religious aspects because it has never gotten in the way of their character developing before. Kitty isn't a rabbi, Wanda dabbles into occult, she's not a priestess, her character is CALLED Scarlet Witch that is how she was developed, they just had to give her a mutant "twist", and Stan Lee wasn't all-too-creative on powers in his hay-day. Or rather, how to explain them.
None of these characters have let their religious practices get in the way, or rather no writers have let that happen. Kitty wears a Star of David around her neck to give herself hope 'cause she's a young girl who has seen way way way too much distress in her life, and it's a belief structure she clings to to get her through the day. (When she's not phasing through everything).

Religion to be "dealt with" is what they're trying to do. Someone, I forget who it was, opened Pandora's box when they turned Kurt into a priest, and it (unfortunately) took a hand through his chest to close it back up again.

[Edited on 8/5/10 by Ult_Sm86]
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How should nightcrawler return?

Post by Angelique » Sat May 08, 2010 4:15 am

Judaism is the religion. Jewishness refers to being Jewish.

As for Wanda, she was once selected for one of the Secret Wars specifically because she was considered one of the most religious characters, not just a dabbler.

Also, worldwide, religious people are still in a majority. Regardless, if readers or moviegoers are ignorant of religion and cling to religious stereotypes, it's not the duty of writers to cater to perpetuate those stereotypes, but to write well-rounded characters. If people have difficulty wrapping their minds around the idea that a Catholic man can also be a fun-loving adventurer, that's their problem.

So if Kurt comes back, he shouldn't be any less religious than he was before. However, he shouldn't be portrayed as a religious caricature, because any well-written character is more complex than that.

[Edited on 8/5/2010 by Angelique]
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How should nightcrawler return?

Post by kladyelf » Sat May 08, 2010 4:19 am

*achem*

just had an idea:

"My name is Kurt Wagner, I was injured in a fight and woke up in 1975 ... Am I mad? In a coma? Or have i gone back in time? Whatever has happened it is like I've landed on a different planet, now perhaps if I can figure out the reason, I can find a way home...." :LOL
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Post by Ult_Sm86 » Sat May 08, 2010 4:23 am

If ignoramuses have difficulty wrapping their minds around the idea that a Catholic man can also be a fun-loving adventurer, that's their problem.
it's not that they can't wrap their minds around it, it's that the writers can't. The writers can't portray him as both the religious character who you want and the fun loving character he was before and other fans want in the same context. In a 22 page comic book. There's just not enough room or time.

And if Witch is more than a dabbler, fine. Again, the religion has never pushed her character to do something out-of-character or prevent a writer from even addressing her in a story, as has happened time-and-time-again with Kurt, especially since he got "made" a Priest.

My concern in all of this is they can't really bring him back without offending the people who thought his religion made him great, such as yourself, so I'm confused as to how they are going to do it. If they aim to please the religious audience, they'll surely upset the rest of the X-Readers.
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How should nightcrawler return?

Post by Angelique » Sat May 08, 2010 4:29 am

Ult_Sm86 wrote:
If ignoramuses have difficulty wrapping their minds around the idea that a Catholic man can also be a fun-loving adventurer, that's their problem.
it's not that they can't wrap their minds around it, it's that the writers can't. The writers can't portray him as both the religious character who you want and the fun loving character he was before and other fans want in the same context. In a 22 page comic book. There's just not enough room or time.
It can be done. Even amateur ficcers can do it. Also, in an ongoing comic series, it's even easier, because what can't be said in 22 pages can be taken care of in future issues. Also, you're making a false distinction between fun-loving and religious, like a character can't be both simultaneously.

And if bringing the one devout Catholic in a book back from the dead as still a devout Catholic will offend non-religious readers (when there is already a glut of non-religious characters), I think the problems lie with the readers attitudes. Why is it that you want the only openly Catholic character in a book to tone it down?

Oh, and anyone who is just waiting for Kurt to tell someone they're going to Hell is again guilty of painting all Christians with the same brush.

[Edited on 8/5/2010 by Angelique]
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Post by defconfour » Sat May 08, 2010 4:38 am

Well it is nice to see everyone chattering away about the Elf dying the way he did. Nightcrawler had to die, to keep the plot of 2nd Coming going. You have to see the gravity of the whole picture, and his death shows how dark things are. 200 mutants left and dropping fast. Scott has his wet team taking out targets he deems as a threat. Kurt has an objection, for very good reasons. You can call it faith, and that is fine. You could also just chalk it up to the ethics that Prof X tried to instill in every X-Man/Woman he came in contact with. Religious tones, as a long time comic book reader, only makes things even more tense. Drama comes from a sense of tension, and religious strife always helps in that matter. Kurt had to die. The dying isn't gonna stop with him either.

Meanwhile, Marvel has all of our money. My friend was correct that this was, in part, a business decision. It was a very smart decision.

So while I enjoy reading what is being said, things like religion shouldn't be overlooked as a possible vehicle to get a storyline from point A to point B. Kurt looking at Scott and saying are you ordering these x-men to kill our enemy targets. It was a really important point leading up to his death. The tension builds because of Kurt's moral compass. It just so happened that he was catholic.

All I gotta say it that I am totally glued to 2nd Coming and I boy my boy Cable makes it out alive. I don't know how that will possibly play out at all.

What is keeping Wolverine from snapping?
Where is Prof X?
Is Magneto playing all of us?

So many questions.....and here I wait like a mental patient for the next issue.......

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Post by Ult_Sm86 » Sat May 08, 2010 4:44 am

I just want his moral compass and his faith to be part of his character, not his character. If him dying is the only way to reconcile that, and unfortunately draw in the big bucks (confirming why I am not finishing this story arc), then so be it.

But in bringing him back, when teh day comes, that compass should still be there, and the faith should be in tact, but I'd like to see a complete dismissal of the collar and everything that went with it.
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Post by Angelique » Sat May 08, 2010 4:47 am

Heh. Marvel actually lost my money out of this. I dropped all Marvel titles except for Ender's Game and X-Men Forever. I do not think Nightcrawler had to die. I don't think any character had to die. Whatever was furthered by Kurt's death, be it doubts about Hope or the X-Men beginning to split, all that could have been accomplished without anyone dying. So since I thought the death was a bad idea, I didn't support it with my money.

Death has become a marketing strategy. A sadistic and unoriginal marketing strategy, and I'm not falling for it any more.

Regarding the whole insta-priest fiasco, it never happened anyway. That's the one good thing Austen accomplished in his run. Too bad he didn't do that great a job of retconning it out and he couldn't resist working in his own anti-religious bias, but that's beside the point.

I think the problems with Kurt as a character can't be solved by a shock death, but by cleaning out his origin.

[Edited on 8/5/2010 by Angelique]

[Edited on 8/5/2010 by Angelique]
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Post by defconfour » Sat May 08, 2010 5:18 am

It's in Shakespear's playbook on tragedies...an it totally works. Death is good. Backstabbing is good. Drama is good. Sorry I must disagree Angel.

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Post by Angelique » Sat May 08, 2010 5:25 am

I don't think any Marvel writer would be comfortable being compared to Shakespeare. And sorry. In comic books, death has become unoriginal and a sadistic means of jerking fans around.

Shakespeare didn't build up years of continuity and fan affection for Romeo and Juliet, then toy with the audiences about whether or not they'd die until fans got upset and demanded the deaths not happen, then go ahead and kill them off anyway, did he?
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Post by defconfour » Sat May 08, 2010 5:36 am

Writers borrow from Shakespear all the time. Sorry the Nightcrawler is real sour grapes for you....but trust me....you will only have to put up with it for a year or so until Matt Fraction or whoever rez's blue boy up.

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Post by Angelique » Sat May 08, 2010 5:42 am

A couple more things- tragedy rather defeats the purpose of these being comic books anyway. Furthermore, Shakespeare never used death as a publicity stunt that could be undone in a year if he decided he needed to use those characters again.

It's not Nightcrawler that's just sour grapes for me, and you'd know that if you'd read my posts. It's the practice of gratuitous shock value death and too frequently, casually resurrecting dead characters that I feel needs to stop altogether.
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Post by defconfour » Sat May 08, 2010 5:53 am

It's what a majority of the fans want. I am sorry that the writers don't see your point of view. Hell I loved it when Sentry ripped Ares apart. I am still saying o shit to that one.

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Post by Trigger » Sat May 08, 2010 6:13 am

defconfour wrote:It's what a majority of the fans want. I am sorry that the writers don't see your point of view. Hell I loved it when Sentry ripped Ares apart. I am still saying o shit to that one.
I think that I have to respectfully disagree with you on that. If you jump around the different Marvel related forums, you'd see that most people are really sick of the shock-and-awe, death and destruction tactics that Marvel writers have used as a crutch for the last decade.

It's too much. We read comics to see characters we love, not to watch characters we love die.

[Edited on 8/5/10 by Trigger]

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How should nightcrawler return?

Post by Diablo » Sat May 08, 2010 9:05 am

defconfour wrote:Writers borrow from Shakespear all the time. Sorry the Nightcrawler is real sour grapes for you....but trust me....you will only have to put up with it for a year or so until Matt Fraction or whoever rez's blue boy up.
I'm quite sure Mr Fraction is not fan enough of the elf to do that.

As for commercial success, I guess a lot of Nightcrawler fans will drop Marvel titles. They've lost me as a long-time reader.
That said, I guess you're right and we won't really make a difference in the end... :(
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Post by The Drastic Spastic » Sat May 08, 2010 12:32 pm

Maybe "tone it down" would have been acceptable before but HE'S DEAD. Death is a chance for big changes! They can bring him back any which way, plus there's the incredibly likely possiblity that a resurrection would conflict with his.... stuff. Faith is about not knowing. Last time they were in Limbo he was comforting Hellbitch Pixie about a piece of her soul being turned into a knife, and he said that he just believed that he was human or had a soul or was fundamentally good or something. I forget the details, I skim that stuff to avoid flashbacks like the one I got reading Uncanny Origins with the priest trading food and shelter with a child in desperate need for a chance to preach at someone. (Bad man! Evil! RHR$%#KK!)

But my point is he had faith, because he didn't know. But he died, so he knows now. What he knows... the writers can decide.

I changed my mind. I want him to stay dead for at least a couple years so I can anticipate them bringing him back the way I want for awhile. Possibility! Like buying a lottery ticket and spending a few days fantasizing about what you're going to buy with your millions. :D
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How should nightcrawler return?

Post by Elfdame » Sat May 08, 2010 1:28 pm

I've figured out the PERFECT way to bring back The Fuzzy One.

:spidey makes a deal with the Devil: Bring back the insouciant swashbuckler and the web-spinner will personally forget he ever loved Gwen Stacy, married Mary Jane, or even HAD an Aunt May. He'll go to work for Oscorp and create armaments to kill off mutants.

Problem solved.

{trots off as fast as a fat old broad can waddle, Ult_Sm chasing furiously behind with a ball of webbing and dire intentions ... }
"Humanity is a parade of fools, and I am at the front of it, twirling a baton." From Chapter 9 of _Brother Odd_ by Dean Koontz / from Chapter 10: "Life you can evade; death you cannot."

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Angelique
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How should nightcrawler return?

Post by Angelique » Sat May 08, 2010 2:42 pm

Drastic, your definition of faith is far too narrow. Faith validated and confirmred with knowledge is not destroyed, but strengthened. Faith is also not just belief. It's trust and confidence, which are not to be given out blindly.

Which is why Nightcrawler saying he believed in Hope was, in my opinion, extremely hokey. God's done more to earn that trust and confidence than this kid ever had.

[Edited on 8/5/2010 by Angelique]
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