Obsession is the key word

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Obsession is the key word

Postby The Drastic Spastic » Fri Jun 22, 2007 5:56 am

Originally posted by love_of_bob
I think Ultimate Nightcrawler did have a personality before. He was just grossly underused. He managed to be very naive, very wise, caring and very dangerous at the same time. He was lively, charming and dorky. Plenty could have been done with him without turning him into what he's become. I was intrigued at first by him turning out to be mentally unstable. I hoped that would lead to something interesting, raise questions rarely asked in comics. The homophobia, too. That could have been awesome, could have fleshed out his character immensely.

Instead he was just promptly ostracized and the X-men don't seem to care one bit. Which seems like a huge mistake on their part, at the very least tactically, considering that he's trained to be a weapon and mentally unstable and all and now their enemy, out there somewhere. Kirkman's Ultimate X-men are all self-centered morons and Ultimate Nightcrawler is even more lame than before, imo. He's just less likable.


The best thing about mental instability like that is that it is very possible to keep it hidden. With how much face time he'd had in the book before, it's completely believable that he just hadn't had a chance to show how nuts he was. I don't recall him having a personality before, it was all just small talk. Hee, I remember big excitement on the forums because he was in an issue. He didn't say anything but he hit Cyclops in the face with a frying pan! Hot damn!

When did they ostracize him? He was in a coma so he wouldn't run away. He wouldn't even talk to Xavier. Then he woke up and ran away. Only Rogue (well, and Dazzler but she was sort of justified) was actually mean to him or anything.

*sigh* Yeah, Kurt doesn't have a conflict at this point and even his purpose is really vague. Team's conscience? Bah. No one ever listens to his advice. Team's heart? He seems to preach more than interact with people.
I have also grown to hate his stilted dialogue. Someday some writer needs to do something about that. I'm sick of hearing "my friend" every other sentence. I want him to sound like a normal human being. I want him to get annoyed now and then. There was a time when he used to be sarcastic.
The Kurt I like is currently in limbo and it doesn't look like he'll be back any time soon.


I don't even read his dialogue any more cause I know there will be a reference to God or prayer in every single speech bubble and, hey, I'd stop talking to someone in real life if he couldn't open his trap without pointing out how religious he was. He's supposed to be a people person and that shit is incredibly alienating to anyone who isn't also an obsessive theist. (And even then...) Which, last I checked, was NOBODY currently on the team.

Maybe that's why no one wants to hang out with him. Oh shit, if they worked that into the books somehow, I would die. Just die! :D "Kurt, we don't invite you out any more because saying Grace over your beer is JUST TOO MUCH. Stop being such a goddamned joykill."

Maybe no one listens to his advice any more because his advice is BAD? He got in a snarky lil "Charles..." over some brain snooping last issue. THANKS KURT. What would they do without him to nag at them over moral grey areas???????

????? WELL??? The team would fall apart! Am I right???!!!

Originally posted by NachtcGleiskette
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Obsession is the key word

Postby The Drastic Spastic » Fri Jun 22, 2007 6:19 am

Originally posted by Feuerstein
It's got to be frustrating for Brubaker as well, because he's got this story he wants to write but all these extra characters are making it difficult. The other thing is that he's really limited to 22 pages a month, which isn't all that much if you want to tell a huge story, and that's exactly what he wanted to do. He wanted to write Star Wars in 12 issues. Now he's wrapped up in the Endangered Species thing and Chris Yost is getting the remainder of the Shi'ar story. I wonder how he feels about that. Probably he just wrote it for money anyhow, yeah?


Whoa, you thought the space story should have been even longer? Talk about going against popular opinion! I thought Carey was writing Endangered Species. He wrote the first part.

He probably feels fairly good about it since Yost is a competent writer. Probably just didn't have time, he's writing a lot of books. They had to have the miniseries planned from the beginning.



When he finally joined the X-men, he became, basically, 616 Nightcrawler, and I would guess that's what led to him going nuts, because no other character is similar to his or her 616 self (except Colossus, but he's gay, so I guess they figure that's enough). But the fact that he has been acting nuts, hurt his friends, and alienated himself from the X-men makes it seem like they're just trying to get rid at him. Possibly for the reasons you mentioned. What's his place on the team?


Place? I don't even remember who else is on the team right now, which is just the way I like it. Making it more about individuals getting along and less about TEAM is good. The only people who should be concerned about TEAM are Scott and Jean.

Maybe Kirkman just really wanted to do something with this awesome-looking underused character so he came up with something both original and believable?? I've been wanting to see another "bad" version of Nightcrawler forever. X-Caliber was only four issues and it's not enough. I don't want Ultimate Crawler to be YET ANOTHER incarnation of 616 Crawler. Look how that one turned out. Evolutionary dead end. Try something new!

What reason does he have to hate homosexuals? Is it religious? Because I don't think he was identified as being religious in Ultimate, though I can think of two instances that could imply that. But I'm religious, albeit pro-homosexual, but I used to go to a school where you were supposed to be anti. But many of us knew gay people, were friends with them, and even the people who were definitely anti didn't just dump their friends or be mean to them. I became pro because I don't see how loving someone can be a sin, but that's me. And I know there are plenty of people, religious and nonreligious, who do go out of their way to hurt homosexuals the way Kurt's hurt Piotr. I just don't see how it fits Kurt, because he'd only been nice to people up to that point. As Piotr himself said, if someone as unique as Kurt can fit in at the Institute, then surely he should too. Why can't Kurt accept that? There has to be a reason: people don't become so extremely hostile without one. Discrimination is something that must be learned.


I fucking love that if it IS due to some bizarre religious thing, Kirkman hasn't been tossing anvils on our heads about it.

I really should shut up now so y'all can yell at me. But I'll close with this: Back to 616 Nighty, I don't think he doesn't have a personality. He had a distinct one in Excalibur, if you ask me. He was smart, had a temper, had romances and made enemies, was judgmental, put his foot in his mouth, had a rocky relationship with Amanda, played big brother to Kitty. People just need to be reminded of that now, but it's been so many years with him being "the guy who was once a priest". That's why I really liked the mini-series. I felt like, whatever problems we can come up with for it, at least he wasn't totally boring, or as Bob once so aptly put it, furniture. Whether you liked it or not, wouldn't you agree it was a better version of him than the one we get on a regular basis?


You mean the ongoing series? It was canceled at 12, but it was still ongoing.

I liked it, though I'm not crazed about the magic angle. He definitely had better personality there although he was still dismayingly modest and unsure. If it had gone on longer, he would have had some confidence written in as the writer built up to it. Alas.

He hasn't had a great personality since Excalibur. That is sad.
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Obsession is the key word

Postby Feuerstein » Fri Jun 22, 2007 8:54 pm

Originally posted by The Drastic Spastic
Whoa, you thought the space story should have been even longer? Talk about going against popular opinion! I thought Carey was writing Endangered Species. He wrote the first part.


Nooooo, that's not what I meant. I meant the story he wanted to tell was practically novel-length. It was already long enough to bore me, mostly because of all the inserts about Vulcan nearly every other chapter. He was writing it as if it would go on for another year at least, so a lot of stuff felt really dragged out and other stuff was cut out or too fast.

Brubaker is supposed to stay on Uncanny (which will deal with aspects of Endangered Species) into 2008.

Place? I don't even remember who else is on the team right now, which is just the way I like it. Making it more about individuals getting along and less about TEAM is good. The only people who should be concerned about TEAM are Scott and Jean.

Maybe Kirkman just really wanted to do something with this awesome-looking underused character so he came up with something both original and believable?? I've been wanting to see another "bad" version of Nightcrawler forever. X-Caliber was only four issues and it's not enough. I don't want Ultimate Crawler to be YET ANOTHER incarnation of 616 Crawler. Look how that one turned out. Evolutionary dead end. Try something new!


I like Nightcrawler as a good guy. At least eventually. So it depends on what happens from here on in with him. To me, it mostly seemed like a way to get rid of him. And I don't see what's original about mental disease. I do agree that it's believable though - absolutely, I mean he went through Weapon X and all that. I wish we knew more about his pre-Weapon X life.

I fucking love that if it IS due to some bizarre religious thing, Kirkman hasn't been tossing anvils on our heads about it.


I only mean I want to know the reason behind the madness, you know?

You mean the ongoing series? It was canceled at 12, but it was still ongoing.

I liked it, though I'm not crazed about the magic angle. He definitely had better personality there although he was still dismayingly modest and unsure. If it had gone on longer, he would have had some confidence written in as the writer built up to it. Alas.

He hasn't had a great personality since Excalibur. That is sad.


Too true.
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Obsession is the key word

Postby NachtcGleiskette » Fri Jun 22, 2007 9:54 pm

Originally posted by The Drastic Spastic

Pffft, you just want tons of excitement and fantastic sex. Looooseeer.


:naughty

Oh Carey, bring him back to his prime!!
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Obsession is the key word

Postby Cadbury » Sat Jun 23, 2007 9:51 pm

Originally posted by Feuerstein
That's very true. Where's your icon from? It looks awesome.


Googled it. I rather enjoy it too!
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Obsession is the key word

Postby The Drastic Spastic » Sun Jun 24, 2007 11:07 am

Originally posted by Feuerstein
Nooooo, that's not what I meant. I meant the story he wanted to tell was practically novel-length. It was already long enough to bore me, mostly because of all the inserts about Vulcan nearly every other chapter. He was writing it as if it would go on for another year at least, so a lot of stuff felt really dragged out and other stuff was cut out or too fast.


Okay, got you. Vulcan bored me too. I didn't pay that much attention to pacing because the only thing I was paying attention to was the bit on the cover where it said how much was left. 11 of 12 OH GOD SO CLOSE.

Brubaker is supposed to stay on Uncanny (which will deal with aspects of Endangered Species) into 2008.


Yeah, I looked this up and the writer of each book is writing each part.

I like Nightcrawler as a good guy. At least eventually. So it depends on what happens from here on in with him. To me, it mostly seemed like a way to get rid of him. And I don't see what's original about mental disease. I do agree that it's believable though - absolutely, I mean he went through Weapon X and all that. I wish we knew more about his pre-Weapon X life.


I don't think he's actually mentally ill any more. Just screwed up. And it is original for this character (X-Men in general really), for them to acknowledge that someone with a screwed up background could turn out, you know, screwed up. And not just in a megalomaniac I am Vulcan I am 15 years old and I have conquered the universe kind of way either. Normal screwed up.

Get rid of him? Nightcrawler fans are so paranoid. ;)

I fucking love that if it IS due to some bizarre religious thing, Kirkman hasn't been tossing anvils on our heads about it.


I only mean I want to know the reason behind the madness, you know?


There doesn't have to be a reason. Maybe it's just a new concept, it makes him uncomfortable, and he lacks the maturity and people skills to deal with it. I like that theory the best, because it's normal people screwed up, not melodramatic over-the-top drama bull like you'll see in some of the more horrific fanfics out there. Yeah, he's upset because his best friend didn't tell him he was gay for a long time... clearly, he was raped/indoctrinated into backwoods religious tradition/a child prostitute. Not really, no.
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Obsession is the key word

Postby Feuerstein » Sun Jun 24, 2007 10:28 pm

10... 11... 12... FINALLY!!! (^__^-)

Originally posted by The Drastic Spastic
I don't think he's actually mentally ill any more. Just screwed up. And it is original for this character (X-Men in general really), for them to acknowledge that someone with a screwed up background could turn out, you know, screwed up. And not just in a megalomaniac I am Vulcan I am 15 years old and I have conquered the universe kind of way either. Normal screwed up.


OK, you're right, they really have steered away from all that in pretty much every circumstance. It's been a real emotional roller coaster though. But I guess that's your point - that's a good thing. It definitely is keeping me reading. o.O I feel so used by the media. XD

Get rid of him? Nightcrawler fans are so paranoid. ;)


YES WE ARE! :yuck

There doesn't have to be a reason. Maybe it's just a new concept, it makes him uncomfortable, and he lacks the maturity and people skills to deal with it. I like that theory the best, because it's normal people screwed up, not melodramatic over-the-top drama bull like you'll see in some of the more horrific fanfics out there. Yeah, he's upset because his best friend didn't tell him he was gay for a long time... clearly, he was raped/indoctrinated into backwoods religious tradition/a child prostitute. Not really, no.


While I like that theory, I don't think it really fits. Nightcrawler showed he didn't like homosexuality earlier than when Piotr revealed it to him, because when Dazzler mentioned it, his response was "Piotr is as normal as you and I." Also, Piotr never made a secret that he's gay, and Kurt seems to be the only one who missed the signs, so he must have been blocking them. When Piotr does tell him straight out, he gives the cold shoulder and acts uncomfortable around him, which does fit with your theory. However, on top of all that, he uses the word "abomination" to refer to Piotr as a homosexual, and that word is plucked right out of the Bible. Though, I guess he could have just heard that word used about himself by others, and is now pinning it on Piotr.

I don't hope for the uber-religious-extremist road, or the *shudder* rape road. I like your idea, and it could fit, but those things I mentioned make me think not.
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Obsession is the key word

Postby The Drastic Spastic » Mon Jun 25, 2007 1:48 am

Originally posted by Feuerstein
10... 11... 12... FINALLY!!! (^__^-)


YAYAAAAAAAYAAYAYAYAYAAY!

While I like that theory, I don't think it really fits. Nightcrawler showed he didn't like homosexuality earlier than when Piotr revealed it to him, because when Dazzler mentioned it, his response was "Piotr is as normal as you and I." Also, Piotr never made a secret that he's gay, and Kurt seems to be the only one who missed the signs, so he must have been blocking them. When Piotr does tell him straight out, he gives the cold shoulder and acts uncomfortable around him, which does fit with your theory. However, on top of all that, he uses the word "abomination" to refer to Piotr as a homosexual, and that word is plucked right out of the Bible. Though, I guess he could have just heard that word used about himself by others, and is now pinning it on Piotr.


I missed the Dazzler part. What issue was that? Missing the signs fits perfectly with my socially inept theory though. He's not ignoring them, he literally does not notice. He could have heard abomination as a word to describe gay people too, and just fell back on it when confronted because he didn't want to admit his real feelings - hurt and betrayed because (as he sees it) his friend kept something important from him.

I don't hope for the uber-religious-extremist road, or the *shudder* rape road. I like your idea, and it could fit, but those things I mentioned make me think not.


So what do you think it is then? I'm going to have to reread those issues I think.
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Postby Feuerstein » Mon Jun 25, 2007 2:53 am

It happened in #70. But... hum dee dum, now I'm rereading and wow, he does make it seem like he's a little more upset that Piotr didn't tell him his "secret" than actually horrified by it. He absolutely does not like it, though. I really should be rereading these too. Your theory fits a lot better than I thought. Since he keeps saying stuff like, "with so-and-so gone, I'm all alone," it could be that that's the only reason for his behavior. He's scared of being left alone again, maybe isolated as he was with Weapon X, and people "breaking trust" as he sees it makes him defensive. It could even be that this is the first time people got this close to him (because the likelihood of a guy like him having had strong relationships previously is pretty slim), and he's panicking now that they are so close and can/have hurt him.

If that's the case, I wish it had been built up to more. But he got so few scenes in earlier issues that, for my part, I completely forgot which issues he was even in. Anyone who reads Ultimate is liable to forget what his personality is like, so the extreme change from Mr. Nice Guy to Screwed Up Oversensitive Nutter would seem out of the blue. And I think he acted a little extreme even if his reasoning is just that he doesn't know how to deal with all the changes. He was yelling at people for no reason, he kidnapped a coma patient, and then, when cornered, he lashed out like an animal - those aren't sane things to do. But there was next to no build-up for them. With Vaughan he was typical, but rarely seen because he didn't do anything, Nightcrawler. With Kirkman, he was off-the-wall crazy. There was little transition.

But maaaybe I have to agree with you now that the change is good. I just wish it had been paced better so I didn't panic so much.
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Obsession is the key word

Postby The Drastic Spastic » Mon Jun 25, 2007 3:08 am

Weapon X training would explain why he'd respond to emotional turmoil with covert ops and assault. It's all he knows how to do, really.

Wow, the more I look at this the more brilliant it seems. I initially was a little wtf over the sheer insanity of the Annual but he really just does not know how to deal with other people in a normal way. And the way he does respond fits with his background perfectly. It's fucking beautiful. :cry
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Postby Feuerstein » Mon Jun 25, 2007 3:13 am

Then again, how long he was with Weapon X is never specified. I thought it was only months. But I imagine an organization like Weapon X could destroy anyone's spirit pretty quickly. Plus, we still have no idea what he went through before Weapon X captured him. (Tho' the memory Jean pulled out of his head looked pretty nice.)

:LOL
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Postby The Drastic Spastic » Mon Jun 25, 2007 4:08 am

Originally posted by Feuerstein
Then again, how long he was with Weapon X is never specified. I thought it was only months. But I imagine an organization like Weapon X could destroy anyone's spirit pretty quickly. Plus, we still have no idea what he went through before Weapon X captured him. (Tho' the memory Jean pulled out of his head looked pretty nice.)

:LOL


I think he was with Weapon X for at least a year. Also we are not really clear on how old he is. He was 14 when he made his first appearance, then he seemed to age several years in his next appearance, but now he seems to be back to being very very young.

Knowing what happened to him before Weapon X might not be relevant. Being trained and tortured by Weapon X is going to overshadow any childhood he might have had. I don't know that much about childhood development, but he was so young when they got him. Wolverine was like 120 years old when Weapon X worked on him (in regular canon) and he didn't even remember who he was after.
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Postby Feuerstein » Tue Jun 26, 2007 2:49 am

That's definitely true, but I'd still like to know. It would help to be able to contrast his pre-Weapon X personality with post-Weapon X. The worst thing about Weapon X was, of course, that he was almost totally isolated. There were people around him, but he was unable to communicate and they made no effort to communicate with him. That's definitely enough to drive anyone crazy. (FYI, I loved "Castaway.") But just for the sake of knowing, I want to find out more about his childhood. Not just him, either. Piotr was a member of the mafia or something, right? How did that happen? For most characters, I don't know whether or not they talked much about their pre-X-men lives. But I think it's interesting!
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Postby Dragonwolf » Wed Jun 27, 2007 1:30 pm

Hmmmm...I haven't read much in the way of comics, lately, but, I would also like to see a contrast of his pre and post Weapon X personas.

But, as was the topic of the thread, I would say my obcession with Kurt has gone on and off since I was about ten or so, but lately it's just stuck on obcession mode. Oh well. More fun for me!

Most people in my neihborhood are DC comic fans, so they don't really care about it.

Friend: Whose the Blue Demon Guy? *points to picture on PC*

Me: Nightcrawler.

Friend: Was he in the JLA?

Me: No, He's Marvel. X-Men to be more specific.

Friend: ....Oh. I prefer Batman. ^_^ He's Awesome!!!

Me: Batman is cool... but I prefer Nightcrawler. Does he not scream HANDSOME?


Anyways, back to what was being said about Weapon X, I would agree that if Wolverine forgot himself because of it, then a past persona may be hard for Kurt to uncover as well. It would be interesting to find out, still.


I don't think I have anything more to say then that.
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Obsession is the key word

Postby Cadbury » Wed Jun 27, 2007 4:57 pm

Originally posted by Dragonwolf
Hmmmm...I haven't read much in the way of comics, lately, but, I would also like to see a contrast of his pre and post Weapon X personas.

But, as was the topic of the thread, I would say my obcession with Kurt has gone on and off since I was about ten or so, but lately it's just stuck on obcession mode. Oh well. More fun for me!

Most people in my neihborhood are DC comic fans, so they don't really care about it.

Friend: Whose the Blue Demon Guy? *points to picture on PC*

Me: Nightcrawler.

Friend: Was he in the JLA?

Me: No, He's Marvel. X-Men to be more specific.

Friend: ....Oh. I prefer Batman. ^_^ He's Awesome!!!

Me: Batman is cool... but I prefer Nightcrawler. Does he not scream HANDSOME?


Anyways, back to what was being said about Weapon X, I would agree that if Wolverine forgot himself because of it, then a past persona may be hard for Kurt to uncover as well. It would be interesting to find out, still.


I don't think I have anything more to say then that.


Once again, from the masculine vernacular, I can't use the word "handsome". (My girlfriend would raise an eyebrow, or two.) But I would say power is what draws me. The idea of sheer power in a properly honed athlete, and that peculiar cross between good and evil. Nightcrawler is far more intriguing because of the spiritual and emotional conflicts inherent in a character with such a unique background. I just wish they would write him properly.
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Obsession is the key word

Postby Feuerstein » Wed Jun 27, 2007 6:50 pm

His acrobatic skill is definitely fun to see in a comic, and the interesting thing is, one wouldn't put him on the same strength level as a lot of the other X-men, but occasionally he does something that makes readers go, "Oh yeah, he's a superhero too!"

And the decision he made early on to not let others' bad treatment of him because of his looks make him bitter and angry, instead deciding to "treat others as he'd want to be treated" if you will, is probably the part of his personality I most admire. Sometimes we had discussed how he regresses into a more bitter, angsty person, but thinking about it, it does make sense that holding on to that security in himself all the time would be difficult, and as with everyone there would be times he just wants the animosity to stop.

I think my favorite attribute would have to be his swashbuckling side! When he's written as a swashbuckler, he's one of the most fun characters. (Hence why I loved loved LOVED Excalibur.) I also love his faith in God, not so much because of the paradox it creates, but just because it's interesting that in spite of all the craziness going on around him, he still continues to believe. And then there's the side that cares so genuinely for his friends. When he goes all the way down to Chicago to see Kitty after an unfortunate phone call (X-men Unlimited #38), it's an obvious sign of how much his friends mean to him. And his stalwart loyalty to his morals is admirable as well, though I'd like to see him pitted in more situations where he's forced to question them!

I'm still obsessed, but was there ever any doubt? ;)
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Postby Angelique » Wed Jun 27, 2007 9:07 pm

Originally posted by Feuerstein
I think my favorite attribute would have to be his swashbuckling side! When he's written as a swashbuckler, he's one of the most fun characters. (Hence why I loved loved LOVED Excalibur.) I also love his faith in God, not so much because of the paradox it creates, but just because it's interesting that in spite of all the craziness going on around him, he still continues to believe. And then there's the side that cares so genuinely for his friends. When he goes all the way down to Chicago to see Kitty after an unfortunate phone call (X-men Unlimited #38), it's an obvious sign of how much his friends mean to him. And his stalwart loyalty to his morals is admirable as well, though I'd like to see him pitted in more situations where he's forced to question them!


I wouldn't, quite frankly. I would like to see more of Nightcrawler in general, except angsty, indecisive 'Crawler. I'd like to see his loyalty to his morals portrayed as an actual strength, rather than the quality that puts him in that wimpy "team conscience" role.
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Obsession is the key word

Postby Feuerstein » Wed Jun 27, 2007 10:24 pm

That's exactly the problem though. Usually when they do that, he comes off preachy or pessimistic. I agree that it'd be great to see his strong ethics portrayed as a character strength. But every strength is also a weakness. One of my favorite Excalibur issues was the one where Cerise is arrested by the Shi'ar and Kurt leads the team after her. The entire time he keeps faith in her innocence of the crimes, but when he finally finds out what she did from the Starjammers, he second guesses himself. Reunited, he's very cold and judgmental towards her. It tears you up inside, because the reader knows Cerise, while not innocent of the crime, was acting for the greater good. But it takes Nightcrawler time to see that and reconcile her actions with his own morals. Morals are nothing if they aren't put to the test. That doesn't mean he's forced to question them and then changes them. The ideal ending would be, even if he makes allowances, he ultimately continues to follow his moral code. But without anything testing them, there's no real sincerity.
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Obsession is the key word

Postby love_of_bob » Thu Jun 28, 2007 2:54 am

Originally posted by The Drastic Spastic
When did they ostracize him? He was in a coma so he wouldn't run away. He wouldn't even talk to Xavier. Then he woke up and ran away. Only Rogue (well, and Dazzler but she was sort of justified) was actually mean to him or anything.


The problem was that they didn't bother to try looking for him and didn't even seem particularly concerned he was gone. They just went on with business as usual.

Maybe no one listens to his advice any more because his advice is BAD? He got in a snarky lil "Charles..." over some brain snooping last issue. THANKS KURT. What would they do without him to nag at them over moral grey areas???????


Hey, if anyone needs someone to argue with him over moral grey areas, it's Charles. He's got quite a track record of slipping from moral grey to moral almost-black, as Deadly Genesis served to show. If anything, I think Kurt is a bit too easy on him, but I suppose there's only so much he can do against the world's strongest telepath.
Had Xavier listened to Kurt's advice and not brought those two Sh'iar on board, he wouldn't have ended up kidnapped and tortured.

On the topic of favorite sides of Kurt, I can't choose one. Part of why I love Kurt so much is that he has so many sides and which one I prefer varies from time to time. I don't want too much or too little of either. I just want him multi-faceted and complex and right now, I'm dying to see his hard side (no lewd jokes, please). I'm sick of him being wimpy.
Recently, I got his four-issue Icon miniseries and I admit I had low expectations, but I was surprised by the quality of it. Kurt with good dialogue! Kurt not being depicted as naive! Actual insight into his faith and the conflicts it brings when faced with worldly issues! Kurt as a complex person, Kurt being sarcastic, Kurt being stubborn, Kurt being intelligent, Kurt being caring, Kurt brooding when the situation calls for it, but not to the point of being angsty! It was nice. It was very nice.

Sigh.
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Obsession is the key word

Postby Angelique » Thu Jun 28, 2007 7:24 am

I guess I'm still not over how many times (and it has happened), when Kurt was forced to question his Faith and/or morals, and it was not really in character, but rather was a writer's way to grind his own axe about religion in general, or Catholicism in particular.

I think the ideal ending would be the sort in which a happy ending was achieved precisely because Nightcrawler decided to not make an allowance. (How he dealt with Mephisto in the 3rd solo series? Wonderful!) Not much use in having any morals if the only good you do with them is by making exceptions.
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Obsession is the key word

Postby Feuerstein » Thu Jun 28, 2007 9:09 pm

If you're talking about Austen, I really don't know what to think about his run. Was it anti-religion? Anti-Catholic? Or was he just a guy who wrote whatever he felt like, regardless of whether or not it would seem insulting, and totally forgetting to do any research about his topic at all? I think Austen wanted to preach anti-religion, though not anti-faith. (If you recall, the last page of Holy War had Nightcrawler explaining why he keeps faith in God in spite of all the problems religion can cause.) I think Austen just isn't a talented writer, and giving a controversial story to someone who can't write it well only causes more problems.

Before Holy War, and during and before Austen's run, Kurt did quite a bit of questioning his faith. I liked that. It makes sense. Nobody goes through life without doubt, especially when you believe in a loving God and all you see around you is pain and turmoil. Doubt and insecurity, even rage, are perfectly natural, and for me this only made his religious side seem more realistic. The problem was, Austen's "climax" of all that doubt was a huge letdown! Which is why the whole plot earns an indefinite "meh..." from the readers. He was really bad. :yech

I do agree with you, though. When writers use comics to present different controversial topics, I'm fine with it, especially if they show both sides. But not when they're using their story only as an outlet for their own frustrations. If a writer want to do that in creative form, they should write something that belongs to them alone. Not write something that will screw up a character so many other writers before and after them care about.

I loved it when he slapped Mephisto in the face! It was great. Though I kept remembering the time Rogue made out with Mephisto way back when she'd only been an X-man a short while. Allowances definitely undermine ethical values, but that doesn't mean people don't still make them. I would prefer Kurt to always follow his moral code, but I can think of some circumstances where it would be hard, even for him. But that would just make the story more compelling, because we'd be biting our nails to find out what he'll sacrifice, and hopefully, the ending would go your way, since I agree that'd be ideal.
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Obsession is the key word

Postby The Drastic Spastic » Fri Jun 29, 2007 12:08 am

Originally posted by love_of_bob
The problem was that they didn't bother to try looking for him and didn't even seem particularly concerned he was gone. They just went on with business as usual.


The team is a disaster at the moment. There is no business as usual, everyone is struggling to figure out what to do next and create some order. Kurt is probably not a huge threat to anything, and they wouldn't have the resources to hold him even if they could find him. So he's a low priority.

Hey, if anyone needs someone to argue with him over moral grey areas, it's Charles. He's got quite a track record of slipping from moral grey to moral almost-black, as Deadly Genesis served to show. If anything, I think Kurt is a bit too easy on him, but I suppose there's only so much he can do against the world's strongest telepath.


I dig the sort of morally dark thing. Comics that divide good guys and bad guys into firm groups are boring. This is why the Magneto/Xavier conflict was so interesting that they based the movies around it. Both sides make good points. Who is actually right? It is a mystery. ;) It's even better when the "sides" are so confused that you have stories like Deadly Genesis. They're BOTH wrong! But someone has to be right, right? More right? Getting warmer? I like Xavier a lot more than I used to. I think he's been influenced a bit by Ultimate Xavier, who is the best Xavier ever. Consequentialist morals are freaking hot. So complex. So interesting. Endless possibilities for things to go wrong! (Or right. Mostly wrong though.)

Heh, I hated the Icon series. I'm not interested in seeing him question his faith. He's constantly questioning, and it never goes anywhere. It doesn't get stronger (it's already maxed out!!) it doesn't change in any way. It can't, because the people writing these stories are normal people who haven't given faith much thought and really don't know that much about it. Ugh, quit trying to talk about religion, you lukewarm generic Christians. The story idea is always Crisis of Faith! but they already know how it's going to end, even before they come up with their little "moral dilemma". (Reaffirmation.) Make him a Buddhist or something, come on. It's so boring.

Except the writers know even less about Buddhism so they'd just change his costume to an orange robe and randomly stick references to samsara into his dialogue. Look! He's Buddhist! He's very Buddhist. See the near constance reference to the Buddha? Oh, what more proof could you need.

Originally posted by Feuerstein
That's exactly the problem though. Usually when they do that, he comes off preachy or pessimistic. I agree that it'd be great to see his strong ethics portrayed as a character strength. But every strength is also a weakness. One of my favorite Excalibur issues was the one where Cerise is arrested by the Shi'ar and Kurt leads the team after her. The entire time he keeps faith in her innocence of the crimes, but when he finally finds out what she did from the Starjammers, he second guesses himself. Reunited, he's very cold and judgmental towards her. It tears you up inside, because the reader knows Cerise, while not innocent of the crime, was acting for the greater good. But it takes Nightcrawler time to see that and reconcile her actions with his own morals.


That whole thing was bizarre. Okay, so Cerise did something bad. He assumes it's not that bad and goes after her. He finds out she killed a bunch of people and then sees her kill someone right in front of him. He's disgusted. Then he finds out she had a good excuse so he gets over it just like that? I have the feeling that if this was a test of ethics, he failed. "Greater good" opens up a heaving crapload of moral grey areas. Xavier invades minds for the greater good, sent those kids off to die for the greater good. But he's morally grey/borderline evil and Cerise is golden? This is a good example of how screwed up and inconsistent Kurt's character is. "I'll get pissy if you read someone's mind, but Wolverine killing people? Pfft. Whatever. He had a good reason."

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Obsession is the key word

Postby Feuerstein » Fri Jun 29, 2007 2:11 am

The problem with Kurt being, if anything, defined by the fact that he's "moralistic," is that it's up to the writer to interpret what "morals" he follows and how strictly. He's anti-killing, yes, but how anti-killing? As you said, though he's spoken out against Wolverine's violence in the past, he's still best friends with him. And for the most part, he only says anything if Wolverine acts out in "excess." I remember one line of Wolverine's where he's talking about himself and he says something like, he knows everyone judges him for his violent tendencies, "but there's no one you'd rather have with you in a dark alley."

The point I was trying to make by bringing up that issue was that it does provide a chance for character development if used correctly, because it makes him, in effect, fight against himself.

Sometimes I wish that comics would just leave religion of any sort out of the story. At the same time, it might also hamper character development, because the fact is most people ascribe to some religion. How devout they are is unrelated. I think Cyclops is still listed as being Methodist or something, but we never see him in a church unless it's a funeral or a wedding. Rahne and Kurt are very openly Christian. Sooraya in New X-men is devoutly Muslim. Kitty, of course, is Jewish, and though it doesn't seem she practices Judaism to as far an extent as Kurt practices Catholicism, we do occasionally see her engaging in some religious ritual. (With Kitty, though, I'm thinking she practices it more because it's tradition than anything else. I seem to remember the Star of David pendant she occasionally wore early on was a family heirloom.) It adds a new dimension to the character to have them be fervently religious, or spiritual, but it takes a lot more care on the part of the writers than other attributes.

I agree with you that in most cases it's unlikely the writers have ever experienced any sort of "religious crisis" themselves. But it's not impossible to write what you haven't experienced if you properly research. But you're also right that it feels like every time Kurt is involved in a story where he actually does something, it's related to his faith. The trouble is, with all the major events going in MU, nobody really cares about helping little Nightcrawler come out of his rut. Which, in my opinion, requires a return to swash-buckling! (At the very least, it requires him to get out of Uncanny, where he's the "team leader who doesn't do anything.")
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Obsession is the key word

Postby The Drastic Spastic » Fri Jun 29, 2007 2:48 am

Xavier is team leader. If Nightcrawler is actually supposed to be team leader then I say HA HA HA HA.

Anyone who researches religion in any depth is going to have a crisis. ;) The majority of people don't bother, they just go on sort of believing and not worrying about it too much unless somebody dies. So the empty faith stories hold appeal for the masses, but fanatics such as myself (and Angelique) find them incredibly lacking. For him to be having these crises and resolving them, he needs more knowledge than the writers have to give. I'd like religion taken out of the picture entirely but I'd at least tolerate it better if they knew what they were talking about. They don't. Religious conviction is not an issue of degree like they seem to think it is. It's a difference in kind. It's a quality not a quantity and they don't get that.

Kurt is more religious than Scott. This means? Oh, of course, Kurt should mention God more often. Because that's what being really religious is all about, talking about it all the time. That's what it looks like when you see "religious" people on the news, they just don't shut up about "God" and "morality" and "The Bible". Well no. NO. NO. NO. Ugh, I don't want Nightcrawler to be "that person", but it seems like when it comes to writing an overtly religious character "that person" is all the writers have to go on. But it doesn't fit with his previous characterization so everyone gets really confused. Just cut it back entirely. Superheroes do better with limited religion. Cut it back to right where it was when Claremont pulled out that priesthood garbage. Everyone who writes about it now is still trying to figure that out, but it was nonsense and by definition it will never make sense.

[Edited on 29-6-2007 by The Drastic Spastic]
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Obsession is the key word

Postby Feuerstein » Fri Jun 29, 2007 3:46 am

I meant since coming back to the X-men. He was supposed to be leader, but then he started sharing leadership with Angel. Then Storm was in charge when they were X.S.E., but he was somehow still leader of his own team, though Bishop did a lot of the directing. Then his team just... didn't do much as a team. Xavier organized the Shi'ar expedition, so yeah, that puts him as leader, but if there's anyone power would return to with Xavier out of the picture, it'd be him. (Except now Storm is back again, and she's cooler so she gets to be in charge. That woman is amazing, she's practically the new Wolverine!)

Are you saying I'm not a fanatic? The fact that I'm here multiple times a day as if I don't have a life outside of the Internet hasn't convinced you? (Of course, it could be that I don't have a life outside of the Internet... but that's priveleged information.) Anyway, so what do you mean exactly, if there was to be a story that dealt with Kurt's internal crisis of faith, you'd want a theologian to write it? Putting aside his constant references to "God" and "the Bible" and whatever else, what bothers you about the way his religious side is portrayed. I agree that most writers throw in those words as a lame attempt to say "see, we do know something about this character." I also agree that they're way to in-your-face with that side of him, as if it's the only part that's worth showing. (This is probably also influenced by the movie.) And I agree it would wonderful if they would just step away from that and let him just be Kurt!

But I stand by what I said before: the way he acted before Holy War - going to the church and sort of battling it out with God - that made sense. That's something real people who believe do. The sum of it all was horrible. And we seriously didn't need that to be all he did over those several issues, and we didn't need it to be done every single issue. But I was just glad they showed he's a thinker, that these issues do bother him on a level that makes him question his own faith. I understand it's not a fulfilling story. I just think it's the best we're gonna get.
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