Bored and necroing a fairly interesting thread here....
I tend to agree with what some others have stated -- Nightcrawler, as he had be written for some time before his death, was not an interesting character any longer.
I still think one of the failings of the writers is to toss material, or developed characters, that they have and try and create the new and exciting sell-point. Then, once the rush of excitement is over for that storyarc, the character is shelved again. Few escape it.
Killing off Nightcrawler, I suppose, was a strategic way to deal with a problematic character -- at least in a sense. The problem is that it was a cheap shot. No one had done anything with him for years; not since Robertson. Writers wanted an impact death, so instead of taking an often used character for it, they dusted off a little used, but formerly loved one.
The thing is, I'm not sure the writers are aware that, with their new practice for fast easy fixes for action, they are not inspiring long-term devotion to the book or sales. By encouraging the 5 issue then closure thing, they are pretty much ensuring that the title is easy to drop. The same with having such flat interchangeable characters. It may do the trick for short term sales, but doesn't do it for long-term readership.
To start building an actual fan-base again, that is not reliant on the movie-verse, they need to build actual believable characters and allow readers to grow fond of them. You know, see the characters do something other than kick butt. To put it in different terms, it is the difference in a single player console game and a large mmorpg. The half life of a single player is what, a month, maybe two? Yet people play mmorpgs for years and years.
Back to topic I suppose....if a writer took the time to clean up the mess of Nightcrawler's character, he would have the potential to be a good selling point, or at least a necessary one for the development of other characters in the cast.
*edit to clarify that last comment
That is only if the writer used the character to his full potential, rather than the borderline priest figure he'd been portrayed as. Old-timers remember that Nightcrawler had many failings and uncertainties. He was often lonely and despaired of ever having a semblence of a normal life. He used humour to cover it.
[Edited on 14/1/11 by Matary]