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Nightcrawler is the eighteenth episode of season three of X-Men: The Animated Series.

Plot

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At night in Neuherzl, Germany a mob gathers together and decides to hunt down and kill a demon that has been terrorizing their small village. As the "demon" teleports to that location he hides in the shadows. However, it is spotted and the villagers chase after him. The villagers chase him into a dead end but are surprised when they discover that he somehow got away. The creature then asks for them to be forgiven because they act out of fear not hate.

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The next morning at a nearby ski resort Gambit complains to Rogue that their vacation has not been any fun. Logan agrees with Gambit and says that they haven't even been skiing they have just been sitting around the lodge getting funny looks from rich people. This made Rogue angry and she walks away and Gambit follows her. Logan then overhears a couple talking about a nearby town that is being terrorized by a demon and Logan decided to hunt it. When Rogue and Gambit hear of this they can not believe what they heard.

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Later that evening Logan, Rogue, and Gambit ski toward Neuherzl. Gambit has trouble and falls down while skiing. As Gambit stands up he loses his balance and begins to ski backward down the mountain. Gambit then hits a tree which knocks him out. However, before passing out Gambit grabs a tree and his mutant power causes it to explode. However, the explosion causes an avalanche and Rogue, Gambit, and Wolverine are covered in snow. Rogue and Gambit are unconscious but Logan is not due to his healing factor. As Logan pulls them out of the snow he sees an monastery in the distance and takes Rogue and Gambit there.

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Sometime later Rogue awakes within the monastery and is greeted by one of the monks that live there. Another monk named Brother Reinhart enters the room. Brother Reinhart asks if it is wise to have visitors during a "terrible time." However, the monk tells Reinhart that those in need are always welcome. However, from the shadows of the ceiling they are being watched by the demon.

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Rogue and Logan later have dinner with the monks. Logan asks about the demon that he heard about. However, the head monk tells Logan that those are just rumors. At that moment Rogue goes to check on Gambit. As Rogue enters Gambits room she sees a man trying to poison Gambit and chases after him. Rogue is unable to find the man. However, it was really Brother Reinhart. Reinhard saw Rogue fly through the air and believed that she and her friends served the demon that is terrorizing Neuherzl. As Rogue runs through a door that leads outside she almost falls. However, a man appears and grabs her. As they fall they are both teleported to the ground. As Rogue looks at the man's face she sees that his skin is blue and he has yellow eyes and is terrified of him. Logan quickly arrives and tackles the creature. The creature tells Logan that he does not want to fight him and extends his hand. However, Logan grabs the creatures hand and throws him against a wall which knocks him out. As Logan is about to kill the creature the head monk runs out and stops him and says that the creature is his brother.

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They the go inside the monastery and the monk explains that they are not really related but are brothers in the family of God and that Nightcrawler is a monk. Nightcrawler then apologizes to Rogue for scaring her and then explains to her that he is a mutant with the power to teleport. Logan then demands to know if he was the one who attacked Gambit. However, the head monk assures the X-Men that Nightcrawler is a man of God. As Rogue asks if he is the demon they heard about Nightcrawler answers that he is. Brother Reinhard is listening to them and is shocked when he hears that Nightcrawler is the demon of Neuherzl. Nightcrawler goes on to explain that he was born a mutant and that his mother had to abandon him to protect him the rioting villagers outside their home. As a baby Nightcrawler was found by a family that owned a traveling circus and they gave him the name Kurt Wagner. As he grew up Kurt became the star attraction of their circus and started using the stage name, Nightcrawler. However, the circus closed down and Nightcrawler was hated and feared for the way he looked. However, Nightcrawler came to the monastery and accepted God into his heart and found peace. Logan shouts that god gave up on mutants a long time ago but Nightcrawler tries to tell him that God does not give up on his children. Logan refuses to listen and walks out of the room. Gambit then asks who tried to kill him if it wasn't Nightcrawler.

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Meanwhile, in Neuherzl, Brother Reinhard tells the villagers that the demon is at the monastery and it it had defiled the holy place. This makes the villagers angry and they form a mob to kill Nightcrawler.

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Meanwhile at the monastery Logan goes into the sanctuary to be alone. However, Nightcrawler enters and asks Logan if he is looking for him. Nightcrawler then tells Logan that they are alike because they are both angry at the world and that Nightcrawler's pain made him seek out God but Wolverine's pain drove him away from God. Logan then shows Nightcrawler his adamantium claws and asks Nightcrawler what kind of God would allow men to do that to him. Nightcrawler replies that it is impossible to understand what God has planned but comfort can be taken in the fact that he loves unconditionally. Logan then reveals to Nightcrawler that he use to believe in God but lost his faith. At that moment the head monk runs in and tells Nightcrawler that a mob is coming to the monastery from Neuherzl and that they must have discovered that he was there. Nightcrawler then says that he must run away so that no one will get hurt. However, Logan sarcastically asks if he lost his faith. As the monk and Logan leave the sanctuary Nightcrawler gets on his knees and prays to God asking why everyone must always hate him.

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As the mob arrives at the monastery Rogue tells Logan that they are scared and not to hurt them. The mob, led by Brother Reinhard, break into the monastery and start searching for Nightcrawler. However, Logan is able to hold some of them off. However, Brother Reinhard then gets one of their guns and goes after Nightcrawler. Rogue is able to subdue several other people. However, two of them grab her by the are and Rogue's power causes their personalities to take over and she has to fight thoughts of wanting to kill Nightcrawler.

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As some villagers attack the head monk and another monk named Johann Nightcrawler teleports them to safety to the monastery's library. Nightcrawler then tells the monks that he will surrender because it is the only way to prevent anyone else from getting hurt. As the monks leave Brother Reinhard comes up behind Nightcrawler and tries to shoot him. However, Nightcrawler teleports out of the way. Brother Reinhard continues to fire his laser gun but Nightcrawler is able to dodge the lasers. However, the lasers hit the wall and the monastery's library starts to catch fire. As Nightcrawler and Brother Reinhard struggle Reinhard accidentally falls over the side of the balcony but Nightcrawler catches him. Reinhard asks Nightcrawler why he didn't drop him and Nightcrawler replies it is not for him to judge but how will God judge him. Nightcrawler then pulls Brother Reinhard up and shows him the burning library and tells him that that happened because of Reinhard's actions not his own. Brother Reinhard realizes his mistake and asks god to forgive him.

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As the sun rises firefighter arrive and put out the fire. Nightcrawler then approaches the X-Men and tells them that their presence has been a great blessing. However, Logan does not believe so because of what happened to the monastery. Nightcrawler then tells Logan that even though the church was destroyed Brother Reinhard understood his mistake and repented and the villagers are no longer afraid of him. Nightcrawler then hands Logan a bible and tells him that he marked certain passages for him to read.

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Sometime later Gambit, Rogue, and Logan go to Paris, France after they leave Neuherzl. Rogue tells Gambit that those monks were starting to grow on her. However, Gambit replies that he believed that the monks were fooling themselves about God and that everyone is alone in the world. This makes Rogue angry and she walks off. Rogue then enters a church and starts to walk out when she sees someone is in there praying. However, Rogue stops and i surprised to see that Logan is the one praying. Logan appears to finally be at peace and Rogue leaves the church crying tears of joy.

Cast

Actor Role
Cathal J. Dodd Wolverine / Logan
Chris Potter Gambit / Remmy LeBeau
Lenore Zann Rogue
Adrian Hough Nightcrawler / Kurt Wagner
? Head monk
? Brother Reinhard
? Johann
? Villager 1
? Villager 2
? Villager 3
? Woman at ski lodge
? Man at ski lodge

Cameos

Trivia

  • This episode was originally produced between Secrets Not Long Buried and One Man's Worth, Part I, but due to animation problems which delayed two episodes from season three Nightcrawler was bumped up to help make up the difference.
  • Logan, Gambit, and Rogue never wear their X-Men uniforms in this episode.
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  • Mary Jane is wearing a yellow sweater as she does in Spider-Man: The Animated Series but with a red stripe and spiders designed on it. She is also drinking out of a coffee mug with a spider web design on it.
  • In the episode Rogue calls Wolverine, Hoser. Hoser is a term made popular by SCTV characters Bob & Doug McKenzie.
  • In the comics the Baron that was in a relationship with Mystique when Kurt was born was named Christian Wagner, and the family of circus performers that took Kurt in were the Szardos family. However, in this episode Wagner is the name of the circus owners and the Baron's name is never revealed.
  • This episode could be well among the first, if not the very first of the "Saturday morning"-type of cartoons to so heavily reference religion, specifically Christianity. They may have gotten it aired because they referenced God, not Jesus, the former being more unifying in a religious context.
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  • A tapestry hanging in the monastery has a picture of Adam and Eve on it.
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  • The live-action footage of the flames while the church is on fire is reused footage from The Phoenix Saga episodes.
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