Si Spurrier On Nightcrawler Becoming Marvel’s Newest Spider-Man
What drew you to the character of Nightcrawler specifically, and where does he find himself amidst the “Fall of X?”
Honestly, it was a brief before it was a dream. The opening phases of world-building for the era of Krakoa had presented this interesting situation where Nightcrawler was thinking about creating a mutant religion. Part of who I am and the career I’ve had in comics so far presents itself as when you have an awkward brief like that, I’m the guy that people turn to in the Rolodex. “Let’s get a guy who can write a story about a mutant religion. Let’s call Si.” That put me onto deep thinking about Nightcrawler and the stories that I might tell involving him, revolving around him, and also the cluster of characters that I built around him. Almost immediately, I fell in love. He’s a character who’s fascinating for all the reasons that I find my favorite characters fascinating in the sense that he’s complicated but simple. He’s contradictory but utterly earnest.
It’s a cliché to say, but the beauty of the character, the thing that encapsulates the character the best, is that despite being one of the least human-looking of the X-Men, he is the most human character in the entire Marvel canon, and that’s a real privilege to write around. This isn’t a downside, but one of the upshots of working so closely with Nightcrawler through all these phases of the Krakoan chronicle has been that his stories tend to be thoughtful, and they tend to speak to ideology and faith and things that I have a lot to say about and will never turn away from narrating.
The one thing we haven’t had an opportunity to do is something that is also quite closely associated with the character, which is glorious, swashbuckling fun. I wanted that and I missed that. It’s not something I’ve ever really been able to do at Marvel, precisely because I appear in the Rolodex as “cerebral, weirdo guy who writes about religion” and stuff like that.
So finally, we’re at this point where, because of all the huge ructions going on in the Krakoan sphere, Nightcrawler has had to go into hiding, he’s on the lamb, he’s wanted for a series of awful atrocities that he’s not really responsible for. He’s found himself in this bizarre little niche where it made perfect sense to him in this state of high trauma that the best place to hide where he can continue to do some good is to put on an old Spidey outfit and bamf around Manhattan saving lives.
That’s where we come in. He’s doing good, having fun, and living his best life. But it being me, apropos the Rolodex and the cerebral weird stuff, there is a bit more bubbling under the surface, which slowly comes up, and we gradually realize that it’s possible to be having a lot of fun and swashbuckling and saving lives, but still to be displacing and turning your back on the stuff that really matters. That’s the core of the story and the dynamic that we’re using in this tale.