Nightcrawler's Religious Hypocrisy Makes Him Marvel's Most Important X-Man

Warning: Spoilers for Legion of X #4 ahead

The beloved X-Men member Nightcrawler is perhaps most known for the intense juxtaposition between his demonic looking form and his strong Catholic faith. Yet the way that Nightcrawler portrays himself as a holier-than-thou mutant while also engaging in "extramarital" sexual activities is emblematic of the hypocrisy at the core of Krakoa's failing leadership, shown clearly in a preview for Legion of X #4.

To be clear, Nightcrawler should be allowed to sleep with whomever he wants, whenever he wants, but the fact that he thinks that only he is allowed to break the strict rules of his Catholic faith and judges anyone else who lives outside of the bounds of acceptability is simply hypocritical. Nightcrawler's inherent tension between his Catholic beliefs and his open-minded sense of self has been a core part of the Krakoan Era comic Way of X and its current sequel Legion of X, which has seen Kurt attempting to create Krakoa's own mutant religion and faith.

More: Nightcrawler vs Beast Being Teased in Marvel's X-Men

Since the start of Legion of X - written by Si Spurrier with art by Jan Bazaldua and Frederico Blee - Nightcrawler has been engaged in a physical and psychic flirtation with the Arakki warrior Weaponless Zsen, who almost immediately makes it clear that she is attracted to Kurt. In a preview for Legion of X #4 their relationship is finally consummated. Nightcrawler has always been sexual, even his prehensile tail whips and hardens according to his attractions and desires. But Zsen quickly points out his hypocrisy, reflecting on how his "police" force "rejects the rigidity of control and punishment" and yet he still so desperately clings to his God and his "Spark." The entire scene, Kurt asking Zsen to sleep with him again and being quickly rejected because of her duty to Arakko, is based in hypocrisy seeing as it takes place in The Bower, a sanctuary on Krakoa for sexual and intimate exploration that Nightcrawler was horrified and disgusted by when first shown it by Stacy X in Way of X.

When Zsen points out that everything Kurt believes in is an "abstraction" that he chooses to follow, he says that is why he likes abstractions, because they give him "wiggle room," prompting Zsen to say, "It sounds like you're saying the only rules you care about are the ones you can bend." Nightcrawler immediately agrees that this is correct. Taken alone, just as a part of Kurt's holier-than-thou personality, this would be a simple continuation of a trend we have seen in his character for decades. Yet looking at his statement as emblematic of Krakoan leadership, seeing as he is a member of the Quiet Council, and mutant society, it is a much more damning indictment of current mutant hypocrisy. The Quiet Council are wildly hypocritical, letting genocidal murderers lead their nation while throwing people in the Pit for daring to speak against them, such as Third Eye reporting that he was sentenced to mutant prison because he dared to point out that the mutant babies being abandoned in the Bower were going to have a terrible future, which went against the Council's "Make More Mutants" law that is meant to better mutant society and keep mutants safe, not get them thrown in prison.

The Quiet Council likes to think that they are running a near-perfect utopia because they are mutants not humans, but in reality they have all been socialized into humanity for years and years, and Nightcrawler's hypocritical "wiggle room" policy with his religion, sexuality, and new X-Men Legion team are all perfect examples of how Krakoa is truly in an existential crisis.

Next: Nightcrawler's New X-Men Team Pursues Mutant Justice in Legion of X

Legion of X #4 is available in stores on August 3rd, 2022.

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