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  1. #196
    Astonishing Member davetvs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dante Milton View Post
    I'm kinda going to miss the previous story where Mystique yeets a baby off a cliff because it's hilarious.

    Seriously though, I have a lot of questions now about Mystique's powers, like:

    If Mystique can produce both viable sperm and eggs, does that mean she can impregnate herself?

    Can Mystique act as a surrogate to other queer couples, mimic their DNA and produce biological offspring for them?

    If Mystique can mimic DNA, why can't she duplicate mutant powers?

    Does Sinister know Mystique is capable of any of this, because it seems like something he would be very interested in.
    I feel like the data page letter from Dr. Nemesis pretty much covered this; theoretically there are many potential applications of her powers but she doesn't care to submit to testing and isn't the kind of character who tries to push her powers to their limits.

  2. #197
    Fantastic Member Icefanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Confuzzled View Post
    Ahhm, someone doesn't seem to know about the rabidly homophobic Marvel regime of Jim Shooter in the 80s. He banned showing any LGBT characters at all, or at least not in a positive light. There's no way he would have let Claremont make Kurt a lesbian penis baby.
    Quote Originally Posted by killerbee View Post
    False. Marvel indeed wouldn't let Chris Claremont work on it
    Quote Originally Posted by Havok83 View Post
    Can someone clarify Claremont's original idea on this retcon. Ive always read that he envisioned Mystique as Kurt's "father" but she would also be his mother. Destiny was never involved. Mystique was to impregnate herself like those self reproducing organisms. Was that true? Is the Destiny angle here a new idea?
    Chris Claremont's plans for Nightcrawler's parentage in order:

    Plan A: Nightmare and Unknown CC felt it was too implausible that Nightcrawler both resembled a demon and also teleported through a sulfurous dimension. He felt that Kurt must have some actual demonic lineage. To that end, at start of his run with John Byrne, he chose Nightmare, demonic lord of dreams to be Kurt's father. Nightmare also had pointed ears and the dimension Kurt teleported through could be Nightmare's dimension.

    Nightmare was an established Doctor Strange villain. Roger Stern, who was writing Doctor Strange at the time blocked it because he didn't want CC laying claim to one of his characters and also as stated in Back Issue #29: “Too many people in the Marvel Universe are secretly related to one another, and it’s much more interesting when mutants have normal parents.” Stern would later become the editor of X-Men and continued blocking CC until "Chris finally gave up on the idea and found a new target".

    Plan B: Belasco and Unknown Claremont would establish Kurt's age at 21 and later have him meet Mystique where there was a suggested familial connection. Mystique was later established to be 30. CC brought in the demon-sorcerer of Limbo, Belasco, as a foil for the X-Men. Belasco had pointy ears like Nightmare, ruled a demonic dimension, and even had a forked, prehensile tail just like Kurt. Belasco made a deal with his “Elder Gods” for immortality on the basis he would return to earth and become the “Father” of a new race of Earth-Born Demons. In the Magik Limited series Kurt fell most under Belasco’s control, even becoming his “familiar”.

    Uncanny X-Men #204 as advertised in Marvel Age #36:

    “It’s the start of an epic adventure that will take Nightcrawler from the wilds of Central Park to the back woods of Europe… Nightcrawler deals with his fears about the Beyonder, a love-life that’s falling apart, and the truth about himself and his origin.”

    Uncanny X-Men #204 (1986), introduced Judith Rassendyll, the last of the Elfburgs, and was supposed to lead to Kurt's parentage. But Claremont couldn't get the story to come together to his liking. While he had all the pieces in place to reveal that Kurt and Mystique were siblings, and Belasco their shared father, the story he tried crafting for the revelation he felt wasn't compelling.

    In Comics Focus #1, CC explained:

    “We started to do his origin and the story died on us. We set up, we started it rolling, tried to hammer it into something of value, and it died. This happens. Once in a while you’ll run into a story that’s a major dud, it just will not fly, no matter how much air you pipe into the wings. So, we rewrote the ending of the story and instead did one with Rachel Summers, Wolverine and the Hellfire Club, which led up to the Mutant Massacre, which turned out to be a much more powerful and effective storyline.”

    Nightcrawler joined Excalibur in 1988, and Claremont announced in Amazing Heroes #134:

    “One of the storylines we will seriously try to play with is Nightcrawler’s origin. We would’ve done that in X-Men, but the story was such a dud, I decided not to do it. Hopefully now we’ll try again and do it right. Everyone has been wondering why Nightcrawler and Mystique look alike.”

    Plan C: Count Wagner and Mystique Claremont had hit upon the idea that thanks to her shapeshifting mutant abilities, Mystique could be significantly older than previously established. It would be a minor retcon as things go, contradicting a single caption that established her age at 30. But that retcon opened up other possibilities. What if instead of Kurt's sister, she was his mother? That she had tried regarding their connection as simple biology, but upon actually meeting him her emotional barriers were breaking down. ClC planned to keep the connection with Belasco, with Mystique still his daughter(he was the reason for her use of demonic imagery after all, both the skull on her forehead and her skull belt) and Kurt now his grandchild. It was all set to go, until CC got another idea and held off...

    Plan D: Mystique and Destiny Claremont theorized that such were Mystique's shapeshifting abilities that she could form herself completely into a man, to the point of impregnating her longtime love, Destiny. Shooter had been fired as EIC in 1987, but there was still the Comic's Code and it's prohibitions to contended with. But there was a way around that as well...

    X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills was an original graphic novel published in 1982. Whither it was cannon or not was debated for decades. CC's idea was to do Kurt's origin as an OGN, free from the Comics Code. It would be implied to be canon in the comics but not confirmed, leaving room for deniability for purposes of complying with the Comics Code and avoiding protests.

    With Shooter out as EIC, there was a desire at Marvel to explore socially relevant topics previously denied. Homosexuality was a hot-button issue thanks to the A.I.D.S. epidemic and what was then called 'transsexualism' was a popular topic on daytime talk-shows. Marvel liked the idea and sent Claremont off to write the story.

    He quickly ran into a big problem. While Raven's established age was arguably easy to overlook, Irene's was another matter. Her character was well established to not only be old, but quite elderly. CC could play fast-and-lose with her age in a non-cannon story, but the whole idea was to have the story fit as cannon even if they couldn't acknowledge it was. So CC came up with a story that he felt made it all work.

    Mystique was a centuries-old demoness, daughter of Belasco, and Destiny was the young woman she fell in love with and even married(as a man). At some point after Destiny gave birth to their shared child, Kurt, Mystique's demonic powers started to fail and she began to age rapidly. To save her life, Destiny gladly gave up her youth and vitality to Mystique, allowing her to transfer them using sorcerous abilities related to her demonic heritage.

    Marvel balked. Instead of a story centered on Nightcrawler that revealed his origin, he had made Mystique the focus, and all the revelations centered on her. She was hundreds of years old, a demon, a sorceress, Belasco's daughter, husband to Irene and father to Kurt. Add to that Marvel wanted a story grounded in the real world, tackling socially relevant issues like homosexuality and 'transsexualism, connecting that with sorcery and actual demons was not happening. And most people, regardless of political alignment, were then opposed to the idea of 'gay marriage'.

    So Marvel sent CC back to the drawing board with clear instructions. Make Nightcrawler the focus, not Mystique. Take out the stuff involving demons and sorcery and nix the marriage. So CC went back to work on it and Marvel started promotions. Instead of including the story in the existing Marvel Graphic Novel line of original trade paperbacks as they had done with God loves, Man Kills; Marvel felt the story was big enough to warrant an unprecedented standalone release in hardcover format.

    A 64 page Excalibur hardcover graphic novel was announced in Marvel Age Preview #1, to ship in December 1990:

    “Chris Claremont and Alan Davis continue their Excalibur collaboration with the biography of Kurt Wagner – Nightcrawler, from his birth to his rescue at the hands of Charles Xavier. We will finally learn more of the mysterious connection between Nightcrawler and Mystique!”

    And then Claremont came back with 'Hermaphroditic Asexual Reproduction'.

    Plan E: Mystique and Mystique Claremont theorized that while 'Mystique was a blue-skinned woman at her base', thanks to her shapeshifting ability she could 'encompass within herself all that was needed to be both Mother and Father to Kurt'. When asked how exactly Mystique accomplished conceiving a child with herself, CC said it wasn't something that had to be directly addressed. He had solved the problem of Destiny's age by sidestepping it entirely. He also killed any interest Marvel had in doing the story.

    The whole reason for revealing to Kurt that Mystique and Irene were a couple was in the context of revealing Destiny was Kurt's mom, that motivation was gone. Any hope of having a story that was relatable and socially relevant was also out the window. Not too long after, Claremont was gone from Marvel.

    Scott Lobdell tackled Nightcrawlers origin in X-Men Unlimited #4, 1994. Lobdell stated in an interview in Seriejournalen.dk:

    “It was always Chris’ plan that Mystique and Irene Adler (Destiny) were lovers, and that Mystique at one point had transformed into a man and impregnated Destiny and she gave birth to Nightcrawler. So Mystique and Destiny were actually Nightcrawler’s father and mother. The likelihood of either A, Mystique growing genitals with sperm that had a DNA-code, or B, Mystique being a guy who was perpetually in the body of a woman, I thought was pretty slim.”

    Lobdell said that because someone had incorrectly told him that was Claremont's original plan, instead of plan number 4 (of 5).

  3. #198
    Invincible Member Havok83's Avatar
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    ^^^^^
    Wow thank you so much for this very informative post!

  4. #199
    Super Dupont Nicoclaws's Avatar
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    I like the theory of Belasco being a time travelling evil Nightcrawler better (I think it was the case in that alternate future story with the painter writer whose name eludes me at the moment)

    "Mystique was a centuries-old demoness, daughter of Belasco, and Destiny was the young woman she fell in love with and even married(as a man). At some point after Destiny gave birth to their shared child, Kurt, Mystique's demonic powers started to fail and she began to age rapidly. To save her life, Destiny gladly gave up her youth and vitality to Mystique, allowing her to transfer them using sorcerous abilities related to her demonic heritage."

    That's such a wild story XD I love it !

    “Chris Claremont and Alan Davis continue their Excalibur collaboration with the biography of Kurt Wagner – Nightcrawler, from his birth to his rescue at the hands of Charles Xavier. We will finally learn more of the mysterious connection between Nightcrawler and Mystique!”

    I'm interested in that ! Which issue was it ? Was it supposed to be God Loves Man Kills ?

  5. #200
    The King Fears NO ONE! Triniking1234's Avatar
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    I like Plan D since it covers all the age related nonsense.
    "Cable was right!"

  6. #201
    Incredible Member Toonstrack's Avatar
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    The book was written ok, but the retfon is messy and not very necessary to me.

    I kinda just prefer the original origin of count Wagner at this point. Simple and to the point, a story of rejection based on appearance and a life of suffering that births one of the most whole hearted heroes in comics

  7. #202
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    Quote Originally Posted by Icefanatic View Post
    Chris Claremont's plans for Nightcrawler's parentage in order:

    Plan A: Nightmare and Unknown CC felt it was too implausible that Nightcrawler both resembled a demon and also teleported through a sulfurous dimension. He felt that Kurt must have some actual demonic lineage. To that end, at start of his run with John Byrne, he chose Nightmare, demonic lord of dreams to be Kurt's father. Nightmare also had pointed ears and the dimension Kurt teleported through could be Nightmare's dimension.

    Nightmare was an established Doctor Strange villain. Roger Stern, who was writing Doctor Strange at the time blocked it because he didn't want CC laying claim to one of his characters and also as stated in Back Issue #29: “Too many people in the Marvel Universe are secretly related to one another, and it’s much more interesting when mutants have normal parents.” Stern would later become the editor of X-Men and continued blocking CC until "Chris finally gave up on the idea and found a new target".

    Plan B: Belasco and Unknown Claremont would establish Kurt's age at 21 and later have him meet Mystique where there was a suggested familial connection. Mystique was later established to be 30. CC brought in the demon-sorcerer of Limbo, Belasco, as a foil for the X-Men. Belasco had pointy ears like Nightmare, ruled a demonic dimension, and even had a forked, prehensile tail just like Kurt. Belasco made a deal with his “Elder Gods” for immortality on the basis he would return to earth and become the “Father” of a new race of Earth-Born Demons. In the Magik Limited series Kurt fell most under Belasco’s control, even becoming his “familiar”.

    Uncanny X-Men #204 as advertised in Marvel Age #36:

    “It’s the start of an epic adventure that will take Nightcrawler from the wilds of Central Park to the back woods of Europe… Nightcrawler deals with his fears about the Beyonder, a love-life that’s falling apart, and the truth about himself and his origin.”

    Uncanny X-Men #204 (1986), introduced Judith Rassendyll, the last of the Elfburgs, and was supposed to lead to Kurt's parentage. But Claremont couldn't get the story to come together to his liking. While he had all the pieces in place to reveal that Kurt and Mystique were siblings, and Belasco their shared father, the story he tried crafting for the revelation he felt wasn't compelling.

    In Comics Focus #1, CC explained:

    “We started to do his origin and the story died on us. We set up, we started it rolling, tried to hammer it into something of value, and it died. This happens. Once in a while you’ll run into a story that’s a major dud, it just will not fly, no matter how much air you pipe into the wings. So, we rewrote the ending of the story and instead did one with Rachel Summers, Wolverine and the Hellfire Club, which led up to the Mutant Massacre, which turned out to be a much more powerful and effective storyline.”

    Nightcrawler joined Excalibur in 1988, and Claremont announced in Amazing Heroes #134:

    “One of the storylines we will seriously try to play with is Nightcrawler’s origin. We would’ve done that in X-Men, but the story was such a dud, I decided not to do it. Hopefully now we’ll try again and do it right. Everyone has been wondering why Nightcrawler and Mystique look alike.”

    Plan C: Count Wagner and Mystique Claremont had hit upon the idea that thanks to her shapeshifting mutant abilities, Mystique could be significantly older than previously established. It would be a minor retcon as things go, contradicting a single caption that established her age at 30. But that retcon opened up other possibilities. What if instead of Kurt's sister, she was his mother? That she had tried regarding their connection as simple biology, but upon actually meeting him her emotional barriers were breaking down. ClC planned to keep the connection with Belasco, with Mystique still his daughter(he was the reason for her use of demonic imagery after all, both the skull on her forehead and her skull belt) and Kurt now his grandchild. It was all set to go, until CC got another idea and held off...

    Plan D: Mystique and Destiny Claremont theorized that such were Mystique's shapeshifting abilities that she could form herself completely into a man, to the point of impregnating her longtime love, Destiny. Shooter had been fired as EIC in 1987, but there was still the Comic's Code and it's prohibitions to contended with. But there was a way around that as well...

    X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills was an original graphic novel published in 1982. Whither it was cannon or not was debated for decades. CC's idea was to do Kurt's origin as an OGN, free from the Comics Code. It would be implied to be canon in the comics but not confirmed, leaving room for deniability for purposes of complying with the Comics Code and avoiding protests.

    With Shooter out as EIC, there was a desire at Marvel to explore socially relevant topics previously denied. Homosexuality was a hot-button issue thanks to the A.I.D.S. epidemic and what was then called 'transsexualism' was a popular topic on daytime talk-shows. Marvel liked the idea and sent Claremont off to write the story.

    He quickly ran into a big problem. While Raven's established age was arguably easy to overlook, Irene's was another matter. Her character was well established to not only be old, but quite elderly. CC could play fast-and-lose with her age in a non-cannon story, but the whole idea was to have the story fit as cannon even if they couldn't acknowledge it was. So CC came up with a story that he felt made it all work.

    Mystique was a centuries-old demoness, daughter of Belasco, and Destiny was the young woman she fell in love with and even married(as a man). At some point after Destiny gave birth to their shared child, Kurt, Mystique's demonic powers started to fail and she began to age rapidly. To save her life, Destiny gladly gave up her youth and vitality to Mystique, allowing her to transfer them using sorcerous abilities related to her demonic heritage.

    Marvel balked. Instead of a story centered on Nightcrawler that revealed his origin, he had made Mystique the focus, and all the revelations centered on her. She was hundreds of years old, a demon, a sorceress, Belasco's daughter, husband to Irene and father to Kurt. Add to that Marvel wanted a story grounded in the real world, tackling socially relevant issues like homosexuality and 'transsexualism, connecting that with sorcery and actual demons was not happening. And most people, regardless of political alignment, were then opposed to the idea of 'gay marriage'.

    So Marvel sent CC back to the drawing board with clear instructions. Make Nightcrawler the focus, not Mystique. Take out the stuff involving demons and sorcery and nix the marriage. So CC went back to work on it and Marvel started promotions. Instead of including the story in the existing Marvel Graphic Novel line of original trade paperbacks as they had done with God loves, Man Kills; Marvel felt the story was big enough to warrant an unprecedented standalone release in hardcover format.

    A 64 page Excalibur hardcover graphic novel was announced in Marvel Age Preview #1, to ship in December 1990:

    “Chris Claremont and Alan Davis continue their Excalibur collaboration with the biography of Kurt Wagner – Nightcrawler, from his birth to his rescue at the hands of Charles Xavier. We will finally learn more of the mysterious connection between Nightcrawler and Mystique!”

    And then Claremont came back with 'Hermaphroditic Asexual Reproduction'.

    Plan E: Mystique and Mystique Claremont theorized that while 'Mystique was a blue-skinned woman at her base', thanks to her shapeshifting ability she could 'encompass within herself all that was needed to be both Mother and Father to Kurt'. When asked how exactly Mystique accomplished conceiving a child with herself, CC said it wasn't something that had to be directly addressed. He had solved the problem of Destiny's age by sidestepping it entirely. He also killed any interest Marvel had in doing the story.

    The whole reason for revealing to Kurt that Mystique and Irene were a couple was in the context of revealing Destiny was Kurt's mom, that motivation was gone. Any hope of having a story that was relatable and socially relevant was also out the window. Not too long after, Claremont was gone from Marvel.

    Scott Lobdell tackled Nightcrawlers origin in X-Men Unlimited #4, 1994. Lobdell stated in an interview in Seriejournalen.dk:

    “It was always Chris’ plan that Mystique and Irene Adler (Destiny) were lovers, and that Mystique at one point had transformed into a man and impregnated Destiny and she gave birth to Nightcrawler. So Mystique and Destiny were actually Nightcrawler’s father and mother. The likelihood of either A, Mystique growing genitals with sperm that had a DNA-code, or B, Mystique being a guy who was perpetually in the body of a woman, I thought was pretty slim.”

    Lobdell said that because someone had incorrectly told him that was Claremont's original plan, instead of plan number 4 (of 5).
    Quote Originally Posted by Havok83 View Post
    ^^^^^
    Wow thank you so much for this very informative post!

    That's pretty much how I remember it too... Too bad Claremont's original concept never came to fruition

  8. #203
    Sarveśām Svastir Bhavatu Devaishwarya's Avatar
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    To be honest, after reading that ^^^...the Draco and what we eventually got with this retcon (closer to Plan D) sounds a lot better than what CC was trying to wrack his brains around. They're certainly more simple and comprehensible when compared to "Hermaphroditic Asexual Reproduction" and "Centries Old Demoness"

    One of the things I've realised after reading all the interviews from and about Claremont through the years and reading his work since the early 80's onward is that he really likes to overcomplicate his stories. And sometimes it works but most times it just makes a mess of things and a hindrance.
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  9. #204
    Invincible Member Havok83's Avatar
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    Wow, how did I never realize that Belasco had a tail that looked exactly like Kurt's. I also didnt realize that at one point people speculated that Mystique was his sister, not mother

  10. #205
    The King Fears NO ONE! Triniking1234's Avatar
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    I guess people who knew Mystique from Ms. Marvel probably thought she was his sister. Were Kurt and Raven the only blue people with super powers at the time?
    "Cable was right!"

  11. #206
    Astonishing Member Hulkout42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devaishwarya View Post
    To be honest, after reading that ^^^...the Draco and what we eventually got with this retcon (closer to Plan D) sounds a lot better than what CC was trying to wrack his brains around. They're certainly more simple and comprehensible when compared to "Hermaphroditic Asexual Reproduction" and "Centries Old Demoness"

    One of the things I've realised after reading all the interviews from and about Claremont through the years and reading his work since the early 80's onward is that he really likes to overcomplicate his stories. And sometimes it works but most times it just makes a mess of things and a hindrance.
    I keep hearing about that but i must confess i don't know what it is, can someone please explain what The Draco is and just why is it so disliked?

  12. #207
    Braddock Isle JB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hulkout42 View Post
    I keep hearing about that but i must confess i don't know what it is, can someone please explain what The Draco is and just why is it so disliked?
    "Danielle... I intend to do something rash and violent." - Betsy Braddock
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  13. #208
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hulkout42 View Post
    I keep hearing about that but i must confess i don't know what it is, can someone please explain what The Draco is and just why is it so disliked?
    Kurt was manipulated to become the Pope! And was going to 'splode millions of people by making them eat special confession wafers? For... reasons?

    He and Warren are descended from ancient lines of mutant demons and angels who've been at war over the millenia.

    The brain cells that could relate this tale in greater detail committed suicide years ago and leaked out my ears.

  14. #209
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    Sorry if I missed something. If Destiny was young when she gave birth to Kurt, does it mean he's also very old?

  15. #210
    Invincible Member Havok83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerridwen View Post
    Sorry if I missed something. If Destiny was young when she gave birth to Kurt, does it mean he's also very old?
    No. Her appearance was retconned, not his age

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