The most terrifying member of the X-Men from across the Multiverse was also the most twisted version of Nightcrawler that fans have ever seen.
The Marvel Multiverse has long served as a window into the lives that could have been for fans’ favorite characters. Unfortunately for those iconic figures, these alternate histories often prove to be far worse than the lives they are used to. More often than not, the glimpses of the realities outside the primary Marvel Universe are more disastrous than fantastic, especially when the two collide. This has never been truer than in the case of the Bamf Dragon, who just so happens to be the strangest and most tragic Nightcrawler of them all.
Kurt Wagner aka Nightcrawler has been a fan-favorite member of the X-Men for decades. Nightcrawler’s willingness to push himself farther and fight harder in the direst situations speaks to just how much he cares for the family he has found in his fellow mutants. During 2015’s Inferno #1 by Dannis Hallum and Javier Garron, it would be that same dedication that ultimately brought Nightcrawlers life as he knew it to a devastating end. This particular timeline spun out of the Multiverse shattering events of Secret Wars, where the X-Men were unable to save Manhattan from the Demonic Horde led by their own Illyana Rasputin aka Darkchild. In the fifth year of the fighting, Kurt was captured by the Darkchild and the demon N’astirh. They used their infernal powers to transform Nightcrawler into the most wicked version of himself yet.
The evil influence Darkchild spread throughout Kurt Wagner didn’t just change his physical form, it supposedly destroyed his very soul. For one of the most pious mutants in the world, that was the worst fate imaginable. Although this world’s Jean Grey would try to connect with Kurt, her own attempts would be dwarfed by those of Madelyne Pryor, the Goblin Queen of the Inferno’s reality. Of course, Multiversal shakeups are frequent in the Marvel Universe, yet not even reality being put back together as it should be would erase the Bamf Dragon from the timeline.
Somehow after the Multiverse was repaired from the state it had been left in during Secret Wars, Madelyne Pryor and the Bamf Dragon found themselves stranded in the Primary Marvel Universe’s Limbo. Once the time-displaced Hank McCoy turned to the Mystic Arts for help with his own problems, however, the Goblin Queen and her army were given a chance to cross over into our world. Luckily, Hank’s control over magic allowed him to banish Madelyne and the others before they could lay waste to our world in the pages of 2017’s X-Men: Blue #12 by Cullen Bunn and Douglas Franchin. This event seemed to have sealed away the threat of the Bamf Dragon for good, if only it weren’t for the Mystic Beast persisting as a potential future for Hank McCoy.
Even if Beast doesn’t turn back towards his mystic tactics anytime soon, there are plenty of opportunities for the Goblin Queen and Bamf Dragon to return to the primary Marvel Universe. As long as Limbo has been a viable location, the X-Men will always be inextricably tied to it in one way or another. Most often that connection comes in the form of Illyana Rasputin, though she isn’t the only mystically inclined figure in mutant kind’s corner of the world. After the events of X of Swords, the mutants of Krakoa and the denizens of Otherworld have never been closer, with the upcoming Knights of X standing poised to bridge that gap even further. Assuming the Bamf Dragon hasn’t found itself flung farther than Limbo, there is no reason to think it wouldn’t be able to slither back into the primary Marvel Universe should that particular path open up again.
The Bamf Dragon may not have spent much time in the spotlight, but that doesn’t take away from the impact he left in his wake. Of all the myriad versions of Kurt Wagner across the Multiverse, his draconic, demonic form stands out as the most menacing by far. Even though there isn’t any certainty as to whether the Bamf Dragon will be returning to the primary Marvel Universe with the mutants of Krakoa’s constant connection to magic it seems like it’s only a matter of time.
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