Publication Date: 11th Sep 2020
Written By: Monolith and Peter Luzifer.
Image Work: Peter Luzifer and Dean Clayton.


In an alternate reality, Talia Josephine Wagner was born the daughter of Nightcrawler of the X-Men and Scarlet Witch of the Avengers. Little is known about the general background of her reality or her early childhood. Much like in main reality, the Avengers acted as publicly accepted heroes while the X-Men remained outlaws and outcasts, hidden away at the Xavier Institute. It is not known when or how Kurt Wagner and Wanda Maximoff came to fall in love, but nevertheless they did and T.J. was the result. It seems that she spent the majority of her time in the "mutant world" and has rarely mentioned lifelong friends or mentors from among the Mighty Avengers. T.J. apparently grew up in the X-Mansion, learning at the feet of some of the greatest X-Men of any time, including Cyclops, Jean Grey, Wolverine, Kate Pryde and, of course, her father.

At least by the time of Talia's teenage years, Nightcrawler and the Scarlet Witch seemed to be living apart at their separate team headquarters, but were still very much in love. T.J. also attended public school, going to the local Kennedy High School, where she apparently did not use an image inducer to hide her appearance or identity. Presumably, it was also at Kennedy High where she met some musically-inclined fellow students, and they decided to form a band called the Butt Monkeys, dedicated to "neo-techno thrash" music.

As Talia developed her own mutant abilities in addition to the physical skills she inherited from her father, she adopted the codename Nocturne and quickly rose through the New Mutants training program to become one of the youngest active X-Men of her time. Everything wasn't perfect in Nocturne’s reality, however. At one point, Wolverine was taken over by the Shadow King in an attempt to murder Professor X. He was tragically successful and, worse, the professor's last defensive act was a psychic assault that left Logan nearly paralyzed from the neck down. Cyclops could not forgive Wolverine for this act, even after he was freed from Farouk's control, and after Jean Grey died in an unrelated incident some time afterwards, the first X-Man went completely around the bend and abandoned his mentor's cause out of grief and rage.

Active as an X-Man sometime following all this madness, Nocturne was part of a small roster led by her father and consisting only of the Phoenix Force, Shadowcat and Thunderbird. The team was now coordinated by Wolverine at a distance from the mansion, using TK-chips implanted in their heads so that Logan could mentally transmit commands and strategy to the field, backing up Nightcrawler's on-site tactics. In one critical mission, the X-Men were pitted against Apocalypse and the dual threats of his chronal disrupter device and his newly-minted son, Armageddon. Fortunately enough for the heroes, Armageddon chose to reject his father's teachings and aided the X-Men against the immortal mutant. In the aftermath of the chronal disrupter's destruction, however, Kate Pryde was mysteriously gone and Kitty Pryde sat in her place, only a few weeks into her training as an X-Man. Nocturne thus found herself in the unlikely position of being a tour guide and "big sister" to the young woman she once knew as "Aunt Kate."

The very next day, as Armageddon and Sprite adjusted to their new places in the X-Men, a vengeful Cyclops returned with his own Brotherhood, determined to cleanse his mentor's home of the man's murderer... and anyone else who stood by his side. Cyclops' team tore through the X-Men, with casualties and injured on both sides, until a barely conscious Nocturne was all that stood between Cyclops and the crippled and helpless Wolverine. Unable to reach them in time to stop Scott from killing Logan, she possessed the unconscious Armageddon and used his telekinetic powers to animate Logan and pop his claws into Cyclops’ chest, ending the fight. In the months that followed, Nocturne would continue to act as a mentor to young Kitty, and a growing attraction between her and James Proudstar, Thunderbird, developed into a full-swing romance. [Exiles (1st series) #41-42]

One night, Talia was awakened from her sleep when she was teleported to a desert outside of time and space. There she met a group of similarly displaced mutants, alternate versions of Mimic, Morph, Blink, Thunderbird and a son of Rogue and Magneto calling himself Magnus. They were confronted by an entity calling itself the Timebroker, who claimed they had all become undone in time, as part of a natural defense mechanism of the timestream to deal with breaks in its structure. Certain unwarranted events had occurred across multiple timelines, creating a domino effect of negative consequences that were rippling through adjacent timelines throughout the multiverse. T.J. and the others present had each suffered such a "break" in their personal histories. In her case, Talia's timeline had been altered so that Nightcrawler was killed in battle with the Hellfire Club by her grandmother, Mystique.

In order to fix these breaks, the timestream (supposedly acting through the Timebroker) had gathered these mutant heroes for the purpose of traveling to different broken timelines and fixing them, undoing whatever negative circumstance was causing the break there. Doing so would create healing ripples through the timestream which, according to the Timebroker, would eventually fix their own timelines in the process. They were placed in a form of metabolic stasis, which prevented them from aging during their travels, and were told they would return to the exact moment they left once their personal timeline was properly repaired. However, failure or death would result in their damaged timelines remaining permanently altered. With a guiding instrument known as the Tallus attached to Blink, Nocturne and the others set off on their mission to repair the timestream, soon adopting the group name of the Exiles. [Blink #4, Exiles (1st series) #1]

Their first mission proved to be a difficult tutorial in the concept of alternate realities, however, as they cluelessly unleashed a mass-murdering version of Charles Xavier on the world, having expected his background to resemble their memories of him. This lesson cost them not only one of their teammates but also sent 250,000 people into brain death, thanks to Xavier's actions. The next reality proved to be little better, as they were tasked with ensuring than Jean Grey died in a version of the Trial of the Phoenix. T.J. had serious reservations about going into battle, not only intending to cause the death of a woman she called "Aunt Jean" but also against a younger version of her own father. Still, she persevered and did what had to be done. [Exiles (1st series) #2-4]

Talia found herself drawn to Thunderbird, the loner on the team. She had been dating his brother, James, back in her reality and it was interesting how alike they were. On their next mission, the Exiles spent a considerable amount of time just sitting around Department H with Alpha Flight, trying to find signs of the Hulk. While they were waiting, T.J. and John spent quite a bit of time hanging out and getting to know one another, and he even opened up to her a bit about the tremendous emotional pain he suffered, being a survivor of Apocalypse's brainwashing and bio-engineering as a Horseman. After he succeeded in knocking out the Hulk on his own, Nocturne even gave him a kiss later on, when they were talking about their respective versions of James Proudstar. [Exiles (1st series) #16]

This kiss was a spark that began serious romantic feelings between the two of them - T.J. found herself dreaming about John instead of James at night, and even propositioned Thunderbird a few weeks and a half-dozen realities later. John turned her down cold, claiming not to want "distractions" or "emotional entanglements" during their missions. Nocturne was furious at his rejection, and wouldn't even speak to him until the next mission, when T-Bird explained himself more fully. He was so full of self-loathing after what Apocalypse did to him that he considered himself a monster, and couldn't even understand why she wanted to be with him. T.J. understood his rejection better now, and was able to assure him that she truly wanted him, and no one else. They became lovers and seemed to be at least moderately happy over the next few worlds. [Exiles (1st series) #7, 16]

Then, however, the Exiles were captured on a world ruled by the Skrulls and forced to compete in arena games for the amusement of their hosts. While Blink and Morph remained free, Talia, Thunderbird and the others were prisoners of the Skrulls for over a month. Forced to fight for their very right to eat and live every day, things became even more complicated for T.J. when she found out she was pregnant. She and John had apparently continued their relationship in the downtime given to the contenders, and now they were going to have a baby. Shortly after she learned of her condition, the arena warriors were unexpectedly freed from Skrull tyranny when the entire race suddenly evacuated the planet in a matter of hours, as Galactus was coming.

Reunited, the Exiles did their best to prepare the superhumans for war with the Planet-Eater, including raiding some of the weapon depots the Skrulls left behind. However, ultimately this did little more than delay him. Despite Thunderbird's misgivings, Nocturne volunteered to pilot a Skrull ship in battle to 

help pinpoint Galactus' position and triangulate the various weapon systems. It was a dangerous mission but, tragically, Talia ended up far safer than John.Thunderbird sacrificedhimself in order to plunge an anti-matter bomb into Galactus' armor, setting off a chain reaction in the entity's energy form. He saved the day and drove off the Planet-Eater, but at great cost to himself. T-Bird was clinically comatose, trapped in a vegetative state and relying on life support in order to keep his body functioning, and he probably would never wake up. Talia was determined to stay by his side no matter what, but the Timebroker had other ideas and sent the Exiles on to their next mission with a new member, Sasquatch, leaving Thunderbird behind on the Skrull-world. [Exiles (1st series) #8-10, 16]