Nightcrawler (1st series) #1

Issue Date: 
November 1985
Story Title: 
How much is that Boggie in the window?

Dave Cockrum (writer/ artist), Paty Cockrum (colorist), Jim Novak (Letterer), Ann Nocenti (editor), Jim Shooter (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

Nightcrawler tells Kitty of an adventure he had when he first joined the X-Men to illustrate his point that he needs to keep his physical skills up to date even though he has teleportation power available all the time. He tells Kitty when he went to rescue the Vanisher and describes a place known as the well at the center of time. Kurt’s description intrigues Kitty and she decides to create a mock up in the Danger Room.
Instead, Kitty creates the real item and she and Illyana watch in horror as a green tentacled creature takes Lockheed and Kurt jumps in to rescue the small pet dragon.
Kurt and Lockheed find themselves aboard a sky sailing ship where they are greeted as “Boggie and his frumious bandersnitch” by the crew. Kurt and Lockheed are eventually accepted as members of the crew. However, at the first battle, Kurt discovers he is aboard a pirate ship and does everything he can to rescue the royal vessel they are attempting to board. Kurt manages to end the battle early but teleports himself and Lockheed aboard the royal vessel where they receive a similar welcome. Kurt asks to be taken to the vessels next port where he and Lockheed can start a life of their own. Many weeks have gone by and he wants to find a way to return back to his friends. Kurt also meets the royal personage only to discover that his contact with her is not wanted and he and Lockheed are told to stay at the front of the royal vessel till they reach port.
Once the vessel docks, Kurt watches as the royal female disembarks and then teleports himself and Lockheed to stand in front of her to once again offer their services. Instead, they are offered a bag of gold as repayment for saving her from the pirates. Kurt refuses to accept that bag of gold and teleports off to a marketplace where he and Lockheed are once again greeted with fear.
Nightcrawler teleports himself and Lockheed to the top of a building where they spot a red hooded robe hanging on someone’s wash line. They take the robe to hide themselves from the populace of this port city. Once hidden in the robe, they are free to walk among the other citizens without causing such a fuss and drawing negative attention to themselves.
A girl approaches them and claims that she needs their help as bandits have robbed her and her brother and he has been gravely wounded. Kurt and Lockheed follow her some distance into the alleyways before he questions her story more closely. While talking to her, he is hit by a club from behind. Lockheed hears the familiar voice of the pirate Captain paying the girl and attacks the pirates. A crewmember knocks the dragon unconscious by hitting him from behind with a large serving platter.
The next time the two of them regain consciousness they are aboard yet another sky sailing ship. This creature reveals himself as a sharklike being and calls himself SSSgreen the Sorcerer. He claims to own Kurt body and souls as he knocks them once again into unconsciousness with a green blast of energy from his crystal topped staff.

Full Summary: 

The Danger Room:

Most of the mutants attending Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters are out for the day with the exception of three: Kurt Wagner, Illyana Rasputin, and Kitty Pryde. Nightcrawler is currently engaged in a training session in the danger room. He is dodging small missiles as Kitty and Illyana look on from the safety of the control room.

Control Room:
Kitty tells Nightcrawler to add some speed to his maneuvers before he gets hit with a missile. Illyana states that phase three is beginning, with missiles, obstacles and a stun charge activated on the floor of the danger room. Illyana innocently asks Kitty why Nightcrawler is not using his teleporting abilities. Illyana voices her opinion that his athletic skills are already so phenomenal that he really does not need to work on them anymore.

Danger Room:

Missiles are chasing Nightcrawler as he does a series of acrobatics through hoops. He hopes a change of direction will throw them off track, but his strategy does not work. Nightcrawler is wondering what to do next and the missiles streak towards him. He sees the guillotine gate open and jumps through the opening. The guillotine blade slams home and the missiles burst against the closed gate. Nightcrawler looks relieved as he is safely on the other side of the gate.

Control Room:

Nightcrawler teleports to the control room where Kitty hands him a towel. Kitty asks Kurt why he does the “no Bamf” routines when in reality his power is permanently available to him. Kurt agrees with her, his power is always available for him to use.
Then he proceeds to regale Kitty and Illyana about an adventure he had during his early days with the X-Men. He claims that during this adventure he was not able to teleport. He tells them of the day when Cerebro detected “half a mutant” located in Poughkeepsie.

The X-Men flew out to investigate and discovered the Vanisher trapped halfway into a space warp. The Vanisher was struggling but unable to free himself from this predicament. The Vanisher stated that the Russian super heroine Darkstar had trapped him by utilizing her Darkforce Power as he attempted to teleport. While attempting to free the Vanisher, Nightcrawler accidentally touched him enabling the Darkforce to effect both their teleporting powers and send them hurtling across the dimensions to a weird undiscovered world. After failed attempts at teleporting by both the trapped mutants, Kurt told the Vanisher that as long as they were in this particular location together their powers would cancel each other out.
Kurt tells the girls that he and the Vanisher were finally able to return home after they found a meta-physical phenomenon. This phenomenon “exists simultaneously in all times and in all worlds and dimensions”.
It is generally referred to as the well at the center of time. Kurt states that if he and the Vanisher had not made this discovery they might well be trapped in that world forever.

Kitty is in absolute awe of the concept of a well through the center of time. She decides she would like to create a simulacrum of the well in the danger room. Kurt gives Kitty a detailed description. She develops specific parameters based on that description and proceeds to program them into danger room computer. The astonished onlookers observe swirling energies that begin to take on a shape on the floor of the danger room. Kurt and Illyana are memorized at the detail of reality that has been created. Especially Kurt, since he has seen the real thing.

Danger Room:

Nightcrawler teleports from the control room and appears near Kitty’s creation. Kitty and Illyana follow through the door of the danger room with Lockheed flying close by. They are all admiring how truly real the simulation appears when Lockheed spots a movement from the center of the well. Lockheed “gnarfs” protectively at the well. Suddenly a green tentacle appears from out of the well and wraps itself around Lockheed, and begins to drag the small dragon into the anomaly. Kitty suddenly realizes her creation is indeed real. Nightcrawler tells Kitty and Illyana to stay back because somehow the real well has materialized.

Nightcrawler jumps into the well after Lockheed. His plan is to grab Lockheed and teleport out. Nightcrawler latches on to a struggling Lockheed but he can’t seem to get the small dragon loose. The creature directs two more of its green tentacles in Nightcrawler’s direction.
Meanwhile in the Danger Room, a floodlight blinds Kitty and Illyana. Then the light dims. Kitty and Illyana watch, horrified, as the well collapses into nothing right before their eyes.

Inside the Well at the Center of Time:

Lockheed and Nightcrawler are being held tightly in the grip of a green multi-tentacled creature. Nightcrawler struggles with the tentacles and cannot reach Lockheed. He has also been observing the alien looking landscape below for a place to teleport too. He finally decides the safest place to teleport too is the top of the green creatures balloon like body. Lockheed, meanwhile, decides to deal with the creature in his own way. Lockheed bites hard on the tentacle holding him captive. The green creature reacts quickly to the pain and releases the small dragon. However, Lockheed isn’t through demonstrating his point, he flies up to where the green tentacles connect to the green balloon-like body and launches his fire breath tight into the creatures two large red eyes. The creature responds immediately by taking off and leaving a black-inky cloud in its wake. This action also leaves Nightcrawler in mid-air. Lockheed sees the danger that Nightcrawler is in and latches onto his tail in attempt to stabilize his fall. Nightcrawler thanks Lockheed for trying and points out that he weighs a bit more than Lockheed can safely carry at his size.

Nightcrawler realizes that he ahs a long way to fall and knows that his probability of dying is extremely high if things don’t change soon. Suddenly, Nightcrawler sees a sailing ship, all sails billowed, sailing across the sky below him. He thinks the ship is close enough for him and Lockheed to teleport to the deck with injury. Unfortunately, Nightcrawler misjudges the distance and to the astonishment of the crew, they materialize ten feet over the deck, Nightcrawlers weight (being tugged on by gravity) is enough to send them crashing into the deck below, causing wooden planks to splinter and fly in all directions.

The crew verbalize to the officer on deck that the ship has just been attacked. The Officer on deck disagrees and states that a figure has just fallen from the sky. Nightcrawler recovers himself, and assured that Lockheed is not injured, proceeds to climb out of the hole and onto the deck of the wooden flying ship. One of the crew immediately points at Nightcrawler and claims to his shipmates that he has found the “Great Boggie”. Another crew member nearby adds “and his frumious bandersnitch!” while pointing at Lockheed. Nightcrawler sees the crew staring at them so he decides to break the ice by asking permission to come aboard. The innocent question is followed by shouts of “Grab it, Keelhaul it, Kill it”. Nightcrawler replies “Goodbye to you all” and bamfs them to the higher deck on the ship to get away from the unpredictable mob the crew has turned into. Unfortunately, this lands them on the cabin deck in front of the officer who points a pistol at them and commands them to stay still and identify themselves or be shot. The Officer identifies himself first as Captain Long John Mc Gurk. The Captain uses the term “Boggie” to identify Nightcrawler. Nightcrawler denies that he is a “Boggie” or even knowing what one is and attempts to explain to the Captain the proceeding events that have landed himself and the small dragon in this particular situation.

The Captain tells the unfortunate mutant that he has heard rumors of others who have fallen from the sky and asks for a name. Kurt tells him his first name and says that his friends call him Nightcrawler. The Captain states he understands where the nickname comes from and asks what he can do to earn his keep above a ship to justify keeping him on as part of the crew. One of the crew makes a smart remark about Kurt being signed on as ships “Boggie” but the Captain tells him to keep his comments to himself. Kurt tells the Captain the only ship he knows anything sailing is a water ship. Kurt also claims to have some medical skills, skill with a blade, ability to do odd jobs as well as a few parlor tricks.

Danger Room:

Kitty is stressing over using losing Kurt and Lockheed to a dimensional warp that she alone created. She just knows that Professor X is going to pronounce a severe penalty on her for this careless behavior. Illyana assures her best friend that it was not her fault. Lockheed chose to investigate what they all thought to be an artificial creation. Kitty tells her that in order to recover her lost friends she needs to recreate the same conditions in the danger room. Illyana expresses a willingness to help and Kitty tells her to “cross her fingers and toes for good luck.

Aboard the skysailing ship:

Kurt marks the days aboard the ship. so far, the days have totaled up to about a week in this new world. He does not realize that to Illyana and Kitty he and Lockheed have only been absent a few moments. Kurt has not given up hope of a rescue but he has begun making a life for himself in this strange new world. Kurt has taught his fellow crewmates the age-old game of poker. One of his newfound friends kids him on winning everyone’s back wages and another calls for a change of game. A lookouts warning cry: “a sighted sail shi, possibly a royal barge”, interrupts their natural flow of conversation. Instantly, all of the would-be card players explode into action. Some race for battle stations and some to make the sails and sailing gear battle ready. Kurt observes the preparations and shouted orders going on around him in disbelief. Lockheed perches nearby Kurt at all times.

The newly sighted ship, royal barge O’ Bel Amee Anora, switches to auxiliary power as all batteries are armed and manned. The ship Kurt is aboard, T’ar Javinee, moves to intercept its newfound prey. Captain Mc Gurk shouts to his crew that the other ship is flying pennants that indicate there is a member of the royal family aboard. All weapons are ordered aimed at the vulnerable royal shyship. One of the crew shouts his joy at the prospect of a Royal Ransom. (Very slowly, reality is beginning to dawn in Kurt’s new world as he realizes his fellow crewmates are very serious about attacking the other skyship.) The Captain agrees with his sailor and orders the shock cannon manned and ready for use. The Captain shouts at the barge to lower their sails and pennants to prepare to be boarded. The Royal Barge Swiftly answers his request with a shot across the bow. The Captain responds buy ordering his ship brought parallel to the royal barge and orders his crew to engage the battle.

Nightcrawler watches in absolute horror as streaks of flame from the T’ar Javinee, rips into the hull of the O’ Bel Amee Anora. The royal barges weaponry is all but destroyed by a few well-placed shots. The last week he has spent with the crew brings to Nightcrawler’s mind an Errol Flynn movie “The Sea Hawk of Captain Blood”. For the past week has been a happy one. In that same instant, he realizes that instead of protecting the innocents aboard the royal barge he and Lockheed have found themselves on the ship of the pirates. He knows that somehow the two of them must find a way to stop this attack and let the royal barge go on its way.

Nightcrawler (with Lockheed in tow) decides to take direct action by confronting Captain Mc Gurk and demanding that the attack be halted. Mc Gurks’ response is swift and brutal. Nightcrawler is knocked to the deck and reminded of his status as a “Boggie” in this reality. The Captain claims that raids are normal business for this crew and the “Boggie” voluntarily agreed to follow ships orders as well as ships discipline when he became on of the crew. Mc Gurk orders him back to his station upon threat of being run through with a sword. When the Captain yells at him to “move” he already has a plan in mind.

Nightcrawler bamfs himself and Lockheed up to the shock cannon and takes his fellow crewmates unawares. The surprised crewmen are tossed down to the deck below. Nightcrawler aims the shock cannon at the main mast. He once again requests that the Captain call off the attack only to be met with another negative answer. Nightcrawler is forced the fire large cannon at the main mast thereby crippling his own ship. Then he and Lockheed bamf. The Captain is shocked and furious but calls off the attack. The enraged Captain orders his crew to begin repairs immediately and orders his navigator to set a course after the fleeing barge. The Captain also takes an oath of revenge against the “Boggie”.

Aboard the royal Barge:

As Nightcrawler materializes aboard the fleeing ship he overhears the crew report to its Captain that all fires are under control and repairs are also underway. Several of the crewmembers notice him and Lockheed. The pair is once again greeted with the all to familiar crys of “Boggie, and his frumiouse bandersnitch”. Undaunted, Kurt explains how he got aboard the pirate ship and managed to stop the attack. He refers to himself and Lockheed with the well known term castaway and requests a ride to the royal barges home port where they plans to settle down until a way can be found for them to return to their true home.
Nightcrawler and Lockheed are shocked to here the familiar voice of a young lady ask the captain if the danger is over. The young woman tells the Captain that she is anxious to continue on her voyage. To the ships visitors eyes this young lady, clad in an ornately decorated silver bikini with silver sandals and a long flowing silvery cape, resembles Kitty Pryde and they can’t help staring at her. Kurt is quick to introduce himself and offer their services. The young woman is startled as are her bodyguards. Kurt and Lockheed are informed by one of the guards that she is known as the “Jinjay” and is approached by “no one”, especially “Boggies”. The Jinjay’s personal bodyguards escort her back to her quarters and away form the controversial meeting.

The Captain tells Kurt that even if he is not a “Boggie” but only looks like one that “historically none of the Jinjays have ever had any dealings with one”. Kurt definitely is beginning to get the impression that “Boggies” or any creature resembling one, are not truly welcome anywhere in this strange world.

The Captain tells Kurt and Lockheed they are welcome to ride on the front of the boat, as the ship will be docking at its destination in a few hours. However, he is admonished sternly to stay away from the Jinjay while aboard this ship.

Kurt and Lockheed make their way to the front of the ship. Kurt has plenty of time during the next few hours to contemplate their predicament. It seems to him that he is destined to be a “Boggie”, even to people he has just rescued from a pirate attack. He decides that this would not bother him so much is her knew what a “Boggie” actually was.

Bel Amee Anora:

A Cry of “Bel Amee Anora” issued by the ships lookout from high up in the crows nest, awakens him from his afternoon of silently contemplating this reality. Nightcrawler sees the most amazing sight he has ever seen. Before him is a floating, fairy-tale-like city in the sky. Lesser escort ships greet the great sky sailing ship and assist it in docking easily into its large birth.

Kurt and Lockheed observe the Jinjay and her retinue or personal bodyguards disembark from the ship. He believes that he needs to apologize to the Jinjay and this will be his last opportunity to do so. Nightcrawler bamfs from the ships deck, only to suddenly appear in front of the startled Jinjay and her shocked retinue.

Quickly the Captain of the guard takes control of the situation by ordering two guards under his command to escort the Jinjay away from the “Boggie”. Nightcrawler hurriedly explains that he is simply a traveler who has lost his way and expresses a willingness to further serve the Jinjay. As Kurt finishes the hurried apology another guard blocks his way and sternly reminds him that he is forbidden from approaching the royal personage. Nightcrawler reminds the guard that he is not an enemy and offers his past actions as proof. Kurt thinks that once he is understood he will have a special privilege in this reality.

Another important looking person approaches and introduces himself to Nightcrawler as the Lord Chamberlain of Bel Amee Anora. The Lord chamberlain states that he understands Kurt’s position and has been instructed to offer thanks, in addition to compensation in gold, for his part in saving the Jinjay from the pirates. He kindly states that Nightcrawler’s services are no longer needed and offers the bag of gold coins to Kurt.

Nightcrawler, however, finds this idea of payment rather insulting. He angrily states that his loyalties are freely given and cannot be bought for any price. He slaps the bag of gold, knocking it from the Lord Chamberlains hand onto the ground. Immediately after committing this insulting action Nightcrawler and Lockheed bamf for parts unknown.

Nightcrawler’s smoke is still hanging in the air as two guards come running from the direction the Jinjay was taken. They are shouting for attention from the Lord Chamberlain as they run. The Captain of the guard quickly explains that the Jinjay has been abducted by a group of hooded men as she was being escorted from the wharf. The Captain claims that all his men were slain during the attack and he is the lone survivor.

Elsewhere in the City:

Nightcrawler bamfs himself and Lockheed three to four times before finally stopping for a rest. He looks at his surroundings, which appear to be a bizarre or flea market of some type. However, the crowd of shoppers reacts predictably and cries of “Boggie and his frumious bandersnitch” fall once again upon his ears. Nightcrawler hurriedly bamfs himself and Lockheed to yet another location, only to hear cries of “Catch it, kill it, run away from it”.

Kurt is finally beginning to think that a “Boggie” must resemble him and use a mode of transport similar to his teleportation ability. He realizes that if he and Lockheed want ot be able to walk down the streets of this word safely they are going to need a disguise of some sort. Kurt teleports himself and his companion to another vantage point high above the city crowds and sees a red robe hanging on a wash line. He wastes no time in snatching this item and utilizing it for just that purpose. Kurt invites the tiny dragon to share his hood and gives a gentle reminder to have the tail removed from his face. Kurt them clasps his hands in front of him, which places the two long, sleeves together. Now they are finally free to walk the city streets of Bel Amee Anora without causing such a fuss.

Kurt chooses a direction and begins his lonely trek. As he walks, he once again begins to puzzle over the mystery of how Kitty materialized the real well in the center of time. Somehow she managed to use the computer to create it right there in the Danger Room. As Kurt is lost in his own thought, a young lady disturbs him, look of panic on her face, racing toward him and begging him for help. She tells Kurt that bandits accosted her and her brother and her brother was mortally wounded. Kurt agrees to help and follows her as she slips deeper into the alleyways to return to her dying brother.

Kurt is beginning to worry and politely asks what she and her brother were doing in “such a dark alleyway?”. The girl frantically explains that they took a shortcut home because their mother is sick, when they were attacked. Kurt glances up and down the alley but sees no one so he finally asks “Where is your brother?”. He fails to hear someone sneaking up behind him. The blow to the back of his head comes swift and sure. Nightcrawler crumples to the ground taking Lockheed with him.

Lockheed overhears their captors speaking of their fate. The Pirates ships Captain states he knows how to get even with the “Boggie” and turn a prophet as well. He thanks the girl for her part in capturing the “Boggie”. This is all Lockheed needs to hear; with a roar the tiny dragon escapes and attempts to attack their captures. A member of the pirate crew manages to get behind Lockheed and use a large bronze-serving platter to knock the small dragon into oblivion.

New Sky Ship:

Many hours later, Lockheed and Nightcrawler find themselves waking up on the deck of another sky sailing ship. However, this p[particular ship is attached to a green, squidlike-ballon creature that serves as its propulsion, instead of just relying on the wind for power.
Nightcrawler struggles to his feet only to find himself facing three mysterious figures covered in identical hooded purple robes. One of the robed figures is seated on a large bronze throne. Nightcrawler assumes this figure is the leader and addresses it as such. Nightcrawler requests to know the identities of the robed figures and where he and Lockheed are being taken.
The hooded robed figure grasps a crystal ball topped staff and stands. The figure then lowers its hoods and hisses “Boggie, see the face of your master and despair!”. The figure is revealed to be a shark-shaped being with two arms and two legs. The being has a huge dorsal fin in the middle of its back and smaller dorsal fins located behind and below the elbow and knee joints. This creature does not resemble any alien being Nightcrawler has seen before. The being is light purple with grey-blue highlights.

Nightcrawler is quick to point out that he is not a “Boggie” and that this being is not his master. He states this as he and Lockheed rush toward the creature. Before he can finish his reply he and Lockheed are struck by a green beam of energy from the creatures staff and are once again knocked senseless to the deck of the ship

As Nightcrawler and Lockheed are on their way to dreamland, they hear the creature state that oits name is SSShogreen the Sorcerer. They are also informed that the standard “boggie tricks” will not do them any good in this situation. The creature makes sure that Kurt hears it say it possesses him both body and soul.

Characters Involved: 

Shadowcat, Nightcrawler (both X-Men)

Magik (New Mutant)

Lockheed (Kitty’s pet dragon)

The Captain and crew of the royal barge O’ Bel Amee Anora

The Jinjay and her bodyguards

Captain of the Jinjay’s bodyguards

The Captain and crews of the escort ships

The Citizens of Bel Amee Anora

Lord Chamberlain of Bel Amee Anora

Captain Long John Mac Gurk (captain of the pirate ship T’ar Javinee)

Crew of the T’ar Javinee

Story Notes: 

The term “frumious bandersnatch” derives from Lewis Carroll’s famous poem “Jabberwocky”.
The adventure with the Vanisher Nightcrawler refers to took place in Bizarre Adventures #27.
This series takes place between Uncanny X-Men #194 and 196.

Issue Information: 
Written By: