Nightcrawler (1st series) #3

Issue Date: 
January 1986
Story Title: 
To BAMF or not to BAMF!

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

Brief Description: 

Nightcrawler and Lockheed find themselves talking to a child-sized boggie. This boggie tells them they are on Bamf Island and invites them to see Bamf City. The small Bamf refers to Kurt as “Daddy” because he is the biggest Bamf ever seen on the island. Kurt and Lockheed accompany the small Bamf back to the cityIn the City, Kurt finds himself surrounded by thousands of smaller Bamfs and is herded up onto a stage for presentation to the community. However, Shagreen the Sorcerer appears with other ideas. The Sorcerer attempts to blast Kurt with magic only to discover this does not work as Kurt is standing on a spell stone. Shagreen changes plans and kidnaps all of the smaller Bamfs while issuing a challenge to Kurt to meet him at the Fangs of Doom. The small Bamf Kurt first met is hiding behind him and is not kidnapped. The two friends search the city only to discover that everyone is missing. The child-sized Bamf says they must call a friend to transport them across the Misty Sea to Fangs of Doom. After placing the call by blowing on large horns, they meet up with this reality’s version of Wolverine called “Mean”. A full size dragon that calls himself Lockheed answers the call. The large Lockheed agrees to transport all of them, including small Lockheed, to Fangs of Doom in order to rescue the small Bamfs. On the way across the Misty Sea, they spot a pirate ship, which just happens to belong to Kitty and Colossus. Kurt can’t help recalling the fairytale that he overheard Kitty telling Illyana in his own time frame. Soon, everyone is aboard full size Lockheed. Near Fangs of Doom, full size Lockheed is attacked from the water by a tentacled creature causing the passengers to plunge into the sea and swim for shore. The two teleporters discover that Shagreen is once again using his anti-teleportation spell so their powers will not work. Once on shore, carnivorous flying bats that Kitty refers to as Dreadwings set upon the six friends. During the fight, Kitty, with small Lockheed around her neck, is taken by the Dreadwings and flown to the castle visible in the distance. Colossus vows to rescue her and the four friends proceed toward the castle. Meanwhile, Illyana and Kitty accidentally transport the small Bamf into their time and have to return him immediately. Inside the castle, Colossus triggers a trap causing a large square boulder to drop on him. He smashes his way out unhurt. The friends continue on their quest. Kurt turns in time to see his friends disappear, their places taken by an enormous, Dark Bamf. Kurt utilizes all his acrobatic skill to avoid being captured by this creature, but to no avail. Everyone is captured and chained to a post in a sacrificial room facing Shagreen the Sorcerer.
. Meanwhile, Illyana and Kitty are still working a way to bring Kurt and Lockheed home.

Full Summary: 

Right after exiting from The Well at the Center of Time Nightcrawler finds himself seated on the grass with Lockheed perched on his shoulder listening to a very excited child-sized boggie. Both have confused expressions as the child-sized boggie goes on excitedly to welcome daddy home. The child-sized boggie tells Nightcrawler that he is a Bamf and they are now on Bamf Island.
Nightcrawler thinks back and remembers the Bamfs Kitty imagined for the fairytale she once told Illyana. The child-sized Bamf insists that he is not made up and that the Bamfs live right here on Bamf Island. It also insists on referring to Kurt as daddy.

Kurt asks the child-sized Bamf why he is referred to as daddy. It explains that Kurt is three times bigger than any Bamf it has seen before so that makes him the daddy. Kurt agrees with him there. The child-sized Bamf says that Kurt should follow him back to their hometown so everyone can meet the daddy Bamf. Kurt agrees and the child-sized Bamf disappears leaving behind a gagging Kurt, who hopes he does not smell like this when he teleports because it would be embarrassing. Kurt thinks to himself that he knows now how Alice felt when she went down the hole after the white rabbit. This causes Kurt to reflect back on the events since he disappeared from Earth.

All too soon, the child-sized Bamf returns to find out why he wasn’t followed. Kurt explains that he cannot teleport to a place he has not seen. The child-sized Bamf tells Kurt that he sure is going to have fun because their houses have no doors. Kurt says he is very funny and asks the Bamf his name. The child says they do not have names because they always know who they are. The child-sized Bamf points the way and they walk off to the city of Bamf together. Lockheed flies through the air to follow them. On the way, Kurt thinks he sees small girls with wings and asks the child-sized Bamf about them. The child-sized Bamf says the girls are called Pinis and they are cute but way too small.

The City of Bamf

Nightcrawler is astonished at the sight that greets his eyes. The houses appear to be giant puffballs. The child who says that if they need a new house they just grow one confirms this. The child calls the other Bamfs out and before Kurt knows it, he is surrounded by thousands of other creatures like himself, but smaller. The whole crowd is repeatedly shouting “DADDY”. The crowd takes no notice of Lockheed flying around.

Danger Room Control Booth

Kitty is lamenting over her latest failure to grab Kurt and Lockheed. Each time she tries, she is sure she has him but he always slips away. Illyana comments that Kurt is getting further and further away from them. Exasperated, Kitty tells Illyana if she can think of something else to try then please share it. All Illyana can reply is ‘Umm…’

City of Bamf

Nightcrawler finds himself herded up on a stage in front of an excited throng. He sees a crowd of little blue Bamfs as far as his eyes can see. He finds the situation extremely overwhelming. He starts to tell them how nice it is to meet them all when a loud teleportation noise is heard on stage near him. Lockheed flies off over the crowd to keep an eye on what happens next. Shagreen the Sorcerer appears stating that he has tracked Nightcrawler down at last. Nightcrawler looks at him in astonishment. The last time he saw Shagreen, the Sorcerer was falling to his death. Shagreen acknowledges the thought and says he is not as easy to kill as Nightcrawler is.
Shagreen then fires a green ray from the top of his staff directly at Nightcrawler. The small Bamfs, are unable to bamf away, the only thing they can do is run.
Nightcrawler is shocked that the ray has no effect on him at all. Shagreen, seeing this, states in awe that Nightcrawler must be standing on a spell stone. Shagreen then tells Nightcrawler his alternate plan, to make Nightcrawler come to him at the Fangs of Doom by kidnapping the small boggies. In another flash of light the small Boggies and Shagreen are gone.
Nightcrawler’s small new friend has hidden behind him on the spell stone throughout this entire turn of events. Kurt tells the small Bamf that they need to go rescue the other Bamfs because Shagreen has a spell, which will prevent them from getting away by using their power. The small Bamf tells Kurt not to be ridiculous, with everyone gone; all the girls are now his for the taking. Nightcrawler asks him if he is talking about Bamf girls. The child-sized Bamf says yes, then explains that the girls keep a low profile because the guys are overenthusiastic when it comes to romance. The child-sized Bamf then asks Nightcrawler what a boggie is. Nightcrawler denies being one and won’t say any more on the subject. Nightcrawler hurriedly explains to the child-sized Bamf that Shagreen might have taken the girls to use as a sacrifice in order to gain more magic power. The three of them search the city but no trace of the girls remains. This angers the Bamf greatly. He states that no one can mess with Bamfs and get away with it. Nightcrawler asks his companion about the location of the Fangs of Doom. The Bamf says he has to call a friend to fly them across the Misty Sea to get to them. The Fangs of Doom are series of jagged projections rising into the sky high above the sea. They form a natural barrier to protect the Kingdom of Argos from invasion by sea.

His small companion further informs Nightcrawler that the ancient fortress there was built by King Barclay the Extemporaneous. According to local legend this King eventually talked himself to death.
The small Bamf leads Kurt off hunting for an object by the sea. Eventually they come upon two large golden horn, in the shape of snail shells, yoked together and placed on a stand. He tells ‘daddy’ to stand back while gives a long, loud blast, which sounds a little like a jazz tune. Suddenly, a small distorted Wolverine-like figure appears out of nowhere. This figure introduces himself as Mean and proceeds to take a smoke break. Mean claims it is the first one he has had since he took the wrong turn at Albuquerque. Mean proceeds to light a cigar and take one long inhale on it causing it to burn to ashes. He holds his breath for a minute and then slowly exhales claiming he now feels much better.

This sight, however, proves to be much more than Kurt can stand. Kurt grabs his head (with one hand and points the other at Mean) and states that he has seen this movie before and it is just like Kitty’s Fairytale as the Fiend with no name has just shown up. The Wolverine like character calls him stupid and repeats that his name is Mean! He tells Nightcrawler to point his finger somewhere else before he has to break it off. The frustrated child-sized Bamf jumps up and down exasperatedly and demands that he be allowed to say something!. Nightcrawler and Mean lapse into a strained silence. The small Bamf asks Mean what he is doing here. Mean replies that he thought he heard a bagpipe being run over by a steam engine and just stopped to check it out. Then he asks the small Bamf if he has any objections and calls him pipsqueak. Kurt asks the small Bamf if Mean was the guy he called. The small Bamf says no, as Mean barely has a grip on standing upright let alone flying. Mean tells the small Bamf that he is asking for trouble. The small Bamf replies, “you and what army, furball?” while doubling up his fists and getting ready to fight. It is clear to Nightcrawler that there is going to be a fight when a voice from above says, “fancy that?”, followed by a comment about how snack sized Mean is too. Mean turns, stares into the sky and tells everyone it’s the dragon. He is clearly in shock. They all turn and note the blue dragon in the sky hovering over them. The dragon identifies himself as Lockheed the dragon and requests that Mean quit threatening his friends and stand down. He tells them all that he heard the trumpet sound during the middle of his afternoon dinner and isn’t aware of many problems worth missing a meal over. The small Bamf tells the dragon that this situation is definitely worth his full attention while the small Lockheed hisses in the dragon’s ear.

The dragon does notice Lockheed and calls him a dragon child and using such language too! Lockheed carries on with his hissing and the large dragon simply turns his head and sends Lockheed stumbling with a burst of hot air. He tells Lockheed to settle down before he gets a proper lesson. The large dragon looks at Kurt and the small Bamf and asks who the small dragon is. Kurt tells the large dragon that the small one is Lockheed also and that he had better behave himself. Kurt tells the large dragon about the appearance of the wizard and the kidnapping of all the small Bamfs. Then Kurt tells the dragon of his personal invitation to Fangs of Doom and his mission to rescue the Bamfs. The large dragon agrees to be a taxi only and states that he will not fight the wizard. Mean states that he wants to come to cause he has been itching for a fight. The small Bamf thinks to himself that Mean is probably itching from fleas instead. The dragon agrees to transport Mean if he can keep his claws to himself.

En route to the Fangs of Doom

Kurt thinks to himself of all the counterparts he has met in this world that are similar to the fairytale that Kitty told them. He still finds it unbelievable and can’t help but ask the full size Lockheed if he knows pirates who call themselves Kitty and Colossus? The dragon answers that of course he does, but the real question is who is Nightcrawler, cause he is way to big to be a Bamf? The small Bamf tells the dragon that Kurt is a Boggie. This frustrates Kurt more than he can stand and he shouts the familiar phrase “I AM NOT A BOGGIE!!!” one last time. The dragon takes this statement calmly and simply asks how he knows Kitty and Colossus. Kurt spends a few minutes giving a quick explanation to the large Lockheed about the world where he and the small Lockheed come from. He also explains that everyone in this world would be considered a fictional counterpart to the characters in Kitty’s fairytale. The small Bamf asks Kurt how he knows that he is not the fake counter part and this world is the real one. Kurt states that he thinks the theories about infinite number of universes must be true or this world could not exist. Large Lockheed, pointing out a ship on the ocean below and saying that it is Kitty and Colossus, interrupts him.

Sea Rover, Abdul Alhazred

One of the crew spots the flying dragon overhead and informs the Captain of the vessel. Captain Kitty hails the full size Lockheed to catch up on the latest news of the world. Lockheed tells Kitty of his current passengers en route to the Fangs of Doom and invites her to join them. Colossus overhears this conversation and attempts to talk her out of it, but is unsuccessful. Kitty invites the large dragon to land on her ship so they can board. She leaves instructions for the crew to meet them at the usual place, and then notices a small dragon circling her. The large dragon tells her not to be alarmed and the small one settles himself comfortable around her neck much to the dismay of Colossus.

The large dragon gives a brief explanation about the small one being the pet of her counterpart in another world.
Once settled aboard the large dragon, the small Bamf brings Kitty and Colossus up to date on the current mission to Fangs of Doom. Colossus tells Kurt that he is fascinated by the group called X-Men. Especially the part about their counterparts being younger there and nearly identical. Kurt also explains that he is the counterpart to the Bamfs and his friend Wolverine is the counterpart of Mean. Kitty is curious how alike Mean and Wolverine are. Kurt explains that Wolverine is human and does not need a flea collar but their attitudes are strikingly similar. He tells the two pirates how much he misses his friends who are a family to him.
Several hours later, the large Lockheed announces that he is approaching the Fangs of Doom and is dropping down to sea level to avoid their approach being detected. Lockheed does not notice the dark shape moving in the water beneath him, and soon large green tentacles break the surface of the sea and grab his tail. This causes him to stop suddenly sending the unsuspecting passengers flying overboard. Lockheed apologizes and updates them on his predicament. Kurt and the small Bamf attempt to teleport but are unable to do so because of the spell Shagreen has cast against teleportation. While the passengers swim ashore, Lockheed fights the sea monster to avoid being pulled under. The passengers drag themselves ashore, Mean complains how much he hates being wet, and they all turn as the monster is dragging under large Lockheed. Kitty states that she hopes he can hold his breath a long time as there is no way for them to go to his rescue.
Colossus calls the group’s attention the weird looking birds ahead as he changes into armored form. Kitty states that they are not birds but Dreadwings. As the monsters attack, the group scatters for cover on the beach. The Dreadwings have fangs in their mouths and shoot a beam of light from their eyes. They are definitely carnivorous and aggressive. Kitty draws her sword, Colossus grabs large rocks and Kurt jumps onto the back of a Dreadwing. Mean does what he does best while the small Bamf dodges the attack. Nightcrawler is able to clobber a Dreadwing over the head using his two fists interlocked into a hammer. He jumps for the next available Dreadwing regretting that he cannot teleport for this maneuver. Colossus proceeds to pummel the enemy nearest him while Kitty and Mean tag team on another one. Kitty tells Mean it would help if he lost the six-pack. Instead, Mean swallows the six-pack whole and then lets out a burp so tremendous that it knocks the Dreadwing unconscious from the sky.
Despite the group’s impressive fighting ability, they are outnumbered by the Dreadwings. Eventually, one manages to grab Kitty and carry her off while another holds Colossus at bay with its eye beams. Colossus is left lying on the beach, stunned. Nightcrawler approaches and asks him if he’s all right. Colossus is more concerned about Kitty than himself and Kurt points out the stream of Dreadwings heading for the fortress in the distance where Kitty has been taken. Kurt remarks that small Lockheed must have gone with Kitty since he is nowhere to be seen. Together the newfound friends vow to go after Kitty and kick the Wizards-----well, you know.

Hours Later: Wizards Stronghold, Front Door

After hours of uphill climbing the three friends find themselves facing an ominous door. The huge door is shaped as a face with red eyes. The forehead is deformed into the shape of a “V” and the mouth is open showing huge pointed teeth. The bottom jaw is a path, lined on either side with huge pointed teeth, and a stairway leading up into the interior can be seen at the back of it. As soon as the three friends enter the mouth, the upper jaw slams shut, sending them into darkness with only one possible way to go.

Danger Room Control Booth

Kitty informs her friend Illyana that she is getting an indication from her computer that there are hundreds of versions of Kurt running around in the time stream they are searching for and she does not know which one is the real Kurt. Illyana tells her to push the button and grab one. Kitty pushes a button and the child-sized Bamf appears. Both girls are very shocked to see that Kurt has shrunk in size. The small Bamf spots the girls and invites them to partake of his charms. Kitty quickly pushes the cancel button sending this character back to where he came from. Illyana, hearing the word Bamf spoken, reminds Kitty of the made-up characters in fairytale that she told Illyana for a bedtime story. The girls begin a discussion on how to tell the computer to differentiate between the small Bamfs and the real Kurt.

Inside the Wizard’s Stronghold

At the top of the staircase, the three friends find a locked door. Colossus tells the other two to stand back while he deals with this obstacle. However, as Colossus breaks the chain, a huge stone block falls from the ceiling smashing him. Kurt and Mean are barely missed by the falling missile and stare in shock where Colossus once stood. Mean yells for Kurt to stand back as the giant stone block begins to split open. Colossus looks relieved to see his two friends and tells them that they have wasted enough time and they must press forward in their search for Kitty. After spending hours exploring a limitless labyrinth of tunnels and corridors, Mean states that Kitty’s scent is growing faint. Kurt asks Mean if he can still find Kitty and waits for a response but receives none. Kurt turns around in time to see Colossus disappear and realizes he is alone in this corridor.

Suddenly a giant red Bamf with yellow eyes appears, towering over Kurt. The newcomer identifies himself as a servant of Shagreen and says he will be merciful if Kurt will only surrender to the Dark Bamf. Kurt tells the newcomer that he is nothing but a bad dream. The Dark Bamf swings at Kurt, who dodges his blows with acrobatic ease. The creature tells Kurt that running will do no good and Kurt states that at least he can try. Eventually, Kurt is caught and battered senseless by the creatures blows that hammer at him mercilessly. The Dark Bamf then drags the limp body off into the shadows to another part of the stronghold.

Sacrificial Chamber

Kurt awakes chained to a pillar with the other captives. The voice that brings him to consciousness is none other than Shagreen’s. Shagreen tells Kurt that he will see his friends die one by one before eventually making his contribution to Shagreen’s power. After this, Shagreen will be the mightiest
sorcerer in this world or any other.

Characters Involved: 

Nightcrawler, Shadowcat (both X-Men)

Magik (New Mutant)

Lockheed (Kitty’s pet dragon)

Child-sized Bamf (one of the citizens of Bamf City)

Citizens of Bamf City

Mean (small Wolverine like character)

Lockheed the full sized dragon

Pirates Kitty and Colossus (this world’s counterparts to the characters in “Kitty’s fairytale”)

Crew of the Sea Rover Abdul Alhazred (Kitty and Colossus’ ship)

Shagreen the Sorcerer

Dark Bamf (Shagreen’s servant)

Story Notes: 

Kitty’s Fairytale takes place in Uncanny X-Men #153.
The name 'Abdul Alhazred' seems to be taken from the works of famous horror author Howard Philips Lovecraft. Alhazred was the name of the socalled mad Arab who was the author of the Necronomicon, a book said to bring madness and death.

Issue Information: 
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