Nightcrawler (3rd series) #1

Issue Date: 
November 2004
Story Title: 
The Devil Inside part 1: The Locked Room

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (writer), Darick Robertson (penciler), Wayne Faucher (inker), VC’s Cory Petit (letters), Avalon’s Matt Milla (colors), Stephanie Moore and Sean Ryan (Assistant editors), Mike Marts (editor) Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (Publisher)

Brief Description: 

Storm asks Kurt to go to the Metro General Hospital to investigate the murder of 13 children in a psychiatric ward. Only one child survives, but is totally withdrawn, who may or may not be the killer. The guard who monitored the room at the very time of the murder was taking an unscheduled break, something he has never done before. Kurt tries to get some information from him but is stopped by Dr. Childs, the supervising physician, who is unhappy that Kurt is there. Kurt goes to visit the surviving child, Seth, but ends up scaring him. Kurt teleports to the roof, so not to traumatize the child any further. Whilst telling Storm he feels out of his depth, he spots hoof prints burned into the roof leading to the next rooftop. Kurt follows the hooves and comes to a very exclusive building. On spotting Dr. Childs inside, Barney arrives and shouts for the Doctor. Kurt hides in the shadows so not to be seen, while the guard tells the doctor he doesn’t want his blood money. The doctor is disappointed and, on backing away from the window, rubs his hands. The guard spontaneously combusts as Kurt looks on in horror.

Full Summary: 

Under the shade of a tree, on the grounds of the Xavier Institute, Ororo, talks to Kurt about an incident that occurred at the Metro General Hospital the previous night. Reading from a police report, she goes into the details.

At 8:04pm, Barney Franks, a night guard, checked as he had always done on the children in the psychiatric ward, which is located on the fifteenth floor. All fourteen of the children inside the locked recreational room were happily playing. Taking an unscheduled bathroom break, something he never does, he leaves the corridor outside the room for 4 minutes. On his return, he looked into the room and found all but one of the children mutilated and dead. The sole survivor, a ten-year-old boy called Seth, was sat quietly in the middle of the room.

Kurt is shocked by the revelation, especially that it had happened to children. Ororo explains that no one knows how or why this happened. Although there is a video camera in the room, during the 4 minutes Barney was away there is just static. The cameras outside the room show Barney going to the bathroom and returning with nothing in between. Ororo surmises that either the children were killed by Seth or someone else teleported in to kill them.

Kurt double checks that there was no other way in, which Ororo confirms, before guessing that Ororo wants him to go because he may be able to offer an insight if it was a teleporter. Although Ororo agrees with his point, she also points out that he has tact and a sense of empathy other X-Men do not have. In illustration to this point, Wolverine and Cyclops can be seen fighting behind the two.

Characters Involved: 

Nightcrawler, Storm, Cyclops, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Christine Palmer, Barney franks, Dr Louis Childs


Various unnamed partygoers (unnamed)

Story Notes: 

This is the 3rd Nightcrawler series. The first series was an interdimensional adventure and the second series was the Marvel Icons series.
Christine Palmer actually was one of the stars of Night Nurse, a shortlived Marvel title in 1973.

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