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The Comic Book Alphabet of Cool – N

by  in Comic News Comment

We continue our tour through the alphabet, with a different cool comic book item each day, from A to Z!

Today we look at a cool member of the X-Men!

(NOTE: I wrote the following for CBR’s Top 50 X-Men Countdown)

Kurt Wagner was orphaned by his mother as an infant. Taken in by Margali Szardos, a witch, Kurt is raised as a gypsy. He eventually becomes a popular circus performer, but when he is forced to kill his adopted brother, Stefan, Kurt is hunted by the village people, who only see a monster killing a human. Saved by Professor Xavier, Kurt gladly takes Xavier up on his offer to come to America and join the X-Men.

Kurt becomes a stalwart member of the X-Men after that, staying with the team for quite some time, on many adventures, using his agility and teleportation powers to help the team in many fights.


What was notable about Kurt was that, despite his monstrous appearance, he was pretty happy-go-lucky, but even he often had problems, mostly ones about his own competence, which he doubted frequently (“Am I good enough?” etc.).


In fact, it was his feelings of inadequacy that, during the Mutant Massacre, caused him to use his powers beyond their limits, leaving him open for a brutal assault by one of the Marauders.

Kurt and Kitty Pryde (who as also injured) ended up joining a new team, Excalibur, when they thought that the X-Men had been killed. Kurt’s confidence grew a lot as a member of Excalibur.

Eventually, though, the team broke up, and Kurt re-joined the X-Men, where he has stayed ever since.

After a time on the loser squad (where Kurt also began to question his confidence, especially due to his involvement in one of the stupidest evil plans ever, involving the Raptu…no, I won’t even dignify it with a recap – same thing with Racoday)…


Kurt joined the XSE, who were basically X-Men who were sanctioned to work anywhere in the world as superheroes.


Kurt stayed on this team (even becoming the default leader) until Professor Xavier asked him to go on a mission into outer space. When the man who saved you from a pack of murderous villagers asks you for a favor, it’s kinda hard to turn down, so Kurt gladly accepted.

While half of the team that went into outer space were Lost in Space ™, Kurt returned to Earth with Xavier.

Professor X and Cyclops were not in a good place in their relationship at this point in time, so Professor X needed someone else to help him go look for Magneto, and, let’s face it, Kurt had no other plans, so he helped Professor X search for Magneto.

Then Messiah Complex hit, and Kurt is, well, I dunno, a member of the X-Men, I suppose.

And he’s religious.

Not really much going on in the House of Wagner.