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Why does Nightcrawler get called "elf" by the X-Men? I thought he was a mutant human, like the rest.

2
  • Turns out he loves sitting on a shelf around Christmastime. Mar 21 at 12:57
  • Because it's a cute nickname
    – Clockwork
    May 6 at 9:22

3 Answers 3

15

The actual nickname (given by Wolverine) was "Fuzzy Elf". The reason was (from "Appearance" in http://marvel.wikia.com/Kurt_Wagner_%28Earth-616%29) :

  • His body is almost entirely covered with a fine indigo-colored fur.

    Source:

    It was Chris Claremont's scripting that evolved him into the swashbuckling hero he is today. Claremont stated that he took the idea that Nightcrawler thought "it was incredibly cool to be blue and furry."

  • Nightcrawler has pointed ears

    enter image description here

Here's a card where the "Fuzzy Elf" nickname is stated (if http://marvel.com/universe/Nightcrawler is not enough of a source):

enter image description here

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It's because he has pointy ears. Elves have pointy ears, hence the nickname. But it's strictly a nickname; he is a mutant human, not an actual elf.

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Namor (the Sub-Mariner) has pointy ears, but I don't recall him ever being called "elf". Kurt Wagner has the ears but also the lithe, acrobatic, hide-in-the-shadows package that matches many mythological depictions of elfkind.

And to offer that this nickname isn't merely from his friends after long association, this sequence of panels depicts Aurora's gut reaction to Nightcrawler's antics. (At most, she is only familiar with him from Department H briefings.)

X-Men #121 (1979) (first appearance of Alpha Flight as a team) enter image description here

Perhaps it is a case of "takes one to know one", as Aurora's ears, bone structure, and joie de vivre certainly suggest "elf".

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