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From a physics standpoint, it is a well-known fact that a moving object will only have its speed changed if another force is applied to it. This is called inertia. There are more implications to this, but I want to stay with the simplest interpretation of it.

Here are some questions I've been thinking about, but I don't need them answered here as I think they concern an opinion-based or speculation-based approach:

  • When the X-Men's Nightcrawler is moving and teleports, does he continue moving?
  • If he is falling in a stand-up position and teleports to an upside-down orientation, will he move up?

What I am looking for are canon (comics, movies, cartoons) facts about what happens in situations similar to these, such as him using his power to leave a moving vehicle, for example.

I know he is a great acrobat, and usually moves and jumps a lot during action, but in these cases, it is hard to determine the implications of the movement because he doesn't move fast enough.

I hope my question is clear enough. Any doubts or suggestions are well accepted in the comments.

5 Answers 5

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Nightcrawler's ability conserves momentum.

In Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #147, after having teleported as far as he could straight up from his cell (to avoid risking materializing in a solid object):

Nightcrawler appears far above Doom’s castle, in great pain from the strain it took him to teleport two miles straight up. By the time he’s gathered his wits, his velocity means a port to the floor would still kill him on impact. Taking advantage of the tempest created by the imprisoned Storm, he catches an updraft, allowing him to slow his descent enough for a safe port – straight into the lake. Fighting the pain and cold, he makes a difficult swim to shore, and resolves to free his comrades before giving Doom a rematch.

Nightcrawler narrating his need to bleed off velocity

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  • It would be great if you could get the panels. That is exactly what I'm looking for. Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 15:03
  • @LucasDuffeck: This is not the incident that I remember, but it is an example of how he has to consider his velocity.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 15:24
  • Thank you. This is the basic information I was trying to find. For me that's enough. Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 15:38
  • 1
    Water may not have been the best option for Nightcrawler... aviation.stackexchange.com/questions/45507/… Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 17:40
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The fact that Nightcrawler maintains momentum during teleportation is established during the newly formed team's first official mission. In X-Men 95, after the team's plane has been disintegrated by Count Nefaria, Cyclops is scrambling for ways to get the team down to the ground safely. In this exchange, he learns the limits of Nightcrawler's powers:

enter image description here

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You mentioned that you're looking for movie references as well as comics. In the opening scene of X-Men 2, Nightcrawler attacks the president and his bodyguards, and several times during this fight he demonstrates the answer to your first question: if he's moving while he teleports, then he keeps moving after he teleports.

The first instance of this happens just after the 00:25 mark:

Nightcrawler scene

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Momentum is conserved during teleportation. Nightcrawler, along with anyone or anything he’s teleporting, will maintain their original velocity and direction post-teleportation.

In the X-Men '97 episode "Tolerance Is Extinction - Part 1" (Season 1, Episode 8), we get a clear demonstration of how Nightcrawler's momentum is preserved during teleportation. There is a scene depicting the X-Mansion under attack by Prime Sentinels, and Nightcrawler tells Wolverine they need to get the Sentinels away from the unconscious Rogue.

Wolverine and Nightcrawler engage in a fight with the Sentinels, and at one point, Nightcrawler teleports both Wolverine and a Sentinel away. We get to witness this teleportation process from Wolverine's and the Sentinel's perspectives, and it's quite fascinating.

Wolverine has his claws dug deep into the Sentinel's front, while Nightcrawler simultaneously stabs it from behind with his swords. In one swift motion, Nightcrawler yanks the Sentinel backward, and then—BAMF! They teleport. As he's doing this, he casts a glance over his shoulder, gauging the trajectory they’ll follow once they reemerge.

the scene described in this post

During the teleport, the Sentinel's arms are flailing forward, and Wolverine is being pulled away from the Sentinel, all because they're continuing to move in the same direction they were moving before the teleportation.

After they teleport, Wolverine, the Sentinel, and Nightcrawler continue moving in the same direction they were moving before the teleportation, demonstrating that their momentum is preserved throughout the process.

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There was an episode from X-men: Evolution, titled Rogue Recruit, during which Rogue acquired Nightcrawler's teleport ability after she accidentally touched him.

At some point, she used the teleportation to run away but accidentally found herself very high in the sky and started falling down quite a distance. But after she teleported down closer to the ground, instead of keeping all the momentum from the height at which she was falling (which was potentially fatale), it looked like she just got knocked down, meaning it possibly cancelled part of the momentum. Otherwise, she should have had at least some broken limbs.

Here's the episode in Russian, at the specific part of that episode (it's the only video I found):

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  • This is the only example I remember. No idea if that idea is kept for the rest of the series or not.
    – Clockwork
    Commented May 3 at 8:59
  • I think something like this happens again in an episode when Wolverine, Rogue and Nightcrawler are infiltrating one of Magneto's hideout in the middle of the Sahara's desert. My memories are fuzzy, but I think they teleported off a plane in the sky, started falling down, and he teleported all of them inside the hideout while they were free falling.
    – Clockwork
    Commented May 3 at 15:13

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