Nightcrawler
Review by Jim Harvey, Media By Stu

Episode #49 - Nightcrawler
Original Airdate 13th May 1995

Whilst on a sking trip, Wolverine learns of a demon scaring the locals. The demon turns out to be a mutant named Nightcrawler, who is taking refuge in a nearby Church.

Credits
Written By: Donald F. Glut
Music Composed By: Shuki Levy
Animation Services By: AKOM


Review: I can remember watching this episode when I was a kid and being mystified by it. The X-Men dealing with a religious, demonic-looking mutant named Nightcrawler. I watched and rewatched this episode countless times in awe. To me, this was the highpoint of the cartoon series. And why? They took a serious topic and ran with it.

Despite some skiing shenanigans by Gambit, we find out that Wolverineís belief in God is shattered. A life-time of false memories, his adamantium claws, his mutancy, has destroyed his life. This all comes crashing back to him when he meets Nightcrawler, the aforementioned mutant in dire need of assistance from a vengeful mob.

As you can already tell, everything is solved by the end of the episode and everyone is happy. Wolverine has rediscovered his faith and Nightcrawler is teaching others about tolerance. But what impresses me about this episode is how they show both sides of the religion, specifically the dark side. We see an angry mob, fueled by their belief in God, setting out to kill Nightcrawler. Why? Because he looks like something Hell puked up. Toss in Wolverineís spiritual crisis and we have a pretty heavy episode.

The animation is the same standard for the animated series, but it actually doesnít take away from the episode. I donít think I even notice it, to be honest. Iím so drawn to the story that any animation faux-pas is easily overlookable. The story is able to make the weakest of animation work.

I could seriously gush about this episode until my fingers bleed from clanking on this keyboard, but itís an episode that viewers should really discover for themselves. Itís readily available on DVD and is worth any effort you may have to put in to find it. Itís just a strong episode, a touching episode, a deep episode. I wonít every mistake this cartoon for the best in animation, but I can say this is one of the best episode of any cartoon Iíve ever watched.

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