*Warning: This post contains minor spoilers for X-Men: Apocalypse*
Although great care and attention goes into the process of transferring a comic book series to the big screen, inevitably there will be occasional deviations from the source material. Bryan Singer's X-Men: Apocalypse is no different, and is in fact the second X-Men film to overlook an important relationship between two leading mutants.
The relationship in question relates to Nightcrawler, and more specifically, his parentage. In the comics, Kurt Wagner is the son of none other than Mystique, confirmed in X-Men Unlimited #4. His father is also an established character, the powerful villain, Azazel.
(Before we delve deeper, it's worth mentioning a planned Nightcrawler origin story by Chris Clairemont involved Mystique shape-shifting into a man and impregnating Destiny. For reasons I cannot fathom, Marvel deemed the storyline too controversial and shelved it.)
Nightcrawler's Famous Parents
Anyway, in Kurt's origin storyline, when he was born, his demonic appearance caused a backlash with the local townspeople, which caused Mystique to try and kill Kurt by throwing him into a river.
However, Azazel came to his son's aid, rescued him and gave him to his lover, Margali Szardos — a sorcerer and gypsy Queen — to raise him. Kurt eventually ends up in a circus, where he is accepted for who he is. Eventually, Professor X rescues Kurt from an angry mob and asks him to join the X-Men. The rest, as they say, is history.
But, with that being said, history can at times be rewritten. In Fox's X-Men franchise, Nightcrawler's heritage is largely overlooked. The character made his live-action debut in 2003's X2: X-Men United (played by Alan Cumming), a film in which Mystique (Rebecca Romijn) also stars, though nothing is revealed about their relationship.
'Is That You?'
Fast forward to 2016, and we are introduced to a young version of Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee) in Apocalypse. The initial trailer teased fans, including a segment where Kurt turns to Raven, gives a look of recognition, and says "it's you..." which insinuated an acknowledgement of their relationship.
Further still, Jennifer Lawrence released an official clip from the film, depicting the scene where Raven infiltrates a Berlin fight club where Kurt has been held captive and forced to fight Angel (Ben Hardy) in a electrified steel cage. Raven knocks a member of the security team unconscious, and aids Kurt's escape by disarming the electric fence.
Will All Be Revealed?
So, those sitting down to see the full feature are going to get a little insight into the pair's relationship, right? Well... no. Unfortunately, Apocalypse doesn't delve any deeper, and the clip from the trailer is related to Nightcrawler's recollection from what he's seen of Mystique on TV.
The silver lining is that although it hasn't been transferred into movie canon, the relationship hasn't been ruled out either. Azazel did team up with Mystique in X-Men: First Class, so in the X-Men timeline, it could fit that the pair conceived Nightcrawler between First Class and Days of Future Past, which leaves the door open for future storylines.