I stumbled across a website that contains archives of old comic books, and I took advantage of the situation to learn more about Nightcrawler of the X-Men. Learning about his origins, I realized there were some interesting parallels between his origins and those of Erik, the Phantom of the Opera (and phantom of this blog for as frequently as he manages to insert himself into posts).
To make a long story short, Kurt spent most of his childhood as a sideshow performer at a circus–a lot like Erik did. They also experienced similar treatments of hatred and fear, and both escaped as soon as they got the chance. Where they differ, however, is how they reacted to their situations. We all know what happened to Erik–he turned his back on the world and became an insane, homicidal psychopath. Kurt, however, chose to forgive and not lose hope in humanity.
That decision really impressed me. I knew he was one of the good guys because of X-Men United, but when I was reading his story, I really felt that I was reading the origin of a villain. But that wasn’t what he chose to be. So I found his story extremely fascinating when compared to Erik’s; although they both suffered similar misfortunes as children, they reacted to that misfortune in drastically different ways.
I also feel a little less sorry for Erik now. My reaction to him was similar to what Christine and the Persian felt for him, loathing mixed with pity. But now that I know that Kurt had an almost identical childhood and yet did not become an insane, homicidal psychopath, I’m like…sorry, Erik. You had a choice, buddy, and this was what you chose to be.
But at least he achieved a redemption of sorts and probably made it as far as Literary Purgatory.