Marvel Rewrites Nightcrawler’s Origin, A Dark Knight Returns Cover Revelation, Remembering Keith Giffen | Comic Book Club News For November 29, 2023

comic book club news november 29 2023 keith giffen nightcrawler dark knight returns

Marvel rewrites Nightcrawler’s origin in X-Men Blue: Origins #1. You’ve been looking at the cover of Dark Knight Returns all wrong. DC has launched a memorial for creator Keith Giffen. All on Comic Book Club News for November 29, 2023.


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Episode Transcript:

Marvel rewrites Nightcrawler’s origin.

Dark Knight Returns cover is not what you think.

DC memorializes Keith Giffen.

This is Comic Book Club News for November 29, 2023.

Marvel Rewrites Nightcrawler’s Origin In X-Men Blue: Origins #1:

For years, fans of X-Men comics have believed that Nightcrawler was the son of two mutants: Mystique and Azazel. And in today’s issue of X-Men Blue: Origins we discover the popular character is, indeed, the son of two mutants. Just not the two you think. Spoilers past this point.

Set literally between the pages of Uncanny Spider-Man #4, Nightcrawler has confronted Mystique, who had her brain broken back during the events of this year’s Hellfire Gala. As the story fills in the gaps leading to the current issues, we also discover that Nightcrawler’s origin isn’t what we thought. Mystique is one of Nightcrawler’s parents. But she’s actually his father.

Flashing back in time, writer Si Spurrier retcons Nightcrawler’s origin so that Mystique’s current true love, Destiny, was also living with her back in the day. While Destiny, aka Irene, worked as a maid, Mystique pretended to be human and married a lord. At some point in there, Destiny and Mystique decided they wanted to have a baby together, with Mystique changing her form to male. As revealed in the issue, her power isn’t just shape-shifting, it’s gene-shifting, and she’s able to change her form on a near-molecular level.

So Mystique is Nightcrawler’s father, and Destiny is his mother. We also discover that the whole “Azazel” thing was a way of Destiny manipulating events so that the vicious, immortal mutant thought Nightcrawler was his son, and would constantly be thwarted by him. One last bit of retconning shows Mystique and Destiny making a deal with Professor Xavier to wipe all their minds of these events in exchange for a favor later on.

By the issue’s end, we’ve looped back to Uncanny Spider-Man #4. How this will play out in the Marvel Universe, or at least in the X-Men books, is TBD. But assuredly, there’s more to come now that Nightcrawler knows the truth.

DC Launches Memorial For Keith Giffen:

Keith Giffen, the creator of Lobo, Rocket Raccoon and many other characters — though perhaps best known for his stint on Justice League International — sadly passed away at age 70, on October 11. And now, DC Comics has launched a lovely tribute page for the creator, as well as in all of this week’s comics.

Featuring art by Giffen’s frequent collaborator Kevin Maguire, the image riffs on Giffen’s iconic JLI cover — showing a top down look at Giffen, surrounded by characters ranging from Ambush Bug, to the Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle, who he was instrumental in crafting.

As well as the image, there are numerous quotes on the page, from J.M. Dematteis, to Howard Porter, to Jim Lee and more. You can check it out for yourself at

Batman Is Facing Front, Not Back, On Dark Knight Returns Cover:

Stan Lee used to say “face front, true believers.” But as revealed in a recent post on X, the site formerly known as Twitter, that could just as well apply to Batman on the cover of Dark Knight Returns.

In the post, addressed for no particular reason to writer Mark Millar, user KaptainKraken notes that on the classic cover, we see Batman jumping in silhouette in front of a bolt of lightning. However, if you thought Batman was facing away from the reader? You thought wrong.

An attached sketch shows that Frank Miller’s original conception of the drawing is Batman jumping toward the quote-unquote camera, not away from it. Millar’s mind was blown by the revelation, as were several other posters.

Perhaps it is important to note, though, that this image has been bopping around for years. In fact, Miller’s original cover sketch was included as an overlay in Graphitti Designs’s The Dark Knight Returns – Frank Miller Gallery Edition, which was released in May of 2016. The black-and-white edition of the classic series features multiple overlays throughout the volume, showing the process of how the book came together.

So not exactly news. But like Must See TV during the summers of our youth, if you haven’t seen it, it’s new to you.

For Comic Book Club News, I’m Alex Zalben. And as a note, I’m actually always facing towards the back. I have to yell real loud when I record these things.

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