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This article is for the character Shadow in the mainline X-Men continuity. For the character as he appeared in the feature film trilogy, see Shadow (X-Men Movies)

"Nothing Can Ever Separate Me and Sonic, Not A Chance in Hell!"
--Shadow
Nightcrawler Cover 002

History

Origin

Brian Wagner was born with certain unusual physical characteristics, but his power of self-teleportation did not emerge until puberty. Margali Szardos, a sorceress and gypsy queen, allegedly found Brian when he was 4-years-old and his brother Kurt an hour after his birth, in a small roadside shelter in the Bavarian Alps. She claimed to have found his alleged father, Eric Wagner, dead of a heart attack on the road outside, and Brian's mother lying next to the baby dying. However, this claim was later called into question, and it was subsequently proven that Brian and Kurt's mother is the terrorist Mystique, and their father is the demonic mutant Azazel. Mystique revealed that she threw him into a river on a canoe after a large mob found out about Shadow and Nightcrawler's existence, and Azazel admitted that he secretly saved his son's from the fall, giving him to his lover and crony, Margali Szardos, to raise him. Margali took the boys to the small Bavarian circus where she worked as a fortuneteller, as a cover for her activities as a sorceress. Brian was never legally adopted by anyone, but was raised by all the members of the circus, who had no prejudices against mutants. Margali acted as Brian's unofficial foster mother. Wagner grew up happily in the circus with Kurt, and his two closest friends were Margali's children Stefan and Jimaine. Long before his teleportation power emerged, Wagner had tremendous natural agility, and by his adolescence he had become the circus' star acrobat and aerial artist. Circus audiences assumed that he was a normal-looking human being wearing a devil-like costume. Years later, the Texas millionaire Arnos Jardine, who ran a large circus based in Florida, heard of the circus for which Wagner worked and bought it. Jardine intended to move its best acts into his American circus. However, he demanded that Brian and Kurt be placed in the circus' freak show. Jardine drugged him to prevent escape but a young mutant child with the ability to sense other mutants helped Brian and Kurt escape. Appalled, Brian left and made his way toward Winzeldorf, Germany, where his foster brother Stefan was. He discovered that Stefan had gone mad and had brutally slain several children. When they were younger, Stefan had made Brian and Kurt promise to kill him if he ever took an innocent life. Two nights after leaving the circus, they found Stefan and fought him, hoping to stop his rampage. In the course of the struggle, Wagner unintentionally broke Stefan's neck. The villagers of Winzeldorf, who assumed from Brian and Kurt's appearance that they were demons who were responsible for the child killings, discovered Wagner. They were about to kill them when they were all psychically paralyzed by Professor Charles Xavier, who had come to recruit Brian and his brother into the X-Men. Brian and Kurt agreed to join the group, but before they left for America, he, Kurt, and Xavier went to the Bavarian circus so that they could explain to Margali about Stefan's death. However, Margali was not there. She held Brian and Kurt responsible for murdering Stefan, and created a facsimile of the hell from Dante's Inferno in which to punish them years later. Yet through the use of Doctor Strange's all-seeing Eye of Agamotto, she learned the truth and she, Brian, and Kurt were reconciled. Wagner was also happily reunited with his foster sister Jimaine, who now lives in the United States and changes her name to Amanda Sefton, later becoming Kurt's girlfriend. Known as Shadow, Wagner became a member of the X-Men and soon had a love interest in the X-Man Sonic, Sonic was a beautiful girl and she also had a love interest for Brian and the two fall in love, Sonic becomes Shadow's girlfriend. Some time later, Shadow and Nightcrawler fought Shagreen the Sorcerer, and became lost in various dimensions in their first major solo adventure, this all worries Sonic hoping that they will come back. Shortly after this, and once he had rejoined his teammates, a tactic designed to disable the super-Sentinel Nimrod backfired and Brian found himself at the mercies of an angry mob (in a nod to his first appearance in Giant Sized X-Men #1) with his teleportation ability. He was rescued by Sonic, Shadowcat, Colossus, Steel, and Magik but feared Kurt had lost his ability for good. Kurt's power returned but left him drained and vulnerable when he used it, again leading to self doubt about his worth to the team. It may have been these feelings that led him to use his "multi-port" stunt to disable Vertigo during the Mutant Massacre. This tactic left him unable to escape Riptide's attack, leading to horrific injuries and his subsequent coma.

Excalibur

While he recovers from these injuries, his fellow X-Men are apparently killed on a mission in Dallas. Not long after, Shadow, Sonic, Nightcrawler and Shadowcat leave to join Captain Britain in an adventure in the UK. They fought Gatecrasher's group of inter-dimensional mercenaries known as the Technet. The heroes work together so well, they decide to form a group they name Excalibur. Captain Britain originally assumes leadership of the group, but Shadow and Nightcrawler gradually takes the responsibility. While Captain Britain and Meggan's relationship goes through a rocky time Nightcrawler becomes interested in Meggan, a feeling that is reciprocated but never consummated. During his time with Excalibur, he takes charge of the Technet, renaming them his "N-Men", and he becomes more romantically involved with Sonic before and he thinks of proposing to her. Later, Shadow learns that Nightcrawler's former girlfriend, Amanda Sefton, joins the team and the two continue their previous relationship. She leaves the team to take control of Limbo, a task that keeps her away from Earth, but the two remain close friends. Fearing it would be stolen from her, Amanda magically hides the Soulsword inside Nightcrawler's body.

Returning to the X-Men

For a time, Kitty Pryde and Nightcrawler express some resentment over the X-Men's failing to contact them after their supposed deaths.While having a little picnic outside of the mansion, Brian proposes to Sonic and she accepts. Following the wedding of Captain Britain and Meggan, Excalibur disbands and Brian, Sonic, and Nightcrawler returns to the X-Men with Shadowcat and Colossus. Yet, as soon as they return, they face a group of impostors following Cerebro, in the guise of Professor X. Wanting to devote more time to priesthood, Shadow shares team leadership with Archangel. However, his work as a priest is retconned to be an illusion; he had, in fact, never attained priesthood. He has also met his half-brothers Abyss, and Kiwi Black. With them, Shadow and Nightcrawler defeated his father Azazel, who had tried to use him to escape prison. Shadow and Sonic have their wedding in front of the mansion and go on their honeymoon, returning back they find out about Nightcrawler and Marvel Girl kissing at one point, but nothing came of it as he balanced his feelings towards her and an attraction to Storm at the time, who was in somewhat of a romantic "friendship" with Wolverine at the time. Shadow served as the new leader of the Uncanny X-Men team alongside Wolverine, Bishop, Psylocke, Cannonball, and Marvel Girl. In the last mission against the Foursaken, Nightcrawler took Marvel Girl, Psylocke, Bishop, and Cannonball to Central Park. He later helped Storm liberate Africa from her uncle's control. Afterwards, Professor X recruited him, along with Darwin, Havok, Marvel Girl, Warpath, and Polaris, to participate in a space mission to stop Vulcan from laying waste to the Shi'ar empire. During the battle with Vulcan, Shadow helps get the injured Professor X and Darwin back to their spaceship. While there, trying to save Professor X, Lilandra sent the ship on its way back to Earth, leaving half the team behind.this is rubbish

Divided We Stand

Still recovering from his injuries, Brian is traveling through Europe along with Nightcrawler, Wolverine, and Colossus. Brian and Wolverine are currently involved in a "war of pranks" as Peter calls it. The three of them travel to Russia where they visit the cemetery where Peter's family is buried. Afterwards they go to a local bar, where they discuss the recent loss of Kitty Pryde and the destruction of the X-Men. A fight occurs in the bar, during which their cover is blown. Soon after, the three of them are captured by the Russian government which demands to know why all their mutants were depowered and why Colossus, Wolverine, and Nightcrawler retain their abilities. After a battle with Omega Red, the three heroes return to the US and rejoin the team now living in San Francisco.

Manifest Destiny

Brian, along with Nightcrawler, Wolverine, and Karma ambush the Hellfire Cult after a series of mutant related hate-crimes happen around San Francisco. He also has taken it upon himself to help Kurt build a new chapel at Graymalkin Industries, the X-Men's new home and base of operations. During a training session in the Danger Room with Brian , Kurt reveals he is trying to keep himself distracted because whenever he has time to think, he can't help but not think of Kitty, how the X-Men don't need him, and that Brian and Pixie are better teleporters than him. After battling (successfully) several simulated villains, he reprograms the Danger Room to show Sonic. Brian confesses to Sonic that he will never leave her or put her in danger and he will always be with her, she tells him the same and they share a passionate kiss. Brian learns that Nightcrawler briefly believes that he no longer has a role with the X-Men, especially due to Brian and Pixie's abilities in teleporting. A trip back to Germany renews Nightcrawler's conviction through an encounter with a boy cursed by gypsies into demonic form, a brush with Mephisto, and a romantic fling before he returns to San Francisco to aid the X-Men against a foe they struggled with lacking his help.

Secret Invasion

Brian fights alongside the X-Men when the Skrulls invade San Francisco. He manages to come across a Skrull bible and, after studying it, he gives it to Beast who figures out how to deal with the Skrulls.

X-Infernus

Brian, Pixie, and Kurt are training when he brings up Pixie's Souldagger. Pixie summons her Souldagger and stabs Brian and Kurt in the chest, knocking them out. When Pixie removes her Souldagger, Magik's Soulsword emerges from his chest. Magik teleports away after taking out Pixie, Mercury, Rockslide, and Beast. Brian wakes up and stops Pixie from going after her and Pixie breaks down and apologizes for stabbing him. Later the X-Men gather and Brian and Kurt is put in charge of a team of X-Men to go help save Magik. Upon entering Limbo, Brian, Kurt, Mercury, Colossus, Rockslide, Pixie, and Wolverine fight their way through many demons. Pixie, Mercury, and Rockslide are horrified at how brutal the older X-Men are towards the demons. An octopus type creature attacks Kurt until Brian and Pixie jumps in and kills it. The fact however that Colossus and Wolverine have not killed him, makes Brian and Kurt realize they are not fully under her control. Using Pixie's Dagger, Brian then pulls Illyana's Soulsword from her, and uses it to free Wolverine and Colossus of Witchfire's control. Unfortunately, the demon manages to use the Bloodstones to summon the Elder Gods. Through their combined efforts, the X-Men and Magik managed to banish both Witchfire and the Elder Gods, but not without losing four of the five Bloodstones. Furious at losing another part of her soul, Pixie flees. Being told by Illyana to let her go, Brian consoles Magik about the theology of a soul, before she teleports them back to Earth. Brian, along with Colossus, Cyclops, Kurt, and the former New Mutants team, convinces her to stay with them and join the X-Men.

Powers and Abilities

Powers

Shadow is a Gamma-Level mutant.

Teleportation: He can teleport anywhere her wants, Shadow's power has no limits, unlike his brother, he does not need to be able to see where he is going. If he wants, Brian can teleport psionically. Shadow can use his powers offensively by grappling with an enemy and teleporting him or her in a series of rapid jumps. The strain of these "multiple ports" can exhaust foes without superhuman endurance while Shadow remains strong enough to continue fighting. When he disappears in teleporting, Shadow leaves behind smoke with a stench reminiscent of burning brimstone, like Nightcrawler. Shadow can teleport within any radius.

Subconscious Spatial Awareness: Shadow has a very unlimited subconscious extrasensory ability that prevents him from teleporting himself so that his feet, for example, would materialize below the surface of the local ground. Because this ability is so unlimited, however, Shadow can teleport into any place that he cannot see or has not seen in the past.

Micro-Suction Discs: Shadow can stick to objects with the surface of his hands and feet. This enables him to scale surfaces.

Flexible Bone Structure: Nightcrawler's bone structure allows him great flexibility. He can remain in a crouched position for a long time and perform contortionist type feats without causing any damage to his spine.

Camouflage: He has limited abilities to blend into shadows, both as a result of his indigo fur and his connection to light-bending attributes of the dimension through which he teleports. This is also the explanation for why he constantly appears in shadow, even in direct light.

Prehensile Tail: allowing him to grab onto objects with relative ease. His tail is strong enough to not only support his body weight but also lift an adult man completely off the ground, and is deft enough to fight with like a sword or blunt object.

Infrared Vision: Nightcrawler's always glowing eyes grant him a marked degree of heightened night vision as well.

Superhuman Agility: Nightcrawler's agility, balance, and bodily coordination are enhanced to levels beyond the human body's natural limits.

Superhuman Reflexes: Nightcrawler's natural reaction time is enhanced to a level beyond the human body's natural limits.

Abilities

Master Acrobat: Shadow is an Olympic-class acrobat thanks to his flexible spine that allows him to perform contortionist-like feats and to go long periods in a semi-crouching position without injury.

Master Combatant: He is a skilled hand-to-hand combatant and a master at fencing, which he can even perform with his tail, which is strong enough to support his entire body weight.

Aviator: He has served as the team's pilot and, with Wolverine, has also been the mechanic of the X-Men's Blackbird jet for a long time.

Medic: He has been the medic when no more qualified X-Men were around to do so.

Strength Level

Nightcrawler possesses above average strength of a man of his age, height, and build who engages in intensive regular exercise. At his peak, Nightcrawler can lift about 250 lbs.

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