Nightcrawler is one of the most essential emotional characters in the X-Men universe. Kurt Wagner is becoming a more important person in the Age of Krakoa as a good man who rejects the type of hatred and terror he has long faced. Whereas he was previously only a significant member of the X-Men, his nomination to the Quiet Council gave him genuine authority behind his moral ideals, and his involvement in developing the Spark (a mutant-based philosophy) has demonstrated just how powerful his brand of compassion can be. But it may also be a weakness, as two evident decisions made by the morally minded Nightcrawler in Inferno #2 (by Jonathan Hickman, Stefano Caselli, David Curiel, and VC’s Joe Sabino) may help spread instability across Krakoa.
Nightcrawler’s place in the Quiet Council’s Summer Branch has never been in dispute. Nightcrawler, the side of the Krakoa ruling body united by heroism and hope, has supplied a gentle heart to the procedures that have come before the council. He can, however, be depended on to act on his conscience more than anybody else. He was among the few that voted to resuscitate the Scarlet Witch, and he has spoken out against the group’s harsher presentations. This means Mystique has the ideal opportunity when she suggests Destiny, her freshly revived wife, as a new member of the Quiet Council. Most of the other council members who vote for Destiny’s elevation to a place on the Autumn Branch either get promised something in exchange (like Emma Frost) or are persuaded to carry through with her plan (like Exodus) – even Mister Sinister and Sebastian Shaw must be discreetly swayed. Only Nightcrawler does it from a genuine emotional place; Mystique is his mother, and he genuinely cares about her well-being. It’s a beautiful gesture that Mystique publicly praises him for, but it also means that Nightcrawler has not only put Destiny in a position of power, but has unknowingly contributed to the greater friction produced by his choice amongst Moira MacTaggert, Xavier, Magneto, and Emma Frost.
Similarly, Nightcrawler’s loyalty ultimately gets the best of him at the climax of Inferno #2. As a response to Mystique and Destiny, Xavier and Magneto choose Colossus to fill Jean Grey’s position on the Summer Branch. Nightcrawler quickly rallies behind this move, assisting in the appointment of the long-serving hero to the Quiet Council (along with other former X-Men Emma Frost, Kate Pryde, and Storm).Nightcrawler even rejoices with this choice. But, unbeknownst to everyone, Colossus has been covertly controlled by his evil brother Mikhail (who is still largely devoted to Russia) and his hostage reality-warper. He recently compelled Colossus to steal X-Force state secrets and murder his lover against his will – and the news of his promotion makes Xavier’s subsequent visit all the more painful. In essence, Colossus has been forced to become one of Krakoa’s most heinous traitors, and Nightcrawler has just assisted in his transformation into one of Krakoa’s most powerful mutants. It’s a significant change for the Quiet Council, and both occurrences represent a true threat to the mutant nation’s stability. And Nightcrawler, with no venom or hatred in his heart, has discovered a means to aid in both developments. It’s a good thing Nightcrawler has his job with the Spark to return to, since being a pragmatic and distrustful leader like Beast isn’t in his nature – and Krakoa may suffer as a result.