Nightcrawler's Supposed Paternity?
Before Nightcrawler's father was written to be Azazel last 2003, I always had a strange feeling that some people in Marvel may have actually wanted Sabertooth to be actually Nightcrawler's father. So here's what I think about that...
I personally thought Sabertooth was Nightcrawler's biological father. In the X-Men cartoon by Haim Saban back in the 90s, there were some subtle hints that Sabertooth could be Nightcrawler's father and not the wealthy man Mystique married. I guess the writers at Saban's company were reading a few hints so they decided to write subtle hints though it's not official. Wolverine sees Nightcrawler but can't help but also think of Sabertooth. There was a resemblance between the two characters. The character looked a lot like a bizarre combination of Sabertooth's beastly appearance and Mystique's blue color. Then again, Beast isn't Wolverine's and Mystique's son.
What's interesting is that I got this possible hint from Uncanny X-Men.Net that Sabertooth was probably originally intended to be Nightcrawler's father:
In the Age of Apocalypse, Mystique had apparently raised her son, Kurt who used her last name, Darkholme. The two seemed to have a loving relationship and Raven seemed devoted to Kurt. (Strangely, there were also hints that Sabretooth was his father). She was also protective towards Rogue. It was Mystique who brought the girl to the X-Men and entrusted her to Magneto’s care. In this timeline, Destiny had established a haven called Avalon in the Savage Land, a place of peace for all who could make the difficult journey there. Mystique was responsible for transporting people on the last leg of their voyage to Avalon. She was not above demanding almost all of the people’s belongings as payment, but had nothing in common with the pirates who preyed on and killed the escapees. For some undisclosed reason, Raven felt unworthy of Avalon herself and refused to set foot there, despite Destiny’s repeated invitations. Finally, she was forced to go there alongside Nightcrawler, as Magneto had asked them to bring Destiny to America to help them and the stranger, Bishop, in an attempt to correct the timeline and end Apocalypse’s oppressive rule.
Just think about it. If Sabertooth were Nightcrawler's father, a more interesting storyline could have been pursued. Let's just say Mystique committed adultery with Sabertooth and technically it'd be the second time the two would mate with each other. Their first son Graydon was born without powers and their second son Nightcrawler was born with powers. This may create an interesting storyline to how two mutant parents can have one human son which a reverse of human parents having at least one mutant child. If you think about it mutants are still biologically human with some differences.
I would have actually preferred Nightcrawler to be played as Sabertooth's son. This would give Graydon more motivation to hate all mutants and not just his parents Mystique and Sabertooth. Let's just say that Mystique actually dropped Nightcrawler because her affair with Sabertooth got exposed but she would later regret and try to find her son. But she would continue to hate her human son Graydon. Then another possible storyline is that Nightcrawler would be left in utter confusion when he learns that both his parents are villains. That storyline could have been more interesting than introducing Azazel last 2003 as his father. Azazel could still be kept as the father of both Kiwi Black and Abyss but I'd rather have Sabertooth as Nightcrawler's father.