X-Men fans know the long-standing Nightcrawler to be a fun-loving and somewhat philosophical type that would readily put his life on the line for pretty much anyone in need. He is a noble character with morals and a sense of justice. But, as it turns out, that was not always the plan for the loveable blue elf.
Dave Cockrum, Nightcrawler’s creative “father”, originally (as in pre-X-Men) worked for DC as an artist on Legion of Super-Heroes. Nightcrawler, along with X-Men staples Storm and Colossus were conceptualized while he was there. It is only a falling out with the comic company that drove Cockrum and these three famous X-Men to Marvel.
When he first created Nightcrawler, Cockrum had him designed to be an alien from a parallel dimension whose real name was Baalshazzar (though he still went by Nightcrawler in super-hero mode). He was possessed of a villainous intent, a cliche speech impediment and fit the archetype of demon in pretty much every way.
After the transfer to Marvel, however, Nightcrawler would transform from hellspawn to hero. Chris Claremont’s vision of the newly revived X-Men brought Nightcrawler (along with Storm and Colossus) on board and revamped his personality to the heroic chap that we all know today.
For an inside look at the original concept art and character notes, check out the pic below:
Thanks to geektyrant for this tasty tidbit.