Lent 2024, Day 25: Human or Mutant.

With X-Men ‘97 set to debut a week from today (yes, my little Millennial heart is overflowing with joy), I figured I’d share this post from Relevant about an episode that was part of the original 1990s series run that had Logan contemplating the goodness of God:

The first episode of season four [it’s actually the 8th episode -adf], titled “Nightcrawler,” follows Wolverine, Rogue and Gambit on a ski trip in Germany that gets waylaid when the three take up shelter in a German monastery where they meet the pious Kurt Wagner, a mutant whose conventionally demonic appearance has driven him from society, while his saintly demeanor chuffs Wolverine’s trademark grouchiness.

Throughout the episode, it is truly astonishing how in-depth this cartoon is willing to go into thorny theology, with Wolverine refusing to believe in a God who could let bad things happen to good people, while Nightcrawler strikes a distinctly Augustinian posture of trusting God’s higher ways.

“God gave up on us a long time ago,” Wolverine snarls.

“God does not give up on His children,” Nightcrawler says. “He is there for us in times of joy and when we are in pain, if we let Him.”

This is the sort of wholesome Christian content people in the 90s were always saying was missing from pop culture entertainment. Maybe they were just looking in the wrong places.

“Don’t tell me about God,” Wolverine growls. “What kind of God would let man do this to me?”

“Our ability to understand God’s purpose is limited,” Nightcrawler says. “But we take comfort in the fact that His love is limitless.”

Later, when Rogue expresses dismay that the monastery was damaged by some angry villagers, Nightcrawler brushes it off. “It was only stone and mortar,” he reasons. “The foundation God has built in our hearts can never be destroyed.”

The episode concludes with Nightcrawler gifting Wolverine a Bible that he’s marked up, and while our grouchy hero accepts it only reluctantly, Rogue later spies him praying Isaiah 12:1 in a Parisian church.

Gambit, who was always terrible, apostatizes.

Gambit, terrible? No way, mon cheri! If you have Disney+, you can watch it here.

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