When we think of superheroes we often think of their powers, their gifts, what makes them super. We don’t often think about the adversity that many superheroes face. However, some superheroes can be an excellent catalyst to discuss difficult topics such as race and prejudice. One such superhero is X-Men’s Nightcrawler.

N is for Nightcrawler 

There are various versions of Nightcrawler but generally speaking in most versions he is known as Kurt Wagoner, the son of Mystique and the demon Azrael. He is a priest and extremely religious. His powers are the ability to teleport within his line of sight; he also is a fantastic acrobatic and he’s generally good with the sword.
Outside of alternative realities, Nightcrawler is one of the few superheroes who pretty much always plays the good guy. Very little swapping of sides for his character. He just wants to help people, so he makes for a good role model.

Today we talked about Nightcrawler as he was seen in the X-Men United (or X2) movie. In the movie, Nightcrawler, talks about how the people were cruel to him, and how he didn’t hate them for it.

“You know, outside the circus, most people were afraid of me. But I didn’t hate them. I pitied them. Do you know why? Because most people will never know anything beyond what they see with their own two eyes.”

As a way of exploring what this means, we painted our faces our favorite colors and then we talked about what was different and what was the same. Our skin was different. People looked at us differently when we left the house. But everything else was the same. All the good qualities and personality flaws we had before we put the face paint on were still there even though we looked different.

We talked about how people are the same on the inside, no matter how they look on the outside.

It was a simple activity but one that definitely made an impact and really helped LittleMan and SunnyGirl grasp that there is more to a person than their appearance.


This post has been part of The ABCs of Raising Well-Rounded Geeklings series.

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