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Growing up in the late '80s to mid '90s, cartoons were the best. From G.I. Joe to Mighty Max, they were as important to me as video games. Over the past 10 years I've rewatched my old favorite shows. Some aged horribly, making me wish I'd left the memories alone. Others have only gotten better with time + an older set of eyes. This episode is one of my all-time favorites. It touches on some topics I couldn't appreciate as a kid... but now as a grown adult, the messages really resonate with me. It touches on issues such as faith, not judging a book by its cover, the danger of being ignorant, accepting others who are different from us and the struggle man often has with whether or not there is a God. Originally aired on May 13 of '95, nearly 20 years on RVG proudly presents

                                      One of the best and most poignant cartoon episodes I've ever seen

It was a cold, dark and stormy night somewhere near the Alps...

                                                        "I saw the fiend!  It had fangs!  And claws!"

"It was horrible!  It haunts us!"

                                                   "We must do something!  We shall destroy him!"


                                            "AHHH!!  IT'S THE DEMON!!!  THE CURSED CREATURE!!"

"Schieß!  Schieß!"

"Get him!"

"Destroy the demon!"

"Shoot it now!"

                                         "Don't let it get away!  Hurry!  What, it vanished into thin air!?"

"Heartless fools. They know not what they do"

"I know," she say. "Let's take a trip," she say. "It'd be fun." Huh!  Some fun

"After what we've been through lately, I figured we could use some time off"

"But you didn't tell me we'd have a chaperone"

                                               "Don't whine to me. This ain't my idea of a good time"

"Hey, hoser, I thought you liked to ski"

"This is sitting around drinking cocoa and getting funny looks from rich folk"

                                        "Look at him. Who does he think he is, huh?  Hugh Jackman?"

"Yeah, well, next time, plan your own darn vacation!"

                                                                            "CHÈRE!  WAIT!"

"Well, I hope you're happy"

                                                           "Don't know the meaning of the word"

"Come on, a demon?
You must be kidding"

"I heard it on the train. The whole town thinks they've been under attack by some dark creature for months. Must be some local yokel superstition"


"I’ll make it up to you. We’ll fly to Monte Carlo. We eat nice, lie on the beach…"

                                               "Or you two could do something REALLY interesting"

"Where are you going?"

"Demon hunting. Interested?"

"WHAT hunting?"

"Gambit, a demon hunter?  I'm gonna regret this, aren't I?"

"Exactly how far is this Neuherzl?"

                                                    "A couple of more miles. Why?  You quitting?"

"It IS getting kind of late. Maybe I ought to fly us there"

"What, and spoil Gumbo’s fun?"

"Okay. So we don’t ski much on the bayou"

                                                      *giggling*  "You sure you don’t want help?"

"Of course not. Gambit a natural athlete. … AHH!"

                                                               "Come on, Remy. Say something"

"Man doesn’t break a sweat against Apocalypse or Magneto. So, so WHAT nails him?  A pine tree"

"Wait... OH CRAP"



"Please, do not worry. This is home to twenty members of our order.
We minister to many
ski accident victims"

"Logan!  How is he?"

"Gambit will hurt a while. But he’ll be okay"

                                                                          "Praise be to God"

*sniffing*  "Who's the snoop?"

"Brother Reinhard. Please show our guests to the visitor accommodations"

"Brother, is it wise to have strangers around at this terrible time?  They're not the usual travelers!"

"Those in need are always welcome, Brother Reinhard. Please have faith in our mission"

"You all are monks?  So, I’m the only woman here"

"Yeah. Therefore, would you be kind enough to accept something more appropriate to wear during your stay?"

"Don’t wanna make the natives restless"

"You should take care where you walk. Some doors on the upper levels open into thin air. The abbey was heavily damaged during the war"

"So, Johann, besides praying and ministering, what do you boys do all day?"

"Our mission is to give shelter and comfort to all travelers"

"And, of course, to offer a place to renew one’s relationship with the Lord"

"Being close to Heaven didn’t help us this afternoon, Father"

"Are you sure, sir?  Have you lost your faith?  What is it that you seek?"

                                       "Action. F'rinstance, I hear ya got a demon hangin' around here"

"You mean down in the town, in Neuherzl. Yes. An odd rumor, isn’t it? Personally, I have never myself met a demon..."

"I better go check on Gambit. It beats all this demon talk..."

"Pardon, Reverend, I didn’t expect… hey!  What are you doing?"

*GASP*  "Oh no!  They must serve the demon!"


"There! You are safe now!"


                                                               "Please!  You do not understand!"


                                                           "TRY HOPPING OVER THESE, PAL!"

"I do not wish to fight"

*Wolverine pulls off the old wrestling shake and throw routine*

"You and me are through dancing, Mr. Demon!"

"No!  You mustn’t!"

                                                                       "WHY SHOULDN'T I?!"


"Brother?  I don’t see the resemblance"

                                       "Brother in the ecclesiastical sense; a member of our monastery"

"I am sorry I startled you, Fräulein. I did not know you could fly"

"It’s okay. I didn’t know you could do whatever that was you did"

"Teleportation. I think of a place I’d rather be, look to it, and I am there"

"Gambit rather be in Monte Carlo. Think you can work that out?"

                                         "Enough small talk!  Are you the guy who attacked Gambit?"

"Of course not!  Brother Nightcrawler is a man of God"

"But, you are the demon we heard tell about?"

"In a manner of speaking, yes. Like yourselves, I am a mutant. But unlike most mutants, my condition was obvious from the moment I was born"

                                              "AHH!  IT'S A MONSTER!  AN ABOMINATION OF GOD!"

"The villagers drove my mother away... for bearing such a freak"

                                         "I never even knew her name. She could be anyone, really...."

"She abandoned me..."

                                                                       "... but I did not die..."

"Instead... I was found
by a family of traveling performers. I became Nightcrawler, the star attraction of their little circus. For their freakish world, I was perfect!"

"But when the spotlight went out, I was still an outcast. Shunned and hated"

"Guess there no peace for the wicked-looking"


"No, he’s right. Though all people are flawed and all struggle with the capacity for sin, none likes to be reminded of our shared human weakness. My appearance does not make it easy"

"Don’t it make you crazy?!"

"It did once. But then I found peace by devoting my life to God. He directed me to this place, where they value the character of my heart, not my appearance"

"What are you talking about?  We’re MUTANTS! God gave up on us a long time ago!"

"No, my friend. God does not give up on any of His children, be it human or mutant. He is there for us in our times of joy, and to help us when we are in pain… if we let Him"

"Don’t give me that easy answer garbage!  I’ve tried! Don’t ya think I want that!!
I don’t need a sermon from some circus boy preacher''

          "Looks like you
          touched a nerve"

                                                         "I am sorry. I did not mean to upset him"

"Fine. Now Gambit got a question. If you’re not the guy who tried to put me out for good, who was?"

"All people of Neuherzl!
I can no longer allow such sacrilege!  The beast you seek is there!  In the monastery!"

                                                           "Are you mad?  Those are men of God!"

"The EVIL ONE has defiled that holy place!  It must be destroyed!"

"You are searching for me?"

                                                              "Nah, looking for a moment alone"

"We are alike, you and I, angry at the world, and ourselves. My pain drove me to seek God. Yours drove you away"

"Don’t tell me about God! What kind of God would let men do THIS to me?"

"Our ability to understand God’s purpose is limited, but we take comfort in the fact His love is limitless"

                                                         *SCOFFS*  "I used to buy into all that..."


                                                                 "... and I've done too much..."

"Life will ALWAYS be hard... I understand this better than most"

"Yet despite it all, people of every faith believe there is a God who loves them"

"Can so many be wrong?"

                                                            "OPEN YOUR HEART, HERR LOGAN"

"Would it hurt so much to see the world through different eyes?"

"Brother!  There is a mob headed up the road from Neuherzl. They must have discovered you are here"

"And they want to rip you into little pieces. Tell me, preacher. What’s God’s purpose in that?"

"Neuherzl is isolated. The people know nothing about mutants. Perhaps I am here to help open their hearts. I must leave so no one will be hurt"

"Running away, preacher?  What’s wrong?  Lose your faith?"

                                                         "Why?  Why must they always hate me?"

                                            "WE MUST STOP THE DEMON NO MATTER THE COST!"

"Remember, Logan. Those people aren’t bad. They’re just scared. Be careful"

"Careful?  Fifty against two?"

                                       "Trois, mes amis. Don’t you know Gambit’s ready for anything?"

"You sure you’re up to this?"

"Course, chére. Soon as the room stop spinning"

                                             "LET'S BREAK THE DOOR DOWN!  YEEEEEEEEAH!!!!!"

"Welcome Wagon's here"

                                                "DEVIL!  DESTROY THE DEMON!  OUT WITH YOU!!"


                                                         "FIRST, YOU'VE GOT TO GET PAST ME!"

                                                              "Okay, people, now settle down!"

                                                                         "DON'T TOUCH ME!"


                                       "Stop the demons! Our families! They want to hurt us! Kill them!"


"I’m trying not to turn you bozos into hamburger. Now back off!"

                                              "Bitte, Frau Kohler!  You know us!  Please listen to us!"

"Nein!  You are a pawn of the Evil One!  Tell us where your monster is hiding!"

                                                                             "I am not hiding"


"The library?  How did we get here?"

"Gambit not enjoying this vacation one bit"

"Get him downstairs!"

"What are you going to do?"

"I will surrender. It is the only way to prevent anyone else getting hurt"

"Brother Reinhard!  STOP!"

                                                                  "THIS IS THE END, DEMON!"

"Be careful!  The whole place is burning down!"


                                                *GASP*  "The demon is attacking Brother Reinhard!"

"I shall surrender!"

                                       "NO!  YOU HAVE CORRUPTED THIS PLACE!  I MUST PURIFY IT!"


"Go ahead demon, do your worst! … Why do you pause?  I have betrayed you!"

                                                   "It is not for me to judge you, Brother Reinhard"

"The question is... how will God judge you?"

                                        "Look around you. This is the fruit of YOUR labors... not mine!"


                                       "Lord help me!  I was wrong!  I have sinned!  What have I done?"

"Thank you, my friends. Your presence here was a great blessing"

                                       "What do you mean, blessing?!  Look at this place!  We blew it!"

"I disagree. Brother Reinhard understands his tragic mistake and has repented"

                                       "The townspeople no longer look at me with fear in their hearts"

"There was no loss of life. All are reasons to be thankful"

                                                                   "What about the monastery?"

"A great tragedy. But it was only stone and mortar"

                                       "The foundation God has built in our hearts can never be ruined"

"Man, I don't get you"

                                           "Here, I’ve marked a few passages you may find rewarding"

                                                    "Remember, Herr Logan... DIFFERENT EYES..."

                                                       *SIGH*  "Paris. Back in the civilized world"

"I don’t know. Those quiet little monks were starting to grow on me"

"Face it, chére, those monks kid themselves. We on our own in this world. Life is random.
Deal you a full house,
or a busted flush"

"Something I said?"

                                                       "Ah well. Looks like more food for Gambit"

*SIGH*  "What if he’s right?  What if there’s nothing else?"

"I will give thanks to you, oh Lord. For though you were angry with me, your anger turned away, and you comforted me. I will trust and will not be afraid"


I loved how this episode centered around Logan's struggle with peace and faith in something that is larger than the sum of that which he has experienced. I also loved Nightcrawler's simple and pure faith, and I also liked how they didn't shove it down your throat, but instead presented it in a way that sort of left it up to the individual to decide how to feel. It didn't beat you over the head, but the message was just strong enough to make you think about things. Not many cartoon episodes have ever stirred emotion in me quite like this one did. Is there really a God who exists, and cares for us all?  Can we find true peace from God's word? That call is up to each individual person. "Nightcrawler" did a great job of broaching the subject. Myself, I am a believer. Faith helps me. One of my favorite faith experiences is detailed below...

A couple summers ago, I organized a volunteering gig with some friends of mine. We went to wash the feet of the homeless. It was a humbling and amazing experience. I'll never forget the first man whose feet I washed. He told me right off the bat (pardon the pun...) that his name is Bruce Wayne, and that he's THE Batman. Naturally, part of me thought he was mentally damaged. But as the foot washing went on, "Bruce" shared childhood stories of his father with me, his 29 years in the truck driving business, plus his dreams growing up. Didn't take long for me to realize he's just like anyone else. At the end he thanked me and left. Three short minutes later, he walks back in and shows his identification card to me. SON OF A GUN. Sure enough, there it was, clear as a bright, warm sunny summer day. Name: BRUCE WAYNE. He wasn't kidding, he really was Bruce Wayne. He gave me a grin and I returned the gesture as we nodded before he walked out. Later, I spoke with the coordinator and she explained to me how Bruce is a regular and how his Batman persona is his own personal way of coping with being homeless. Wow. It's a little bit deeper than just "Oh, this dude's just another crazy homeless guy." The experience reminded me don't be so quick judging others -- walk a mile in their shoes.... or wash their feet.... before you decide what their story is. Overall, it was a wonderful experience. I'll never forget meeting Bruce Wayne -- THE Batman  ^_^

Everyone has their own faith / ways of coping. I prayed for Bruce

X-Men: The Animated Series writer Len Uhley reflects back fondly on the episode "Nightcrawler"