X-Men '97 Director Reveals Origin of That Epic Nightcrawler BAMF Scene

Chase Conley explains Wolverine and Nightcrawler's big moment.

Across its first ten episodes, X-Men '97 delivered plenty of surprises, all while building towards a massive conflict for its ensemble of mutant characters. One of the most buzzed-about elements of X-Men '97 has been its stylistic flourishes, particularly in fight sequences. This included one sequence in the eighth episode of X-Men '97, which briefly showed Wolverine (Cal Dodd) being pulled across reality by Nightcrawler's (Adrian Hough) BAMF-ing powers. While speaking to ComicBook about the entire first season of X-Men '97, episodic director Chase Conley spoke about how that sequence came to be a reality, arguing that previous Marvel media hasn't shown the act of BAMFing from that point of view before.

"Well, we wanted to showcase powers in ways that we hadn't seen before," Conley explained in our interview. "Nightcrawler has BAMFed in so many different ways, but we had never seen the POV of someone else being in the portal with them. And also, we know for a fact that he can BAMF you and completely exhaust you. That's a thing that he can do to incapacitate you. Wolverine having a healing factor and might be the only person that wouldn't be so disoriented. That was the main approach. And even from the beginning of that scene, Marvin Britt, who's an amazing board artist, that was his handout. He did a first pass on it, and when he came to me with the script, he was like, 'I don't know what to do for this scene.' I was like, 'I got you.'"

"So I just was like, I'm going to go to town,'" Conley continued. "And I was very intentional. I boarded the hell out of it. I did a lot of background stuff. And I just wanted to see, I had a very specific vision for it, and I was just happy that our execs and Studio Mir, they adhered to some of the storyboards that I gave them. We really wanted to try to exaggerate a bit, and like I said, do something that we hadn't seen before. And also make sure that we watch Nightcrawler looking towards where he's going, as opposed to... We always see him BAMFing all over the place, but it's like he's traveling through a dimension as a shortcut, just like how you would fold a piece of paper, as far as time goes. Yeah, that was the thought process, but really just trying to see something that we've never seen before."

Is X-Men '97 Influenced by Anime?

While speaking to ComicBook earlier in the season, episodic director Emi/Emmett Yonemura revealed that one of the biggest priorities of X-Men '97 was folding in an influence from anime of the 1990s.

"One of the biggest things that even Larry Houston talks about on the original was being restricted by budget," Yonemura explained at the time. "But then you go over, and you look at the Japanese animation that was coming out at the time, and I'm sure that they were restricted by budgets as well. But look at them. Look at them. They're gorgeous. We both grew up with that as well. And Larry talked about how he was even referencing that stuff as much as he could that it meant, 'Oh. Good.' So we're all in the same mind frame here that 'Let's just bring that to the X-Men. We've got this budget now thanks to Marvel. Let's show some cool sh-t.'"

The first season of X-Men '97 is now available to stream exclusively on Disney+. If you haven't signed up for Disney+ yet, you can try it out here.