Published September 20, 2023

Nightcrawler’s Hopesword, Explained

What is the Hopesword? Learn more about Nightcrawler's supernatural weapon, which was forged by Margali Szardos in his worst hour.

Thanks to the anti-mutant organization Orchis, mutants like the X-Men are hated and feared more than ever across the Marvel Universe—and perhaps no mutant is more hated or feared than Nightcrawler. Despite his friendly demeanor and heroic history, the fuzzy blue teleporter is now one of the most wanted people on Earth. 

Even though most of mutantkind remains missing or in hiding, Nightcrawler has found a way to continue fighting crime: as a Spider-Man-inspired hero. Using one of Spider-Man's spare suits, Kurt Wagner protects the streets of New York with the Hopesword, a weapon embodying everything that makes him a true hero.

Now, let's take a closer look at the Hopesword and how it became Nightcrawler's new signature weapon. We'll also break down the blade's tortured history as Nightcrawler jumps into action with it in UNCANNY SPIDER-MAN (2023) #1 by Si Spurrier, Lee Garbett, Matt Milla, and VC's Joe Caramagna.


The Hopesword is the physical embodiment of the hope that runs deep through Nightcrawler. In the same way the Soulsword is a manifestation of Illyana Rasputin's soul, the Hopesword essentially transforms the relentless optimism that defines Nightcrawler into a tangible object—an astral cutlass blade that speaks to Kurt Wagner's dreams of swashbuckling adventure. The Hopesword was created by Margali Szardos, a powerful magic user and Nightcrawler's adoptive mother, who pulled the weapon out of her adoptive son in LEGION OF X (2022) #10 by Si Spurrier, Netho Diaz, Sean Parsons, and Alvaro Lopez.   

At a moment when Nightcrawler's faith in the mutant nation Krakoa was wavering, Szardos specifically targeted her son as part of a larger Orchis plot. In its efforts to increase anti-mutant sentiment, Orchis hired Szardos to cast a spell that would cause mutants to turn into rampaging, monstrous versions of themselves. Around that same time, Nightcrawler dealt with his doubts by creating and embracing the Spark, a philosophy centered on trying new things, practicing empathy, and joyfully embracing the possibilities created by those actions. 

Shortly after the Spark became Krakoan dogma, Szardos hexed Nightcrawler, and the X-Man sprouted horns and slowly began taking on a corrupting, monstrous form. When the bestial Nightcrawler was consumed by doubt and barely holding on to his mind, Szardos forged Nightcrawler's hope into the Hopesword and drew it forth from his body. 

Since Nightcrawler had previously wielded the Soulsword, Szardos used the spiritual impression left by that magical weapon to create the Hopesword with relative ease. After taking the blade as her payment for working with Orchis, Szardos left an agonized Nightcrawler for dead as he transformed into an even more nightmarish creature.


While Szardos created the Hopesword that Nightcrawler now wields, Mother Righteous tried to claim it as her own, too. A clone of the original Mister Sinister's late wife, Mother Righteous was created to study the mystic arts as a way to keep Nathaniel Essex's legacy alive beyond the eventual rise of the machines. 

Just as she began making deals with various mutants to increase her power, Mister Sinister created the SINS OF SINISTER timeline, where he corrupted the X-Men—who subsequently took over the universe. Throughout this timeline, Mother Righteous gathered several mystical artifacts to increase her power, including the Hopesword, in NIGHTCRAWLERS (2023) #2 by Si Spurrier and Andrea Di Vito

As she amassed power, Mother Righteous successfully undid the spell that turned Nightcrawler into a monster after years of study. Then, Mister Sinister began incorporating Nightcrawler's DNA into his cloned hybrid mutants, leading Mother Righteous to use the principles of the Spark to bring several of these clones under her control. When a fully bestial Nightcrawler saw what Mother Righteous had done, he attacked her for corrupting the meaning of the Spark, and she used the Hopesword to kill the X-Man.

When the modern-day Mother Righteous received knowledge of this abandoned future, she acted on it in X-MEN: BEFORE THE FALL: SONS OF X (2023) #1 by Spurrier and Phil Noto. After ingratiating herself with the X-Men, Mother Righteous worked with several of Nightcrawler's teammates to free him from Orchis captivity, where he languished in a mindless bestial state and was forced to commit high-profile assassinations to tarnish mutantkind's public image. 

When Mother Righteous and her team infiltrated Orchis, Szardos used the Hopesword to injure Legion. Mother Righteous then claimed the weapon and Margali's power for herself to complete a mystical deal they made together.


Despite her apparent good intentions, Mother Righteous did not give the Hopesword to Nightcrawler without a fight. After she used her knowledge of the future to break the spell on Kurt, Legion asked her to return the blade to fully heal him and restore the Spark within him. When she refused, Legion and his teammates attacked. 

In the ensuing battle, they grabbed the Hopesword and returned it to Nightcrawler, who used it against Mother Righteous. Although she killed the mutants in a blast of mystical energy, Nightcrawler was revived through the Krakoan Resurrection Protocols, with the sword now stored within his body. 

Still wanted for the killings he committed while under Orchis control, Nightcrawler exiled himself from Krakoa just before an Orchis attack brought down the nation and left most of the world's mutants missing. Now wearing a Spider-Man suit that fully covers his body and conceals his identity, Nightcrawler is focused on helping one person at a time with his Hopesword. As mutantkind teeters on the edge of extinction, Nightcrawler's hope may be one of the strongest forces mutants have left.

Behold the might of Nightcrawler's Hopesword in UNCANNY SPIDER-MAN #1, now on sale!

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