Why Do People Hate Azazel Anyway? – Blast From The Past By Paul O’Brien

Why Do People Hate Azazel Anyway? – Blast From The Past By Paul O’Brien

Posted by September 14, 2010 Comment

So Jason Flemyng has been cast as Azazel, Nightcrawler’s father, in the upcoming X-Men: First Class movie.

And I understand he’s been made fully aware about the range of disdain to outright hatred that some fans have for the character.

But how to explain that to people who didn’t sit through the extremes of the last decade’s worth of X-Men titles?

Why not reprint an absolute classic review of an Azazel storyline by one Paul O’Brien? Enjoy…


The nice thing about having more than one title for the X-Men is that readers are offered an alternative.  For example, on New X-Men, Grant Morrison writes intelligent, entertaining stories that have reinvigorated the characters.  And on Uncanny X-Men, Chuck Austen offers an alternative.

“The Draco” has three separate plotlines, all very loosely linked by the idea of parents – the Juggernaut visits Sammy Pare in Canada, Polaris continues to bitch, and Nightcrawler meets his father Azazel.  With two issues to go, Austen belatedly realises that only the first of those three arcs was heading anywhere remotely resembling a climax – and the Polaris arc wasn’t heading anywhere at all – and finally sets about explaining what Azazel is up to.

Now, pay attention, because this doesn’t make any sense.

Azazel gives the usual explanation that the references to Satan in the Bible are all actually about him.  Quite why we’re meant to care about any of this is beyond me.  Austen seems to be setting up the idea that Christianity is wrong and all the angels and demons are actually just mutants.  This isn’t a desperately interesting idea to start with, and even if it was, it has nothing to do with the plot.

According to Azazel, he used to rule the world, but was banished to another universe by mutants who resembled angels.  Fortunately for Austen’s imagery system, his dimension of banishment happens to resemble Hell.  How desperately convenient.  Anyhow, Azazel is looking for “the means to return.”  According to Azazel, his aim was to open a portal back to earth so that he could go home and rule the place.  But it’s not possible to open a portal from his dimension, since you need somebody on the other side as well.  With me so far?

Now, here’s where it gets really stupid.

Azazel needs people on Earth, right?  Right.  So he breeds with human women, and gives birth to a load of mutant teleporters.  Then he can control them from the Hell dimension, “through our genetic connection”, and make them gather together to open the portal from the other side.  Which is what he was trying to do at the beginning of the storyline.

The astute among you will immediately spot the logical hole.  How does Azazel breed with the human women?  Quite simple – as we saw back in the Prologue, he travels to earth.


Given the number of teleporters who turned up at the beginning of this arc, and the fact that Azazel had a working cover identity in the Prologue, it’s clear that he’s been making a string of regular visits to Earth.  Which means that he’s not trapped at all.  Which means that he doesn’t need to open some ridiculously elaborate portal to get back.  Which makes his entire scheme pointless.  Is anyone actually reading this nonsense before sending it on to the artist?

I’m reminded of something which, I think, was one of the Baron Munchausen stories.  The Baron is going out hiking.  He’s fully equipped for the mountains.  But alas, he’s so busy looking at the mountains that he doesn’t see where he’s going, and he falls down a well.

He tries to get out by throwing his grappling hook up to the top of the well, but the well is too deep and the hook won’t reach.  He tries to climb the walls, but they’re too slippery.  And he cries for help, but nobody hears.  Finally, having exhausted every other option, he goes home and gets a ladder.

That, in substance, is the plot of “The Draco.”  Except the Draco isn’t supposed to be funny.

Utterly dreadful.  If you like this comic, you are objectively wrong.  I can prove it with graphs.

Rating: D

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

(Last Updated September 14, 2010 4:41 pm )

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