I've always been drawn to X-Men because there was a bit more complexity to it. Magneto vs Xavier has more to it than Batman vs Joker. (Batman = good. Joker = bad.)
Actually, I find the Joker/Batman relationship to be quite complex, particularly the moral question of 'who created whom' (sort of a parallel on gangsters in prohibition times, or even the current war on drugs debate). It's even similar to the Magneto/Xavier relationship in that both characters embody opposing worldviews. Batman needs order. The Joker believes wholeheartedly that life is a joke, and death is the punchline. Order is a mass delusion that can be disrupted far too easily. Joker embodies the sort of random chaos that characterizes plagues and storms, while Batman stubbornly shores up his belief in the social contract, making the devastation Joker causes seem merely transitory. It's neat.
There's actually a comic where the Joker thinks he finally killed Batman, and goes into one of his fugue states, thinking he no longer has a purpose. When he comes out, he's transformed himself into an average-Joe called Joseph Kerr who loves old comedy tapes and movies from the 30s/40s and even gets a normal, sane girlfriend. In the meantime, a wounded Bruce considers giving up the bat-ears and cloak. Only when Batman resurfaces does Joe Kerr's new persona start to crack (literally).
One of my favorite Batman/Joker exchanges took place in The Killing Joke. The Joker tells Batman about two nuts trying to escape an asylum. One tells the other he'll shine his flashlight across the rooftops so they can walk across its beam to safety. The other says, no way, you'll turn it off before I'm halfway across. To Batman, the light is his only way to freedom/salvation/whatever. To the Joker, it's intangible, an illusion. It was possibly the only time one of the Joker's jokes made Batman laugh.
But as fascinating and disturbing as I find the Joker, Nightcrawler's infinitely more awesome!
I was hesitant to jump into this pool, especially because I was so angry at the way Nightcrawler was treated and ultimately killed, but after reading through all the back-and-forth on this thread and the Wolverine and X-men #1 cover...Crawler? thread, I sort of wanted to say something.
I spent most of my childhood collecting and enjoying every single comic issue/crossover, and book that featured or even mentioned Nightcrawler (I also collect Joker, Smurfs, Doctor Who, Darkwing Duck, and Star Trek comics and books, so I'm not entirely one-dimensional. LOL) and I always felt that, in the comics, NightcrawlerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s religion, while an important part of his moral outlook and his personal views on death, was mainly harped upon because of his Ã¢â‚¬Å“demonicÃ¢â‚¬Â
"There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea's asleep and the rivers dream, people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice and somewhere else the tea is getting cold. Come on, Ace, we've got work to do."
~The Doctor, Survival
"There's no point in being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes."
~The Doctor, Robot
"If this isn't civilization, why am I standing in a bomb crater?"
~Hawkeye Pierce, M.A.S.H.
Rowena Zahnrei's Stories: http://www.fanfiction.net/u/526713/Rowena_Zahnrei