The Dawn of X has arrived. With it, we’ve got two new books, so far. X-Men #1 and Marauders #1.
X-Men was very much an introduction to the new status quo, at least through the lens of the Summers’ family and their, uh… interesting living arrangements on the Moon. It’s a setup issue.
If the first issue of Marauders is doing much the same, then it looks like we can look forward to a whole lot of Kitty Pryde. Is that a good thing? It depends on who you ask.
She most certainly has her fans, but when compared to her counterparts, Kitty is still kind of a niche character. She’s always seemed to have more support from editorial than the fans.
Since she became the headmistress of the Jean Grey School after Schism, perhaps even before that during Joss Whedon’s run of Astonishing X-Men– Kitty’s been at the forefront of X-Men stories. So, do we need yet another book starring everyone’s favorite kitten?
Kitty Pryde has been a staple in the X-Men mythos for the better part of 40-years. Growing up reading the books, she’s always just been there, doing stuff. Nothing offensive. Kind of annoying. But never to the point where I can say her inclusion was a bother or distraction. She’s just been there.
After her stint with the ‘80s X-Men teams, in the ‘90s she migrated over to Europe and joined Excalibur along with teammates, Nightcrawler and on-again/off-again love interest, Colossus.
During the X-Men franchise’s most bombastic decade, she spent most of it as part of that satellite book, or in limbo (not the hell-dimension). By decades end, she’d return to main books just in time for another X-Men resurgence thanks to the live-action movie in which she had a cameo.
Her character was also made part of the X-Men: Evolution animated series cast. In 2004, Joss Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men series’ leaned heavily on the character which functioned much like the reader’s point of view. Very much the Buffy Summers of his run.
Kitty wasn’t the center of attention for long. She sacrificed herself to save the planet from being shattered by a giant bullet. She phased herself along with the object and allowed it to pass safely through Earth. However, she was trapped within it, in a constant state of phase. The bullet remained in orbit until Magneto was able to retrieve it years later (our time).
This was after M-day and close to the creation of the mutant nation of Utopia. Schism saw the X-Men split down the middle, one-half followed Wolverine back to Westchester to form the Jean Grey School, while the other remained on the Cyclops governed Utopia.
Kitty, having followed Logan, became a co-head of the institute alongside Wolverine. Logan not being much of an educator, she soon took over completely.
After the Avengers Vs. X-Men event Kitty was more leader than a teacher. The original X-Men which had been ripped from the past had become her pupils as she and they bounced from All-New X-Men to Uncanny X-Men. All of a sudden, she’d become a master tactician and mutant power expert.
Under her leadership and Brian Michael Bendis’ pen, the X-Men soon journeyed into space and adventured with the Guardians of Galaxy (another book he was writing) for the Black Calderon arc. By story’s end, she received a power boost and ultimately chose to remain in space with her new love interest, Star-Lord effectively joining the Guardians. Though there was a proposal, a wedding between the two heroes never happened.
In 2017, the X-Men had finally been permitted to matter again. This came with the announcement of several new ongoing including color-coded X-Men team titles in Blue, Red, and Gold. The latter starring none other than Kitty Pryde.
She’d returned from space as a single woman trying to find her place in a changing world. She’d been missing since before Secret Wars, thus wasn’t involved in the latest extinction-level event. Storm, who had taken up leadership of the X-Men and the mutant race at large, literally surrendered her role to Kitty, who reluctantly accepted the burden.
Much of Gold revolved around displaying her awesomeness as a leader and the revival of her love-affair with Colossus which culminated with a marriage proposal… from her to him. However, the union wasn’t to be. On the wedding day, after a talk with Magik, Kitty bailed on Colossus at the altar. The run ended soon after as Uncanny X-Men: Disassembled was on the horizon.
In that story, X-Man (Nate Grey) in a full messiah complex, abducted Kitty and made her part of his three-headed counsel alongside a human politician, and Apocalypse.
Like most of the X-Men characters, she was exiled to an alternate reality made by Nate during a crossover called the Age of X-Man. Everything that happened there can be ignored, as none of it ultimately matters. For the most part, that catches us up to the present day.
Marauders is an X-Men team title written by one, Gerry Duggan. Judging by the cover and the sheer amount of Kitty in issue one, it’s not hard to figure out who’s the star of this book. Duggan, while a witty and entertaining author, has been guilty of overexposing his star characters. He did much of the same with Rogue and Deadpool during his Uncanny Avengers run.
The question remains; with so much Kitty Pryde focus that’s been featured over the last decade, do we need more of it?
Before the end of the first issue, Kitty changed her name to “Kate,” agreed to take on the title of Red Queen of the Hellfire Club, and captain a large ship to ferry wayward mutants to Krakoa.
Chances are, she’ll also take the last remaining seat upon Krakoa’s Quiet Council seeing as her partners are Emma and Shaw, the other heads of the organization. That’s a lot of character development for just a single issue.
At this point, it feels any further shocking developments for the character are just writers forcing it in. I didn’t even get into the fact that Kitty herself may not even be a mutant as she cannot access the Krakoan gateway system.
I’ll say it again, I don’t dislike the character, but with so many underutilized characters within the X-Men catalog, and weighed against how much Kitty-centric stories we’ve already gotten, do we need more? Do we even want more? Let us know what you think below.