Thursday, August 25, 2005

Favorite Female Characters #22: Kitty Pryde

Kitty Pryde made her debut back in Uncanny X-Men #129, which also featured the first appearance of Emma Frost, the White Queen. This issue was back in the hay-day of Chris Claremont and John Byrne, and to this day is seen as an integral part of X-Men lore. To me, it will always be most notable for giving fans an accessable female hero close to our age at the time.

Kitty come from humble beginnings, and her normalcy has always been refreshing. Even in startling and dangerous circumstances, fans can always depend on Kitty to be their touchstone. When we are shown things through her eyes, we not only see the evil; we also see the injustices.

Kitty is currently in residence at the X-Mansion as a member of the "Astonishing" team. Writer Joss Whedon hand picked her as a perfect foil to Emma, and as a character he also wanted to know at a younger age. It is nice to see Kitty in the spotlight again, though from time to time I have enjoyed her stints in the shadows so to speak.

Born with the power to phase through objects and become immaterial, Kitty had to adjust to her new physical state. At first, she disrupted equipment without thinking first, and seemed tentative. As she has grown into her power, it is refreshing to see her find new and innovative ways to use it. I also like that Kitty has a great bit of skill with computers and is considered a brain. It gives her a non-mutant edge that other members of her other team may not have.

Who can forget the opening line of Uncanny X-Men #168- "Professor Xavier is a Jerk", as shouted by Kitty? She went through very rough patches, and this issue serves as a spotlight of her personality and growth. I highly reccomend it for fans for Kitty Pryde.

My other favorite time period for Kitty is when she joined Excalibur, especially during Warren Ellis' run on the book. Kitty dated a man other then Colossus, giving her an added depth. The fact that said man (Pete Wisdom) was older and much more experienced, only gave the readers much more to be interested in. My favorite issue of that era is Excalibur #91 (Seen at right), when the whole group goes down to the local pub and ties one on. Very compelling stuff.

As Kitty has grown up, we have grown with her. Though she has remained young compared to us readers who have unfortunately continued to age at a rapid rate, we still feel an empathy and a similarity with her as a character that few others ever attain.

If you have heard the name Kitty Pryde but were never interested, or were worried it wasn't cool to like her why don't you go back and revisit her? Check out some of the issues above, as well as the Uncanny X-Men issues in that time period. Marvel has put out Essential trades that are reasonably priced- a great starter for fans on a budget.

Kitty Pryde is the comic book version of me and my girl friends back in the day, only a lot wiser and a lot more powerful. That is why I will always have a deep appreciation of the character.

Look Kitty up some time, you will be glad you did.

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