Here’s a confession: From the moment I met her in Uncanny X-Men #196, I’ve always had a crush on Kitty Pryde. At the time, I was probably 7 years old and she was just the coolest character. She could hold her own with tough guys like Wolverine, and she possessed heart and soul. Kitty was 15 years old when I first read about her, and I was in love. No doubt I wasn’t alone. She might just be Chris Claremont’s greatest creation.
Over the years Kitty has grown from a kid to a key member of X-Men leadership. In the Jonathan Hickman-overseen X-books, she leads the Marauders and, at the behest of the White Queen Emma Frost, has taken on the mantel of Red Queen of the Hellfire Club. Calling herself Kate (Kitty is so 15), the character has become a bit of a drinker and is also the only mutant unable to pass through the various gates of Krakoa.
Oh, and she’s also dead.
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Stefano Caselli
The latest issue of Marauders shows us the impact of Kate’s death on her friends. It’s especially poignant for much of the issue because, for reasons unexplained, the mutant resurrection process isn’t working on the character. While she eventually returns (I’ll let you read the how for yourself), I thought Marauders #11 was so well-crafted by writer Gerry Duggan because of the focus on those who love Kate. Nightcrawler writes a beautiful, balanced letter where he expresses his belief that Kate will be back soon enough. The typically icy Emma Frost is in tears, as the ambivalent relationship between the Queens both White and Red had been thawing in the new mutant world. The storytelling just works so well, and it isn’t for naught even when Kate manages to conquer death.
You can call her Kitty, you can call her Kate; you can call her Ariel, you can call her Shadowcat. It doesn’t matter what you call her, she’s still a great and inspiring badass, and Gerry Duggan and artist Stefano Caselli have been doing excellent and inspiring work in Maruaders. All these years later, my crush on Kitty Pryde remains intact.