Kitty Pryde and Wolverine
|Kitty Pryde and Wolverine|
Kitty Pryde and Wolverine #6 (April 1985), art by Al Milgrom.
|Publication date||November 1984 – April 1985|
|Number of issues||6|
|Main character(s)||Kitty Pryde
In the introductory pages of the hardcover edition of Kitty Pryde and Wolverine (published 2008), Milgrom explains that the mini-series was powered by three main ideas. Firstly, Wolverine was the "hottest property around" that the X-Men franchise had, so stories with him would sell well. Secondly, Kitty Pryde was "Chris' [Claremont] baby", and Claremont was eager to develop this character further. Thirdly, Milgrom himself saw this as a unique chance to work with Marvel Comics legend Claremont.
Claremont then wrote a story in which he could bring in new angles on the two characters. Kitty Pryde — previously little more than a sweet and innocent "kid sister" for the older X-Men, a literary foil to provide light-hearted moments — was portrayed as troubled with "teenager self-doubt and self-deprecation", "searching for her very soul" and going through the coming of age. Wolverine was put into the honor-driven, mystical Japanese culture, in which he was no longer the X-Men's campy hardman but "grim and gritty".
To express the atypically dark and personal story, Milgrom also adapted his drawing style, using bolder, darker and more dynamic strokes. In the end, he was very satisfied with the project.
In six issues, writer Chris Claremont takes Kitty Pryde fresh from her breakup with Colossus in Uncanny X-Men #184 and puts her through a trial of fire in which she confronts her inner demons and emerges victorious. Claremont also plays off the contrast between Kitty and the battle-hardened Wolverine, and the two very different characters establish a platonic, brother-and-sister-like rapport (beginning a tradition of sorts for Wolverine and young female sidekicks). A testament to his newfound esteem for her character, Wolverine would even consider Kitty as a potential leader for the X-Men, were it not for her sheer youth, in later issues of the regular series.
Kitty Pryde and Wolverine is also responsible for establishing Kitty's superhero image, finally settling on a costume which she would wear into the early 1990s, and choosing the codename "Shadowcat" (having previously flitted between "Ariel" and "Sprite"), which she took on after this adventure and has held on until today.
Kitty Pryde's father Carmen has run into trouble with the Japanese Yakuza. In order to help him, Kitty follows him on a business trip but is captured by mob boss Shigematsu and the evil ninja Ogun, who brainwashes her into becoming a deadly ninja assassin. After she single-handedly slices up a group of ninjas, he orders her to kill Logan (Wolverine).
A masked Kitty almost kills Wolverine, before she is knocked out by Logan's friend Yukio and comes to her senses. Terrified at having been turned into a killing machine, Kitty wants to flee, but Logan forces her to overcome her conditioning by focusing on her inner strength. When Kitty, Yukio and Logan vanquish their opponents, Kitty has the chance to kill Ogun. But she balks, stating she cannot do it. For Wolverine, it is the proof that she is truly herself again. When Ogun tries to kill her, Wolverine impales him on his claws. They clear Carmen Pryde's name and return to the United States.
Although the limited series was important for both the characters of Kitty Pryde and Wolverine, it was only reprinted twice; once in Wolverine And Gambit (Issues 62 to 68) and again later in June 2008 (in premiere hardback form, ISBN 0-7851-3089-6).
In other media
Kitty Pryde and Wolverine's close, platonic relationship is hinted at in many episodes of the animated TV series X-Men: Evolution, where Wolverine calls Kitty "half-pint." In an episode that mirrors the limited series, a mind-controlled Wolverine attempts to kill Kitty, but she manages to reach through and free him.
- Kitty Pryde and Wolverine, hardcover edition (2008), "Introduction with Al Milgrom"