The many names of Kitty PrydePosted: 05/29/2014
While not as wishy-washy as Hank Pym, the X-Man Kitty Pryde changed her superhero name three times within her first five years. Today, we’ll take a look at them, if just because the Internet should be a place where no matter what question you have, there should be a website answering it. That’s the rules — I didn’t make them up. Following a similar format from last article, let’s get into this. After all, today is educational.
She first showed up as a wide-eyed, optimistic thirteen-and-a-half year-old girl in Uncanny X-Men #129, written by Chris Claremont and written by John Byrne. Some trivia: this issue also premiered the psychic and eventual Cyclops paramour Emma Frost which my dear friend firestorm78 best describes as a “fabulous bitch.”
Can you tell the romantic sparks flying from the moment Kitty sees her future crush Colossus? He’s, and not to emphasize the powerful rhetoric used, “kinda neat-looking.” I tease, but I’m always disappointed when I read a Marvel comic that doesn’t have a robot attack anytime characters step into a diner. From what I’ve read, it’s a good 50% chance of the store owner collecting insurance when a superhero gets hungry in public. Also, you see those svelte superhero physiques? Imagine the calories burned when you have to claw terrorists in between each bite of your hamburger.
In two issues, Kitty officially joins the team as Jean Grey uses her psychic powers to change Kitty’s parents’ minds about having their daughter be raised by superheroes. I’m just saying that’s the same type of unethical actions that caused Cyclops to kick Professor X out of the X-Men. But to be fair, Jean Grey is slightly more attractive.
The girl joins the fighting roster ten issues later in Uncanny X-Men #139, written by Claremont and drawn by Byrne. Though it may be odd to have a seventh grader fight alongside adults battling catastrophic global threats, the original X-Men were only fifteen when they started shooting laser eye blasts at Magneto
Kitty must be referring to the soda with her tab joke, because the Urban Dictionary only refers to a tab as a potentially offensive word to call Asians and I don’t think that applies. She ditches the Sprite name after thirty issues (and the name is currently used by a mutant at Wolverine’s school), but remember Kitty’s proclamation on the top of the second page. Ariel? Ew. Which brings us to her second superhero name:
This is where it gets complicated. She definitely takes the name Ariel, but there’s no big reveal like before. From what I could gather, she first shows off her new costume in Uncanny X-Men #169, written by Claremont and drawn by Paul Smith.
She expresses discontent with Sprite, but so far she’s only switched outfits to a Cirque du Soleil disco theme. In the famous graphic novel X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills, written by Claremont and drawn by Brent Eric Anderson, we first see her called by her new identity.
The change to Ariel comes from some trauma she experienced with the Morlock underground a few issues back. She almost married one to save Colossus’ life — who never thanks her and then starts dating someone else — and now the fourteen year-old figures she should upgrade to a more “adult” thing. Like most middle schoolers believe.
Three years later she gets kidnapped by ninjas, brought to Japan, and brainwashed into an assassin.
Breaking free from the evil ninja leader Ogun’s control, she starts her revenge. Which goes badly. The girl’s no Wolverine. Still, before the climactic confrontation, she admits that she’s evolved. Her hair has gotten shorter, her attitude has gotten tougher, and her eye makeup has gotten darker. Meet the new Kitty in Kitty Pryde & Wolverine #5, written by Claremont and drawn by Allen Milgrom.
I like Shadowcat — it’s a great superhero name. Apparently, so does she, because she sticks with it until present day. Though I can’t remember reading a comic I’ve read in the past two or three years where she’s called Shadowcat — she gets the Emma Frost and Luke Cage treatment of just getting addressed by her real name in place of her alias. But like most comics before that — here is 2010’s Uncanny X-Men #521 as proof — she’s referred to as Shadowcat:
Hopefully you’ve learned something today — that’s the greatest gift I could give, y’know, after money or material goods. On Monday, we see an inside look at how Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman pick the Justice League. Spoiler alert: it’s not cage fighting.