Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Saturday, May 06, 2006

A Very Unpopular Opinion

This is an opinion that is probably very unpopular among readers of Marvel comics but...

I don't like Kitty Pryde.

At all. In fact, I find the character putrid, vapid and a mix of unlikely, fanboy cliches that are just tedious.

The thing is, she was the sort of character I really wanted to like as a kid. She was young, a bit of a newbie, she was smart, and she had a cool power.

But they couldn't stop there. Not only was she smart and like, the youngest X-Man ever at the time, no, she *also* was super-duper at computers. Which okay, I can deal with, as much as I will never be that smart, some people are.

But she's also like a master class chess player who could beat Professor Xavier. less appealing to me. I mean, I can see how the skills that make one good at computers could also make someone good at chess. And that some kids *are* capable of beating very strategically-minded, experienced adults.

But *why* is this necessary. She's already smart and the youngest X-Man ever, by this point. Why did she need to be *so* special?

And it got weirder. Okay, not only is she a hacker/programmer, chess genius, youngest X-Man ever...she's also a ballet dancer. Okay, now it's getting silly. Yes, there are genius children out there, but superheroing usually isn't in their repetoire.

And not to mention the L33t Ninja skills trained into her by Wolverine!

(I'm not even gonna get into the little magic dragon. I think I've made my point)

Now all of these would be forgiveable if she had the personality to back them up. Heck, if she were a bitch, like Emma or M, or really disorganized/disheveled like others, or just completely socially inept like most other genius-types, it'd be okay.

But no, she's all that *and* sweet and kind and approachable. A sweet little flower for Colossus to court and protect. And somehow amidst all those traits, I've never seen anyone actually convince me that there was a *character* beneath all those achievements and blanket traits. Where was her depth, her presence? Why does it seem like someone just put a bunch of surface traits on strips of paper, pulled them out of a hat, and said, "Okay, here's your character."

Give me flawed and dim and silly Jubilee *anyday*.

Well, except maybe in Excaliber. Excalibur did the impossible in that it took two characters that I had thought were one trick wonders in X-Men: Nightcrawler and Shadowcat, and actually highlighted their complexities and strength of personality. Well, in Kurt's case at least. With Kitty, they had done something else.

They were letting her grow up. And it was interesting. The uber-achievements were being toned down, and she was finally split from that insipid relationship with Colossus. For the first time, I actually felt like there was a character beneath the teenage fanboys audibly wanking over each panel. (We get it, geek women are hot. Now how about a *realistic* one.)

Pairing her with Pete Wisdom was a brilliant move too, I thought. (And I always love naming puns...heh) Like him or hate him, he brought out a side of Kitty that was fascinating. With Colossus, Kitty was constantly emphasized by her youth as a junior, subordinate partner to be protected. For all that Wisdom was presumably older than Colossus, he actually respected Kitty. Wisdom didn't want a princess to protect, he wanted a partner. One that would keep up with him and even take the lead.

The relationship was actually, refreshingly, adult. (Not to mention that for the first time EVER, that stupid dragon wasn't a waste of space. It was endlessly amusing watching him torment Pete and never being sure if he really was talking or Pete was just batshit crazy or both). Kitty was confident, mature, and showed more spark and animation arguing with Pete than *ever* in her existance before. They also toned down the hacker/genius/ballet/ninja aspects, focusing mostly on the tech stuff. Which was fine with me.

Of course this didn't last. For whatever reason, adult-Kitty wasn't as "appealing" or whatever. So they broke her off with Wisdom (forcing him from Excalibur...damnit, he was so much more interesting. They could have done whole issues of him and Moira MacTaggert arguing and I'd have been thrilled...actually now there was a May-December relationship that would have been a blast, but I digress). But really, if that was all they'd done, it would have been okay. Adult-Kitty on her own could have been a great character too.

But not too long after that, she began to revert to teenage-hood again. And they moved her back to the X-Men where she could be precocious genius ninja girl again. And apparently, they've even got her paired with Colossus (Which pisses me off to no end, considering his behavior in Excalibur, even if he was out of his mind...I would not be dating the guy who nearly beat my boyfriend to *death* because he was still obsessed with me. His fault or not.) I admit, I've read maybe one issue some time back and dropped it in disgust. I just don't care.

I want the adult back. I want the woman who was interesting and imperfect, young, talented, but not insanely so. I want the woman who turned down her childhood crush for an adult, equal partnership, even *if* they wouldn't ultimately stay together. I want the woman who'd I want dynamic change to have occured and to be acknowledged, rather than a reversion to the tedious status quo. That irritating child grew, organically, into a woman I was actually starting to admire and even love. And I want her back!

But that's not gonna happen, the fanboys have spoken. *Damnit*


  • At May 06, 2006 1:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    ...I feel partially responsible for this, somehow.. XD

    Was she Claremont's Sue? She sort of sounds like she was. I hear that he also had a thing for lingerie dominatrixes. I'd hate to think what Kitty Sue the genuis computer ballet chess ninja magical prodigy says about him. The 'idealized geek girl' explanation doesn't really seem to cover it, somehow.

    Here's a question. Is catering to fanboy manchild tastes fucking up comics? Or it is 'keeping the sense of wonder'? woo.

    Very nice post. ^^

  • At May 06, 2006 1:36 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Heh, yep, your fault. And you've got me there. I just felt like spitting venom. :-)

  • At May 06, 2006 2:26 AM, Blogger Dorian said…

    I really can't refute any of your points about Kitty. I don't really see the appeal myself.

    I think what it comes down to, in terms of her inexplicable popularity, is that for a lot of comic book fans, Kitty Pryde was their first girl-friend. And as creepy and fetishistic and wrong as that sounds, that's really the impression I get from hearing people talk about her.

  • At May 06, 2006 2:29 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Yeah, me too. And honestly, it wouldn't bother me that much. We all have characters we're unusually into, I'd imagine. (Heh, no, really? :-P)

    Before I read Excalibur I didn't care about Kitty at all. Just didn't read her whenever possible. But...I got a glimpse of a version I *liked*. And they took her away again. :-(

    It's not fair. :-(

  • At May 06, 2006 7:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Of course, when it comes to fanboys fantasising about Kitty as their ideal girlfriend, we cannot forget about current Kitty writer Joss Whedon.

    In Marvel Spotlight #3, Joss positively gushes about Kitty, claiming "Literally no character in comic books means more to me than Kitty Pryde..." and "How could I ever do this without Kitty? She's the reason I write what I write." Then of course, there's this quotation from another interview: "If there’s a bigger influence on Buffy than Kitty, I don’t know what it was...She was an adolescent girl finding out she has great power and dealing with it.”

    So yeah, he apparently has much love for Kitty. However, so far she has been little more than how Joss had characters describe her in AXM#1: "the non-threatening Shadowcat...A PR stunt." She's sweet and nice and she can talk to the kids and gush over Colossus. Not much of a character there really, he's definitely not doing justice to a character who supposedly was the inspiration for his most famous creation. Definitely a case of him writing the 'fanboy's Kitty'.

  • At May 06, 2006 7:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I guess another question would be,who are these stories intended for?Anyone one pick up any"furry"titles lately?In short,What are stories for?

  • At May 06, 2006 8:53 AM, Blogger CalvinPitt said…

    Well, I was a fan of Shadowcat, I just thought intangibility was an awesome power, and she was a rookie and that was cool. It's a common criticism of Claremont that he justs keeps adding stuff to a character's histories, instead of just better developing what he's already established.

    I think the issue that sold me on her was surprisingly a Power Pack comic where a Morlock makes everyone forget who the kids are, including their parents. This was so some batshit crazy old woman Morlock could have them as her kids. Somehow or the other (I've forgotten the details) the X-Men run into the kids, and help them out. Shadowcat's the one giving orders, and even though she isn't sure she should be leading the way, she handles it well, and the only X-Men follow her orders. That impressed me.

    And technically, I think it was Ogun, Logan's old sensei who gave Kitty super-awesome ninja skills in an attempt to overtake her soul with his.

  • At May 06, 2006 9:03 AM, Blogger Melchior del Darién said…

    One other element: Kitty Pride was the no-prize that Marvel offered up to fan(boys) as they killed off Jane Grey/Dark Phoenix. And some of her early "exploits" were meant to lighten the mood after that apocalyptic storyline. Young X-readers were being invited to form a "bond" with a new character who was their age, not dead, etc. ... And it seems to have worked.

  • At May 06, 2006 9:44 AM, Blogger Scipio said…

    "Why does it seem like someone just put a bunch of surface traits on strips of paper, pulled them out of a hat, and said, "Okay, here's your character." "

    Oh, flower of innocence! What part of "Marvel character" do you not understand...?

  • At May 06, 2006 11:18 AM, Blogger Doctor Polaris said…

    Mwa-ha-HA! Well played Scipio, well played!

  • At May 06, 2006 11:22 AM, Blogger Adalisa said…

    I was wondering why I couldn't get myself to like Kitty after the Mechanik miniseries, since she was my favorite character in Excalibur. Thank you so much for nailing it.

  • At May 06, 2006 12:02 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    jay: That does explain a lot. A shame his version, from the admittedly little I've seen, goes way back to the irritating original version...understandable I guess.

    anon: That's my point actually. She's a character so designed for that limited audience. *My* problem is that I'm not that audience, and I liked her before they reverted her back. I suppose if she'd never been likable to me at all (like furries...sorry, just not my thing) then I wouldn't care.

    calvin: Yeah, the Ogun thing doesn't really help. Though the Power Pack one sounds fun.

    melchior: I can believe it, and very early on I didn't dislike her either. But it quickly got to be too much. Then they fixed her through aging and development...then they sent her back. And I'm sad. :-(

    scipio: Heh. I do like some Marvel characters. But yeah, I shouldn't be surprised.

    doctor: Heh.

    adalisa: Well, I know it's it for me. It's depressing, isn't it? She was so *interesting* in Excalibur.

    I loved Excalibur, it felt a little like a tiny dose of DC-esque storytelling (with a Marvel edge) in the Marvel universe.

    Since then I tend to think anyone whose favorite team is excalibur is, like I was, a DC fan who didn't know it. :-P

  • At May 06, 2006 9:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    They could have done whole issues of him and Moira MacTaggert arguing and I'd have been thrilled

    I'LL BUY IT!!

    BUt sadly, seeing the growth that Ellis gave the poor girl in his run on Excalibur, they tried to go back to that with all the grace of a 6 year old in her mother's heels. She was a bartender in leather outfits out of NOWHERE in her Mechanix series (why was it called that? I dunno.) and in The End: X-Men, she's running for mayor in a very 'I have the tie, you go home!' fashion.

    Ah, always going a little too far is the X-Men's way of charactierizing their ladies. Not going far enough is for the guys!

  • At May 06, 2006 10:44 PM, Blogger Ragnell said…

    Of course, when it comes to fanboys fantasising about Kitty as their ideal girlfriend, we cannot forget about current Kitty writer Joss Whedon.

    This explains why he screwed with Emma Frost so much.

  • At May 07, 2006 12:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "This explains why he screwed with Emma Frost so much."

    I get the uneasy, sick feeling that Whedon, deep down, believes people don't change, that they stay rotten to the core, and sexually assertive and active women are either evil or must suffer constantly, or be "Cookie dough" (That was the dumbest thing Whedon ever wrote, well, dumber than AXM #12 and "The Train Job").

    This bothers me because it's okay to see a woman not as a saint sometimes. Emma Frost is interesting to me because she's not a bad guy anymore. She's often uncompromising and cruel but there is a heart beating in there, which Scott Lobdell- yes, Scott Lobdell- established over a decade ago.

    But Whedon seems to be contrasting Kitty as saintly against Emma, complete with the "I smell you" line helping her backslide, but she was gonna do it anyway, obviously.

    I dunno. I tend to ramble about this stuff, but writers complain so much about their readers' inability to get laid... what message are they sending about a woman's personality, though? That it must always be saintly and perfect?

  • At May 07, 2006 1:10 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    carla: *Mayor*? Whoo boy. I'm so not surprised.

    ragnell and dan: well, to be fair, he might be going for the duology, because, if I recall both characters were introduced in the same story.

    Shame he's trashing the infinitely more interesting one though.

  • At May 07, 2006 8:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    ...Looking at the overall plot of Buffy and Angel, I find it hard to believe that Whedon doesn't think a person can change. >.>

  • At May 07, 2006 10:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I half agree, half disagree with dan. Like Ununnilium I think it's a bit harsh to say Joss doesn't think characters can change. I think it's more a case that he will let characters change, but not let them forget where they've been (one illustration of this: the Buffy episode 'Restless' where Willow recalls what she used to be like in high school, but there are loads of others).

    However, I noticed the whole saintly/evil thing as well. Like kalinara said, there's definitely a duology there. In fact, when I first read the 'Gifted' trade, one of my first thoughts was "Why on earth has a supposed feminist writer written the madonna/whore dichotomy into this comic?" Seriously, he's very deliberately writing the pair as not only totally opposing, but they seem to represent two misogynistic stereotypes of 'femaleness.'

    On the one side we have the sweet and innocent Kitty, and on the other the 'evil,' manipulative, overly sexual creature that is Emma. Kitty's power is literally to fade away into the background, whereas Emma's powers are to become cold, hard and non-empathic (the diamond thing) and also to control men's minds (I'm sure she does it for women too, but we haven't really seen that so far in Whedon's run). The differences are reinforced visually as well, with the two wearing totally opposing costumes (white/black, revealing/all-covering...)

    Anyway, I could go on (really, I could, I've thought about this WAY too much). I guess if there's a point I'm trying to make here, it's that Whedon's Kitty seems to be being used primarily to make a point. She's being forced into a dichotomy with Emma that may/may not have really existed before Whedon started writing. So far I'm not sure how I feel about that.

  • At May 07, 2006 4:56 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    ununnilium: I agree, characters under Joss Whedon's pen *do* grow and change. But I think he's always had a bit of a Madonna/Whore thing going on in a lot of his works...(which is exemplified by River and Inara in Firefly for example, even though Zoe and Kaylee manage to find a comfortable balance)

    Does it make him a bad writer, nah, but I seriously don't like his take on Kitty and Emma, that's what I do know. :-)

    jay: Not having read very much of the work in question, I'm not the best person to agree/disagree, but from the little I've read, you seem to have the right of it. Which is very odd to me, as it robs BOTH Emma and Kitty of their layers and depths.

  • At May 08, 2006 5:14 PM, Blogger 100LittleDolls said…

    Well, just to point out--when we first meet Kitty in the Dark Phoenix saga, they show her as a dancer and that she was smarter than average kid--so Claremont had built her up to epic porportions when we first meet her.

    As far as Whedon villanizing Emma Frost again, I don't think she's really turning evil again. I think we saw with issue 13 that she's stuck in a situation that she doesn't want to be in. (And that whole stupid diamond thing was done to her before Whedon was writing her.)

    I want to look more at the Madonna/whore thing between Emma and Kitty--it seemed to me that they were fighting so much because Kitty hated that Scott cheated on Jean with Emma, yet blames Emma rather than Scott for it.

  • At May 08, 2006 5:20 PM, Blogger 100LittleDolls said…

    Also, I completely forgot to mention--there's a lot of history between Emma and Kitty. For one thing, Emma as the White Queen lied to try to recruit Kitty for the Hellions. The Hellfire Club was partly responsible for the Dark Phoenix, etc. so Kitty has had a lot of hatred from Emma since the time she was first introduced.

  • At May 08, 2006 6:22 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    100: Heh, I know he started her that way. I just never liked her.

    Thing about the Scott thing is that in a sense, it *was* Emma's responsibility more than his. Not for the infidelity so much as the consent issues.

    She was his shrink essentially, and there's a reason that psychologists/therapists/counselors are ethically prohibited from getting involved with patients. Basically the patient builds up a trust/need relationship with the therapist that can easily be mistaken by said patient for some deeper connection. Because they can confide things that are often horrible (i.e. getting possessed by Apocalypse) that they can't tell spouses or family...well, it's iffy how "in their right mind" the patients are when embarking on the infatuation.

    Which is why the primary responsibility falls on the part of the counselor. She has the power in the relationship, the trust of the patient. She is, especially in this case, often the patient's only outlet for emotions and reactions to horrible things. Thus even the telepathic infidelity is something that she should have, as a counselor, either put a stop to.

    Not trying to take all the blame off Scott (rabid Cyclops fan though I am) but given the way Morrison was writing the aftermath, he was in a very bad place and couldn't connect with his wife. The infatuation with Emma was actually pretty realistic of a reaction, and I liked that the situation didn't really paint *any* of them as bad people throughout IMO.

    Anyway, Kitty's Emma dislike stemming from that makes quite a bit of sense to me. And I don't have a problem with the Kitty vs. Emma conflict in character. My problem is that from what I read, Joss Whedon is completely on Kitty's side as a writer. Which is unfortunate as with a deep conflict like this, he should be impartial or sympathize with both.

    Just my opinion of course.

  • At May 08, 2006 6:34 PM, Blogger Seth T. Hahne said…

    Well, I can't speak to a lot of your critique - for reasons that will become apparent pretty quick, but I can tell you why I came to like Kitty as one of my favourite X-Men.

    When I was in fifth grade, I was an avid lover of Power Pack. I really didn't know much about the rest of the Marvel U at that point (though I was familiar with the basic names and characters - I had a couple old Hulk and Spider-Man collections). It was around the 12th issue or so of Power Pack that the Powers were snatched by creepy Morlock's under the suggestive control of matron, Analee, and drawn into an X-Men crossover (the one that Calvin mentioned).

    The Shadowcat introduced to me here in Power Pack and X-Men 195* was courageous and tender. She was directing the X-Men, comforting little Katie Power, and could tell that freaky Wolverine guy what to do. And she had a pet dragon. She was everything I wanted in a character in fifth grade. I think the next thing I read was the Nightcrawler miniseries based off the theme from X-Men 153. Kitty was rambuncious, adventurous, and smart. Granted that the Nightcrawler mini wasn't featuring the real Kitty, but instead, a version of how Kitty wanted to see herself. Still, these were the qualities I read into my future experiences of the character (and really, the kind of qualities that I would imagine you would laud - seeing how you appreciate these qualities in other characters).

    After this initial contact, I began gathering back issues as I could and through the Dark Phoenix trade and X-Men 143 (Silent Night, Deadly Night) was able to see early Kitty Pryde and marvelled at how much the character had grown. And in retrospect, reading through the Dark Phoenix arc all the way through X-Men 195 (my real introduction to the character), you can see that Claremont does have a real growth arc for the character. She goes through a lot of crap and comes out stronger I think. From her harrowing introduction to the X-Men via evil Emma Frost to a run-in with Magneto to fighting a rogue Christmas demon solo to believing she was going to die in the Brood arc to sacrificing her virginity and future to a yucky Morlock in order to save the life of her One True Love (tm) only to have him reject her for a dead fantasy girl to being physically and mentally abused by some nutty ninja (this is different from Batgirl how?). Instead of breaking down completely after all this, she toughens up and let's her courage shine through. All without losing her quality of compassion.

    A pretty good character arc, I think. At least, that was one youngster's idealistic view of the character as a whole. She was always a much stronger female character for me than someone like Storm or Jean grey because she was neither heartless (Storm) nor crazy (Jean grey). I like to think that along with strength and courage and leadership, heart counts for something. And I think its a rare quality in "strong" female characters. Authors usually sacrifice it for that cold, coolness that goes so well with thongs and nine inches of cleavage.

    I think I stayed with the X-Men for another fifty issues or so until it became completely unrecognizable and only read the first twenty issues of Excalibur - so I missed out on a lot of the stuff to which you made mention. I will say that, in light of the growth arc up to that point, I was sad that she never really grew much past the point I encountered her and sort of seemed to stagnate after X-Men 200 or so (though there was a nice New Mutants issue dedicated to her shortly after that period that treats her as a very mature young woman and gave me hopes for things to come - though those things never seemed to materialize during the tenure of my X-Readership).

    The geek/ballet thing never really bothered me - my first girlfriend was a smokin' hot ballerina/genius architect, so the combination isn't that odd. Kitty was never really put forth as anything more than an average dancer (no recitals or grand performances or anything). And though they made her progressively geeky, they did make her not as smart as Cypher (who was great until he joined the New Mutants). The chess thing I could take or leave and the Ninja thing wasn't that bad as she was only ever a baby ninja. It just gave a slight skillboost. Anyway, That's my take on the character (and I haven't yet checked out Wheadon's fling on the book).

    * In reality, my first experience of Kitty Pryde was in the fourth issue of the X-Men/Micronauts miniseries, but really, for a fourth grader who had never encountered either the X-Men or the Micronauts (save for the Micronaut toys), the whole issue was nonsensical.

  • At May 08, 2006 6:41 PM, Blogger Seth T. Hahne said…

    p.s. it should be noted that I know she didn't really lose her virginity to Caliban, but sacrificed in the same sense that Abraham sacrificed Isaac. She showed willing intent but was deus ex machinaed to safety.

  • At May 08, 2006 6:59 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Yeah, see, I can see why it appeals to other people, but for me, it's incredible series of contrivances. Until I read excalibur I didn't see a lot of emotional/mental growth in the character. Just my opinion.

    The thing is, even if it was just a ballerina/hacker thing I could deal with it. But being average-above average in so many things starts to get really tiresome. Added of course to the torment and abuse and "hard decisions" well...she's always going to be too contrived for my taste.

    As for Batgirl, who's also, honestly, a bit contrived for my taste, the difference is that the ninja thing is *all* Cassandra Cain can do. She's illiterate (trying though), can't do math, she's not a tech, and while she can speak now it's never going to come easy for her. Much as Cass will never be to my taste these difficulties in areas not-ninja are what humanizes her. What makes her relatable and interesting more so than being put into a position to sacrifice her virginity to a Morlock.

    Kitty's so good at everything that it's sickening to me. She's *never* really portrayed in a negative light. Other characters get to be insecure, shallow, cowardly, dumb, but Kitty rarely gets to. And if she *is* afraid or insecure it'll always get cleared up by the end of the story arc.

    Jubilee's a good example of a counter. I love Jubilee. Sure she's not good at...well...anything. But she's very human. How about Monet for a more obvious comparison, she was good at pretty much *everything*. Uber powers, impossibly smart, graceful...and an utter bitch, with little to no social skills.

    I'm sure even your ex was bad at something, and maybe in a few issues they bring up a few things that Kitty's bad at too. But the problem is, if it's rarely to never mentioned, and thus it's useless as a humanizing element to me.

    Glad she has a few fans though. :-) Even if I'm (obviously) not one of them. :-)

  • At May 08, 2006 7:37 PM, Blogger Seth T. Hahne said…

    Well.... how 'bout her not being able to take much of anybody in a fight? That's a big flaw in a superhero, right? Right?

    Nah, I get your point. And she's probably more a character I enjoy out a nostalgia built from that fifth-grade conception of things. Hm, makes me wonder what female characters I think highly of in these more mature (I guess) days....

  • At May 08, 2006 7:46 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    :-) I'm sorry I don't mean to tear down your liking of the character. Nostalgia is a pretty good reason to like a character really.

    But it would be neat to know what characters you're particularly fond of now.

  • At May 09, 2006 7:56 PM, Blogger 100LittleDolls said…

    I agree with you that I thought the whole Pryde and Wisdom thing was one of Kitty's finest moments--and I agree that it is annoying when they make a character perfect.

    You're entirely right about Emma and Scott--and I appreciated that Morrison didn't make the situation cut and dry, since affairs in real life aren't ever cut and dry.

    Personally, I don't think Whedon is "taking Kitty's side" compared to Emma, Kitty is a background character--she doesn't seem to be getting as much panel time as Emma, at least and especially now with this new story arc. I feel now that Joss is starting to get to the core of Emma--making her seem more of a well rounded character, rather than just a sassy sexpot. It was Astonishing Xmen that made me feel more comfortable with Emma's and Scott's relationship. (And if you are a huge Cyclops fan, I would start checking out this new story arc--though I'm not real sure of the direction it's going, the latest issue really focuses on him.) :)

  • At May 09, 2006 9:11 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    100: I admit that I've only read a few issues, they seemed weighted to Kitty. But that could just be those issues. :-)

    I'll have to give it a try when I've got steady income. :-)

  • At May 10, 2006 12:35 AM, Blogger Seth T. Hahne said…

    *grin* thinking the idea was such an abominably nifty one, I actually did come up with a list of my Top 15 Favourite Female Characters in Comics Today. I've come to realize that I like sassy, adventurous types. How cliche of me....

  • At May 10, 2006 9:29 AM, Blogger hexy said…

    I loved Excalibur Kitty, whereas before that she just failed to grab me as a character. I neither liked nor disliked her. I guess that's why I don't necessarily hate her in AXM... she's just ceased being all that interesting. I'm seeing occasional moments of assertiveness and awesome (phasing everyone who is present through the... um, is there a spoiler rule for this place?) but between them, she's just not all that exciting.

    The points about Emma Frost ring closer to home for me. Much as it pains me to say it, I don't like Joss Whedon writing that character, and I want him to put her down and back away before he writes her into a position requiring horrendous levels of retconn to fix.

  • At May 10, 2006 1:20 PM, Blogger Ferrous Buller said…

    As a dorky brainiac who went to a high school for dorky brainiacs, I could identify with "Kitty as dorky brainiac" when I first encountered her in the mid-80s. And I've been around enough eager-to-please overachievers in my time to empathize with "Kitty as eager-to-please overachiever," too. So I started out sympathetic to Kitty. If the premise was simply she's really smart, a bit of an outsider, and can do a few other things (like ballet), I'd've been cool with it.

    Unfortunately, they did a lot of stupid things to pile on the superlatives: Look, she has a pet dragon! Look, now she's a genius hacker who can bust into anything! Look, now she's a ninja!

    Feh. Ninjas.

    Honestly, I haven't read anything featuring Kitty in a long time - maybe not since the Claremont Excalibur days - but I think I can safely say I like her best when she isn't Super-Perky Uber-Wonder Girl.

  • At May 10, 2006 1:41 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    ferrous: Nothing wrong with that. :-)

    hexyhex: no hard and fast spoiler rule here. :-) Generally if whatever it is came out this week, I'd prefer to dance around it unless the post is specifically marked about spoilers. Then it's assumed that anyone who reads the post doesn't mind spoilers anyway. Not everyone can buy their comics on Wednesday though.

    Anything beyond a week old is fair game though, so no need to censor that. :-)

    ferrous: *nod* Me too, at thirteen or so when I first saw the movie version of her introduction I loved her and actively hunted back issues of comics with her. But it was very quickly just too much for me.

    Ellis's Excalibur version is pretty much the only version I can handle with good grace.

  • At May 10, 2006 5:14 PM, Blogger Seth T. Hahne said…

    I would like to point out that in my experience, Kitty was never a ninja. Granted my knowledge of Kitty Pryde ends shortly prior to the introduction of Pete Wisdom (I know the character existed but never read an issue with him), but unless the ninja thing is a recent development, I'm assuming we're referring to the incident with Ogun - which really only amounted in the end to ninja-training. This would be like if I spent the summer training with John Glenn and some other NASA-type folk. I would have astronaut-training, but would not by any stretch of imagination be considered an astronaut. Just like Kitty wouldn't be considered ninja.

    Of course, the ninja thing could be a recent development and I could just be showing off my ignorance here :)

  • At May 10, 2006 5:18 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Well, ninja *training* is still a bit much in my opinion. :-) But we'll have to agree to disagree I think. :-)

  • At May 10, 2006 5:49 PM, Blogger Seth T. Hahne said…

    Oh no, I really do mostly agree. I'm just being difficult :) I think it does help to remember that she's as much a product of the times Wesley Dodds was of his. The silly Kitty Pryde and Wolverine miniseries was at the height of ninjadoms popularity. Probably 70% of male children were ninjas for Halloween. They even had Ninja stores around. Ninja stores!! :o Heck, they even had ninja turtles and a host of other ninja animals. Yes, they were dark times.

    Hm, are you not a fan of my choice of Chance Falconer because she has a dragon (drawn, incidentally, by the guy who first drew Lockheed)?

  • At May 10, 2006 5:59 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Nah, got nothing against that dragon.

    It's just in Kitty's case, on top of everything else it seemed gratuitous. :-)

  • At May 10, 2006 6:24 PM, Blogger Seth T. Hahne said…

    *whew* You're not the heartless devil they make you out to be.

  • At May 10, 2006 7:22 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Well...I *do* eat babies.

    With *catsup*.

  • At May 10, 2006 7:41 PM, Blogger Seth T. Hahne said…

    Wasn't Catsup one of Colossus's little pet names for Kitty?

  • At May 10, 2006 7:56 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    ...eww, I don't want to know.


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