Welcome back to X-ual Healing, the weekly recap column where we obsessively read every X-Men and X-Men-adjacent comic that Marvel publishes, tell you what happens, provide additional context where necessary, and examine whether the comic makes good use of the long and convoluted history of the X-Men by referencing it in a way that’s accessible to new readers — because we here at X-ual Healing love the X-Men, and we want everyone else to love them too.
The X-Men are returning to their rightful place of prominence after a decade of insults and neglect by a Marvel editorial that feared and hated the fact that Fox owned their movie rights, which means it’s finally time for X-fans to enjoy some…
If you need to know more on the premise of this column, check out the longer explanation here.
AND WOLVERINE #1
Reprinting Kitty Pryde and Wolverine #1
32 PGS./Rated T …$1.00
(Note: We read the original Kitty Pryde and Wolverine #1 instead of the reprint for this recap.)
In celebration of Wolverine’s return in Hunt for Wolverine, Marvel has released the first issue of the 1984’s six-issue Kitty Pryde and Wolverine mini-series by Chris Claremont and Al Milgrom as a True Believers reprint, giving us a good excuse to look at some old issues of X-Men comics here in X-ual Healing, and readers a good chance to rediscover why they liked Wolverine enough in the first place for him to become an overexposed Mary Sue today.
Kitty Pryde and Wolverine takes place after the first Secret Wars event, as Kitty explains on the opening page of issue one. Transported to Battle World along with the rest of the X-Men to battle with Marvel’s greatest heroes and villains, Kitty’s adult boyfriend Colossus fell in love with an alien healer who died. Kitty left the X-Men to visit her family in Chicago and cry it out. This is all explained on the first page, complete with a reference to X-Men #182 from editors Louise Jones and Ann Nocenti. Now, she’s feeling a little bit better, so she’s gone out ice skating, and she plans to stop by her father’s bank and meet him for dinner.
Kitty finds a limo outside and the door to the bank locked. Luckily, her mutant power allows her to phase through solid objects, so she lets herself in to find the bank mostly empty. A security guard informs her that her dad is in meeting and goes to spy on him.
Kitty hears an argument, followed by a slap, causing her to cry out and be discovered by a bodyguard named Shumai. Inside the office, Carmen Pryde has just been struck by one of the associates of Ogun, a “business” partner from Japan. Kitty gets the heebie-jeebies from Ogun, and with good reason, but we’ll get to that later.
For now, X-pository dialogue reveals that Pryde has sold his family-owned bank (how quaint!) to Ogun’s corporation, and now they want Pryde to fly out to Japan to meet with the corporation’s head. Kitty’s dad suggests she go back to Xavier’s school, but Kitty decides she wants to go with him to Japan instead. That’s the last thing Carmen Pryde wants, so he hands his daughter a wad of cash and tells her to go back to the Xavier School.
But if she did that, we wouldn’t have much of a mini-series, would we? Worried that her father has gotten involved the with Yakuza, Kitty sneaks onboard a flight to Japan through the luggage area, giving her a chance to explain how her powers work, something comics used to do all the time back when publishers believed new readers might actually pick one up.
Kitty decides to take a nap in one of the massive 1980s airline seats, but she’s soon discovered by a stewardess who wants to see her ticket. If that happened today, the airline would assume she’s a terrorist, turn the entire plane around, and send a SWAT team to the airport, ending the comic right here. But it was a pre-9/11 world, so the stewardess just assumes Kitty snuck on the plane as a schoolgirl prank and resolves to settle it when they get to Japan. Jesus Christ, lady, she could be smuggling an ice-skate bomb!!! As the plane touches down in Japan, Kitty phases through the bottom and makes her escape onto a bus bound for Tokyo.
On the bus, Kitty takes a moment through thought bubbles (remember those?) to explain that Professor Xavier taught her and all the X-Men how to speak Japanese the last time the X-Men visited the country. Kitty uses a payphone (remember those?) to look up the name of the head of the company her dad went to see — Mr. Shigematsu — and locates his ominous-looking skyscraper. With only four bucks and pack of gum to her name, not to mention the fact that she’s still dressed in her ice-skating costume, for the first time Kitty realizes she might have jumped into this unprepared. The best thing to do, she decides, is to use her powers to walk on air molecules, phase into an upper floor of the skyscraper, and take a nap on a random office couch.
Kitty is discovered by a cleaning lady the next morning, so naturally a security guard opens fire on her, no questions asked.
She phases out the window, and the trigger-happy guard assumes she must be dead since they’re on the 60th floor. If only he’d been paying attention earlier, he’d know that Kitty is a mutant, born with powers that make her blah blah blah blah a world that fears and hates them blah. Kitty leaves her ice skates in the building, and X-pository thought bubbles reveal that the skates contain a nametag, so her father will soon find out she’s here. Or someone will, at least.
Cold, wet (it’s raining now), and desperate, Kitty finds an ATM and decides to use her phasing power to “borrow” some Yen. An alarm goes off, several cops give chase, and Kitty ends up phasing through the ground into a sewer, where she lands in the sludge and is swept away into the night.
The next morning, huddled in a doorway, Kitty reflects on the poor decisions that brought her here. It’s time she called the X-Men to get her out of this mess. Wolverine answers the phone…
… but Kitty is too ashamed, or perhaps too horrified that he’s smoking in a comic book, to talk to him. She hangs up. To make matters worse, her face is now on every TV screen in the city via security footage from the ATM. It’s time for Kitty to come clean, so she heads back to the skyscraper and up to Shigematsu’s executive suite. She hides inside until she hears her father and Shigematsu arrive for a business meeting. Staying out of sight, Kitty finally learns what her dad has gotten himself into…
Kitty is horrified and the issue ends there. You, however, can find out what happens when Kitty becomes a ninja, Wolverine heads to Japan to rescue her, and they end up in a showdown with Ogun on Marvel Unlimited, and we really think you should. Decades of X-Men continuity is readily available on the cheap monthly subscription service.
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