Kitty Pryde is a character that has been around for quite some time. She first appeared in the 80’s and became one of the youngest X-Men shortly after her introduction. Since then, she’s been used in the many different X-Men incarnations in movies, television, and even alternate Marvel universes in comics. In each incarnation though, she’s portrayed as being one of the younger characters. She’s also typically shown being recruited to join the X-Men. This makes her one of the more relatable characters since the viewer or reader is able to learn more about the X-Men alongside Kitty. This is incredibly useful for the writers as it allows them an easy way to make the viewer feel like a part of the team and initiate that emotional connection to the characters. I’ve certainly had these exact feelings seeing Kitty in a few different versions of the X-Men on television and comics.

I wasn’t introduced to Kitty until X-Men Evolution, but she was around for years before that. A few years after her introduction in the comics, she got a cartoon with her name in the title: Pryde of the X-Men. Sadly, this series didn’t really get off the ground. A couple of years later, the well known  X-Men Animated Series began. This was my introduction to the X-Men. It’s only in recent years that I’ve realized Jubilee from that series was essentially the same character as Kitty except with different powers. Wolverine became the mentor for Jubilee just like he’s always a mentor for Kitty. Having seen this relationship during the animated series, I was immediately drawn to Kitty when Evolution began. This was the beginning of Kitty’s rise in my X-Men rankings.

The story that really put Kitty over the top though was Joss Whedon’s run on Astonishing X-Men. She was brought on the team to be one of the professors in the freshly rebuilt X-Mansion. Emma Frost brought Kitty on in order to keep Frost in check. It was during her introduction in the first issue of this book that got me interested in going back and reading up on some of Kitty’s initial interactions with the X-Men. I found her speech to Emma about her first mission with the X-Men was facing off with Emma incredibly cool. Kitty telling Emma right to her face that when she thinks of evil, she sees Emma’s face was extremely powerful. I felt like Kitty carried that tough attitude throughout Whedon’s entire run. The fact that she sacrificed herself and phased a planet sized bullet THROUGH THE EARTH was amazing.

While I found her apparent death to be a perfect capstone for a character, it was inevitable that she would be returning at some point. I truly felt her entire character arc was perfect in Astonishing X-Men. In some ways I do wish that she would stay dead simply due to the fact that I don’t think anyone will be able to write her quite as well as Whedon did. Regardless of what happens to her character in the future though, I know that all I have to do is reread Astonishing X-Men and Kitty will immediately go back to the top of my list of favorite X-Men.