Stop me if you’ve seen this before. The hero, in great peril, falls off a cliff or is caught under a pile of debris, and there’s an “oh my God he didn’t make it” moment with violins in the background. But after a moment we realize he’s made it, battered and bruised and victorious. Didn’t surprise you for a moment, huh? That’s because we’ve seen it in nearly every action movie, and we’ve come to expect it, because heroes do things we can’t in our everyday lives, and we flock to the theaters to see it.
So it is with superheroes, especially in comic books. They can’t stay dead. What’s more super than always coming back to life?
When the Astonishing X-Men: Gifted motion comic was announced, I knew it. Kitty Pryde is coming back. And by Stan Lee, I was right. Kitty Pryde will return in Uncanny X-Men #522, arriving on shelves this March.
Kitty is my favorite X-Man and Marvel superhero, so unsurprisingly, I can’t complain that she’s coming back. Kitty is one of few superheroes who grew and matured during her adventures; she went from the ‘little sister’ of the team to an independent young woman with great power and her own individuality. Of course I want to see Kitty save the world and tie the knot with Piotr for good. A favorite character is no fun if she’s dead.
But when Kitty sacrificed herself to save the world in Joss Whedon and John Cassaday’s Astonishing X-Men, she left with dignity. Perhaps Kitty’s death made her life more meaningful. Additionally, the fate of reincarnated X-Ladies is not a kind one: ever since Jean Grey’s death, she has slipped in and out of the continuity, and Scott Summers has moved on romantically to Emma Frost. Even though Jean will be returning soon, we won’t ever see her as a part of the regular X-Men lineup.
This goes down one of two ways: either Kitty rejoins the team and reverts to her normal life and character as if her death didn’t happen; or she dies, disappears, or her body was reanimated by an alien entity, leaving the team to mourn again. There is, of course, a third option: that the writing is spectacular and Kitty continues to mature as a character, proving me wrong. But I don’t expect it.
The last time we saw Kitty Pryde in any medium was Ellen Page’s portrayal in X3. Like many things in that film, Page’s performance and the character writing behind it was uninspired, misdirected and far from my expectations as a fan. I sincerely hope that Kitty Pryde’s return the comics does not receive the same second-hand treatment.