(Dee’s note – This is the very last of the Memorable Moments of Marvel Women series! Today’s blogger is Steph from Nerds in Babeland. Look for the master post of moments in a couple hours, and the polls tomorrow!)
I grew up a “Rogue fangirl”. Kitty is badass, and she has (slowly but surely) risen to the level of being one of my favorite X-Women (I can’t pick just one anymore), but I grew up loving Rogue. I only admit this because, even though I grew up a Rogue fangirl, the moment Kitty calls Professor X a jerk is one of my favorite X-Woman moments in Marvel history. As I said, Kitty is a badass. Admittedly, her statement comes off as slightly childish at first, but what is most important is that she speaks up. At this point in X-Men history, Professor X is still extremely revered. The X-Men don’t know about all of his flaws and faults yet. Not many of the X-Men (let alone one of the youngest) can get away with calling Professor X a jerk and end up winning the argument in the end. Kitty Pryde rocks.
In Uncanny X-Men #167-168, Professor X decides that Kitty Pryde is not ready to be an X-Men. At the end of Uncanny X-Men #167, he demotes her to the New Mutants because she is “too young, and too little is known about [her] powers. In the X-Men’s primary role – of combatting evil mutants – the risks are too great.” Kitty does not stand for this (as well she shouldn’t) and we start the next issue with the memorable panel.
“Professor Xavier is a Jerk!”
Shortly after this first page, Wolverine essentially takes Kitty’s side in a discussion he has with Nightcrawler. Wolverine points out, “A decision can be logical, an’ sensible — an’ still wrong. Since the kid joined, she’s functioned as a full-fledged X-Men — She’s faced death an’ worse — an’ never let us down. She’s proved her worth. T’me that cancels every other argument.” The argument that the “risks are too great” is ridiculous. At this point Kitty had been on a number of extremely dangerous missions with the X-Men. She isn’t “new” to the gig. She is younger than most of the other team members, but Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast, Iceman, & Angel were also young when they first started with the team and they turned out just fine (well, more or less). She is well aware of the risks, and does not need Professor X making major life decisions for her.
Kitty spends much of the first half of #168 pouting and ranting. After a lecture from her dance instructor, Kitty decides to convince the Professor to change his mind. She tries every tactic (including something that verges on creepy flirting) but, in the end, the tactic that works best is her defeating two deadly villains on her own (with a little help from her pet dragon, Lockheed). Kitty and Wolverine were right. Even if she isn’t an “official” member of the X-Men, Kitty will encounter life-or-death scenarios and be consistently at risk because of who she is inherently. Professor X can no longer deny that she is capable of taking care of herself and lets her back in on the condition she can keep up her studies.
Kitty is one of my favorite X-Women because she fights back. She is young and probably should focus on her studies (since she’s also a genius), but she wants to fight. She wants to be a part of the team and make a difference. Professor X is the founder/creator of the X-Men and not many people talk back to him. Kitty, however, does…and it’s awesome.