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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Silly, silly British man."
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February 29 2008

(SPOILER) Spoiler Warning: UXM 496 Reveals Ending to Joss' GS Astonishing X-Men. Next week's issue of Uncanny X-Men reveals the ending of Astonishing and what happens to a specific character. Avoid reading if you don't want to be spoiled.

Anyone who didn't see this coming has no clue about Joss Whedon. I actually worded that first sentence different, but figured I'd get tossed for calling names. This was predictable long, long ago. Sigh.
And there's already a Save Kitty campaign site:

http://kittypryde.8k.com/
The amusing thing is that no one seems to have read the actual issue, just a bit from a different comic taking place later in terms of continuity, where she's referred to as having been "lost". So, as near as I can tell from reading this stuff, no one ACTUALLY knows specifically what's going to happen.
In regards to Kitty's death, I feel totally betrayed by Joss. Why would he kill one of the few female characters in X-books?

Joss had the chance to make Kitty an A-List character. His legacy could be making Kitty one of the premiere female characters at Marvel. Instead, he killed her off. :(

There are so few good female characters in comics. It's such a male dominated field, and X-books have been one of the few safe havens for female characters and readers, thanks to characters like Kitty. Now she's gone, and most of the other female characters (Jean, Storm, Psylocke, Jubilee, Polaris) have been written out and replaced with hypersexualized female characters like Emma Frost, Mystique and Wolverine's female clone, X-23.

The only reason I can see for Joss killing Kitty is he sees the direction that X-Men are going of hypersexualized female characters, constant killing (Cyclops has given up the idea of not killing and is sanctioning X-Men going out and killing the bad guys before they strike) and excessive violence, and want his favorite character out of it.

[ edited by FaithFan on 2008-02-29 02:14 ]
Well if true (and note I said IF true) than this is frustratingly predictable. I love Joss Whedon above all others (well, no not really... but above most others certainly), but his penchant for killing off characters has risen to a cliche artform.

*sigh* I'll wait till the actual issue hits before I judge... but I'm prepared to be depressed about this I suppose.
Kitty's death has been mentioned often enough here in non-spoiler threads for me to have become aware of it, if it is true. I'll ask again, since I expect once the Giant Sized Astonishing preview is up it will happen again: I would appreciate it if people discuss this in threads such as this one and not other Astonishing threads that are labeled spoiler-free. I would rather people who choose to avoid this thread not read about this unexpectedly elsewhere as I did. Previews, I choose to read. Leaks and massively spoilery things, I try to avoid. I'm still not sure that this is indeed a spoiler, but it's an odd kind of speculation that seems to be considered fact whenever it's mentioned, so I'd rather it be treated as one here.

I expect that it will be a good ending, whatever happens. I wouldn't count Kitty out, or out without a big awesome finish, just yet. "Lost" could mean any number of things, and I don't know that person posting the spoiler on the other board. "Leaking" a fake story ending on the internet wouldn't be new.

Plus, she's a comic book character. Death is like the flu for them.
I read Whedonesque via the RSS feed on LiveJournal, and the entirety of your post shows up on the page there. So, in warning me about spoilers, you have spoiled me. Just thought you should know!
That's a good point. Maybe remove the details of what the spoiler is from the post itself, so then people will be spoiled only by clicking through or reading the comments below.

And on a second read, are all current X-Men books actually spoilery, or just potentially so? I'd assume someone reading multiple series with some shared continuity would kind of expect that they all potentially are, and then keep an ear to the ground for titles to avoid, if they really want to avoid all spoilers.
This is what I have been saying all along- Joss kills people just to kill them now, for the shock value. I'm honestly tired of it. And this character is one that I happen to like, so her being gone sours me on virtually the entire Marvel line. I agree with Haunt, this is totally predictable. Joss showed up, wrought havoc, and is leaving, and Marvel will be the poorer for it.
Joss kills people just to kill them now, for the shock value.


I couldn't disagree with this more. First, there's just no evidence to support it. One can find a rationale behind every death that occurs in Joss's works. Second, one would have to know exactly what is going on in his head to believe that he's just in it for the "shock value." (In any case, the use of "shocking" is by its own terms wrong - the deaths can't be both "predictable" and shocking). Third, death, and change, is such an ever-present part of existence that it baffles me why people think that characters living forever should be the norm. I applaud Joss for looking at death and, most often, showing us the actual consequences of death on those affected by it. Fourth, not a single one of us, so far as I know, has read what happens in AXM or, more important, how. The fact of Kitty's loss or death could be told in a thousand different ways, many of which could have no "shock value" whatever.

BTW: lest this be mistaken for an apologia from one who believes JW can "do no wrong" - not so. I have quibbles with various aspects of all of Joss's creations. I may quibble with this one - after I've actually had the opportunity to read and think about it.

ETA: I've invisibled the relevant spoilery text in the link description but, since that did no good at all, it's been deleted. Sorry about the RSS feed spoil, spidermansays.
I've been informed by Milo that making spoilery text invisible will not work on our RSS feed so I've nixed the info in the text description. And again apologies to those who got inadverently spoiled.
By the way has someone tested the display for the invisible text, in the mobile version?

Anyway, the newsarama post does point out that's unclear if she's "captain america-ish" dead, only that Kitty will be gone. There's a big difference between being gone and dead, she could be just stranded in space (not like Jubal Early, but more Star Trek Voyager or early Stargate Atlantis), with the S.W.O.R.D people, even.

It could be very well the pilot point for Joss' next project for Marvel, with some solo miniseries starring Shadowcat, I remember reading some rumblings about Joss maybe willing to do something related.
I'm on a break, but i'll look into invisitext on the mobile version when I get back.
Wait and see, people, wait and see :)


Inviso text is not working on mobile at the moment, see my above comment here vs. on mobile.
Kitty's death will be meaningless. It's not impacting any future plots, it's pure shock value.

Joss just has one double-sized issue left, which is now set in the past prior to Messiah Complex- the biggest X-Men Event in 15 years. Everything changes after that and it's the motivating factor for everything. Kitty's is just one of the 50+ X-Men deaths in the past few years.

Warren Ellis has already said his run on Astonishing won't be following Joss' - it will be covering what's happening post-Messiah Complex where there's no X-Men, no school, and Xavier's dream has been abandoned.

So Kitty dying is just Joss wanting to go out with a bang, and has so little consequences in X-books that it's a running joke on X-boards now that Kitty can die and no one even notices or says anything.
Oh, and what has the Kitty fans flipped out is the quote from Joss from a few years ago where he said that he has demanded that the editors promise they never retcon the event at the end of his Astonishing run.

So if it's a death, then Joss has demanded that the editors never bring back the character he kills.
We're not even sure she's dying and now we're sure that her supposed death will be meaningless and only for shock value? I think the man has earned us at least waiting to see what he does and how he does it before burning him in effigy. To be honest I think that writers are so tired of everything they do being retconned that they are afraid that nothing they do will have meaning after they leave a book. I would want my stuff not to be retconned, too.
Kitty's death, IF it happens, will not go unnoticed. So what if Astonishing X-Men happens prior to Messiah Complex? The Marvel Universe won't stop there. There will be a lot of time to lament Kitty. And if you think that Joss would kill a major character just because he feels a character needs to be killed... well, I'm not saying that's not true. But I believe in whatever Joss decides to write. Just look at all his previous work, and if you still want to say that he kills of characters for shock value, go ahead and say it. People are allowed, encouraged even, to have personal opinions. And my personal opinion is that Joss takes the deaths of his characters very seriously, and never does it for shock value. Like SoddingNancyTribe says, death is always shocking. And it's an unavoidable aspect of life. It hurts. But it needs to happen. Even to good people. We can't go on living forever.
I actually guessed this from Uncanny #495 at the beginning of the month, because there was Colossus and Wolverine and Cyclops and Emma and a mention of Beast, but no Kitty. So yeah.
I've been collecting comics for 29 years and own over 30 thousand of them. Kitty Pryde from her beginnings has always been one of my favourite characters. When Colossus came back I got this bad feeling that before the story was over she would end up dead in an act of sacrifice.

If she is truly dead then I mourn her death as much as one can for a fictional character. If 'lost' means she is trapped someplace or perhaps on a mission elsewhere then I am sad she won't be around. Either way though there is one thing that I remember.

X-Men don't stay dead. Oh sometimes it takes a few years, maybe even a decade but somehow, most of them come back. There will be more Kitty Pryde stories to be told and I'll be here to read them whenever that day comes.
The very fact that we can say things like, "Joss wouldn't do something awesome like bringing Collossus back without a terrible price. Hmm... wonder WHO that 'price' will be," really should tell us something.
"Just look at all his previous work, and if you still want to say that he kills of characters for shock value, go ahead and say it... And my personal opinion is that Joss takes the deaths of his characters very seriously, and never does it for shock value"

Jessie was killed for shock value. Anya died because someone had to die. So, yeah.
I agree with you Gouki on both of those accounts. But I never really cared for Jesse. After all, he was there only for two episodes. I don't consider him a major character. And you say Anya died because someone had to die. That's true. It would be unrealistic to expect the gang to go into such a major battle and have everyone to survive. But is that death "shocking"? If it's expected that someone is going to die, I feel like the shock is gone. At least the shock of "Oh, I did not see that coming". It's very shocking in the sense that a lot of people cared for Anya. Both Jesse and Anya's deaths were somewhat expected.
I thought Anya was killed in response to a request from Emma Caulfield. (Is it Character Death Week?)
This seems to be the closest thing to an anti-Joss thread I've seen here. I think it should be remembered that his decision to kill Kitty (IF it's true) will have had to have been okayed by Marvel, and they wouldn't have allowed it if they didn't think it was the right direction for the series.

My main annoyance is that the ending of Joss's run has effectively been spoilt by revealing (or at least suggesting) the climax in an earlier released comic. Although I was starting to become suspicious by the lack of Kitty through recent X-titles.
My main annoyance is that the ending of Joss's run has effectively been spoilt by revealing (or at least suggesting) the climax in an earlier released comic

Except this storyline should have, by all rights, been finished over eighteen months ago.

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