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February 27 2004

Kitty Pryde influenced Buffy, says Joss Whedon, speaking to the Hollywood Reporter about his upcoming Astonishing X-Men comic book series.

"There are three reasons why I'm doing this," Whedon said. "One, I get to write the X-Men, a comic I grew up reading. It's probably the biggest influence on my work there is. Two, I want to personalize things and figure who these characters are to me now. And three, (the character) Kitty Pryde. She was not a small influence on Buffy. I get to use her, and that sealed the deal."

I have no idea who Kitty Pryde is, but I'm sure some of you can tell me.

Kitty Pryde is Shadowcat. OK, you'll want more.

The X-Men are based in a place called Dr. Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, and the original X-Men were five mutants teenagers dressed in skin-tight uniforms who went out to fight other mutants.

By the time Kitty showed up, the X-Men were different. You had Wolverine, who comes off like a Canadian veteran who likes bar fights and has secrets too big to tell. Oh yeah, and also foot-long metal claws that come out of his hands. You had Storm, from war-torn Africa (and who should look more like Iman than Hallie Berry, but no big) who can control the weather. You had Collossus, a big strong Russian guy who turns into a bigger, stronger, made-of-steel Russian guy. You have Cyclops, who has been in this game for years. You had Rogue, who in personality was like Faith, except from the South. Her power was that she could take your powers and your memory with a touch, so she tends to wear tight clothing but not show much skin. (Her "got the looks because I can't be touched" bit seems like the inspiration for Gwen the Lightning Girl, BTW.) You either had Phoenix (I), who had world-destroying telekinetic and telepathic powers, or Phoenix (II), her daughter from another timeline, who had similar powers, plus she's essentially a Holocaust survivor. Even worse, she was the equivalent of a Jew who worked for the Nazis. (The parallels are fairly explicit here.) In essense, you have some fairly intense people with some fairly intense powers.

Then you have Kitty. She's the cat who walked through walls. Literally. She can phase out and go through solid matter. That's her power. She's a cute girly teenager thrown into this group of hardcore fighters, and she generally feels out of sorts because of it. And, because being a mutant in Marvel America is like being a Jew in Nazi Germany, she has very limited means for discussing and coming to terms with all this.

[ edited by LudditeRobot on 2004-02-27 20:04 ]
Thanks! (I did see the X-Men movie I and II but instantly forgot most about both films once I left the theatre)
I wonder if Joss really meant that Kitty Pryde inspired Buffy the series, and not literally the character? Because Willow and Kitty Pryde have much more in common than Buffy and Kitty. The most obvious parallels are that both Kitty and Willow are Jews with genius IQs and a realk knack for computers. And Kitty's close relationship with Illyana had a fair amount of lesbian subtext, IIRC.
Kitty also had a complicated relationship with Piotr Nikolaievitch Rasputin, otherwise known as Colossus, who is basically a big Russian immigrant who transforms into organic steel.

Colossus is my favorite X-Man, so I hope that Joss is also writing for him during his run.
Well, unfortunately Colossus is dead now... so unlikely Joss will be writing for him. Though of course in the X-books (as in the Whedonverse) death is hardly an impediment to screen time. *shrug*
Well, I've never read the X-Men comics, but I enjoyed the movies thoroughly. And I love Joss' work, and since my hubby is an avid X-Men fan, I'm sure I'll get around to reading Joss' go at the comics. At least I'll have an at-home resource for any complicated issues!
I haven't read X-men in a long time, but what ever happend to Iceman? He was always my favorite.
Oh it's all a mess. There are half a dozen X-titles out there and the characters are shoved back and forth like cards in a deck. Iceman is around....somewhere. Who the hell can keep track.

And as my wife pointed out, I'm an old X-fan going back to the Claremont-Byrne run so I've been around the block with these characters. I can't wait to read Joss' take on them as he's said many times what a big comic book geek he is and how big a role the X-Men played in his life.

Wish there were more Xgirls in his roster though...;-)
Last I heard, Iceman was on the Uncanny X-Men team written by Chuck Austen. Uncanny was the "away" team dealing with global problems, where New X-men (which Joss's book seems to be a take off of) dealt with the Xaviers school. If you guys get into the X-titles because of Joss, you should really check out X-statix, one of the most well written books out there with a pretty complex critique of modern popular culture and celebrity.
Dang, that was a shock of a news about Colossus -- hopefully Joss can pull a "I got better," or something.
Colossus has been dead for a while. He, uh, killed himself while the rest of the team was playing basketball outside. Seriously.
"Colossus has been dead for a while. He, uh, killed himself while the rest of the team was playing basketball outside. Seriously. "

Well, a tad bit oversimplified, but basically yeah. He sacrificed himself to cure the Legacy Virus that had killed his sister Illyana and was killing so many other mutants.
Ass. That Legacy Virus was about when I stopped keeping up with comics.
I would have to agree with Saturn Girl, If I had to choose someone in the Buffyverse Kitty Pryde would relate to it would be Willow, Kitty was very much into computers and was highly intelligent, Buffy was not big into the science end of anything, I would more associate her with Boom Boom of the Fallen Angels this is from her Bio.

"She is hostile toward strangers and authority figures and is somewhat of a practical joker. She has no desire to kill anyone with her “time bombs” but often uses them to play jokes. "

That sounds more like Buffy IMHO.
Kitty was my favorite member of X-Men on the rare occasions when I'd actually pick up an issue. I was more of a New Teen Titans fan back in the early 1980s. I remember when the first X-Men movie came out I was originally displeased that Rogue was the little girl in the group. I thought Kitty Pryde should have been the chosen character. The Rogue I knew had been a villian for the longest time, having killed Ms Marvel and befriending Mystique. This was long before Gambit showed up. However, Anna Paquin's portrayal of Rogue was so well done I forgave the oversight, and they have managed to slip in Kitty's presence in the background of the movies. In the first film, Kitty's the one who leaves Professor Xavier's office last when Wolverine enters. She is also the girl who falls through the bed during the invasion of the school in the second film.

However, Kitty Pryde has a much more prominent place in the comic books. One of her greatest claims to fame was in the comic book series Excalibur where she joined forces with Nightcrawler, Captain Britain and others and had some wondrously entertaining adventures where they kept jumping through alternate realities like they were rings of fire. Lots of fun.

And no mention of Kitty Pryde would be complete without mentioning her best friend and pet dragon, Lockheed. Everybody. One two three! "Awwwwww!"
[quote]And no mention of Kitty Pryde would be complete without mentioning her best friend and pet dragon, Lockheed. Everybody. One two three! "Awwwwww!" [/quote]

I have the issue where the Lockheed is first mentioned, the one where Kitty makes him up in a fairy tale, I collected the Teen Titans back in the 80's as well..

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