Marvel Crisis Protocol Lore: Who is Shadowcat?

Katherine “Kitty” Pryde has been a lot of different things throughout her comics history. She has been an X-Man, a pirate captain, and thanks to the hilariously bad movie X-Men: The Last Stand, she has been immortalized as a meme (along with fellow mutant Juggernaut). But what role does she play on the X-Men? What’s her story?


Kitty Pryde was born in Deerfield, Illinois, and her mutant powers first began to manifest at the age of 13. She was approached by both Charles Xavier, representing his school, and Emma Frost of the Hellfire Club in an effort to recruit her to their side. Pryde was not inclined to join the Hellfire Club because she got along better with Professor X and the X-Men he brought with him, especially Storm. Before she could agree to join the X-Men, they were all attacked by mercenaries that had been hired by Frost. They defeated them, but were then pacified and all but Pryde were then captured by Frost. With the help of Nightcrawler, Dazzler, Cyclops, and Phoenix, Pryde was able to mount a successful rescue mission and officially became the youngest member of the X-Men, adopting her first codename: Sprite.

Early in her X-Men career, Kitty was possessed by a future version of herself to help prevent the assassination of Senator Robert Kelly and avert a disastrous dystopian future for mutantkind. She also developed a crush on Cyclops and became close friends with his little sister Illyana Rasputin (codename: Magik). While fighting to save Rogue, Pryde was badly injured and lost control of her powers. Instead of having to make a conscious effort to become intangible, she now had to make a conscious effort to remain solid. She was brought to Muir Island for treatment by Moira MacTaggert, but all she was able to do was stabilize Pryde.

After regaining control of her powers, Pryde joined the British team Excalibur along with fellow X-Men Nightcrawler and Colossus. After the apparent death of Colossus, Pryde attempted to have a normal life and enrolled as a student at the University of Chicago. This didn’t last long and she re-joined the X-Men and discovered that Colossus was actually alive. During a mission to space, Pryde becomes a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy and event takes on the mantle of Star Lord. Most recently, she took to the high seas as Captain Kate Pryde, because she was the only mutant who could not use the warp gates that led to Krakoa. Emma Frost enlisted her help to rescue mutants from oppressive nations as well as smuggle the lifesaving medicine for humans that the X-Men create. She was killed in a coup by Sebastian Shaw, but was then resurrected on Krakoa by Emma Frost.

Publication History/MCU History

Kitty Pryde was introduced to Marvel comics because of an editorial mandate that the series had to showcase a school for mutant children. As such, writer Chris Claremont and artist John Byrne introduced her to the world in X-Men #129 in January of 1980. She has been featured in Joss Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men in 2004, and has also been feature in Jason Aaron’s Wolverine and the X-Men series and Brian Michael Bendis’s All-New X-Men series. She has been portrayed in cameo film roles in X-Men and X2 by Sumela Kay and Katie Stuart, respectively. She has also been portrayed by Elliot Page in X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men: Days of Future Past in more featured roles.

Recommended Runs

X-Men #129-131 (Claremont/Byrne/Austin): This is where we are introduced to Kitty Pryde and she is being recruited by both the X-Men and Emma Frost of the Hellfire Club. It is also part of the larger Dark Phoenix Saga, which is kind of a big deal in the X-Men milieu.

Marvel Graphic Novel #5 (Claremont/Anderson): I recommend this because it is a) the iconic God Loves, Man Kills story and b) seeing Kitty debate Reverend Stryker on live television and denouncing him so thoroughly is just…amazing.

Kitty Pryde and Wolverine #1-6 (Claremont/Milgrom): Ninja Kitty is just plain cool. Also, this is where she gets her final codename: Shadowcat.

X-Men #141, Uncanny X-Men #142 (Claremont/Byrne/Austin): If you are an X-Men fan, you MUST read Days of Future Pastx, where an adult Kate Pryde travels back in time, possesses her younger self, and sets events in motion to prevent her dystopian future from happening. Chef’s kiss.

Astonishing X-Men #1-6 (Whedon/Cassady): This is a case of me having to separate the art from the artist. This is a wonderful story arc that revolves are Kitty re-joining the X-Men after trying to live a normal life, and how moving back into the X-Mansion affects her.

Does the Model Miss the Mark?

Art by Patrick Brown, Copyright Marvel and AMG

I love just about everything this model is bringing to the table. I love how AMG has incorporated her phasing mutant ability into the sculpt of the model, and they even included Lockheed! I’m also a big fan of her phasing through a Sentinel arm because of Days of Future Past. In terms of gameplay, I appreciate that she is fragile (she is the closest thing to an average human being on the X-Men), but I love how AMG has made her so incredibly mobile, which is a great gamification of her phasing ability. She is a long mover (which the X-Men needed), her Phase Rush ability allows her to move range 2 (for only 2 power!!!), and each of her abilities (except for Lockheed’s attack–which isn’t really her ability anyway) have triggers that allow her to change her position on the battlefield, which is what she does when she phases in the comics. I don’t really think her associated tactics cards add anything (and I don’t know that I would take them), but like most character-tied TTCs, both Hold Still and Faithful Companion are flavorful.

Have any tips on recommended Shadowcat comics? Strategies on how you use her in your games of Marvel Crisis Protocol? Drop them in the comments below!