- "Just like a classic fairy tale. We're all gifted with powers... for which we each pay a price."
- -Katherine Pryde (Earth-616)
- Height- 5'7"
- Weight- 150 lbs
- Eyes- Caramel brown
- Hair- Brown
Katherine Anne "Kitty" Pryde was born in Deerfield, Illinois to Carmen and Theresa Pryde. Of Jewish descent, her paternal grandfather, Samuel Prydeman, was held in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II. Kitty started to have headaches at age thirteen, headaches which signaled the emergence of her mutant powers. She was approached by both the X-Men's Charles Xavier and the Hellfire Club's White Queen, Emma Frost, both of whom hoped to recruit her for their respective causes. Kitty was unnerved by Frost, observing that the White Queen had looked at her as if she were "something good to eat". She got along better with Xavier and the three X-Men who escorted him to his meeting with her and her parents, becoming fast friends with Ororo Munroe. Ororo told Kitty who she really was and about the X-Men, which made the teenager even more enthusiastic about attending Xavier's school. Their conversation was cut short, however, when they (along with Wolverine and Colossus) were attacked by armored mercenaries in the employ of Frost and the Hellfire Club. The X-Men defeated their assailants, but were subdued by the White Queen's telepathic powers immediately after. In the confusion, Kitty had become separated from the X-Men and therefore was not captured along with them. She managed to contact Cyclops, Phoenix, and Nightcrawler. With the help of Dazzler and Pryde, those X-Men rescued their teammates and Xavier (who had also been captured) from the Hellfire Club. The White Queen appeared to perish in the battle, which meant she was no longer competing with Xavier for the approval of Kitty's parents. Unfortunately, Kitty's parents hadn't heard from her in more than a day, because during that time she was first being pursued by the Hellfire Club's men and then working with the X-Men to save their friends. All they knew was that Kitty had left with Xavier's "students" to get a soda, there had been reports that the soda shop had been blown up, and that Kitty had been missing since. Understandably, they were angry at Xavier when he finally returned with Kitty in tow. At first, it seemed like there was no chance of Kitty being allowed to attend the school and join the X-Men. Phoenix then decided to use her considerable telepathic power to erase the memories of Kitty's parents and plant false ones, resulting in a complete shift in their attitude towards Xavier. Questions concerning the morality of tampering with minds in such a fashion aside, Kitty was then allowed to enroll at Xavier's school with her parents' blessing. She was the youngest person to join the X-Men up to that point.
Joining the X-Men
Kitty joined the X-Men, and assumed the costumed identity of Sprite. Early in her career as an X-Man, Kitty's adult self from an alternate future took possession of her body in the present to help X-Men thwart the assassination of Senator Robert Kelly by the second Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Kitty then singlehandedly defeated a N'Garai demon. Kitty also briefly attended the White Queen's Massachusetts Academy. During her teen years, Kitty fostered a number of close relationships with others at the school and in the X-Men. She developed a crush on Colossus and became close friends with his little sister Illyana Rasputin. Initially uneasy around Nightcrawler and other mutants with physical deformities, Kitty finally overcame her fears and became close friends with him. Kitty also befriended Lockheed, a highly intelligent alien resembling a dragon, who followed her home after a mission in outer space. Lockheed is extremely loyal to Kitty, and the two of them share a psychic bond. Wolverine became something of a mentor to Kitty despite his usually gruff personality. Storm came to view Kitty as a little sister. Kitty was later assigned to the New Mutants, a team of younger mutants established in the absence of the X-Men while they were in outer space. Kitty convinced Professor Xavier to allow her to remain a full member of the X-Men on the basis of her high intelligence, maturity, and the fact that she was already a fully-trained member of the team. Kitty was later abducted by the Morlocks and was almost forced to wed Caliban. She was then abducted by the White Queen, but rescued by the New Mutants. During this time, Kitty began to "date" Colossus, but this did not last long. Colossus developed feelings for an alien woman named Zsaji whom he met on the Beyonder's planet in the first Secret Wars. Colossus' feelings toward Zsaji were primarily a side effect of her own unique healing abilities, which she had used on him after he became injured. Regardless, Colossus' feelings were real and he returned to Earth consumed with grief after Zsaji's death. He admitted to Kitty that he loved Zsaji, which hurt her deeply and ended the budding romantic relationship. Kitty had made good friends with a local boy from Salem Central named Doug Ramsey around this time, but her feelings for him never went as deep as his for her, and they never actually dated, though they remained close, even more so after Doug's status as a mutant was revealed and he joined the New Mutants under the codename Cypher. They remained friends until his death some time later.
During the 1985 Kitty Pryde and Wolverine miniseries, Kitty is possessed by a demon, the ninja Ogun. Ogun psychically bestows upon Kitty a virtual lifetime of martial arts training. Kitty was brainwashed by Ogun into becoming a ninja assassin, and was sent to attack Wolverine. Kitty is able to resist Ogun's influence with Wolverine's help and the two form a strong teacher/student bond. Kitty returns to the X-Men, no longer the innocent girl they once knew, and officially adopts the codename Shadowcat.
While trying to save Rogue, Kitty was badly injured by Harpoon's energy spear during the Mutant Massacre story arc, in the massacre of the Morlocks, with the result that she lost control of her power and was stuck in an intangible state and could not regain her solidity. She was rushed to Muir Island along with other surviving casualties of the Massacre to be tended to by Moira MacTaggert. MacTaggert was able to keep Kitty's condition from deteriorating to the point where she completely lost physical substance and ceased to exist, but wasn't able to do any more to help her. At this time, Kitty's natural state was to be intangible. Where she once had to make a conscious effort to phase, she could now only maintain her solidity through an act of conscious will. She was saved by Reed Richards, Mister Fantastic of the Fantastic Four, but not without trouble. The X-Men had gone to Richards for aid, but he had initially refused because he was not sure he would be able to help (Reed was in a struggle with the rest of the Fantastic Four about their origins. They thought that Reed deliberately caused their accident which turned them into the Fantastic Four, thus making him very uncertain about his personal motives and abilities). Having nowhere else to go, the X-Men turned to Richards' enemy Doctor Doom. This created a moral dilemma for both the X-Men and the Fantastic Four. Both teams fought each other because the Fantastic Four were trying to stop the treatment while the X-Men were determined to save Kitty's life. In the end, both the personal crisis of the Fantastic Four and the life of Shadowcat were saved. It was Franklin Richards, with the help of Lockheed, who brought both teams to their senses. Kitty has since recovered from this state and now has full control over her power again.
Among the others injured and brought to Muir Isle were Colossus and Nightcrawler, although Colossus left the United Kingdom shortly after being released from MacTaggert's care to join the rest of the X-Men on their mission to battle the Adversary. The X-Men sacrificed their lives to defeat the Adversary, and the battle was televised and broadcast across the world. The X-Men were resurrected later, unknown to the world at large, but chose to keep a low profile and perpetuate the belief that they were still dead. This strategy was enforced to more effectively fight their enemies. This meant avoiding contact with friends and family, including Kitty. Thinking the X-Men were dead, Kitty and Nightcrawler joined Rachel Summers, Captain Britain, and Meggan to form the Britain-based team Excalibur. For a brief time, Kitty studied at St. Searle's school for girls in Britain. During her time with Excalibur, Kitty developed a crush on Professor Alistaire Stuart which went unreciprocated since Alistaire was attracted to Rachel. Later, she was romantically involved with former Black Air agent Pete Wisdom. At some point, Kitty was recruited by the international law enforcement agency S.H.I.E.L.D. to repair the computer system of their flying headquarters. Kitty discovered the problem was due to Ogun’s spirit having infiltrated the computer system, and with the aid of Wolverine, she managed to purge Ogun's presence. During this time, Kitty was attracted to a S.H.I.E.L.D. intern her own age, and this made her begin to doubt her relationship with Wisdom. Soon after, she broke off their relationship. After Excalibur's dissolution, Shadowcat, Nightcrawler, and Colossus return to the X-Men. While returning, they faced a group of imposters following Cerebro, in the guise of Professor X. While tracking Mystique, she stumbles onto prophetic diaries that belonged to Irene Adler, a precognitive. During the six-month gap, Kitty visited Genosha. Whatever she experienced there is unknown (although presumably connected to her father, living on Genosha at the time), but it had a profound effect on her. She cut her hair and began to act rebelliously, also using one of Wolverine's bone claws broken off during battle as a weapon. Kitty remained with the X-Men for a while before leaving after the apparent death of Colossus. Trying to give herself a normal life, she attended the University of Chicago. During this time, her father was killed when Cassandra Nova’s Sentinels destroyed Genosha. Kitty later finds a recording of his death due to exploring footage of the attack. She is also kidnapped by William Stryker, but the X-Treme X-Men team helped her escape and she assisted them on several missions.
Back to the X-Men
At the start of Joss Whedon's run on Astonishing X-Men, Kitty once again rejoins the X-Men, despite having extreme reservations about working with the former White Queen, given their history. However, this was the primary reason why Frost herself wanted Kitty on the team, as a sort of "safety" should Frost ever revert to type. Frost reasoned that the person who trusted her least would be most likely to spot such behavior. On one of the team's first missions, Shadowcat discovered Colossus was alive. After some initial awkwardness, Kitty and Peter resumed dating. Kitty Pryde appeared alongside Colossus in the "Blinded by the Light" arc in X-Men. They are the two X-Men left to look after the students while the rest of the X-Men leave for Mystique's home in Mississippi to check up on Rogue, during which they are ambushed by the Marauders. Kitty and Colossus, meanwhile, attempt to protect the students from a faction of the Marauders led by Exodus. It is revealed over the course of the story that Kitty, worried of the Destiny Diaries' safety, devised a plan with Cyclops and Emma Frost to hide them and have Emma wipe the location from her mind. The location could only be revealed by a code word spoken to Kitty. The arc concludes with a battle between Iceman and Cannonball against the Marauders for the diaries, during which they are destroyed by Gambit. In the "Torn" arc, the latest incarnation of the Hellfire Club begin an assault on Xavier's School. Kitty fulfilled the role that Emma Frost envisioned, personally taking down Frost and imprisoning her, only to fall under a telepathic delusion created by Hellfire member Perfection, who claimed to be the true, unreformed Emma Frost. Under this delusion, Kitty was made to believe that she and Colossus had conceived a child, which was later taken away by the X-Men because its potential mutant abilities were supposedly dangerous. Kitty reacts in the delusion by attempting to rescue the child from a near-inescapable "box" in the depths of the school, unaware that in reality she is freeing an alien entity, Stuff, who contains the trapped consciousness of Cassandra Nova, the apparent ringleader of this new Hellfire Club. A newly awakened Cyclops revealed that the new Hellfire Club, including Perfection and Nova, are actually mental projections created by a piece of Cassandra Nova's consciousness; which became lodged in Emma's mind during the X-Men's last confrontation with her, playing on her survivor's guilt over the Genoshan massacre, and utilizing Emma's telepathy to both confound the X-Men and orchestrate her (Nova's) escape from the Stuff body. As Cyclops killed the mental projections, Emma tried to force Kitty to kill her to get rid of Nova. Undeterred, Cassandra Nova switched her focus to attempt to transfer her mind to Hisako Ichiki. It appears that Nova did not succeed, as the team was transported to S.W.O.R.D.'s air station en route to Ord's Breakworld for the "Unstoppable" arc that concludes Whedon's run on Astonishing X-Men.
As the team prepares to end the confrontation with the Breakworld leader, the team splits up—with Kitty on the team appointed to stop the missile pointed at Earth. Kitty phases into the missile to disrupt its circuitry noting that it is composed of the same material as the rest of Breakworld, making it difficult and exhausting for her to phase through. After phasing for a mile into the missile, Kitty finds the center only to discover it empty. The missile is fired, causing Kitty to pass out inside of it as Beast discovers too late that due to its shape, trajectory, and lack of internal circuitry, the Breakworld's weapon is not a missile, but a bullet. As the bullet hurtles toward Earth, Kitty lies unconscious within it. As the situation becomes increasingly dire, Emma establishes mental contact with Kitty, reassuring her that she will come out of this fine, though it eventually becomes clear to both that the situation will be grim. Kitty and Emma come to an understanding and reconciliation, Emma stating that she never wanted something like this to happen to her. Kitty then phases the bullet through the earth, but is trapped within. At the end of Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men, Scott Summers mentions that Doctor Strange, Reed Richards, and some "top men" tried to save her, but believe she has fused to the bullet, as it continues to hurtle through space. Whether she is alive or dead is unknown, though the X-Men consider her lost to them. As a result of these events Kitty does not appear in the X-Men crossover event X-Men: Messiah Complex, since this takes place after the events of Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men. She is briefly mentioned in the aftermath of the Messiah Complex, by Colossus, Nightcrawler, and Wolverine, as the three of them discuss "losing her". To cope with Kitty's loss, Colossus takes down a group of Russian criminals dealing in human trafficking, and gets a tattoo of the name 'Katya' on his chest. Emma begins having a recurring dream in which she hears a voice whom she believes is Kitty's trying to reach out to her. It has been confirmed by Abigail Brand that Kitty Pryde is still alive within the bullet, but because the bullet's design is to harden as time goes on, it becomes increasingly difficult to break the bullet open.
After the X-Men move to the island of Utopia, Magneto arrives on the island professing his desire to join and support the X-Men in their effort to unite the world's remaining mutants. The X-Men reluctantly let him stay, remaining wary of him despite his efforts to gain their trust. In a final bid to gain their trust, Magneto focuses his powers, attempting to divert the interstellar path of the metal bullet Kitty is trapped in and bring her home to Earth. Meanwhile inside the bullet, Kitty is revealed to still be alive. Unbeknown to the others, Magneto had encountered the bullet earlier while attempting to regain his powers with the High Evolutionary and surmised that Kitty was inside. Despite this and the High Evolutionary's apparent ability to retrieve the bullet and Kitty, Magneto chose to focus on regaining his powers, secretly keeping tabs on the bullet until his decision to draw it back to Earth. During her time trapped inside the bullet, Kitty keeps herself and the bullet phased to avoid collisions with any inhabited objects in its path. Magneto brings her safely down to Earth, cracking the bullet in two and levitating Kitty to the ground. However, when she and Colossus try to touch, it is revealed that she is trapped in her intangible form and the X-Men place her in a protective chamber.
Powers and abilities
Phasing: Shadowcat possessed the ability to pass through solid matter by passing her atoms through the spaces between the atoms of the object through which she was moving. In this way she and the object through which she was passing could temporarily merge without interacting, and each was unharmed when Shadowcat had finished passing through the object. This process was called "phasing." When Shadowcat was phasing, she was, for all intents and purposes, intangible. Hence, when attacked, she could shift into a "phasing" state (even if she was not at the time passing through an object) so as to allow oncoming projectiles or energy blasts to pass through her harmlessly. Shadowcat passed through objects at the same rate of speed at which she was moving before she "entered" it. She trained herself to go automatically, by reflex, into a phasing state at any indication of danger, such as a loud noise like a gunshot, in order to protect herself. Also, the fact that she was able to keep herself, and the breakworld bullet, in a constant state of intangibility for several months in space, may be an indicator that her powers have advanced to a point where she does not need to eat or breathe whilst phasing.
- Air Walking: Using her phasing ability, Shadowcat could walk on air. In fact, she could use her ability to walk on the air from the ground to the upper stories of a building as if she were climbing a staircase.
- Phasing Extension: From the first use of her phasing power, Shadowcat was able to phase her clothing along with herself. Through practice she learned to phase other objects along with herself without harm to them, and at one point phased an entire X-Men team. She could also enable someone as big as Colossus to "walk on air" along with her. However, she had to maintain physical contact with the people or objects she phased along with herself for the effect to work with this other person or object.
- Electrical Disruption: She could phase through any material object, even living people. When she phased through an object with an electrical system, the process disrupted the system's workings.
- Telepathic Resistance: Her thoughts were highly erratic when phased as if there was no mind to telepathically affect.
Expert Martial Artist: Shadowcat possesses expertise of the martial arts of ninjutsu and bushido. Shadowcat demonstrated great knowledge of ninja methods of combat when she was mentally possessed by the Ronin Ogun. With the possession over, Shadowcat forgot the knowledge of ninja techniques he gave her, but she retained the knowledge of Oriental methods of combat taught her by Wolverine. She is often considered a ninja, has single-handedly taken down groups of ninjas that were taught by Ogun himself, and is an expert in many forms of martial arts such as karate, aikido and ninjutsu.
Dance Training: She continued to take dance training under the tutelage of Stevie Hunter, and was highly agile.
Genius-level Computer Expert: Shadowcat was an expert in the field of computer science, demonstrating genius-level aptitude for programming, modifying, and diagnosing almost any computer system: even those of unfamiliar human and extraterrestrial origin. She used her skills in many high-stress combat situations to great effect, and in combination with her mutant ability to disrupt electrical systems she was a formidable foe for any enemy relying on advanced technology. She was the equal and peer of her former hacking partner Cypher (deceased) whose mutant gift for languages granted him superhuman skill in the same field.
Multi-lingual: She also fluently spoke Japanese, Russian, Shi'ar, Skrull, and German. (Most, if not all of these, were learned telepathically; her use of Skrull, at least, was used briefly after being learned and then not mentioned again.)
Normal human female with moderate regular exercise.
Mystical Vulnerability: While phasing Shadowcat is vulnerable to mystical attack.
Phasing Limitations: Originally she was unable to breathe while "inside" an object, she could only continuously phase through solid objects (as when she traveled underground) as long as she could hold her breath. Denser materials were more difficult for Kitty to phase through, sometimes causing her pain. However, adamantium is one of the densest metals, and even though Wolverine's skeleton is coated with adamantium, Kitty has been shown to be able to easily phase through him. Solidifying while in an object could cause serious injury if not death, and solidifying a limb such as her arm inside someone else's body can cause them serious injury or death, but hasn't shown to harm herself.
Kitty often traveled with the X-Men in their modified SR-71 Blackbird.
Wolverine once gave Kitty a broken piece of his bone claws and on certain occasions she carries it. She has been known to wield a sword.
Shadowcat's Love Interests
- Spider-Man (Ultimate)
- Pete Wisdom
- Kitty Pryde is Jewish. Cultural memories of the Holocaust made her especially sensitive to anti-mutant prejudice. Her grandfather died in Warsaw as a Holocaust victim.
- Her father, Carmen, served in the army with Charles Xavier & Wolverine before she was born.
- Under the delusion implanted by Emma Frost, she and Peter had a son named Michael.
- John Byrne named Shadowcat/Kitty Pryde after a classmate he met in art school in Calgary in 1973, the person soon legally changed her name to K.D Pryde due to the pressure.
- In the Spike Lee's film 25th Hour, Edward Norton's character expresses his desire to avoid prison by stating he wishes he was "that girl from X-Men... the one who can walk through walls"
- Kitty Pryde and the Shadowcats was the name of an all-female band that existed for several years in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
- Shadowcat has gone through many costumes along with other aliases. Originally joined as Kitty Pryde and adopted the codename Sprite. Soon after she went through many masks (even roller skates) and ended up with the codename Ariel. She did not go by Shadowcat (originally) until Wolverine trained her while in Japan.
- The three actresses that portrayed Shadowcat in the X-Men Trilogy are all from Canada.
- The main reason for Colossus and Kitty breaking up was due to Jim Shooter diapporval of a 19-year-old (Colossus) dating a 14-year-old (Kitty).
- Joss Whedon cites Kitty Pryde as his greatest influence in the creation of his popular heroine, vampire slayer Buffy Summers.