Growth is incredibly important to a character. It doesn’t matter if it’s in a TV show, movie, or in literature. Without it, even the best characters will grow stale. This doesn’t mean that the qualities that made us love someone should be switched. It means they should evolve. Wolverine and Batman’s core personalities have remained the same. However, over time, they’ve added more depth. Wolverine developed feelings and Batman got engaged. Marvel Comics has a hero that may have the best growth we’ve seen to date. She went from a shy teenager with no fighting experience to a hero who’s helped save the universe on more than a few occasions. Her name is Katherine “Kitty” Pryde.
In the beginning…
Kitty Pryde made her comic book debut in January of 1980 in Uncanny X-Men No. 129. She was just a young girl who couldn’t control her phasing. Kitty was just hoping to gain better control of her powers. She got more than she bargained for. On her first day, the X-Men were captured by the Hellfire Club. A heck of an awakening for a young girl. Even though she was scared, Kitty knew she had to help. That was day one. Things didn’t get any less exciting as time went on. In fact, the dangers became more extreme. Nonetheless, Kitty Pryde was always up for the challenge.
Kitty became fearless as time went on. Mostly because things never seemed to slow down. She’s been possessed by the spirit of a deadly ninja, buried a lot of loved ones, and the countless missions she’s gone on with the X-Men and Guardians of the Galaxy. Each of her experiences made her tougher and smarter. Let’s use her bout with Ogun as an example. During that time, learned martial arts and trained with Wolverine. She became deadly after this. Kitty’s powers are more protective than offensive. After this arc, she learned to use them to attack. She’s taken down some of the best fighters since then.
It isn’t just the fighting. Kitty Pryde was a school teacher and headmistress at the Jean Grey School of Higher Learning. She still went on missions, but not as many. Her job was to protect and teach the students. She did a fantastic job and she enjoyed doing it. After that, she took on a more difficult job. She was leader of the mutants. With Professor Xavier, Cyclops, and Wolverine dead and Storm not willing to lead, it fell to Kitty. She reopened the school and put it smack in the middle of Central Park. A bold move. She didn’t want to hide because mutants shouldn’t have to. Something Xavier and Cyclops never thought of doing.
And still growing
Now, she’s the current Red Queen (check out Marauders issue No. 2 for details). Now going by Kate Pryde, she sitting on the head table with some of the best mutants in the world. Jean Grey, Magento, and Professor Xavier to name a few. This is a role she was destined to play. Someone who’s seen everything. She’s grown in the mutant community from a time where they were hated to having their own recognized nation. We’ve yet to see what she’s going to do as the Red Queen. One thing is for certain, her growth from helped put her there. She’s phased a bullet for months to protect planets. Help Wolverine in his time of need. Put Emma Frost in her place when she needed to be checked. And even never became someone she hated. It was leading up to this. Here’s the best part, Kate Pryde will continue to grow and get better.