SHADOWCAT: Page 5 of 6

Publication Date: 20th Apr 2011
Written By: Peter Luzifer and Ruth.
Image Work: Peter Luzifer.


After Brian Braddock and Meggan were married, the three former X-Men decided to disband what was left of Excalibur and return to America. K itty was considering attending college but after being kidnapped by Cerebro’s X-Men and thus drawn back into the growing mutant-human conflict, she decided to rejoin the X-Men along with Kurt and Piotr. [Excalibur (1st series) #125, Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #360, X-Men (2nd series) #80]

Sometime later, Professor Xavier temporarily disbanded the team. Kitty and Rogue ran into Mystique on their vacation. While Rogue helped her adoptive mother with her problem, Kitty snooped through Mystique’s apartment and found a diary written by the dead precognitive Destiny. She was surprised to find it was addressed to her. Kitty tried to decipher the cryptic writings and learned that some disaster pertaining to the mysterious Twelve was going to occur soon. [X-Men (2nd series) #93-94]

The Twelve event came and went and, as a result, Cyclops seemingly died when he merged with the evil Apocalypse. Shortly after this, Kitty took a leave of absence from the team and went to Genosha. It is unknown what happened while she was on the island, but it had quite an impact. It's possible that this was related to her father, who had been staying on Genosha for quite some time. [hints from X-Men Unlimited (1st series) #23, X-Men Black Sun #1, X-Men (2nd series) #100] As a result of that experience, Kitty cut her hair and became more rebellious. She started to use one of Logan's bone claws as a weapon, having collected them after they were broken off during a battle.

Shortly after her return, she and one team of X-Men worked to repair Dr. Corbeau's Starcore station, which had been damaged by the X-Men’s recent battle with the High Evolutionary and Sinister. Around that time, Kitty fell in love with a young engineer named Seth.  During the party on the station after the work was finished, Kitty went on a date with Seth, but he knocked her out and tied her up. Seth belonged to a mysterious advanced mutant race called the Neo. The Neo blamed humanity and “normal” mutants for the attack by the High Evolutionary that nearly destroyed their people. They intended to destroy the station and everyone on it. Seth planned to save Kitty, though, as he loved her and – according to his unsubstantiated claims – she was a Neo as well. When a girder assembly on the station tore free and headed towards the evacuation shuttle, Kitty saved everyone by having Colossus throw her towards the girder with a fastball special. Making contact with it, Kitty phased the girder which safely passed through the shuttle and everyone aboard. As a result, Shadowcat was left alone on the station. Kitty dressed herself in the advanced Neo spacesuit Seth had left for her and hoped it would protect her as she jumped towards Earth. [X-Men (2nd series) #100]

It is unknown, where Kitty arrived or what she did then but she chose not to rejoin the X-Men. She just sent Wolverine one of the bone claws she had collected to let him know she was alive and well. [X-Men (2nd series) #109]

When Colossus sacrificed his life to end the Legacy Virus, Kitty briefly returned to the X-Mansion to take his ashes (and presumably five volumes of Destiny’s Diary Mystique had bequeathed to the X-Men), and returned them to Russia. She then let Xavier know in a letter that she had had enough of the hero life and that he should respect her decision to attend college and have a normal life. She suggested that perhaps at some point she could use her brains to help the mutant cause. [X-Men (2nd series) #110]

So Kitty decided to rebuild her life and enrolled at the Chicago Robert A. Heinlein School for Engineering and Astrophysics. She rented a flat and started working  nights at a bar owned by her new friend and landlord, Dylan Maguire. She soon learned that even when she was aspiring to live a normal existence, she couldn’t escape the pervasive prejudice against mutants. At school, she came to blows with a student anti-mutant organization called Purity and beat up Jeff Holloway, one of their members. As a result, Kitty was threatened with expulsion, put on probationary status, and required to attend mandatory counseling. At the same time, she faced her hardest loss yet. Her father was still on Genosha when the inhabitants were murdered by Cassandra Nova’s Sentinels. Thanks to her hacker skills, Kitty actually found a video recording of his death. [X-Men Unlimited (1st series) #36]

Purity was giving Kitty even more grief as the organization claimed on their website that there was a dangerous mutant in her research group. This did have one positive effect as it led to Kitty meeting and beginning a close friendship with former New Mutant Xi’an “Shan” Coy Manh, AKA Karma, – who had also enrolled at the University of Chicago. Purity used a virus to sabotage a scientific experiment Kitty's group was conducting and almost blew up Bessemer Station. The students were saved thanks to Kitty and even more so by a telekinetic Genoshan exchange student named Shola Inkosi. During this adventure, Kitty, Shan and Shola met Tom More, a paramedic, hacker and Purity member who inadvertently was responsible for that disaster, as he had created the virus. However, it was his fanatical girlfriend, Alice, who had actually used it. Despite his prejudices, Tom befriended Kitty, Shan and Shola, all of whom were facing trouble with the FBI after the incident. To make matters worse, a smaller group of Cassandra Nova’s Sentinels had arrived in Chicago and began exterminating potential mutants (the Sentinels had a rather broad definition of “mutant” that included most humans). As Kitty worked through her anger management and other issues with her shrink, she also had to face Purity's ringleader Alice in a discussion over whether Purity or mutants should be banned from campus. Kitty actually managed to stay calm and listen to her better nature. They never got to finish the debate, as the Student Union was attacked by the Sentinels. Kitty and her friends lured the creatures to Bessemer Station and managed to destroy them using teamwork. [Mekanix #1-6]

Kitty continued her life in Chicago but was abducted by Lady Deathstrike in the service of the X-Men’s old enemy, William Stryker. He intended to brainwash Kitty for some unknown purpose but wasn’t able to, as his base came under attack. He fled with Kitty to the very place that was worrying him- Mount Haven, a seemingly idyllic community of mutants led by the charismatic Reverend Paul. Stryker left Kitty there and she soon explored this unknown collective of mutants. Kitty noticed that there were only children there and wondered where the grown-ups were. She also found that she was suffering sudden attacks of agony ever since arriving.  She, Stryker and the X-Men, who had come to rescue her, learned that something was very wrong with the place. Paul was an artificial intelligence that had merged with a mutant who had been imprisoned in the base. Paul had taken on the mutant's faith. However, interpreting the “light” he perceived in mutants in the wrong way, Paul killed all non-mutant humans he came across, believing that they didn’t have a soul. He also reprogrammed all mutants within the valley with nanites, slowly replacing their nervous systems and thus putting them under his control. Unfortunately, when Stryker used Kitty to disrupt Paul’s energy matrix, most of these mutants died. Eventually, Kitty was able to make both Paul and Stryker see the errors of their ways and Stryker volunteered to become Paul’s new host. Stryker was put into stasis and the entire community was buried. Afterwards, Kitty told the other X-Men that she’d be there if they needed her but she would prefer to stay in Chicago, and was considering a future in politics. [X-Treme X-Men (1st series) #25-30]

She was drawn back into their world very soon when the X-Treme X-Men team needed her help against the mutant predator, Bogan.  They wanted to bring in someone he wasn’t expecting and who possessed a certain immunity against telepathy. While they weren’t able to nail Bogan, they managed to free his pet telepath. This turned out to be a pleasant surprise for Kitty, as the telepath was Rachel Summers, one of the close friends she had believed to be lost forever when Rachel had entered the timestream and departed from this reality. [X-Treme X-Men (1st series) #43-46]