Kitty Pryde & Wolverine #5

Issue Date: 
March 1985
Story Title: 

Chris Claremont (writer), Allen Milgrom (artist), Glynis Wein (colorist), Tom Orzechowski (letterer), Ann Nocenti (editor), Jim Shooter (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

Kitty attacks Shigematsu and extorts from him the promise to leave her father alone. Afterwards, she muses on her reasons for fighting Ogun instead of fleeing and decides she is a grown-up now with a new identity – Shadowcat. Trying to figure out Ogun’s next move, she believes he will attack Wolverine’s fiancé, Mariko Yashida. So, she contacts her and her foster daughter, Akiko, instead and hides them while she poses as Mariko to lure Ogun into a trap. However, he easily stands up to her, gets her to lead her to Mariko. Kitty protects the two women by fighting Ogun, who has temporarily neutralized her powers directly on a roof. She manages to fend off his influence, meaning he plans to kill her instead. That moment, Wolverine who has been following her, along with Carmen and Yukio, shows up.

Full Summary: 

Tokyo, the corporate headquarters of Shigematsu Industries, on Seigikahara Plaza, in the Otemachu district. Heiji Shigematsu, oyabun of one of the larger Yakuza outfits, screams in terror when a ninja phases up through his desk and shouts Boo. The ninja solidifies on the desk and throws down his chair, warning Shigematsu that surely he has not forgotten no place is safe from a ninja. And thanks to him she’s been trained by the best.

He realizes now who the ninja is. Kitty Pryde. She tells him she’s here to make him an offer he can’t refuse, just like in the movies. Leave Carmen Pryde alone. Return control of his bank to him… with no strings attached and never ever bother him or his family again, or she’ll be back and she won’t be anywhere near so nice.

She phases through the shocked man, through the floor, slipping through the walls she walks on air, high above the streets. She takes off her mask and smiles, remembering the look on Shigematsu’s face when she popped out of his desk.

She forgets to concentrate for a moment and begins to fall. Luckily, she’s high up enough to catch herself before she hits anything. Kitty chides herself. Professor Xavier and Wolverine taught her better than that. Act this stupidly against Ogun and her troubles will be over forever.

She saw Wolverine a few nights ago up north, when she said goodbye. She wishes she could see the Prof and the other X-Men, too. Especially Ororo. And her Mom and her dad too. She misses them so. There’s so much to say. But she can’t and probably never will, so instead she dances through the sky like a wraith, graceful as the wind, poetry in motion, beauty personified, secure in the knowledge that no one’s around to prove she is not.

Hey! she suddenly shouts when lights blind her, coming from a Tokyo Police helicopter. The men are astonished as Kitty playfully curtseys to them and waves goodbye before dropping though a building’s roof and the ground. Phasing out of her ninja costume along the way, leaving it embedded in a building and the ground itself, not even beginning to brake until she’s well below street level in a station of the Tokyo subway’s Ginza line.

It’s so late in the evening, no one’s there to see her arrive. She finds the Japanese treat their system a whole lot better than they do the “El” in Chicago or the subway in New York.

She enters a public bathroom and puts on eye make-up in lieu of a mask. She is now dressed in a dark blue tight jacket and boots and light blue leggings and gloves along with a scarf. She enters a subway car.

Staring at her reflection in the window, she doesn’t even recognize herself. She hasn’t worn her hair this short since she was a baby. She tried a wig this length weeks ago and hated it. Cutting it was another decision Ogun made for her. She was his doll… a plaything child he would mould into his image. Tonight she’ll find out if he succeeded. She wishes she’d stayed at home and left her dad to a fate he probably deserved.

Why stop there though? she wonders. if she’d never joined the X-Men, she wouldn’t be in this mess. Would it have been so bad to live a normal life? Is it too late to try? Go to college, meet some guy, have 2.4 kids, live happily ever after… That’s what lots of other women do, why not her?

Except normal people don’t skydance. She can’t give that up. Even without any superpowers, she’ll never settle for what society or her parents expect of her. She’s not a Kitty anymore, much as she wishes differently. She’s grown up. She’s a Cat. And she likes the shadows a whole lot more than the daylight.

She breathes on the window pane and begins to draw with her finger. Shadowcat, she decides. She likes it. It suits her better than Ariel or Sprite, that’s for sure.

She begins to draw Wolverine, thinking Shadowcat is who she is and this is the life she chooses to lead, for as long as it lasts. Then, Wolvie will have to avenge her.

Back at the stronghold of Clan Yashida, Wolverine stands on the balcony. Yukio joins him, asking him to come to bed before he catches death. He survived worse, he gruffly informs her. Snuggling up to him, she replies that the day will come when he won’t! Logan reminds her that she is called the Wild One, the devil-may-care ronin who dances with death for the sheer joy of it. If he asked, would she change that nature, give up being who and what she is? Seriously she replies that she can’t. Then why expect different from him?

The weather’s become as screwy as they are, he continues. Look at the snow. It is supposed to be summer. It’s the same all over, she replies. Perhaps the dawn of a new ice age. He notes she’s shivering. He is a mutant and can handle the cold. She’s fine, Yukio assures him. Merely human she may be, but she’s a survivor.

An agitated Carmen Pryde joins them, angrily asking what Wolverine has done with his daughter. Where is Kitty? Gone, Logan replies curtly. Where? Carmen shouts. Logan replies he called Xavier’s. She isn’t there. That means she went after Ogun. He let her? Carmen shouts in disbelief and orders him to bring her back.

Yukio grabs him and snarls he is trying her patience. Take the hint and leave them alone while he is still able! This time though, Carmen doesn’t back down. While he talks more politely to her, he reminds them that they know what that monster can do. Kitty is their friend. She’s his child. He begs them to save her.

Such parental solicitude rings hollow, Yukio mocks, from the man who delivered her into the demon’s hands in the first place. He tried to protect her, Carmen replies. What kind of man does she think he is? Why, no man at all, she retorts, as she lets go. Kitty is the world to him, Carmen insists. He’d die before he’d see her hurt.

That won’t be necessary, Logan finally interferes. Yukio? he asks. She informs him that the blizzard’s broken and the airstrip’s been plowed. The plane’s ready whenever he is.

What does she mean? Carmen asks. Where is he going? Where does he think? Wolverine replies.

Tokyo, the upper class Meguro district, a skyscraper penthouse that serves as the official residence of the Damyo, the supreme lord of clan Yashida, whenever she’s in town. Mariko Yashida enters the penthouse, shouting if Akiko’s home and apologizing for being so late. Office business lasted forever.

The young girl hugs her happily. Mariko takes off her uncomfortable high-heeled shoes and asks if Akiko has eaten. Akiko assures she has and done her homework. Mariko praises her and asks her to tell her about her day while she relaxes in the tub.

Lying on the ground next to the bath, Akiko asks why Mariko wears the shoes if they hurt her. Mariko explains that they revere their ancient traditions. Many men still look down on women, but she is daimyo. There is no one to take her place. She has become a part of their world and must therefore act and dress in a certain way. To rule effectively she must have the respect and loyalty of her subordinates, which must be earned anew every day. She must prove herself stronger, harder braver in all things. She must be more of a true man than they. And because she is her father’s daughter, she has proven herself better than anyone dreamed. Enough of her, how was school? she asks the girl.

Akiko gushes about her day, her friend Tamsin and a boy she met. Wistfully Mariko wonder if she ever had so much fun at Akiko’s age, then chides herself for these thoughts. She isn’t that much older.

Suddenly, she hears an odd sound and shushes the girl. She throws on a robe and orders Aki to stay back while she looks. Calling Mariko haha-san, Akiko grabs her robe’s hem and begs her not to leave. Mariko is touched that she called her mother and assures the girl she has nothing to fear. She carries her back to the bath, reminding herself it’s only been a few months since Akiko was orphaned. She doesn’t see the human shape in the dark and convinces herself the noise was nothing.

Later, aboard a Yashida private business jet are Wolverine, Yukio and Carmen Pryde. The Captain announces they’ll be landing soon at Tokyo’s Haneda airport. Yukio orders Carmen to leave her man be. Carmen orders back to leave him be. He’ll take his chances.

Brave talk, Wolverine remarks, smoking and not even turning around. He doesn’t think much of him, does he? Carmen asks. Nope, comes the honest reply. He’s not ashamed of what he did in Deerfield, Carmen insists. When the recession hit, he saw people he’d known his entire life, good, decent, hardworking families, being chewed up by forces over which they had no control. He couldn’t stand that. He refused to be a part of it, so he and his bank tried to help.

Lotta good he did, Logan points out. For some of them yes! A whole lot! Carmen retorts. But he got caught, Wolverine remarks. The economy didn’t get better, Carmen insists, there was too much need. Tough break! Logan spits. Maybe that’s true. In the beginning, Carmen acted from the purest of motives, good for him. But when things went sour and he signed with Shigematsu, knowing what he was, when the choice was him or disgrace and jail, that choice was to save his own skin. Not quite so noble, eh? His decision. Now he’s got to learn to live with the consequences.

He never meant for Kitty to get involved, Carmen pleads. What did he expect? Wolverine ask with a nasty smirk. She’s his daughter. She loves him. More, she believed in him. She ain’t a born cynic like him and Yukio. She figured her father to be the victim. It never entered her head he could be one of the villains. She assumed her old man would be at least as tough and brave as she. But Pryde let her down, all the way.

Carmen sinks down in despair. Why is she in Tokyo? Why didn’t she go home? Logan cured her, didn’t he? Ain’t that simple, comes the reply. The kid figures she has to prove herself that she’s free by confronting her demon – Ogun - face to face. If she’s right, he’ll probably kill her. If she’s wrong and Ogun takes her again, Wolverine will.

Yukio addresses him in Japanese. He barely speaks of Ogun, but from the way he does, she senses he means a great deal. Yup, Logan agrees. Ogun taught him everything… if there’s a man alive, he’d have chosen to be father, brother, best friend… it was him. Despite that, for what he’s done to Kitty and may yet do… he’ll kill Ogun? Yukio asks. Or he will me, comes the reply.

The Yashida residence at night:

Ogun, in his ninja costume with demon mask, stealthily enters Mariko’s penthouse, her sleeping chamber. He raises his katana and brings it down forcefully to sever her head. But to his surprise she phases through the blow. Kitty who posed as Mariko phases through Ogun as easily as she did through his blade. She put herself in his shoes, figuring his next move to draw her out would also be one of punishing Wolverine for his interference, an attack on his fiancée Mariko.

She moves behind him, grabs his arm and throws him over her shoulder. However, in midair, he regains his bearings and lands elegantly. Kitty runs towards him, sword drawn. Ogun draws his own blade and fends off the blow.

Without missing a step, she keeps going, phases through Ogun and the wall behind him. In the other room, she quickly gets rid of the kimono and tosses it at Ogun, who is hot on her heels. She hits him, then cries out in pain, as he is wearing body armor. She hurt her hand more than him.

Before she can hit him again, he throws a flashbomb at the ground, briefly blinding her. Her eyes clear almost immediately but by that time Ogun is gone. Uh-oh.

Coming from a place she cannot pinpoint, Ogun’s voice asks her if she would challenge him. She decides to phase through the round. Calling her Musume-san, Ogun orders her to yield. He has no wish to do her harm. It would be akin to hurting himself.

How does he keep finding her, she wonders. Wherever she goes, he goes there too. She tells herself to stop. She’s letting him spook her. That’s what he wants. For her to panic and that terror to do his job for him.

As she phases again, she hears his voice telling her she cannot escape. The penthouse is under complete electronic surveillance. He is pleased that she made her entrance undetected. She has learned well, but he is also certain Mariko and the girl are still within the building. He will find them. Then, if Kitty will not serve him, Wolverine’s foster daughter Akiko will take her place.

No! Kitty cries out and is attacked the next moment by a laughing Ogun. She dodges the next blow by rolling around on the ground. He praises her. He could not have executed that evasion better himself.

What a crock, she figures. Most of her ninja combat skills came from the psychic template of himself Ogun imposed on her. They are pretty much gone now. All she has to fall back on are her powers and the skills Wolvie taught her.

She kicks away his staff. Ogun tosses shuriken at her forcing her to phase. She knows they are no threat but cannot help flinching, leaving Ogun the opportunity to disappear again. If she didn’t know better, she’d swear he could phase too. Or are the legends true, she wonders. Ogun’s supposed to be immortal. Suppose that makes him magic? He could even be a real ghost.

She admits to herself that Ogun doesn’t scare her half as much as what she tried to do to him. If he hadn’t blocked the sword… Has she become like him? She doesn’t want to kill!

Suddenly, she hears a startled female scream of agony. Believing it to be Mariko, she phases through the ground to the room where she has hidden Mariko and Akiko, only to find the two frightened but alive. Akiko especially tells Mariko Kitty frightens her. Is she a demon too? Kitty swears. Ogun faked Marirko’s voice and she fell for it!

At that moment, Ogun comes crashing through the window, tossing shuriken. Kitty shoves Mariko and Akiko aside, but one of the shuriken injures her leg. Despite the pain, Kitty phases the three of them outside. Kitty orders them to run. She will try to hold him off as long as she can. Mariko throws her a farewell look which betrays he true feelings. She fears both she and Kitty are doomed.

For Kitty, it is an effort to even stand. A sniff of the shuriken tells her why. It’s coated with a drug.

Ogun enters the room, telling her not to be afraid. He merely desired to prevent any further phasing. Her cause is hopeless. She won’t give up, Kitty insists. As she wishes, he replies and tackles her. The momentum takes them through window to a scaffolding. Ogun takes them up the roof. Kitty keeps on fighting, even though her cause is hopeless.

On the roof, Ogun orders her to yield, warning her he shall not ask again. No, Kitty snarls. Infuriated, he strikes her several times. She is on the roof’s edge, sixty stories up. He reminds her that thanks to his drug she is trapped. She cannot phase and without her power, should she fall, it will be to her death. But the hand that takes her life, may grant it as well. She was his once, bound to him body and soul. Be so again, he urges her. He offers immortality, power beyond her wildest dreams if she yields to his will.

No, she replies in a small voice and he is astonished that she could resist. He holds a blade to her throat. Nevertheless, Kitty smiles. She is not the girl he brainwashed. In some ways, she is no longer a girl at all. That Kitty is no more and he has no powers over a Shadowcat. She may be beaten but she will never surrender.

Then, honored foe, though it breaks his heart, her days are ended. He gets ready for the killing stroke. I wouldn’t do that, bub, if I were you, Wolverine warns him suddenly.

Characters Involved: 

Kitty Pryde, Wolverine (both X-Men)

Carmen Pryde, Kitty’s father

Mariko Yashida, Yukio (X-Men allies)

Akiko, Wolverine’s foster daughter



Story Notes: 

The reason for the snow is the Casket of Ancient Winters (see Thor (1st series) #346).

A Ronin is a lordless samurai.

A Daimyo was a feudal ruler in ancient Japan.

The “El” refers to the elevated train system in Chicago.

The wig refers to Uncanny X-Men #183 where Kitty without explanation had short hair only to have long hair again in her next appearance in the first issue of this limited series.

Akiko lost her mother in Uncanny X-Men #181. However, she was depicted as far younger there, more like a toddler, not a schoolgirl. Also, writers can’t seem to decide if her name is Akiko or Amiko.

A Katana is a long sword.

“Musume san” means “Daughter.”

Issue Information: 
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