X-Men: Kitty Pryde: Shadow & Flame #5

Issue Date: 
December 2005
Story Title: 
Shadow and Flame - conclusion

Akira Yoshida (Writer), Paul Smith (Penciler), Joe Rubinstein (Inker)
Chris Walker (Colorist), VC’s Randy Gentile (Letterer), Sean Ryan (Assistant Editor), Nick Lowe (Associate Editor), Mike Marts (Editor), Joe Quesada (Editor-in-Chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

Nao and the other members of the Path of Destiny eagerly await Kitty’s return to take the sword Ginrei and betray her. Kitty comes and demands the dragons, but they find the beasts already freed by a second Kitty. The first Kitty is revealed to be Ryuko Oshiba in disguise and the two women are joined by a very much alive Silver Samurai and more JDSS agents, who begin battling the ninjas. Kitty faces Nao on her own in a swordfight, complicated by the presence of the dragons. Eventually, Nao angers Puff who starts a fire and, seemingly, Nao perishes in it. Kitty thanks the Samurai for his help in the ruse. Later on, she gives one of the Swords of Destiny to the JDSS in exchange for the dragons’ freedom. She gives Lockheed the choice whom to accompany. Eventually, he tells Puff good-bye and follows Kitty home.

Full Summary: 

Kitty has had enough. Her past has come back to haunt her and, to save the life of her dragon, she has been forced to do unimaginable things. It is time to push back. Hard. Holding the famed sword of Clan Yashida in her hand she walks down the subway stairs leading to the Path of Destiny’s secret hideout.

In his cell, Lockheed awakes. When a small portion of the door opens, he hurls towards it, but stops when the small green Dragon, Puff, is let in. Outside, the Path’s leader, Nao, vows the pathetic purple creature will be put out of his misery soon enough.

Another Ninja awaits Nao and hands her her sword, adding that the others have gathered as she required. Soon, her sword Kurokaze will be reunited with Ginrei, Nao muses. With two of the Swords of Secret in their possession, the Path of Destiny will rise again in power and Ogun’s legacy will be fulfilled.

She informs her people that Kitty Pryde should be retuning any moment now. They are meeting her in the tunnels to prevent any surprises. This is the only way she knows to get in.

The Ninja next to her touches his bracelet – actually an image inducer - and reveals his true face – that of Kitty Pryde. She may have found another way in, she states sarcastically, as she holds the sword Ginrei to Nao’s throat. Coolly, Nao just admires the weapon. Not impressed, Kitty suggests Nao not make her show how cutting her wit is right now.

Nao orders the ninjas to bring the dragons. She remarks she didn’t think Kitty had it in her. To go so far as to take the life of the Silver Samurai…

She’s capable of more than Nao can imagine, Kitty remarks coolly. Then it’s a shame she will never see Kitty live up to her true potential, Nao retorts and asks for the sword. Dragons first, Kitty insists.

Suddenly, a guard cries out that the dragons are gone. Suspicious, Nao turns toward Kitty. Where are the beasts? What game is she playing? Kitty smirks. Dungeons & Dragons seemed appropriate, but this is all simply a hide-and-seek gamble. She hid there, “while I went seeking” another voice announces.

The Ninja turn around to see another Kitty with both dragons. The first Kitty throws Ginrei towards the newcomer and then deactivates the image inducer. It’s Ryuko Oshiba of the JDSS. They are all under arrest, she announces. Taking out her gun, she orders nobody to move and tells Kitty it is time for her move. She should have expected betrayal from a gajin, Nao snarls. What comes around goes around, Kitty retorts with a smirk. And shall come around again, Nao replies, as she whistles. Obediently, Puff, the green dragon, flies to her side. They are only three against an army, Nao exults. The Path of Destiny will get the sword and Kitty and her friends will die.

She might want to hold off the self-congratulation, Kitty smirks, as there is a rumbling sound and a giant drill emerges from the ground. From it comes the charging and very much alive Silver Samurai, as well as several other armed men. While the samurai’s troops and the ninjas keep each other busy, Nao battles Kitty into a corner. The green dragon distracts Kitty for a moment, allowing Nao to get the drop on her and to kick the girl in the face. The dragons seem to disagree, as they get into the fight between the two women and Lockheed starts chasing Puff. Kitty skillfully somersaults away and counters Nao’s sword attack.

Elsewhere, the Ninja are trying to bring down the Silver Samurai down through sheer numbers to no avail, as he grimly announces that those who fight without honor die without honor. More agents enter the fray.

Kitty and Nao keep on battling. Kitty suggests that Nao and her people cut their losses and come quietly. In her dreams, Nao retorts. She figured as much, Kitty replies. Just thought she’d ask. Their battle takes them into the tunnels while the Samurai suggests the Ninja surrender.

Puff ends up between Kitty and Nao again and the Ninja leader angrily strikes the dragon. Both Kitty and Nao become aware at the same time that this was a very stupid move. Puff’s eyes narrow and she begins to spit fire at the ground before Nao. The old wood immediately combusts.

Kitty phases through the flames and grabs her foe’s sword. She offers help, but Nao refuses. Destiny will decide her fate. She lets go of the sword. Unable to see anything, Kitty has to content herself with saving the two blades.

Elsewhere, the battle is over again with t J.D.S.S.’s forces and the Samurai victorious. Seeing the dejected Kitty with both blades and both dragons, Ryuko remarks it looks like it was someone’s birthday. Kitty confides that their “host” got away. She burned out while Kitty faded away. Good riddance Ryuko states simply. If she is gone, Kitty adds somewhat doubtful. Petting the dragons, the Samurai informs her that they all fought nobly and emerged from the conflict unscathed. There should be no regrets.

With a bow Kitty hands back the Sword of Clan Yashida and thanks him for helping her with the ruse and for fighting by her side. He returns the bow and compliments her on being as worthy an ally as she is a formidable foe. The Clan Yashida was honored to allow her to wield their sword. Ryuko interrupts, speaking of swords…

Somewhat later at Section 83, Kitty is talking with Ryuko and her superior, who admits that he is pleased that his doubts about Kitty were unfounded. Now she has the dragons. What do they get in return? Kitty hands them the sword but asks back for her image inducer. She pets Lockheed and tells him she is heading home. What he’s going to do is up to him and his ladylove to decide. He knows the way home. The dragons take off, as Kitty jokes he shouldn’t do anything she wouldn’t. Ryuko protests about simply letting the dragons go. She’ll just have to leave it up to destiny, Kitty suggests as she makes for the exit.

Later, up in the air, Lockheed tells the green dragon a tender good-bye and starts to follow Kitty’s plane. Kitty smiles. She is sorry for greenie, but glad he’s sticking with her.

Characters Involved: 

Kitty Pryde / Shadowcat


Puff (the alien green dragon)

The Silver Samurai

Ryuko Oshiba (agent of the JDSS)

Ryuko’s superior

JDSS agents

Nao (leader of the Path of Destiny)


Story Notes: 

Dungeons & Dragons is a role-playing game classic.

Issue Information: 

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