X-Men Unlimited (1st series) #38

Issue Date: 
November 2002
Story Title: 

Greg Rucka (writer), Darick Robertson (artist), Randy Gentile (letterer), J. D. Smith (colorist), Mark D. Beazley (assistant editor), C. B. Cebulski (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

One year after Colossus’ death Kitty Pryde is still trying to come to terms with her grief for him. As she lights the ritual Yartzeit candle, she admits to herself, how torn her emotions are. Turning a Chicago street corner she fleetingly sees a young police-officer, who’s the spitting image of Peter Rasputin. Kitty wants to approach him, but he leaves too fast. Back at home, Kitty phones Nightcrawler over this incident – she’s convinced someone’s messing with her mind. As Kurt points out that she might be seeing things, she angrily hangs up on him. Ignoring her usual schedule, Kitty frantically tries to find out who the mystery man is, finally hanging around the police station until his shift is over. As she follows him into the subway he notices her, but clearly doesn’t recognize her. Dejected, Kitty returns to her flat to find Kurt Wagner waiting for her. He realized she needed a friend. Kitty tells him what happened and finally admits that the man wasn’t Peter, no matter how much she wanted him to be. The next day, feeling better already, Kitty walks up to the cop, introduces herself and explains why she was following him. The cop, a rather nice fellow named Danny Wyczenko, feels sorry for her loss and asks her to tell him about her friend.

Full Summary: 

(thoughts and memories)

Kitty remembers how two thousand years in the future the villain Stryfe invented a plague to kill mutants – and eventually humans – and unleashed it on the present, where the so-called Legacy Virus killed many, for example little Illyana Rasputin, until Hank McCoy found a cure – a cure that could only be implemented, if the bearer sacrificed his life – which Colossus did.


One year later, on his dying day, Kitty Pryde goes through a ritual of remembrance called Yartzeit, lighting the traditional candle, that’s supposed to burn for 24 hours. She feels emotionally torn between hate, anger and love towards Colossus, and is trying to come to terms with what he did and why he did it. She just wants him back, she thinks. She thinks about him all day, in classes, on the campus, and in the labs of the university.

As she turns a Chicago street corner, she sees a young police officer on the other side, who’s the spitting image of her dead friend. Kitty approaches him, but he has already entered his car and drives away. Heedlessly, Kitty follows the car onto the street and almost gets mowed down by car. She easily phases to save herself and gives the driver the shock of his life.

Back at her own place, Kitty phones her friend Kurt Wagner, aka Nightcrawler, and tells him what she’s seen. She’s sure someone’s messing with her head: Mystique perhaps or Mastermind? Or maybe Mr. Sinister’s cloned Peter? Kurt tries to calm her. He admits, the latter might be a possibility, but reasonably he asks, why would any of those villains bother? After all Kitty left the X-Men. He insinuates that Kitty might have been seeing things, seeing as how Peter has been on her mind lately. Kitty angrily tells him to go to hell and breaks the connection.

Kitty throws herself into an investigation, asking around the neighborhood about the identity of that cop, but not turning up a clue. She hangs around the police station even as it is getting later and later and finally sees her target leaving the station. Kitty doesn’t care anymore, if it is a trap or not and follows him into the subway. The cop finally notices her and eyes her suspiciously, but clearly without recognizing her at all, before he walks away. Numbly, Kitty heads home, and calls in sick for her job. She hates herself for not approaching him, but she was so sure he’d recognize her.

Lost in thoughts, she doesn’t even notice the priest standing in front of her apartment, until he addresses her. Happily, she hugs the disguised Nightcrawler. He explains he came to Chicago because their phone-call ended badly and she sounded as though she could use a friend. Over takeout they talk. Nightcrawler’s been checking and he’s more convinced than before that no old foe of them is behind this. He tells Kitty that Peter was her first love and that will never go away. Kitty admits that she saw the man again and followed him after work. She finally breaks down crying admitting to both of them that it wasn’t Peter, no matter how much she wanted him to be.

The next morning Kitty throws away the burnt-down Yartzeit candle. She writes a note to Kurt who’s still fast asleep on her couch, telling him she has to attend classes, but she’d love to buy him dinner that night. While she’s at school, she muses about the point of mourning rituals such as the Yartzeit –and how they help you to cope with the death of a loved one.

After classes Kitty once more approaches the cop, and actually speaks to him this time. He recognizes her from the subway and asks her half-joking, whether she was stalking him. Kitty apologizes and explains that he resembles her dead friend. The cop feels sorry for her loss and introduces himself as Danny Wyczenko, a cop with a half-Polish, half-Russian family background. Danny asks her to tell him more about her friend, so with a wistful smile Kitty starts telling him about Peter.

Characters Involved: 

Kitty Pryde / Shadowcat


Nightcrawler (X-Men)

Danny Wyczenko, a police officer

In thoughts / memories :

Beast, Colossus, Cecilia Reyes (all X-Men)

Illyana Rasputin

a shadowy figure, presumably Stryfe

Story Notes: 

The “Yartzeit” or “Yahrzeit”, probably derived from the German words “Jahr” (year) and “Zeit” (time), is a Jewish ritual of mourning, performed one year after the death of the person.

Illyana Rasputin died of the Legacy Virus in Uncanny X-Men #303.

Colossus sacrificed his life to stop the Legacy Virus in Uncanny X-Men #390.

Although Kitty’s pet dragon Lockheed is curiously absent in Kitty’s limited series Mekanix, he is seen hanging around Kitty’s flat here.

Issue Information: 
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