Kitty Pryde : Agent of SHIELD #1

Issue Date: 
December 1997
Story Title: 
The Calling

Larry Hama (script), Jesus Redondo (penciler), Sergio Melia (inks), Glynis Oliver (coloring), Jim Novak (lettering), Bobbie Chase (editor), Bob Harras (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Kitty Pryde is doubtful about her relationship with Pete Wisdom, resulting in SHIELD’s offer to have her become a tech intern being very welcome. As she boards the helicarrier, she learns that the computer systems are no longer under SHIELD’s control. However, the system responds to her bio signs, returning control. Despite her success, SHIELD keeps her around, just in case and assigns young fellow intern Rigby Fallon to her. However, as the heli-carrer becomes airborne they learn that the reason for the computers’ malfunction is Kitty’s old foe Ogun who has possessed the systems and is now using Kitty’s shape to call Wolverine to join them. Kitty vows that she will beat Ogun.

Full Summary: 

Muir Island, off the coast of Scotland. Home to Moira MacTaggert’s research center and headquarters of Excalibur. Kitty Pryde and her lover, Wisdom, are taking a walk outside. Kitty bluntly observes that Pete’s been a jerk lately. Is he to take that as constructive criticism, Pete asks, holding her hands, or should he be reeling in shame, his ego in tatters? He just went from “sort of” to “full blown” Kitty warns him. He can redeem himself by swearing off those nasty cigs. Sounds like blackmail, Pete complains. More like extortion, she playfully corrects him.

They are about to kiss when an aircraft flights straight above them. Pete tosses Kitty down, covering her. As the aircraft lands, Pete identifies it as a SHIELD orca class, Mark III, assault helicopter. What’s it doing on Muir? Kitty wonders as they both run towards the center and the landing aircraft. They have no jurisdiction there.

Fellow Excalibur member Colossus is wondering the same thing as he asks his teammate, Meggan, whether they radioed ahead for landing authorization. Not a peep, Meggan replies. They even flew in under radio cloaking with infrared suppression active. If it’s an assault helicopter, where are the weapon pods? Kitty wonders. Pete explains that this one has been modified. It’s a command chopper.

Douglock and Wolfsbane run outside, wondering who is stepping from the hatch. It’s not Nick Fury, Rahne insists. The man introduces himself as G.W. Bridge, acting commander of SHIELD. Now which one of the miserable mutants is Katherine Pryde?

Colossus steps up, demanding to know by what authority SHIELD violates restricted airspace without permission. Why shouldn’t he just pick up their aircraft and heave it into the surf? Bridge turns to one of his men, and asks who the “obstreperous fellow” is. They all work with Moira MacTaggert, don’t they? He isn’t infected, is he? Scanning Colossus with a small device, Agent Levie announces he is clean.

Colossus is getting ticked off and demands they leave. Considering this a threat, Agent Brown pulls a gun on him, threatening that he is dead meat if he even…. Colossus considers this a challenge rather but, before anything can happen, Kitty steps between them, reminding her teammate that SHIELD are the good guys, even if they are a bit rude. She identifies herself to Bridge and asks him what his problem is.

Looking her over, he remarks that she looks younger in her dossier photo. He gets to the point. They have a problem with the helicarrier computer system. It seems that the machine has decided on its own not to recognize any user code or palm print recognition scans others than Kitty’s.

He goes on to explain that the on-board computer handles navigation, target tracking, avionics regulation, life-support, weapons and even keeps track of supplies. The life-support is automatic as well as the fly-by-wire avionics and navigation suites. They do not seem to be affected… yet. But if a situation arises where they need to go into battle they are up the creek. They are asking Kitty to come aboard the helicarrier and assist them in tracking down the glitch in the best interest of international security and world peace. She will be granted temporary agent status and would be carried on the roster as a tech trainee intern.

Wisdom has had enough. He interrupts, shouting that Kitty is not going to get herself embroiled in the nefarious doings of transom peekers, envelope steamers and door kickers. SHIELD is an international group of over-armed control freaks who suffer from a deficiency in childhood toilet training.

Bridge orders Agent Levine to scan him. They are informed of Pete Wisdom’s background as former agent of the British intelligence sub-group Black Air. He is no James Bond, but he’s no Kim Philby either. It takes a transom peeker to know one, Bridge remarks to Wisdom and orders him to back off. Wisdom angrily replies there’s no way Kitty’ going to be a bloody SHIELD agent. Kitty snarls that that’s her decision to make. Since when does he have power of attorney here? When does she start? she asks Bridge. If she can get packed in ten minutes, they have a supersonic transport standing by at Lockerbie, he replies.

Kitty meets her teammates’ doubtful stares with the explanation that she needs to broaden her horizon and this might be a good experience. Besides she just needs to get off the island for a while. As she walks inside, Wisdom runs after her. What about him? he demands. That’s the person who seems to be paramount in his thoughts all the time, Kitty snaps, how about her for a change? She doesn’t know what’s she’s getting into, he shouts. Maybe, she replies coolly, but she knows what she’s getting out of.

Six hours later Kitty gets out of a Manhattan cab in front of the Citicorp building. The driver tells her to go into the G.O.P. Jeans outlet in the Arcade, pick out a pair of stonewashed jeans, take them into fitting room 12 and not to touch the walls. She didn’t even know Republicans s wore dungarees, Kitty jokes feebly as she enters the shop. She hopes she has time to look up Logan while she is in New York. She heard he’s living in the East Village.

The shop assistant tries to talk her out of trying the jeans on in room 12; it is the smallest. Kitty insists on the room and asks if she should know a secret handshake or something? Nod-nod, wink-wink. If she does anything weird in there, she’s calling the police the assistant warns her unnerved.

Kitty is barely inside when the room begins to move – a high-speed elevator. She steps outside to see a full room full of SHIELD agents. She is greeted by one of them as “Katherine Pryde, Special Agent intern.” He asks her to step this way, and she isn’t afraid of heights, is she? Not that she knows of, why? Just asking, he replies as they step aboard the Heli-carrier where she is expected by acting SHIELD commander Dum-Dum Dugan and his Execute Officer Countess Valentina.

Kitty wonders why the loudspeakers are playing “Ride of the Valkyries” at top volume and Dugan explains that the computer controls the loudspeaker system. Valentina tells her not to complain. Last night it was Marilyn Manson for seven hours straight.

They ask her to log in on the computer console and take a crack at turning down the volume. Kitty asks if it is dual palm print and voice recognition. Valentina agrees, adding that a retinal scan and mapped file photo comparison are the back-up. Kitty logs on. The computer recognizes her and just like that the music stops. A young agent Kitty’s age comes running, excitedly stating that the access blocking to the computer has been lifted. Calling him Rigby, Dugan suggests he thank their newest intern Kitty Pryde and introduces Kitty to their artificial intelligence hotshot Rigby Fallon. With that, Dugan and Valentina give orders to resupply the Helicarrier.

Kitty realizes that all they needed her for was to put her hand on that thing to unlock it. Dugan tells her to back off. A lowly intern doesn’t give lip to a special director. Angrily, Kitty threatens to walk out right now. Valentina points out that she signed on for an open-ended internship. If she leaves this vessel without authorization, she is a deserter. Besides, they don’t know if the fix on the computer is temporary or not.

Kitty is spoiling for a fight, but Rigby steps between the women and drags Kitty away, suggesting he show her the computer section. On the way there, Kitty complains about feeling used. Rigby suggests she cut them some slack. They’re old and have a different world view. Being a special agent intern in the Helicarrier is the coolest internship she could ever hope to get. It sure beats running a courier and delivering mail at some boring corporate headquarters. Somewhat mollified, Kitty agrees.

He leads her to the digital domain, the nerve center of the largest manmade object capable of sustained hover. She’s impressed, but can you play Quake on it? Rigby replies that it can compute trajectories along an infinite curve, extrapolate conflict scenarios in true 3-D, and solve the Sunday Times crossword puzzle in 1.23573 seconds… the mainframe is a series of Super Cray computers locked behind this blast door. A lot of Ram, huh? Kitty asks mockingly. Very funny, he remarks before pointing out that even the vector intersect program is up and running again. That must be very nice for the vectors, Kitty remarks. When he is taken aback by her comment, Kitty backs off and thanks him for chilling things out with Valentina and Dugan.

Later, Kitty has her uniform and the Heli-carrier is getting ready to disembark. It’s amazing this thing can fly, she muses. Logically it can’t, an agent replies, but then neither can a bumblebee. Some things are just beyond the rules of nature.

Chewing some sugarbombs, Rigby regretfully announces it’s time to get to work. He’ll start off by running a diagnostics program to try to track down what went wrong prevent it from happening again. Kitty asks whether this shouldn’t be handled by an expert technician. Does an intern like Rigby have the authority to do something like that. Amused, another agent replies that Rigby may be an intern and newbie as far as SHIELD is concerned but he got his masters from M.I.T. when he was seventeen. He wrote half of the programs that run the Helicarrier.

Rigby shows Kitty a program he starts, calling it his digital doctor. It should get right to the heart of the bug wherever it is and root it right out. It should, a voice comes from the computer, but it won’t… not as long as he is in control.

A face hidden beneath a Japanese red demon masks appears and Kitty recognizes him as Ogun. The mystic ninja master who once tried to take over her soul and make her his slave for eternity, but she thought he was dead. A hologram of Ogun appears behind them and he announces that death has no meaning on his plane of existence. Although he was once cheated out of his eternal slave, his perfect acolyte, his special daughter, he now has the means to rectify that. Lately, he has occupied the corporeal husk of Lady Deathstrike, an enhanced cyborg, and experiencing that gave him a taste for inhabiting a cyber-consciousness. He planned all this to lure her here? Kitty realizes. How astute, he replies mockingly.

On the bridge the SHIELD staff realizes the helm is not responding. The pilot tries to go to auxiliary systems, but nothing works and suddenly, sharply the Helicarrier is going down.

Kitty asks Ogun why he is involving all those innocents. This is between the two of them. Because he can, Ogun replies. As Rigby works the computer, Ogun mocks that his efforts to crash and reboot are quite futile. As futile as any attempt Kitty might make to forestall her destiny. The hologram changes shape to look like Kitty and he makes a phonecall… to Wolverine.

Kitty tries to warn Wolverine but he doesn’t hear, as Ogun’s Kitty tells him she is in town for the day and wants to see him. Can they meet on the Brooklyn Bridge in half an hour? And can he wear his costume? Anything she says, he replies. A little later in his uniform he gets on his motorbike for their meeting.

Furious, Kitty threatens that she beat Ogun once before and she’s going to do it again. He urges her to get angry. Her rage is taking over, overwhelming her. That is the key to his victory. No way! she shouts and tries to attack.

Characters Involved: 

Colossus, Douglock, Meggan, Shadowcat, Pete Wisdom, Wolfsbane (members of Excalibur)

G.W. Bridge (acting commander of SHIELD)
Captain Dum Dum Dugan

Countess Valentina

Agent Levine

Intern Rigby

G.O.P. Jeans outlet attendant


On screen




Story Notes: 

This story takes place between Excalibur (1st series) #115-118.

SHIELD stands for Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistic Directorate.

When Bridge worries about Colossus being infected he is referring to the Legacy Virus.

Kim Philby was a high-ranking member of British intelligence, but actually a spy providing classified information to the Soviet Union that caused the deaths of scores of agents.

Kitty first fought Ogun in the Kitty Pryde and Wolverine limited series.

Ogun returned to attack Kitty in Excalibur #111.

“G.O.P.” stands for “Grand Old Party” and refers to the Republican Party in the United States.

“Quake” is a popular computer game, originating in the 1990s.

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