(Dee’s note – We continue with the Memorable Moments of Marvel Women series! Today’s blogger is well… ME! We’re wrapping these up in the next two days, so look for the polls to pick the final five up the first week of March.)
Kitty Pryde and Emma Frost. Two characters I never thought I’d see working together, and truly never thought would be teaching side by side at the X-Mansion. But that is exactly what Joss Whedon gave us in Astonishing X-Men, and I am very glad that he did.
From the barbed exchange during Kitty’s first appearance during a student assembly, I think most readers realised that the two were not going to work together easily. And why should they? Kitty has definite reasons for her disdain and mistrust of Emma. It was Emma Frost – as an agent of the Hellfire Club – who wanted to recruit a young Kitty Pryde, who tried to convince Kitty’s parents to send the girl with her. It was Emma who captured the X-Men she’d just meant, and it was Kitty who had to risk herself trying to save them. Over the years the Hellfire club and Emma Frost continued to be thorns in the sides of the X-Men, Kitty’s teammates and in many ways family. Never the greatest threat, no, but to have Emma at the head of the School for Gifted Youngsters, and to teach beside her was always going to be difficult for Kitty.
Kitty’s words to Emma were the words she’d been holding onto since she was thirteen years old. They are the words of an angry girl. They’re the feelings and thoughts she has had for years. And finally, in a position of equals, she is able to say them and have them truly heard. She is able to express to Emma just how deeply her mistrust and dislike runs, and Emma is in a position where she has to listen. It’s a cathartic experience – anyone who has done something like this will tell you.
Kitty is no longer that thirteen year old girl, frightened and trying to help a team of mutants she’s only just met but has already become attached to. She’s no longer at the mercy of the more powerful and experienced telepath. She’s taken her own against Emma, and if anything, edged out in front. She tells Emma that she’ll be watching her, and Emma doesn’t attempt to refute a single thing that Kitty’s said. In fact, all she can say is that she’s expecting Kitty to do just that. That Kitty’s vigilance and lack of trust is in fact Emma’s security. Emma Frost is depending on Kitty Pryde to watch her and call her out should she start to slip and make bad calls. That, in fact, Emma doesn’t trust herself.
As an end to the exchange, it wasn’t what I expected, but the more I look back on it, the more I find it entirely appropriate. It’s not only Kitty declaring they are equals here, but it’s Emma acknowleding it. The thirteen year old girl is gone, in both of their minds. And that can only be a good thing.