Monday, February 4, 2008
14 Comic Book Couples I Love - Part 12
Just to show I don't write exclusively about supervillains in love, here's a much happier (albeit defunct) comics couple I love . . .
12. Kitty Pryde & Peter Wisdom
Now I like to think by now that I've made my feelings on Kitty Pryde abundantly clear. All of that said, the only writer who has ever made me completely enjoy the character instead of just tolerating her was - a tad surprisingly - Warren Ellis.
Even Joss Whedon, much as I love his work with an insane fervor, tends to push her back into that "cranky little girl" role and her (oh so disgustingly emo) relationship with Colossus. Warren Ellis' Excalibur was the first time I ever read Kitty Pryde as an adult, not a simpering, sulky teen, and guess what? I liked this woman. For the first time, I didn't have somebody trying to cram "LOOK AT KITTY ISN'T SHE CUTE AND PRECIOUS?!? HER NAME IS FREAKING KITTY OMG LOVE HER!" down my throat. He wrote her as a woman who'd grown up with the X-Men should be written - smart, capable and nearly unflappable. And the thing I liked most of all about Ellis' Pryde was the relationship between her and Peter Wisdom.
Much as I loved him immediately, Pete Wisdom was a character by Ellis some accuse of being one of his "stock characters" - a former spook who was angry, profane, violent and English (and it should be noted that all of the above links were created AFTER Peter Wisdom - so if you love Transmet or Desolation Jones, go find yourself some Excalibur). Wisdom had the ability to shoot 'hot knives' from his hands but didn't wear any spandex and made fun of those who did, eschewing a uniform for a rumpled dress shirt and tie. He smoke, drank and made a distinct effort to be unlikeable. So naturally, when Kitty fell for him, a lot of people cried bloody murder.
I'm sorry but I can't contain my fandom rant at this point - why is the Kitty Pryde/Colossus relationship so incredibly special to people? Was it like a million people's first comic book romance or something? The whole thing skeeves me out and drives me crazy.
For starters, you essentially have a 19-year-old falling for a 14-year-old, which is like a college freshman dating a middle schooler. Let that one sink in for a second. Yeeaaaah. So when people say Peter Wisdom was too old for her, I actually have to fight hard to keep from laughing. Not to mention the whole part where Colossus was always either cheating on her or crying emo tears because his seventh-hundredth family member just died . . . but now I'm just being petty. Although it was awesome when, after Colossus beat the crap out of Wisdom, everybody walked up to his cell and called him an idiot man-child. Heh. But I digress. Stupid Colossus.
Whether or not you think she belonged with Piotr 4EVAH (or if there was any Mary Sue-ing going on in either relationship), I think it's an undeniable fact that Ellis wrote Wisdom and Pryde as both being *GASP!* consenting, intelligent adults who found each other attractive. Wisdom was a cynical man who'd seen and done all sorts of nasty things who was utterly baffled that the upbeat, pretty girl with the big smile didn't so much as flinch at him (I mean, c'mon, three words here - Raised. By. WOLVERINE.). Hilariously, her weirdness often trumped his past easily.
I loved their complimentary dynamic. The interaction of his cynicism with her optimism, both tempered by the incredibly dark and bizarre lives they'd led. They were the picture perfect Powell & Loy of the Mutant set. When the folks at Marvel threw the relationship on the fire, I have to admit that I was pretty incensed. While the majority of fandom seems happy with having Kitty back with Emo Metal Speedo Boy, I know I'm not alone in missing this couple. My good friend Kay, for instance, takes time out from snidely insulting my need to blog about comics to check out this site for updates . . . religiously. Nerd. But as they say in Casablanca, we'll always have back issues.
Ah, well. It was fun while it lasted. Plus, Peter Wisdom's still running around the Marvel U being a snarky bastard, even if it is in a Claremont title (go figure). The important thing is that we all had a few laughs and that the relationship still makes me smile.
C'est le comics love, no?
And in a fit of irony, yes, yes I am looking forward to the Kitty Pryde Shojo Manga. At least this way, she's supposed to be a superhumanly adorable teen girl, you know?
ETA: OBLIGATORY VIDEO POST!