Warning: This article contains spoilers for Marauders #2!
Marvel’s X-Men relaunch has finally made Kitty Pryde the new Red Queen of the Hellfire Club. Now calling herself “Kate,” Kitty Pryde is one of the most interesting characters in the relaunched X-Men comics. She’s taken charge of the Marauders, and has adopted the role of a sort of pirate queen.
Marauders #1 was one of the more intriguing books in the X-Men relaunch, suggesting that writer Gerry Duggan has big things planned for Kitty Pryde. The issue opened with a shocking tease that Kitty Pryde may not be a mutant at all, before sending her on a mission to Russia to confront anti-mutant forces. It further confirmed that Kitty is becoming more brutal than ever before, embracing her old ninja training but combining it with her phasing powerset to create a unique new combat style.
This week’s Marauders #2 continues Kitty’s arc, with the issue’s end confirming that she is indeed the new Red Queen of the Hellfire Club. This is an important role, because it means that Kitty is one of three mutants responsible for Krakoa’s foreign policy, equal in power and prominence to Emma Frost and Sebastian Shaw. It also means that Kitty Pryde is officially one of the Quiet Council, the official leaders of the mutant race. No doubt she’ll soon find herself involved in coordinating the official response to Charles Xavier’s assassination.
While Marauders‘ version of Kitty Pryde is cool and capable, she also feels rather out of character. She may not kill humans, but Gerry Duggan’s Kitty is a scrapper who pulls no punches, and she frankly seems to quite enjoy causing pain and discomfort to her enemies. Kitty is also a lot more relaxed about her sexuality; she seems to have embraced the pirate lifestyle, complete with the old joke about them having a lover in every port. It’s likely all this is something of a reaction to her inability to access Krakoa’s gateways, which makes Kitty feel isolated from the rest of the mutant race, including her closest friends and family. She’s developing a hard shell to keep people away, and protect herself from the pain of that isolation.
It’s certainly going to be interesting to see how well Kitty works with Emma Frost and Sebastian Shaw, her partners. Marauders #2 already confirms that they’re operating at crossed-purposes, with Kitty raiding one of Sebastian Shaw’s boats because it wasn’t sending produce where it was supposed to. This is sure to be a fractious relationship – which will make for a fun comic.
More: X-Men Theory: The REAL Reason Xavier Chose The Original X-Men