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Uncanny X-Men #179 (1984, March)

August 17, 2014

I didn’t really feel like posting yesterday. But I’m back today, with a story by Claremont and JRJr., “What Happened To Kitty?”

What Happened To Kitty?

The tux and tophat almost make Caliban look a little adorable.

Kitty is being prepared for her wedding. She looks a little drugged. At the hospital, a storm rages as Storm, Wolverine and Rogue show up to identify a body. Storm recognizes her as Kitty. Wolverine tells the doctor to leave them alone for a few minutes. Wolverine tells Storm and Rogue that the dead girl isn’t Kitty. The scent is wrong. Storm seems to have a hunch who’s behind it.

At the mansion, Nightcrawler and Xavier can’t even figure out if Colossus is still alive, let alone how to treat him. Storm contacts Xavier to let him know her suspicions, but he’s struck down by a blast of psychic energy. He says it’s a scanning wave, and then passes out.

Down in the Morlock tunnels, Kitty’s sees herself at her wedding, but believes it to be a big affair with attractive people all around. When she sees Caliban, she snaps out of the illusion and freaks out. She demands to know what’s happening, and Callisto reminds her that she promised to stay with Caliban for helping the X-Men. Then Callisto tells Kitty she has to marry him, and she’s clearly disgusted, which hurts Caliban. She begs Callisto to let her save Colossus, but Callisto asks why they should trust her to return. Kitty makes a run for it, and no one follows her. She trips and falls, and feels rotten. She knows Caliban loves her, and she betrayed him. She’s found by another young Morlock. It’s Leech. Kitty goes back To Callisto, and asks again that Colossus be saved. Callisto sends Leech to get the Healer. Then Kitty’s sent to Masque, to get a new face. Masque plays with her face, until Callisto forces him to put her back.

Then it’s time for the wedding. Callisto gives Kitty credit for giving up everything she holds dear to live with the Morlocks. But Storm interrupts the ceremony. Storm’s pissed about a lot of things, and uses her winds to lift Callisto into the air, but Leech drops down to turn Storm’s power off. Storm and Callisto brawl, and Wolverine pops his claws to get involved, but Kitty steps in to step the fight by saying she’s made her choice, and Colossus is what matters.

They all go back to the Mansion. Rogue absorbs Colossus’ power, which also happens to cause her to absorb his current state, oddly. She’s in agony, and earns Storm’s respect. The Morlock Healer heals Colossus’ wounds before he can die. The next day, Illyana accompanies Kitty to the subway. Caliban tells her she looks beautiful, and she tries to be optimistic. Then he cancels the wedding and releases Kitty from her vow. Kitty’s pleased, and calls him her friend.

Then the letters page is “answered” by Rogue.

This is another great issue. It’s mostly a Kitty spotlight, as she struggles with her conscience. She’s a moral person, so she doesn’t like lying or breaking her promises. On the other hand, she really doesn’t want to marry Caliban and join the Morlocks. I would argue that she may have had an “out” in the form of being ill and feverish. She could’ve argued she didn’t really know what she was saying. She also has an “out” in being 14 years old – that’s pretty damned young to be making lifelong commitments. Which reminds me, Caliban is a pervert. We don’t know how old he is, but I would guess he’s probably at least in his 20s. He’s almost certainly not a teenager. So him wanting to marry Kitty is really, really creepy. Seriously inappropriate. And honestly, the Morlocks are outcasts from society, but one would think they’d still retain certain mores they would’ve picked up before leaving the surface. I can understand them being thieves, kidnappers, murderers and all that. But I can’t imagine many of them being OK with a relationship between a grown man and a 14-year-old girl. I would think more of them would’ve said, “Uh, dude, she’s a kid, what the hell’s wrong with you?”

Other than that horrible, awful aspect of the story, it’s pretty good. Kitty’s conflict is good, and Storm’s anger is nice. We’re a couple more months away from learning what the scanning wave is that hits Xavier. A couple other books continue to mention similar subplots, as well. It’s a secret.

The art’s good. I think Dan Green’s inks might help to soften John Romita, Jr.’s pencils, at least a little. And his style wasn’t as sharp then as it is now. It’s not great art, and it’s still a bit of a let-down after Byrne, Cockrum and Smith. But it’s not bad.

Song of the day: Straight Edge of the Blade by Jenny and Jonny.

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