How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Birthday Gift from Marvel

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If you haven’t read Uncanny X-Men #522 or had it spoiled for you (the big story of this issue was leaked months ago) please don’t read on.  Unless of course you don’t care about such things.

In a wonderful act of kindness, Matt Fraction, writer of Marvel’s Uncanny X-Men, returned Kitty Pryde to planet Earth in the issue that shipped this week.  It was a nice way to commemorate my birthday, so I thank him.  Kitty had been trapped inside a giant bullet hurtling through space since the end of Joss Whedon’s run on Astonishing X-Men (I am fully aware of how ridiculous this is, but it’s what I like).  After being lost in space for “however long it’s been” in comics’ time (nearly two years for readers), it’s nice to have her back in the book.

How did this happen? Magneto has returned, repowered by the High Evolutionary, and joined the X-Men’s community on Utopia.  Tiring of the justified mistrust directed toward him, he has used every ounce of his regained abilities to redirect the space bullet and rescue the X-Men’s missing teammate: doing himself great physical harm in the process.  The long-term impact of whose hand she was returned by should be fantastic to see.

Another interesting element of her return is that when she reached out to embrace her longtime love Piotr Rasputin (Colossus), she passed right through him, suggesting that the amount of time she spent phasing the bullet has left her in a perpetually phased state.  It’s likely that this means nothing can touch her, but it might have been a fun twist if she were only unable to touch Colossus, since it was indicated that the “strange” metal the space bullet was composed of is similar to Colossus’ organic steel body.

A great back up story by Fraction and artist Phil Jimenez was also included that addressed the issue of what effect a giant bullet flying through space has had on other planets in it’s path.  Kitty was able to use her mutant phasing power to allow it to harmlessly pass through the Earth, and managed to maintain that state through the duration of her voyage, but the reaction of an alien planet that couldn’t have known this made for a great story.

As much as I enjoyed this issue, I have to mention that the excitement just continues for me with the start of X-Men: Second Coming.  Marvel was kind enough to send another gift today in the form of a free preview available now at Comic Book Resources.