The X-Men are coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Marvel Studios has no small task ahead of them in making sure that the iconic team can lead the franchise in Phase 7 and beyond. Marvel Studios is also sure to make every effort to separate their adaptation of the team(s) from what came before. To celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas, we’ve decided to put together a list of which characters might play a key role and how Marvel Studios can ensure nobody will confuse them with their Fox counterparts or, in this case.
Another victim of Fox’s focus on cool displays of powers rather than proper characterization, Kitty Pryde was reduced to meme status after being Juggernaut bitched in X-Men: The Last Stand. The character returned in 2014 for a role in X-Men: Days of Future Past where she got to touch Logan’s temples for a while and then became a teacher in the new timeline established at the end of the film. In essentially every way possible, Fox wasted a top-tier X-Men character who was portrayed by an incredibly talented actor. Outside of correctly using her phasing ability, Fox seemed to have absolutely no understanding of Kitty nor how important of a character she could be. That’s something that Kevin Feige will almost certainly remedy when he brings his version of the X-Men to the MCU.
A bit of a child prodigy, Kitty showed genius-level aptitude in computer science and attended a prestigious engineering school as a child. She joined Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters and became a member of the X-Men when she was just 13 or 14 years old. Kitty is just about the perfect poster child for Wolverine’s side of the debate with Cyclops over using teens as “soldiers” in Xavier’s crusade. Over the years, Kitty has grown close with Storm, Wolverine and Colossus, with whom she’s had an on-again-off-again romantic relationship. Kitty has arguably had one of the most chaotic and interesting lives of any X-Man and has battled demons, vampires, aliens and all other sorts of baddies and has always emerged from her battles as a central figure to the success of the team.
What Fox failed to understand about Kitty Pryde is that despite being introduced in the comics as a teenager, she’s no sidekick. In fact, used appropriately, Kitty is probably the perfect point-of-view character to launch the MCU’s look at the inner workings of Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. That’s not to say that the other characters aren’t incredibly important, only that Marvel Studios could take the unique approach of giving the audience Kitty’s perspective of entering the madness of the mutant world. Though Fox’s X-Men were always in danger, the question of whether they should have been was never fully explored in the Singer or Kinberg films. The Fox films never explored the true nature of Charles Xavier (as detailed here), something that could be done wonderfully by changing the lens through which he’s viewed. Marvel Studios has many characters from which to choose as they think about which character they want to be the eyes through which they meet the larger world of the X-Men, but there’s no better choice than Kitty Pryde. Shadowcat should be right out front as mutants step into the spotlight in the MCU.