Dark Morality

I think de-Mary Sueing Kitty Pryde, as presented in the comics, would reveal a more disturbing side to what else she can do with her power given her training and upbringing. Especially if she hangs out a lot with dubious or troubled characters so frequently that would affect her for the worse.

Whether if they’ve got their own issues or manipulate her against her will (though this isn’t unique to her) would be enough to screw her up especially in her formative years, in the earlier stories. If she’s trained to assassinate people, has a temper herself and especially if she’s close to somebody who goes berserk like Wolverine, she’d easily have no issue delving into sadism.

She’d have no issue murdering or stabbing people. If she had been abused many times over in her own life, especially by Emma Frost, Sa-Tyr-9, Ogun, Belasco and Stryker added to that she was trained by Ogun she’d willingly abuse them back. She may’ve already done this to Emma and Ogun before.

But if she has no issues with killing and hacking, then she’d have no issues with stealing, rape and kidnapping. She’d be necessary evil taken to a logical conclusion because she’s does this to protect mutantkind. Even if she does this by having no real regard for the law whatsoever.

She’d be like Robin Hood without even trying considering the nature of her power and conditioning.

 

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Disturbing Upbringing

The weird thing about de-Mary Sueing Kitty Pryde (at least in the comics) is to go where she’d logically go considering her upbringing but that would mean having no issues with doing criminal activity (murder, theft, kidnapping, sometimes hacking and rape) for as long as it’s furthering the greater good. But that would also mean her upbringing’s rather screwed up.

Considering how child abuse (if spanking also counts as such) affects people, while this isn’t unique to Kitty Pryde herself (so were others like Illyana Rasputin and Rachel Summer whom she’s friends with), since Kitty has been subjected to a lot in her formative years (that is being manipulated a lot against her will) she’d wound up being seriously screwed up.

Abused children can learn to abuse others. That’s true for most bullies who started out as victims (Kitty Pryde got bullied). Add to that she’s also been with arguably toxic people like Wolverine (though he may’ve tried to deal with himself), Illyana Rasputin (gives into her bad tendencies) and Rachel Summers (traumatised) for so long that she’d be affected by them a lot too.

Let’s not forget that she had something of a temper in the earlier comics and since any of these occurred in her formative years (for as long as Chris Claremont’s involved), realistically she’d be living the consequences of being abused for so long and often. (Or that Kitty Pryde might not be as mature as others think.)

Perhaps alarmingly, considering how her upbringing dovetails with what she’d logically do given the nature of her power (intangibility), she’d do what Marquis de Sade wished to do that is by not being caught for long. Sade also had a dysfunctional upbringing added by his military experience so you get a disturbing idea of what Pryde would be like if she wasn’t a Mary Sue.

But that would mean she’s something of a basket case.

Shady Shadowcat

Like I said, writers barely bothered going further into Kitty’s upbringing and the sort of effect it would have on her realistically. But then again that would mean Kitty Pryde would have no issue with indulging in criminal activity for as long as it’s done for the greater good. Let’s not forget that Kitty Pryde, in her formative years, has hung out a lot with dubious characters like Emma Frost, the Morlocks and even Illyana Rasputin, Rachel Summers, Wolverine and Storm (the former by force) then psychologically speaking, they’d rub their influences on her for the worst.

Emma Frost’s undoubtedly a criminal, the Morlocks were almost always up to no good (as far as I can remember), Rachel Summers has issues from being displaced, almost orphaned and manipulated against her will before, Illyana Rasputin gives in to her dark side and Wolverine’s got violent urges. Also being manipulated by Sa-Tyr-9, Belasco, William Stryker and Ogun. If she spent a lot of time with them in her formative years she’d be seriously screwed up. That was attempted one time though not so deeply.

In the sense of introspecting a lot into giving her flaws as well as the consequences in addition to being badly influenced a lot at a young age that she would need much more extensive therapy or nursing. That is if she were to reign in on her criminal tendencies. Then again she’s got a temper and being exposed to these people would seriously screw her up to the point of no return. Almost alarmingly to the point where if writers logically went with the circumstances directing her she’d be an anti-hero.

If I’m not mistaken, somebody said that Marv Wolfman had the bollocks to go where Teen Titans’ Raven would go considering her own upbringing and tendencies of being brought up by a demanding, manipulative father (and often obeying him) and her desire to repress her nastier impulses. Logically, Kitty Pryde would be a study in nearly fulfilling the dark tetrad. Which I suspect if that ever occurred, that’s the only way to keep her from being a Mary Sue at least in the comics.

Considerations not taken

I think the problem with de-Mary Sueing Kitty Pryde is that considering her upbringing and the nature of her power (intangibility), she’d wound up having no issues with indulging in criminality for as long as it’s for the greater good. Not that she’s going to be evil but that she’d realistically end up as an anti-hero not just by being more violent and wayward but that she doesn’t give a damn about the law to begin with.

If writers have no issue with her hacking and sometimes killing, then they shouldn’t have issues with her pickpocketing, stealing and vandalising things especially when done stealthily. She could even rape somebody and will do anything not to be immediately caught. She wouldn’t be entirely evil though it seems judging by those actions, she’d cover only like say three-fourths of the dark tetrad as they’re firmly within Machiavellianism, psychopathy and sadism.

Despite her surname, I don’t think she comes off as arrogant that much. At least from my reading experience so far. But the weird thing about de-Mary Sueing her is how close she’s come to fulfilling the dark tetrad.

The logical road not taken

Whereas Tigra’s problem is her character design (for those who can’t stand Pawsy Tigra, that actually worked well for Darkstalkers and Killing Bites), Kitty Pryde’s problem is that usually writers won’t bother going where she’d logically go. This was briefly shown in the Age of Apocaylpse comics where she’s an assassin. It’s not that Kitty Pryde hasn’t killed people in canon either but that writers barely bothered considering her upbringing.

Since she spent her formative years being close to Wolverine (who gets really violent) and Storm (a former pickpocketer) as well as being trained by Ogun to be a ninja and her initial shortcoming of having an explosive temper realistically she’d end up having no issues with breaking the law to further her ends as well as that of the team. In fact, if she’s smart then she’d easily exploit legal loopholes and find ways of getting away with crime.

She won’t care about killing people and stealing things for as long as it’s for the greater good ala Robin Hood. That’s also the very thing needed to make her less of a Mary Sue in that it’s more about servicing her narrative needs rather than shaping her to what they want her to be.

(Quite predictably, Invisible Woman with her twin powers of invisibility and force fields, would be the near-perfect security guard and be more law-abiding.)

Could be better

Like I said, Tigra’s a decent character (or a decent idea) that’s not executed well due to her usual presentation. Where I think making her look uncanny valley would be enough to have her be taken seriously and could’ve been one of the few female comics character to get away with body hair as she’s supposed to have fur. She’s sometimes seen as having fur, paws and prick ears and Killing Bites is proof that it can work well to its advantage.

Same for Darkstalkers’ Felicia who’s consistently shown with localised fur and paws in addition to cat ears and tail. For those who dread Pawsy Tigra, that’s understandable even though paw-like hands have worked well for the likes of Felicia and hasn’t stopped her from being a fan favourite. (Though it could be that Felicia’s well-designed enough to pull it off and get away with it, well most of the time.)

Not really simple…just useful

Tigra

I often feel as if making her more uncanny valley (that’s looking more animalistic) would be enough to desexualise her save for furries. To be honest, the Marvel Mangaverse version’s the only time where she actually looked like a tiger though it could be colourists taking advantage of such a technology. ‘Pawsy‘ interpretations of Tigra are just as interesting, in fact more interesting as it’s obviously less lazy and more creative too.

Somebody even said on 4thletter that the biggest problem is her character design. Almost as if there are repeated attempts to make her look more animalistic to get the point better as she’s supposed to be half tiger or something. I think this was demonstrated more clearly in one West Coast Avengers storyline where she’s turned into a cat. Not that John Byrne disliked the character but not when the presentation does her a disservice.

Admittedly, my ideal Tigra should not only have tiger paws and ears but also tiger stripes on her body and scalp hair. Actually since Tigra’s supposed to be hairy*, while I won’t be surprised if some cartoonists bothered to give her actual fur in canon (I think I saw one at Scans Daily), I actually think at this point Tigra should be one of those female characters easily getting away with body hair if she’s supposed to be lightly furred so.

Kitty Pryde

Whereas Tigra’s biggest problem is her character design (as if someone who preferred ‘Pawsy’ Tigra almost understood how a 4thletter writer felt about it), Kitty Pryde’s problem is that writers generally won’t go where she should logically go…that often. From what I’ve read, if you’ve got an irritable teenager trained to kill or fight with swords you’re left with a near-perfect assassin or serial killer.

She’s even depicted as one in Age of Apocalypse but that could also be one of the few instances of such. I also get the weird impression that suspicion and intangibility perfectly go hand in hand in that people are going to made uncertain and fearful if somebody has that ability at all. While this was shown fairly briefly with Kitty Pryde, DC’s Tinya Wazzo (who predated her) was revealed to come from an extradimensional world.

Not that suspicion’s entirely nonexistent with either of them but it’s played up straight with the latter. Not necessarily out of trust but rather the odd feeling of where she got it from. As for phasing characters that give you feelings of distrust or fear, the best known one would be The Ring’s Sadako if anybody remembers the scene where she goes through a telly. Heroes had a phasing criminal.

Kitty Pryde, if they went with it, wouldn’t necessarily be a villain but would have no issues with breaking the law (theft and murder) to serve her ends even if that makes her look selfish and mean. Even though these are necessary in making her less of a Mary Sue (giving her actual flaws beyond justifying her temper).

Wonder Woman

A little complicated at first. I think Tigra’s dilemma could be resolved if they made her more consistently uncanny valley so that cartoonists wouldn’t have to tweak her presentation often every now and then. As for Kitty Pryde, the only way to make her less Mary Sue is to have her commit criminal acts without remorse like murder and theft or pickpocketing to serve her own ends.

Even if that makes her look selfish but makes sense what else can she do given her training and proximity to people like Wolverine and Storm (who herself is a pickpockter) so writers could’ve made her unconsciously copy their actions. A female Robin Hood without trying in the sense of committing criminal acts for the greater good.

As for Wonder Woman, well I remember the biggest unsaid issue is that her presentation/character design doesn’t go well** with her intended background. That she’s blatantly a product of World War Two cements this. Almost as if she got redesigned with a solid coloured skirt to make her less dated and jingoistic in a way.

Which is the case with the Wonder Woman movie where it’s set in World War 1. That may’ve revealed the real problem in a way.

*The Thundercats were supposed to be hairy in the 1980s cartoon but one that’s more or less consistently fulfilled in the 2011 production where character designers and animators took advantage of what the original staff intended or wished to do.

**Volvagia
Yes, that’s part of it. Another, and this is the big one that’s pretty much ignored by everyone: Her costume and background do not go together. Her costume: Loyal patriotic American. Her background: Ancient Greek Warrior/Diplomat. How those two facets were EVER expected to mesh for as long as they have is baffling.