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Top Five Most Iconic Kitty Pryde Covers

Here are the top five most iconic covers featuring Kitty Pryde (with iconic being determined mostly subjectively by what covers are called to mind when one thinks of Kitty Pryde, but with a prominent objective standard of whether a cover is homaged a lot or featured a lot in histories of the character). The notable exception is no covers from a character’s first appearance (which isn’t applicable to all characters, of course, just those who appeared on the cover of the comic they debuted in)! Here‘s a list of all characters featured so far.

Enjoy!

5. Artist: Paul Smith

This is the “Professor Xavier is a jerk!” issue.

4. Artists: Dave Cockrum and Joe Rubinstein

“Kitty’s Fairy Tale” ended up being a fairly notable issue, even leading to a Dave Cockrum Nightcrawler mini-series.

3. Artist: Terry Austin

Kitty’s one-woman stand against a demon was Claremont and Byrne’s last issue of X-Men together, and it has lasted as one of their most memorable.

2. Artists: John Byrne and Terry Austin

This is a tough one, as this is one of the most iconic X-Men covers PERIOD, but I dunno, it’s really not Kitty-centric, is it? I mean, she’s featured on it, so I definitely have to count it as a “Kitty Pryde cover,” but I think the next cover, while not as iconic as this one overall, is probably more iconic as a “Kitty Pryde” cover. It’s tough, though.

1. Artists: John Byrne and Terry Austin

A whole X-Men meme was started with this cover!

79 Comments

I disagree with the order entirely. Frankly, I never think of the one you have as number 1 at all.

Numbers 5, 3, and 2 are WAY more iconic.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

September 6, 2009 at 11:49 pm

Yeah, gotta agree with disagreeing about number one – I’m certainly not familiar with that cover at all… The Brood cover would be the one my mind went straight to.

Good selections. I also might have rearranged the order a little, as I tend to think of your #5 selection first, but I can’t quibble too much.

I can recall a few covers featuring the “Welcome to the X-Men” bit. I like everything here.

Kinda sad how all her iconic covers are from the first few years of her first appearance (and it’s either Cockrum, Byrne or Smith drawing it). After that, nothing. Makes you wonder if Claremont was around during the whole of the 90s things might been different for her.

Well, I guess you can read X-Men Forever and find out, huh?

I’d have nominated AXM #16(similar to UXM #168 but more badass). Or Kitty Pryde: Shadow and Flame #1. Arguably the best ninja-Kitty covers ever, plus it features Lockheed!

Or, even better choice, AXM #6, her half-phased embrace with Colossus.

http://marvel.com/comics/onsale/covers/uploaded/ASTONISHING%20X-MEN_6image_big.jpg

^
like kirayoshi said. This is just beautiful iconic and visualizes so much about their relationship.

http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/0/4/21621-3092-24112-1-uncanny-x-men-the_super.jpg
^
what about this one? I know im missing another one from this era too especially when she became shadowcat Im thinking…

I think these are all defensible. But I agree with Aaron Thall about the order.

What about KITTY PRYDE & WOLVERINE #1 or EXCALIBUR #1? Or NEW MUTANTS #36?

http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/marveldatabase/images/thumb/e/e2/New_Mutants_36.jpg/300px-New_Mutants_36.jpg

The Crazed Spruce

September 7, 2009 at 1:44 am

A decent list, I suppose. Personally, I would’ve ranked 5 and 3 as 1 and 2, 2 as 5 (’cause it’s more of a Wolverine cover), and slipped in Astonishing X-Men #6 and Uncanny #179. But hey, that’s just my opinion. :)

Astonishing X-Men is basically the antithesis of “iconic.”

And I mean that not as a shot at Astonishing X-Men, just that the basic concept of most of (if not all) of Whedon’s run was to PLAY with the iconic, not to create it. The same mostly goes for Morrison’s New X-Men, as well (with some notable exceptions, like Emma Frost), which is why you won’t see any Morrison New X-Men covers for, say, Cyclops, no matter how cool a lot of the New X-Men covers were.

Similarly, I was a fan of Excalibur, but by the time Kitty Pryde got to Excalibur, she was already as iconic as she was ever going to get.

Uncanny X-Men #179 is a fair choice, though – I don’t think it beats any of these five covers, but it’s very close to it.

Number 5 is the only one I like here

I have to agree that #’s 3 & 5 deserve better representation. #3, in particular, would be my choice for the top spot because that was the issue which showed Kitty really coming into her own. It was also easily one of the best “New” X-Men/non-Wolverine issues ever.

Rob… That’s the first time someone has =EVER= agreed with me on anything.

It feels… right somehow. ;)

Neither the getting married to Caliban cover nor *any* Excalibur covers? #5 at…well, number 5 instead of 1 or 2? Sorry, but these lists make no sense / seem to be suffering from a severe case of myopia.

Sorry, but these lists make no sense / seem to be suffering from a severe case of myopia.

Why would you ever feel the need to feel sorry about such a pleasant response?

I appreciate the effort, if not the results.

Funny, those are about the only 5 Kitty covers I can even recall. But yup I too would stick the Christmas cover in at numero uno.

Hi Brian, good morning.

When I read about the subjet of today, the first thing that came to my mind were the covers stated 1, 2 and 3. And I have to agree with the order too.
I don´t agree much with your pick on number 4 and here is the reason: I do agree that the issue is iconic, almost everybody remembers that story when you think of Kitty. But I don´t agree that the cover is iconic.

I haven´t read number 5 (is just a black spot in my colection)… so I don´t have any opinion regarding that one.
Anyways, I have been trying to think of other covers, and none comes to my mind. I like Ultimate Xmen 49 cover, but that is far from iconic.

Didn’t your parents or teachers ever tell you you were right about something, Aaron? Oh, well…glad I was able to validate your existence. ;-)

There seems to be a growing consensus that #3 should be #1. On the other hand, I think Brian’s right about excluding ASTONISHING X-MEN and NEW X-MEN covers. People are still confusing “awesome” or even “important” with “iconic.” “Iconic” suggests something that has stood the test of time to become, well, an icon (“an important and enduring symbol”).

Wow, I’ve seen #2 a zillion times but never recognized that it was Kitty on the cover.

Never liked Kitty Pryde. Always thought she was a pain in the ass. One man’s opinion.

“People are still confusing “awesome” or even “important” with “iconic.” “Iconic” suggests something that has stood the test of time to become, well, an icon (“an important and enduring symbol”).”

This actually helped me a lot, thanks! I didn’t quite understand Brain’s explanation on why AXM’s COVERS couldn’t be iconic, his explanation seemed to focus more on the stories themselves, but yours makes perfect sense.

That being said, #5 and #3 should be #1 and #2 because #5 is always the cover I think about when I hear “Kitty Pryde,” and while I never owned #3, I still know exactly what the issue was about. And #2 is more of a Wolverine cover.

Obnoxio the Clown vs the X-Men
http://i26.tinypic.com/33u4fpy.jpg
And the answer is ‘A dead school bus’

i would have switched number one with number three mostly because that issue showed kitty proved she had what it takes to be an x-men by going up against the demon herself. where number one is just her first apppearance joining the team. not really special

“People are still confusing “awesome” or even “important” with “iconic.” “Iconic” suggests something that has stood the test of time to become, well, an icon (“an important and enduring symbol”).”

Basically, if you’re looking for anything from the 21st century here, go somewhere else.

While I think that the #1 pick is an iconic cover in that it started the whole “Welcome to the X-Men”, “Hope you survive the experience” cover meme, it is really more of an X-Men icon than a KIitty icon. Just like the DOFP cover is more of a Wolverine cover than a Kitty one.

So far as Kitty icons go, I think the Christmas cover should be #1.

Theno

“Astonishing X-Men is basically the antithesis of “iconic.”

And I mean that not as a shot at Astonishing X-Men, just that the basic concept of most of (if not all) of Whedon’s run was to PLAY with the iconic, not to create it. The same mostly goes for Morrison’s New X-Men, as well (with some notable exceptions, like Emma Frost), which is why you won’t see any Morrison New X-Men covers for, say, Cyclops, no matter how cool a lot of the New X-Men covers were. ”

I don’t think that follows. Sure the stories in AXM and NXM played with/deconstructed the iconic views of the X-Men. But the covers? I reckon that Cassaday’s covers, in particular, could be seen as a conscious attempt to distill the distinguishing features of their subjects. Not just the Kitty/Colossus cover, but also Wolverine’s claws in AXM#1, Emma’s hands covering Cyclops’s eyes in #2, Emma in shadow, and over-shadow by flame/Phoenix in #12, and Kitty phasing through the background in #14 all potentially qualify.

A few of Frank Quitely NXM covers could also be seen as iconic, IMO.

Before I clicked the link, I was certain #3 was going to be #1.

I disagree about auto excluding AXM and NXM covers. So just because something plays with iconography, it can’t create new iconic images in a moment of inspiration? Many contemporary artists whose sole domain was/is working with iconography would disagree (Warhol, for example).

AXM #6′s cover by Cassaday deserves a place on the list, because while it played with the iconic, it created a new iconic image that meets all of the necessary criteria, especially once one gets over the perception that for some reason, playing with iconography from the start is basis for exclusion.

As a person who’s not an X-fan, the only covers I’ve ever seen before are 2 and 3. And I’m hard pressed to think of an iconic Kitty cover from Excalibur (beside the first issue) even though I’ve read most of the series. Though, now that I think about it, I think there’s a cover from Excalibur that has a big picture of Kitty and Widget. But I wouldn’t say it’s iconic.

Brian, this is your list and you are free to choose your top 5 as you see fit. And the whole purpose of a Top 5 list is to generate conversation.

But your definition of “iconic” seems to waffle a little bit. On one hand, there’s “iconic” in the sense that it is an image that sticks in your mind, or one that seems to define something. In that sense, AXM #6 is probably the iconic image of Kitty in the past 20 years.

But your definition of “iconic” seems to be some combination of the above and a representation of an iconic story in that issue. So we get choices like UXM #139 & #143, where the covers are less representative of the character than the stories are.

But, like I said: your list, your choices.

Regarding the point made about nothing from New X-Men for the Cyclops covers, I disagree emphatically. I forget which issues it is, but it was one of the first, very similar to the Emma Frost cover, with Cyclops standing in front of a blue background. In my opinion, its one of the best visual summations of the character, completely iconic for Cyclops, even if it hasn’t been homaged.

I mean, wouldn’t it be more interesting to do the top five covers that best illustrate the character in question, or show their history, rather than making them iconic in a general sense? I don’t know, man, this just seems less interesting than it could be, even though its always cool to see the covers.

Kitty Pryde has long been a favorite (as my daughter, Katja, can attest to). Of these covers, l#5 and #3 have always been favorites, and seem most iconic of the bunch. I’m also fond of the variant cover to Astonishing X-Men #24, which I think perfectly captures the slightly older version of the character:

tp://www.comicsbronzeage.com/?p=4442

Add me to the list of people who think #5 should be #1.

Thanks Brian for all the work that’s going into this nice series, but I gotta agree in regard to the complaints about how you define iconic. Iconic can’t just mean ‘old’, or even “old and meaningful”. The AXM cover captures something of the essence of the Kitty character that transcends that particular story arc. It’s not just cool or important, it’s definitive.

If I were trying to explain the Kitty character to someone, that’s an image I’d reference. It makes clear that Colossus is the love of her life in the way that Mary Jane is for Peter or Jean is for Scott (sorry Emma). And I think time will show that Whedon wrote perhaps the greatest of all Kitty stories in his AXM run. Peter and Kitty finding each other and, then, losing each other again is part of what makes the Whedon run so strong–so iconic for those two characters–and it is just as important a Kitty story as UXM #143.

No. 2 is a great cover, but it’s not really a Kitty cover. I’d replace it with the AXM one.

The no. 1 spot was the first cover I thought of, so I have no problem with that choice! (it was also the first X-men comic I owned, which helps).

No. 5 was the second cover I thought of (actually I thought of both pretty simultaneously) followed by choice no. 3.

Didn’t think of Kitty’s Fairy Tale, but I like that choice, too. And the no. 2 slot I don’t consider as a Kitty cover, necessarily, just a really good one.

But overall, nice list!

X-men was a great comic back in the day, wasn’t it?

Brian – I love these lists and the discussions they generate. I really appreciate the time and thought that goes into posting them. Don’t let the occasional “you’re clueless! you raped my childhood!” get you down.

as much as i love the cover for X-Men #141, i don’t think i would have included it. probably put #3 in at #1, drop #1 back to #2, and stick Excalibur #66 in at #5.

Astonishing X-Men 6. I think that your third choice is one of the most recognizable.

I love that you aren’t just doing the most famous characters. Look forward to seeing favorites Black Widow, She-Hulk, Poison Ivy, Black Canary, etc.

I really, really wish a Top 5 Iconic Covers list could be done for good old Nightcrawler (since he’s my favourite X-Man) but I’m having a hard time thinking of a single one. He had some cool covers in his relatively recent solo series but they’re hardly iconic.

Anyone?

My all time favorite image of Nightcrawler is from his first miniseries from the 80s, where he’s being all swashbucklery and stuff.

http://img65.imageshack.us/img65/7097/nightcrawler001p00fc8jb.jpg

The problem with Nightcralwer is that his power is to disappear. That’s hard to illustrate. It’s like, how would you find an iconic cover of the Invisible Woman?

I have to agree that #1 is out of place. The “Welcome to the X-Men, hope you survive!” bit has been homaged plenty of times, but it could have been anyone in the position and it would have still worked as a cover.

I like the list but New Mutants #13 deserves a shout out.

http://www.coverbrowser.com/image/new-mutants/13-1.jpg

These were the 5 I would’ve picked, though #5 probably would’ve ranked higher.

[...] Top Five Most Iconic Kitty Pryde Covers (goodcomics.comicbookresources.com) [...]

Iconic can’t just mean ‘old’, or even “old and meaningful”. The AXM cover captures something of the essence of the Kitty character that transcends that particular story arc. It’s not just cool or important, it’s definitive.

It doesn’t ALWAYS mean old, it just almost always means old.

To wit, if I did a Rogue Top Five, I’d have to include some stuff from the early 90s X-Men comics, because the 90s was a very important time in the definition of Rogue’s character – the whole Rogue/Gambit thing, however much people might dislike it, is a pretty darn major part of Rogue’s character.

Iron Man’s covers included a number of covers from 20 years into Iron Man’s “career,” because Rhodey becoming Iron Man and Tony becoming a drunk are iconic aspects of Iron Man’s character.

Astonishing X-Men, however good it was, did nothing to define Kitty Pryde as a character (and the first 80 issues or so of Excalibur did even less). What Whedon was doing was working with the iconic character established by Claremont years earlier. I don’t think even Whedon professed that he was doing anything but doing a sort of “love letter” to the comics he loved as a kid (and again, this isn’t a shot at Astonishing X-Men, it was fine).

Now don’t get me wrong, if Cassaday had some super famous, homaged like crazy cover, then sure – but he didn’t. The only remotely “famous” Kitty Pryde cover was Astonishing X-Men #6 and it really isn’t all that famous – not like the five covers featured today (heck, it’s not even as famous as the “sixth” cover on the list, the one that almost made the top five – the Kitty/Caliban cover).

But your definition of “iconic” seems to be some combination of the above and a representation of an iconic story in that issue. So we get choices like UXM #139 & #143, where the covers are less representative of the character than the stories are.

It’s first “famous” covers (the objective standard – the homaged and the covers that come up in histories of the character) and if there’s any room left over, it’s subjective.

Supergirl, for instance, really only had the two FAMOUS covers, so there was more room to work with at the back of the list. Kitty Pryde, however, has at least six “famous” covers from her history, so there was no room to work in covers like Astonishing X-Men.

“Astonishing X-Men, however good it was, did nothing to define Kitty Pryde as a character (and the first 80 issues or so of Excalibur did even less). What Whedon was doing was working with the iconic character established by Claremont years earlier. I don’t think even Whedon professed that he was doing anything but doing a sort of “love letter” to the comics he loved as a kid (and again, this isn’t a shot at Astonishing X-Men, it was fine).”

Wait, I thought this was about iconic covers, not important stories.

Wait, I thought this was about iconic covers, not important stories.

It is very fair to say that, for example, in the case of Rogue, part of the iconic nature of the character is her relationship with Gambit, so you’d want a famous cover reflecting this relationship and that’d be a result of the stories that the covers go with.

So here, if the stories of Astonishing X-Men (or Excalibur) had some important connection to the iconic quality of Kitty Pryde, then I’d think it only fair to try to fit an Astonishing X-Men (or Excalibur) cover on to the list to reflect this important connection.

I don’t believe they do, which is another reason no Astonishing X-Men (or Excalibur) covers were chosen (the main reason they were omitted, though, is Kitty was involved in six legitimately “famous” covers without even HAVING to look into the “covers of comics that have a connection to the iconic nature of her character” situation – and five of those six covers were chosen).

In any event, we certainly cannot deny the importance of the connection between a comic’s story and its cover (look at X-Men #137 – without the connection to the story within, that cover would never be considered “iconic,” yet it is, because of the story that the cover, well, covers).

NEW MUTANTS #13 is a good choice too.

I agree with Brian’s take on “iconic,” for the most part. If only he would stop raping our childhoods. ;-)

How far are you going to go with this theme, Brian? We’ve heard Marvel has 5,000 characters, so…two a week for the next 50 years?

Anyway, I’m looking forward to the top five 3-D Man, Cecilia Reyes, and Skull the Slayer covers.

You must’ve forgot back covers, Brian.

My #1 selection is the back cover to EXCALIBUR #2 by Alan Davis. Kitty sitting cross legged by a computer console, half phased through a compoent, repairing it while Lockheed watches, floating by her side with a screwdriver or some other tool in his mouth.

http://www.geocities.com/SouthBeach/7498/excalibur/bcover2.jpg

The “frequently homaged/referenced” criterion does seem to conflate iconic covers with historic ones (if not create a bias in favour of historic), and I still don’t see why an iconic covers needs to be connected with an iconic story – for instance, you could argue strongly that a Wonder Woman cover that references a Lynda Carter pose could be iconic representation of WW, even if it has nothing do with the story contained.

But, you know, it’s your list, so your rules.

Brood first and how is the ‘marriage’ one not there?

Just a cover that popped into my mind, is the one in which Kitty is laying Colossus ashes in UXM (372?). Very dark cover, and a closer in time too.

i think one of the problems with Kitty and Excalibur covers is that some of the most character defining stories in the book involving her (the relationship with Pete Wisdom, for example), have effing awful covers.

i think one of the problems with Kitty and Excalibur covers is that some of the most character defining stories in the book involving her (the relationship with Pete Wisdom, for example), have effing awful covers.

Yep, that definitely was a factor, as well.

Can’t really argue with that group. #3 would be my first choice.

[...] Top Five Most Iconic Kitty Pryde Covers via Comics Should Be Good! [...]

Can’t disagree with the selections too much. #5 (Issue 168) is really the definitive Kitty Pryde issue/image in my eyes.

AXM #6 has to be on here somewhere, but otherwise good list.

#143 is one of my all-time favourite comics.

Meeting Terry Austin several years ago was was one of the real highlights in all my years of comic book fandom. He’s a real gent, and my signed copy is a real treasure to me. A great cover – a real turning point for Kitty.

I would like to echo the sentiment that the list should be inverted.

I’m very surprised to see you don’t have one of Cassaday’s covers from his run with Whedon on the list. I could barely remember a time where Kitty kicked so much ass.
Besides, almost all of Cassaday’s covers are gold.

“And I mean that not as a shot at Astonishing X-Men, just that the basic concept of most of (if not all) of Whedon’s run was to PLAY with the iconic, not to create it. The same mostly goes for Morrison’s New X-Men, as well (with some notable exceptions, like Emma Frost), which is why you won’t see any Morrison New X-Men covers for, say, Cyclops, no matter how cool a lot of the New X-Men covers were.

It doesn’t ALWAYS mean old, it just almost always means old.

To wit, if I did a Rogue Top Five, I’d have to include some stuff from the early 90s X-Men comics, because the 90s was a very important time in the definition of Rogue’s character – the whole Rogue/Gambit thing, however much people might dislike it, is a pretty darn major part of Rogue’s character.

Iron Man’s covers included a number of covers from 20 years into Iron Man’s “career,” because Rhodey becoming Iron Man and Tony becoming a drunk are iconic aspects of Iron Man’s character.

Astonishing X-Men, however good it was, did nothing to define Kitty Pryde as a character (and the first 80 issues or so of Excalibur did even less). What Whedon was doing was working with the iconic character established by Claremont years earlier. I don’t think even Whedon professed that he was doing anything but doing a sort of “love letter” to the comics he loved as a kid (and again, this isn’t a shot at Astonishing X-Men, it was fine).”

But you could always that Morrison did add some dimensions to Cyclops, and took him in new directions. Pre-Morrison, I doubt anyone would have had him ditch Jean to be with Emma Frost, of all people. I mean, that’s kind of iconic right there…

The Art Adams Hercules cover wouldn’t be all that iconic, given your logic.

Cover # 2 doesn’t really add anything to Kitty as a character either. As a cover on it’s own, yeah, it’s iconic, and very famous and what not, but it’s not like Kitty changed or anything after that story, if anything, it’s an iconic X-men cover.

If we’re just going on covers alone, I’d have maybe had AXM 6 in there…maybe have it be # 4, and have Uncanny 168 and 153 as a tie.

Re: Uncanny # 138
Nightcrawler fought the polar bear from Lost?

eric, that was Snowbird, I believe.

Their #5 choice is spot on. They fired and missed with the other 4 choices. Here are a couple that helped define Kitty

http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=39702&zoom=4

http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=300152&zoom=4

Uggh I can’t believe that I had X-men #143 given to me as one of my first comics as a kid and it ended up in tatters

I would actually call that Paul Smith cover the second most iconic, next to Days of Future Past. It actually reminds me of how bizarrely sexy his pencils used to be. I still like him now, but it’s a wholly different feel than his early x-men work.

I think this should have been the cover for the last book of Joss’ Astonishing run…

http://ravingprep.deviantart.com/art/Hurtling-Through-Space-139408969

“It makes clear that Colossus is the love of her life in the way that Mary Jane is for Peter or Jean is for Scott (sorry Emma).”

This is the kind of thinking I absolutely can’t stand and that limits long-form storytelling like comics as a medium. Colossus dumped Kitty Pryde after falling for someone else during Secret Wars and feeling insecure about himself in light of her friendship/flirtation with Doug Ramsey, who was both nearer her age and nearer her ‘type’. He also had a relationship with, and had a child with, a woman in the Savage Land. This is all ‘real’ X-Men story, too, by Claremont.

Scott dated Colleen Wing beginning almost immediately when he thought Jean had died. After he again mistakenly thought she’d died, he began dating, and eventually married and had a kid with, Madelyne Pryor. He also flirted with Lee Forrester before she caught Magneto’s eye. Jean, not to be outdone, badly wanted Wolverine. This, again, is all during the most canonical of runs of the most canonical of X-Men writers. Of course, the relationship with Emma Frost is patently absurd, but not because he’s eternally stuck with Jean. It’s absurd because it’s absurd and she’s 100% an evil supervillain, who was never anything but evil until the fanfic writers post-Claremont came along.

And the Spider-Man/Mary Jane one may be the worst. Spider-Man, properly portrayed, is a playboy. Betty Brant, Gwen Stacy, Mary Jane, the Black Cat – this is not a one-woman guy or a guy who’s looking to settle down young (and young is what he was in Marvel terms when they stuck him with Mary Jane). He did not start seriously seeing Mary Jane until the freaking mid-80s, and under the stewardship of Stan Lee, his serious relationships were with Betty Brant and Gwen Stacy.

These characters are not Superman and Lois Lane situations. They were three-dimensional characters who looked around all the time, even if they had primary people they liked, loved, or were best with. But if you think about it, how creepy is the notion that Scott and Jean, and Peter and Kitty, are each other’s soulmates? I mean these are classmates and teammates who in each case, met each other as teenagers. They’re probably not each other’s soulmates, and one would hope they’d look a bit further for love than to the guy or gal down the hall who they met at 14.

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