At the End of a Shotgun

UNCANNY X-MEN #179, Marvel Comics, March 1984
The X-Men AGAIN? Well, it IS the biggest soap opera in comics history, so weddings (Part 3, folks) are bound to happen more regularly here (and only 4 issues since the last one too!). I also wanted to feature at least one failed wedding. And in this case a failed shotgun wedding.

(Ok, ok. I admit that my collection has sizable wedding holes. I don't have the Flash and Iris West. Or Reed and Sue Richards. Or Aquaman and Mera. So I'm padding things out.)

But you also have to realize that I was a teenager when this comic came out, and that Kitty Pryde was too. I think you'll find a generation of boys who had a crush on Kitty from this time. She's got that girl-next-door attraction like Mary Jane Watson or Sarah Jane Smith (chainmail-bikini Leia is a whole other phenomenon). So yes, I was in love with Kitty Pryde. Who wasn't?

So when events conspire to marry her off to ugly Morlock Caliban, it's a real page turner. The Morlocks, in case you don't know, are the most disfigured (and androgynous!) mutants in New York, so they live in sewers of course. It's not an urban legend.

A girl that looks just like Kitty is found dead, but according to Wolverine, she don't smell right. That's cuz the Morlocks have kidnapped Kitty and replaced her, thanks to Masque using her mutant power of instant plastic surgery on some dead junkie, confusing CSIs everywhere. The Morlocks have arranged a wedding between Kitty and Caliban, who here represents every gushing fanboy of the early 80s. He's awkward, geeky, and yes, he's in love with Kitty Pryde. Now, can you imagine the sewer wedding of Kitty's dreams?

First, you need a dress. White, of course, and preferably found in a dumpster. It's important that the garter belt be visible, because Caliban isn't too bright.
Sweatband optional.

Ok, the next step is the make-up. And with Masque in the Morlock crew, you can look your best for your husband-to-be. That is, until you anger the make-up artist. Important tip: Don't anger the make-up artist.
To this day, that is genuinely disturbing to me. That damn image haunted me for years. Still does, like no other face-melting ever has. Ok, let's move on, I can't bear to look at that.

So anyway, the X-Men are in the comic too, right? And of course, they charge to the rescue and they disrupt the ceremony. The twist is that by that time, Kitty has agreed to marry Caliban ("yes! yes! Caliban is me!... no! no!, he's a monster!"). She's pretty pissed at her teammates for ruining her chances of becoming a Morlock princess, accusing them of just looking for excuses to break some heads (this is a comic book, Kitty). Anyway, Caliban releases her from her promise because he's willing to wait for her to reciprocate his love*. Aww. He's so sweet ("yes! yes! Caliban is me!... no! no! I didn't get the girl!").

*It never happened.


SallyP said...

As I recall, this was around the time that Peter was acting like a jerk too. So I'm sure that it gave hope to fanboys everywhere, who found it hard to compete with a 7' Russian who turned into steel.

Anonymous said...

Has the whole Claremont & Byrne run of the X-Men been released in tpb form? Maybe in the Essentials line?

Reading this is giving me a hankering to check them out again. I've mainly been going after the silver age DC showcase volumes, but I really should check out the Essentials from marvel too.

CaptainAverage said...

Man, I was agreeing that disfigurement was disturbing, when WHAM! you had to unleash the Sutherland on me. Geez, rock me to sleep tonight.Wait, do you hear a high-pitched scream? No, just me? Great.

Siskoid said...

Sally: Well, I never agreed with that relationship in the first place. Cradle robber!

Mwb: Yes it's all in Essentials (Essential X-Men as opposed to Essential Uncanny X-Men). Generally, the paper and reproduction are cheaper, while the books are slightly costlier. I don't like them as much as Showcases. Still, there's a wide range and you'll find what you're looking for.


Austin Gorton said...

I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that any boy reading X-Men comics in the 80s was contractually obligated to crush on Kitty, at least for awhile...


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