Saturday, October 3, 2015

Star-Lord & Kitty Pryde #2 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

The Cannonball robot reverting to its original programming and muttering "Ah'm near invulnerable when ah'm blastin'" as it "dies" made me literally LOL.  The good news is that pretty much everything else in this issue is equally awesome.

I admit that I totally squealed when I saw the New Mutants (a.k.a. the New "Mutdroids").  The fact that they're robotic "friends" that Doug Ramsey created makes it all the creepier.  (Of all the takes that we've seen on familiar characters in "Secret Was," this one is probably the most unexpected.)  Kitty and Peter make pretty short work of them, allowing Kitty to shake down Doug for Gambit's location.  (Doug apparently works for Gambit, a fact that Kitty learned by shaking down someone else.)  Doug tells her that Gambit is looking to make a score at a museum but then, unfortunately for him, recognizes her as Kitty Pryde.  The issue kicks into high gear at this point, because she proceeds to kill him in cold blood.

Humphries and Firmansyah wisely play their cards close to their chests in the following panels, because it initially seems like Kitty may actually be a remorseless killer.  (She is from the Age of Apocalypse, after all.)  Instead, we learn that she was a spy for Apocalypse that Valeria recruited essentially at the end of a gun, threatening to kill her loved ones if she didn't join the Foundation.  Kitty agreed, and she now hunts down anomalies for Valeria without Doom's knowledge.  It explains why she's absent in "Secret Wars" #5 when Valeria assembles the Foundation for exactly this sort of task.  It also explains why she had to kill Doug, because no one can know what she's doing.  (That said, you'd think that she'd take maybe a little more precaution in hiding her identity.)  Peter offers to help her retrieve the artifact that Gambit is trying to steal (since, after all, she would've gotten it from him in the first issue if Peter hadn't intervened).  But, of course, it's a trap.  Even better, it's a trap involving Widget!  Gambit fed Doug the information about the museum.  Since Widget is a version of Kitty, its presence near her cancels out their powers (a fun new fact about "Battleworld").  As such, Gambit is able to trap the two of them because he wants Kitty...for his collection.  (Again, creepy.)

I am very intrigued where we go from here.  The first issue was more or less a cute romp that I didn't expect to get serious.  But, Humphries and Firmansyah do an excellent job of moving us through the tumult of emotions that both Peter and Kitty feel in this issue (particularly Peter, as he deals with the reality that his Kitty is lost and this Kitty might be a homicidal maniac).  It's this sort of heart that Humphries often got so right about Peter, and I'm glad to see it here.  When you consider the fact that we've also got such a strong plot and hilarious winks like the Cannonball line, this series is really hitting above its weight.

**** (four of five stars)

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