Full Name: Katherine "Kitty" Pryde
Occupation: Student and adventurer
Mutant Abilities: Manipulation of vibratory rates of atoms within her body, allowing her to become completely intagible
and thus immune from any external force or hazard. She is also able to extend this intagibility to any object she touches.
History: While Kitty Pryde may have the look and circumstances of a normal American girl, her history has a number of twists that have influenced her life and her family. Much of who she is begins before she was even born. Her family, formerly known as Prydeman, can be traced almost entirely to small Jewish group that got even smaller in wake of the Nazi Holocaust. Her grandparents on both sides of her family were survivors of the concentration camps and shortly after World War II, they all left their homeland. Some went to the newly established state of Israel while others went to America. Here, they changed their names to Pryde and tried to rebuild their lives. However, the scars of the holocaust did not heal easily.
When Katherine Anne Pryde was born in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois both her parents, Carmen and Theresa Pryde, had become fairly successful middle-class people. While Katherine was still an infant, Theresa Pryde's mother moved in with the family after a seemingly endless bout with skin cancer had drained her retirement funds. Since both Carmen and Theresa worked, this left Katherine in the care of her grandmother for many years. She was the one who ended up giving her the nickname "Kitty" that she would eventually go by. She was also the one to first share with the young girl the horrors of the holocuast. Unlike other families, Kitty was not spared the gruesome details of what happened to her family. At a very young age she was told in vivid detail what her grandparents experienced. It would leave a profound affect on her and one that caused some tension between her parents and grandmother. These stories made Kitty fearful and anxious, even as she began school. It left her family worried that the legacy of the holocaust would hold her back.
That all changed when she was six-years-old and she went on a trip with her Uncle, who had recently moved to Chicago from Israel. He was a former Israeli commando who was highly decorated and also deeply affected by the holocaust. So he took it upon himself to take Kitty to the holocaust museum in Washington DC. It was here where her grandmother's stories took form and substance. Again, she was deeply struck by the experience. However, her Uncle took it upon himself to teach Kitty that they could rise above these horrors. To do so he promised to teach her how to be strong. He would impart to her his commando training, thus making it so she could always fight back should their family face the threat of another holocaust.
After that trip, Kitty underwent a major shift. Her demeanor went from anxious and worried to one that was constantly driven to be stronger. Every day after school from that day forward, she would visit her Uncle and he would teach her how to fight using the special Israeli fighting style, Krav Maga. This became the key to making her stronger and she embraced it with uncanny dedication. She fought to overcome her limited size and stature to become the strongest fighter she could be. By the time she was ten she was conditioned in a way few children her age could ever hope to be. She scored city records on her physical fitness tests in school and she developed a reputaton as being a bit of a tomboy and overly blunt. She would never shy away from the truth and often lacked subtlety at times when it was often most necessary. She also had a tendancy to thrust herself into fights she didn't always have business being a part of. Her grandmother's stories of the holocaust made her adverse to bullies that she saw as akin to the Nazis, who looked down on others they saw as inferior. She often stood up for those who couldn't stand up for herself and used her Uncle's training to hold her own.
By the time Kitty was a teenager, she was as much an expert in the art of Krav Maga that anyone her age could be. Her Uncle still trained her, but he had to scale back his efforts as he started making trips back to Israel for his work with the government. All that training left her somewhat an anomoly among her peers. Being so tough and blunt, she alienated people form getting too close to her. She only had a handful of friends, but she did not really connect with anybody. Entering high school, she lacked an overall sense of belonging.
Before she could ever overcome such limitations, another major event shook her live. She discovered that she was a mutant. One day at school after a fight with a bully, she phased through a simple attack involving a cup of pudding. This simple act led her to a confrontation with a mysterious mutant hunting machine that cornered her at Northview Mall near her school. She was in turn rescued by the X-men, but as was her nature she did not shy away from the battle. In fact, she was the one that delievered the killing blow to the mysterious machine. This unique show of guts and strength prompted Charles Xavier to offer her a place in the institute with the X-men. She accepted and quickly embraced her new responsibility as a mutant fighting oppression in hopes of avoiding another holocaust.
Character Breakdown: Kitty Pyrde's character has developed through stages of influence. Much of her early life was influenced by the morbid stories of her family's past with the holocaust. This instilled in her a heavy fear of victimization. In a ways it alienated her from her Jewish heritage because while her family did not hide the details of what they had suffered, they never fully explained why they suffered. Kitty was never given much reason beyond the fact that they were Jewish. That lack of reasoning created a sense of urgency in that she always had to be on her guard. She always had to be ready for when the next holocaust would affect her.
The next stage of her influence came with her Uncle. When he vowed to make her strong, he filled a need within Kitty to strengthen her guard. That fear of victimization turned to a desire to fight back. Her uncle being an Israeli commando provided Kitty with a template to follow. There was no room for trivial details. The very nature of Krav Maga, the style she was taught, focused on using the shortest and most punishing moves to end a fight. This style weaved it's way into her personality, making her someone who is not big on subtlety or non-verbals. She has a very limited capacity for nonsense. She's exceedingly blunt, never beating around the bush or making excuses.
From these influences the core of Kitty Pryde's psychology emerges. The legacy of being a victim gives her a sense of compassion and openness towards others that helps her socialize. The added influence of her provides the mentality of a fighter mixed with a touch of hero complex. She has a very absolutist mindset, but only in the scope of the big picture. She sees wrongs in the world and her inclination is to do something about it. One of the conflicts she has to contend with is her limited stature. She's not very big or physically adept so she has to work harder and be tougher in order to avoid the path towards victimization. She's very adverse to anything that could potentially make her weak and equally adverse to anything that would make her like the oppressors she despises. She's stubborn without being dogmatic or obsessive. Her strength plays into a tough-nosed mentality that is still influenced by a certain level of personal sensibilities.
Among these sensibilities, there are her strong views on vicitimization and oppression. She comes from a family of victims that came dangerously close to being wiped out. So when she sees oppression in the world, she's inclined to fight back. This shows in her distaste for bullies and for blatant bigotry. It also plays a big role in how she comes to embrace the X-men so quickly. They are a group that fights for a minority that is being oppressed on many levels. Mutants are in a very similar positon to the one the Jews were in during the reign of the Nazis. So this inspires her to fight and fight hard with all the training she's acquired. It isn't just a cause for her. It's part of her mentality. The X-men are akin to another stage of influence in her life that has since become the dominate force that guides her. Like her Uncle, the X-men train her to fight back against the forces that would render her a victim. Since she is so passionate about avoiding the fate of her family, she is highly motivated and highly focused to keep fighting in her own way.