Known for being one of the most violent X-Men, Wolverine let his guard down with Kitty Pryde, starting one of Marvel’s best partnerships.
Most of the time, Wolverine is the toughest and most violent of the X-Men. However, Logan has shown a softer side. On several occasions, Marvel’s most popular mutant has proven himself a valuable mentor for young mutants. For the most part, Wolverine didn’t truly show his more caring side until he became Kitty Pryde’s father figure. Logan and Kitty formed their close bond in 1984’s Kitty Pryde and Wolverine by Chris Claremont and Al Milgrom. This adventure began when Kitty stumbled upon her father, Carmen, being pressured into some suspicious business dealings. When Carmen went to Japan to meet with his mysterious business partners, Kitty stowed away on his flight. Once Kitty arrived in Japan, she got herself into plenty of trouble.
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Robbing ATMs and breaking into office buildings to sleep, Kitty was chased across the streets of Tokyo by the police. In a moment of desperation, Kitty called the X-Mansion, where Wolverine answered. Hearing Kitty’s frantic call, Logan got on the first flight to Japan. Meanwhile, Kitty witnessed her father agreeing to launder Yakuza money, much to her shock. The young mutant was caught by the Yakuza and held captive.
The Yakuza’s assassin, Ogun, brainwashed Kitty, training and molding her into his pupil. Logan arrived in Japan, searching for Kitty and getting the Yakuza’s attention. As a result, Kitty was sent to assassinate Wolverine. When the two fought, Kitty, beneath a masked identity, surprised Logan with her skills. As soon as Wolverine saw Kitty’s face, he was taken aback, giving Kitty room to nearly kill him.
Fortunately, Logan was saved by Yukio, his on-again-off-again love interest. Yukio stopped Kitty, taking her, Logan, and Carmen into the mountains to recover from their ordeal. During their time in the Clan Yashida stronghold, Kitty learned that Ogun used to be Wolverine’s sensei, making this confrontation more personal than ever. Hoping to help Kitty overcome the trauma from her time with Ogun, Logan trained her to defeat his old sensei. Wolverine showed Kitty how to strengthen her mind and body, all the while giving her a choice. If Kitty wished to give up, she could have stopped her training at any time. Over time, Kitty adapted to Logan’s training, building up to her confrontation with Ogunm earning her new identity as Shadowcat.
When Ogun attempted to kill Logan’s longtime love, Mariko Yashida, and her adoptive daughter, Akiko, Kitty intervened. After saving Mariko and Akiko, Kitty gave Ogun a long and well-fought battle. Ultimately, however, Kitty couldn’t stand up to Ogun’s power. At this point, Wolverine arrived, ready to tackle his former sensei. Initially, Ogun overwhelmed his old student, and Logan was prepared to give up. Yet Kitty persuaded Wolverine to fight on, encouraging him to unleash his inner beast. Listening to his young protégé, Logan defeated Ogun.
Wolverine gave Kitty the chance to kill Ogun, but she refused. When Ogun attempted to stab Kitty from behind, however, Logan finished his old master, once and for all.
Overall, this adventure greatly strengthened the relationship between Logan and Kitty. When Kitty needed help, Logan was there, helping her face her trauma and overcome this ordeal. At the same time, Kitty helped Logan embrace his inner demons and confront his former sensei, allowing Wolverine to face his own dark past. This father/daughter dynamic continued for years afterward, with Kitty looking to Logan for guidance, while Logan looked to Kitty as a sort of moral compass.
In a broader sense, Logan also opened himself up as a mentor for other young mutants. X-Men like Jubilee, X-23, and Armor all received a great deal of help from Wolverine, who aided their growth into stronger, more capable heroes.
Wolverine’s teaching skills culminated in Wolverine and the X-Men #1 by Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo, where Logan became headmaster of the Jean Grey School. Right alongside Logan, as headmistress, was Kitty Pryde. Working together to teach young mutants, Logan and Kitty truly demonstrated how much they’d both grown. Even now, during “Reign of X,” Wolverine and Kate Pryde maintain a strong connection.
In Marauders #1 by Gerry Duggan and Matteo Lolli, Kate brought Logan a specially requested provision of groceries from the mainland. Wolverine #1, by Benjamin Percy and Adam Kubert, saw Logan and Kate share a drink while discussing their current situations. Both of these instances embody the strength and perseverance of Wolverine and Kate’s relationship. If not for Kitty Pryde and Wolverine, Logan and Kate wouldn’t share the connection that they have today.
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