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Matt Fraction Tells Us About The Return Of Kitty Pryde

What can we expect from Uncanny X-Men #522?

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Earlier this week, we received the news that Kitty Pryde would be returning.  Kitty met her end in July 2008 in Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men.  In order to save Earth, Kitty became fused with the alien metal of a giant bullet and hasn't been seen or heard of since.
Personally, I'm a big fan of Kitty Pryde.  When I first started reading comics, I picked up the Dark Phoenix Saga trade which had her first appearance (in Uncanny X-Men #129).  After hearing about her return and seeing the video, I contacted writer Matt Fraction (who will be handling her return in Uncanny X-Men #522).  As I hurriedly shot out an e-mail, I accidentally sent out a typo.  Let's see if you can catch it.  Here are some questions I asked Matt.
Comic Vine:  Who decided that now was the time to bring back Kitty Pryde?
Matt Fraction:  I've been building towards it really since the start of my time on UNCANNY. San Francisco; Scott's ascension; the move against the " Avengers;" falling back to Utopia; the return of Magneto... all of these events leading inexorably towards SECOND COMING.  Kitty's return and the attendant covenant it seals-- which, forgive me for being vague, but it's the only real surprise we have left in the story as Kitty's return has been announced-- are all necessary clouds on the horizon for SECOND COMING and, more importantly, beyond.
Comic Vine:  How long have you known she would be returning in Uncanny X-Men #522?
Matt:  I had originally guessed 525 in my rough outlines, as that's a nice fat anniversary kind of issue, but the realities of our publishing schedule and the editorial calendar, as SECOND COMING firmed up, meant 522.  So I suppose I knew 522 about a year and a half now.

CV:  Will Kitty be playing a big role in UNCANNY now?
Matt:  Everybody is important.  Kitty's isn't back because we wanted a stunt; she's back for a reason, and now that she's back, her role in the X-verse will be vital and, I hope, stunning. 
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CV:  Will Kitty actually use her ninja-fitting skills she picked up (in the Kitty Pryde And Wolverine mini from 1984)?
Matt:  Ninja-fitting?  Like, the ability to get into her clothes super-quietly?  Yes. I can assure you that every single time I write a scene in which Kitty Pryde puts on clothes there will be NO sound effects. 
CV:  Ha ha.  Do you adjust your scripts/stories to cater to the artist working on it (since Land and Dodson have had rotating duties?  What can you say about Whilce Portacio's pencils on 522?
Matt:  I do; I always do. Every script is written for whomever is going to draw it. I consider it a vital part of my job to write especially for my collaborators, to try and craft my part of the process to them, to their strengths. Terry scripts are way different than Greg scripts. 

That said, I didn't know Whilce was going to draw 522 when I wrote it-- originally Terry was slated for the issue, then we had the opportunity to shift Terry to the SECOND COMING issues and-- again, forgive me for not being more specific-- and leapt at it. The stories that fall in the UNCANNY chapters of SC are really fertile ground for Terry and he's perfect for them. But that meant rotating him off of 522 and getting him onto 523, and then, suddenly, we found ourselves graced by Whilce's presence. Which is a really wonderful thing-- to get to have an X-Men legend handling the art chores on such a big story.  I apologized to him for all the references to "Terry" in the script but he's an understanding guy and forgave me.  

It's win-win for everybody as far as I'm concerned. Now if I can get JR, Jr. and Jim Lee to draw some X-Men...! 
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CV:  Will there be a crossover with S.W.O.R.D. since Lockheed has been waiting for Kitty's return?
Matt:  I love S.W.O.R.D. And with Beast being Beast... it's inevitable these streams will cross.
CV:  Have you personally received any reactions to Kitty being the one to return instead of Jean Grey?
Matt:  No. I don't really go looking.  Except from editorial, and then from Joss Whedon, who I ran the story by. More than anyone I wanted to make sure he felt he and John's work on ASTONISHING was validated by what we were doing, why we were doing it, how it was happening, and where we're going after she's back. He was, so, y'know. Mission accomplished.

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CV:  With the recent X-events Necrosha and Nation X, what can you say about Second Coming (is it going to blow our minds)?
Matt:  We've been building towards it for a long long time. it's the bookend on a trilogy that evolves the status quo for the X books and for mutantkind as much as HOUSE OF M or MESSIAH COMPLEX did. It's not just a stunt, it's not just an event, it's not just game changer-- it's a world changer. Friends fall. Foes ascend.  Faith is tested and Scott Summers faces the ultimate test. It's the biggest story I've ever been a part of and it's thrilling to have a hand in it.  You won't believe your eyes.  You won't believe we're going to do.