is a fictional character
in the Marvel Comics universe
. He is an alien dragon
that is the longtime companion of Shadowcat
(Kitty Pryde), a member of the X-Men
. He was created by writer Chris Claremont
and artist Paul Smith
and first appeared in Uncanny X-Men
#166 (February 1983).
Fictional character biography
Lockheed is a member of a highly advanced dragon-like extraterrestrial race, who are capable of travelling through space via special astral ships which transport their essences. Their society is similar to insect hives, with the individual being only part of the "Flock". Lockheed had been celebrated by his people as a brave fighter and hero against the horrible monsters
. He has demonstrated individual attitudes and wishes, however, which were realized only when he encountered the X-Men.
Kitty Pryde, the teenaged member of the X-Men, told a bedtime story to Illyana Rasputin, who was living with the X-Men at the time. The story recast the X-Men, including the recently deceased Jean Grey, in the roles of fairy tale characters. One such character was a giant black dragon named "Lockheed, who was based on the modified SR-71 Blackbird jet aircraft used by the team (The name originates from the Lockheed Corporation, makers of the Blackbird).
Not long thereafter, the X-Men were kidnapped into outer space by the alien Brood and taken to a Brood-colonised planet. Here, Kitty met a cat-sized purple dragon who resembled the creature from her fairy tale. He saved her from the Brood and then departed with her. She tried to hide his presence from Professor X and her teammates, but he was revealed back on Earth when he again saved her life, this time from a nest of alien Sidrian hunter hatchlings. The X-Men accepted his presence in the X-Mansion, and Lockheed has since been Kitty's longtime companion.
During the Secret Wars
the X-Men, including Lockheed, were transported to an alien planet, where Lockheed met a green, female alien dragon. This second dragon accompanied Lockheed and his allies to Earth, but she grew to gigantic size upon arrival, rampaged across Tokyo
and was apparently killed, though the dragon eventually resurfaced (and was again assisted by Kitty and Lockheed).
In addition to serving alongside Kitty with the X-Men, he joined her when she founded the British superhero
team Excalibur. There he would form a friendship with Widget
, who was also a version of Kitty.
During his time with the team, Lockheed participated in the so-called 'Cross-Time Caper', which involved he and his team leaping through dimensions on a train. The train itself came from an alternate universe and it was discovered the power source was an alternate version of Lockheed himself. The two Lockheeds became good friends even though the other desired to stay in the train. Lockheed would travel with the team (and their ally, Alistaire Stuart) on several adventures throughout multiple realities, which included almost losing Kitty to the mystical powers of an alternate Queen of England. The team would also encounter a humanoid version of Lockheed. He, along with a female Nightcrawler analogue, would become the duo-team of Captain Britain, protecting the citizens of a magic-heavy planet. After their return to earth, Lockheed's new dragon friend left with Numbers, a member of the interdimensional Technet.
Lockheed's past incidents came back to haunt him. By leaving so unexpectedly with Kitty, he left behind his fiancée whom he was due to wed the following day. Later, while healing from injuries gained from fighting Doctor Doom, his astral form was apprehended by the Flock and had to stand trial for treason. In astral form, Lockheed was capable of speech. After managing to explain his motives and saving his fellows from a piloting accident, he was officially exiled from his race, but on amiable terms.
Lockheed's affections for Kitty earned him the ire of the interdimensional entities called Bamfs, characters from the fairy tale Kitty once told Illyana. Like Lockheed, these were real also. These small versions of Nightcrawler also loved Kitty, in their own way. This would boil over into dangerous jealousy in one instance. They would invade the tunnels under Muir Island and hold Lockheed prisoner for some time. Unfortunately, Lockheed's penchant for hiding after Kitty moves did not help his situation, as Kitty simply thought he was again being difficult.
Lockheed developed a severe distaste for Kitty's romantic interest: the secret agent Pete Wisdom. Lockheed demonstrated that he has the ability to speak, but only talks to Wisdom, telling him that he "hated him". Peter tells Kitty about this, but she believes Wisdom is only joking, and Peter suffers the frequent theft of his clothing and cigarettes. Even so, Lockheed did eventually save Peter's life. It appears that one reason Lockheed disliked Wisdom so much was that he much preferred Kitty's previous boyfriend Colossus. This was proven at Captain Britain and Meggan's wedding in which Lockheed attempted to help them reconnect by snatching the bride's garter and dropping it into Piotr's hands, just after Kitty had won Meggan's bouquet.
Later, after Kitty left Excalibur and the X-Men entirely, it was believed that Lockheed was killed through unrevealed circumstances. In reality, Lockheed was found wounded and confused by a pair of young girls who practiced in witchcraft. He bonded with them until he discovered that the girls used their super-powers to terrorize the local populace. The duo were soon humiliated in battle by their rival, another young girl with powers. This new friend healed Lockheed and helped direct Lockheed back to Kitty.
Back on the X-Men
Kitty eventually re-joined with the X-Men and Lockheed happily followed. When the X-Men were battling the alien Ord
, it was Lockheed who saved the day with his fire breath.
Lockheed became part of a training incident for the younger students at Xaiver's institute. He was the 'flag' in a game of Capture the Flag, hiding in the middle of the hedge maze. This created problems because many of the students found it hard to actually believe in a living, miniature dragon. Specifically, the mutant Wither ended up endangering Lockheed with his organic-destruction powers.
World War Hulk
Lockheed attempted to help the X-Men stop the Hulk
when he attacked in World War Hulk
. Like the other X-Men, Lockheed was defeated.
Agent of S.W.O.R.D.
It was revealed that Lockheed is the mole within the Institute for S.W.O.R.D.
. Abigail Brand
, S.W.O.R.D.'s Director later told Kitty to stop coddling the dragon like a "celebrity's chihuahua", and that the dragon was an informant in exchange for S.W.O.R.D.'s help with pressing issues on its homeworld, and the dragon can speak more languages than the X-Men's resident genius, the Beast
. The shocked team looked on as Lockheed flew away from Kitty.
Good-Bye Old Friend
After discovering the truth about Lockheed, the X-Men team joins S.W.O.R.D. in an attempt to end the confrontation with the alien race of Breakworld, who are attempting to destroy Earth with a giant missile. Kitty is assigned with the team appointed to stop the missile, while Lockheed is forced to remain behind. The two share a final lingering look before Kitty leaves. Later Kitty phases into the missile to disrupt its circuitry noting that it is composed of the same material as the rest of Breakworld, making it difficult and exhausting for her to phase through. After phasing for a mile into the missile, Kitty finds the center only to discover it empty. The missile is fired, causing Kitty to pass out inside of it as Beast discovers too late that due to its shape, trajectory, and lack of internal circuitry, the Breakworld's weapon is not a missile, but a bullet. Kitty who is unable to get out manages to phase the bullet through the earth, but is trapped within. At the end of Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men, Scott Summers mentions that Dr. Strange, Reed Richards, and some "top men" tried to save her, but believe she has fused to the bullet, as it continues to hurtle through space in a constant form of phasing. Whether she is alive or dead is unknown. Lockheed's reaction to the loss of Kitty is unknown as is what his future will be now that she is gone.
Powers and abilities
Lockheed looks like a small European dragon
about the size of a cat. He has purple skin, sharp claws and teeth, two small, curved horns protruding from the back of his head and wings that enable him to fly. He can breathe fire with extreme intensity and is a surprisingly formidable combatant for his size, having once destroyed a nest of Sidri hatchlings and at another time bested a fully armored medieval knight-in-training. Quite tellingly, the Brood that he confronted upon his first appearance were terrified and immediately fled upon seeing him. His brain is immune to telepathic probing by telepaths such as Professor X
. He is also an empath which allows him to understand human speech. He is able to speak English as well, but rarely does so.
Lockheed’s appearance and character, as depicted by the various artists who illustrated him as well as writer Chris Claremont, evolved from the time of his first appearance to his later appearances in Excalibur
. When he first appeared as drawn by Paul Smith, he was largely quadripedal, with red eyes lacking any pupils
, a small triangular head about half a foot long, teeth protruding outward from his upper and lower jaws and his intelligence appeared comparable with that of a dog. By the time of his appearances in Excalibur as drawn by Alan Davis, he had been anthropomorphized
His eyes were now human-like, with white corneas and black irises, though at times they were colored yellow and red or orange and he was capable of more human-like facial expressions and gestures, including standing on his hind legs, which may have been partially due to the humorous, satirical tone of the original Excalibur
comic book. His teeth no longer stuck out the sides of his mouth, his head was more oblong and his jaw now much longer. Recently he has reverted more to his previous appearance. He no longer stands on his hind legs, he has lost the comical appearance for the most part and his eyes are once again without pupils. He still retains the same personality and skills. Initially, his only vocalizations included mostly animal-like sounds like cooing or roars, but hints were dropped as early as Uncanny X-Men
#168 that he was capable of more articulate words like “oops” and was shown as capable of speaking some words of English years later in Fantastic Four Versus the X-Men
#4 (June 1987) and Excalibur
volume 1, #64 (April 1993). During his tenure on Excalibur, Warren Ellis
left no uncertainty about Lockheed's intelligence: he is capable of conversant speech (although for some reason he speaks in a Cockney
accent, despite spending most of his life in America and Scotland), however, the only member of Excalibur who ever hears him is Kitty's boyfriend Peter Wisdom
, whom Lockheed dislikes. Pete tries to convince the other members that Lockheed can talk, but, in one of the repeated gags of Ellis' run, they refuse to believe him. Even in his times of muteness, he appears to understand what is said and done around him. While Lockheed sometimes tries to give the impression of being unintelligent, at other times he demonstrates outstanding powers of deduction, awareness and intelligence. He is very loyal to Kitty and shares a close rapport with her that is possibly psychic in nature. In Astonishing X-Men
an alien telepath confirmed this by saying that Lockheed and Kitty were deeply connected and that the dragon could locate her through that bond. Later in the series, it is revealed that he can speak many languages, some presumably alien.
Cross Time Caper
An alternate reality's counterpart of Lockheed served as the power source of Excalibur's train; their means of interdimensional transport during the "Cross-Time Caper" storyline. Though the origin of the train was from an Earth dominated by Nazi forces, Lockheed actually enjoyed being the power source. This larger, female Lockheed eventually departs with Excalibur's sometime foes, the Technet
, after having mated with their member Numbers and giving birth to his children.
Lockheed has not appeared in the Ultimate Universe
, but in Ultimate Spider-Man
Annual #1, a fantasy fiction-based Danger Room
scenario involves Kitty as a damsel captured by a large purple dragon, which, apart from size, closely resembled Lockheed.
In the series of X-Babies
specials in the 1990s, the title characters gain an ally in "Locksteed", a version of Lockheed large enough to carry several X-Babies on his back. Apart from his larger size, Locksteed differs from Lockheed mainly in configuration, Locksteed's body design being closer to a quadrupedal riding animal's shape, with larger, stronger forelegs.
Lockheed is the humanoid counterpart of Kitty's pet dragon, he and Kymri jointly took on the mantle of Captain Britain after they emerged victorious in a tournament in Excalibur
vol. 1 #16-17. His status in regard to membership in the Captain Britain Corps is unknown, since she was not chosen by Merlin or Roma.
In other media
- An early New Mutants figure of Illyana Rasputin came with a Lockheed accessory, as did the Captain Britain figure - but it was much larger in size.
- The Kitty Pryde Marvel Legends action figure comes with Lockheed as an accessory.
- The Kitty Pryde HeroClix Unique figurine from the Xplosion expansion set has Shadowcat with Lockheed on her arm. Lockheed was also released as a cardboard bystander token for the Sinister expansion set.