Happy birthday, Pixie!

Can you believe it?  To me she still feels like one of the newer, fresher X-Men (even if, right now, she’s little more than Jean Grey School wallpaper).  But last month marked ten years of the character of Pixie, one of the few New X-Men to have displayed some sticking power!

First, a confession: I didn’t realise it.  Not until I checked out (and promptly followed) The Spire did I realise that Megan Gwyn is a decade old as a character concept.  Over on The Spire, the writers have been collecting a month of her key scenes, and they made me sit back and think about what I make of the character.

To me, Pixie began as almost an irrelevance.  The concept seemed boring, created just to flesh out the expanding student body of Xavier’s School (remember, this was pre-Decimation).  Let’s give a character wings and call her Pixie – oh, hey, if she’s called Pixie, maybe she has pixie dust!

Academy X
We later learned that her teacher crush was none other than Cyclops. Which really makes me wish she’d cross paths with ANXM Cyclops – that’d be a cool relationship!

Even in the pages of ‘New X-Men’, she was little more than a background character – well, right up until the ‘Quest for Magik’ arc, one of my all-time favourite plotlines.  A handful of young mutants were drawn into Limbo, and Pixie was one of a band who worked with the Darkchylde to try to rescue their friends from the demonic Belasco.  It was then that Pixie made a decision that would transform the character forever: she allowed the Darkchylde to draw out a portion of her soul, and gained a Soul-dagger and a teleportation spell into the bargain.

Darkchylde's treachery
Betraying Pixie, Darkchylde planned to take ALL her soul – but was stopped when the process was only partly complete.

No longer was Pixie an innocent.  A portion of her pink hair even turned black, symbolising the change.  But more than that; no longer was Pixie a background character.  Suddenly she had made a decision that mattered; suddenly we saw a glimpse of real strength to her character, and with her soul rendered incomplete she even had angst and drama (that mainstay of an X-Man’s life).  No surprise, she then became a regular member of the cast of ‘New X-Men’, but unfortunately the book was wrapping up in ‘Messiah CompleX’.

With the X-Men officially disbanded in the wake of ‘Messiah CompleX’, Pixie returned to her hometown – and promptly stumbled upon a demonic invasion.  This was the 2008 Free Comic Book Day X-Men special, and it led to Pixie joining the X-Men in San Francisco for Matt Fraction’s run.  Fraction viewed her as his Kitty Pryde, and he admitted – no surprise among Marvel writers – that her role was so significant in part because Kitty was his character crush among the X-Men.

San Francisco didn’t go well for Pixie; she got beaten up badly by the Hellfire thugs, but returned with some serious attitude to get payback on Empath.  Again, it was a moment that truly stood out to me, when the still-sweet kid showed that she really had strength of will and a hint of the badass.

Badass Pixie
Yes, I know the art’s by Greg Land, but it was still a really cool scene!

No surprise, the ‘X-Infernus’ miniseries came – and Pixie played a key role, first manifesting a dark side when she produced the Soul-dagger.  Forced to sacrifice yet more of her soul by Belasco’s daughter Witchfire, Pixie worked with Magik to overcome the threat.

Pixie's dark side
Limbo brings out the worst in you…

Pixie remained a valued member of the team, and 2010 saw a miniseries of her own, ‘Pixie Strikes Back’, in which we learned that Pixie is actually (another) daughter of the original Mastermind.  From there, the ‘Second Coming: Hellbound’ miniseries took Magik and Pixie back into Limbo.  And it was in the pages of ‘New Mutants’ that Pixie’s soul was finally restored.

In hindsight, this was a mistake, as it meant that her overarching arc was complete – and nobody seemed to know what to do with her next.  Pixie joined James Asmus’ ‘Generation Hope’, and we saw a flirty side to her in her interactions with Velocidad, but when that series wrapped up she fell into the background.  Jason Aaron had her graduate from the Jean Grey School in his final issue, and Matt Kindt used her in his ‘Inhumanity: The Awakening’ miniseries, but other than that she’s now just wallpaper.

Awakening
Kindt seems to have a passion for C-level heroes. Good.

Pixie is a character who was drawn out of the background and was given an opportunity to shine – a sadly rare thing for members of ‘Academy X’ and ‘New X-Men’.  Given a chance, I have every confidence that she can shine again.
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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Iñigo PM says:

    I still find the Pixie concept a little hard to swallow but I think she’s a good character and like you write, well developed until she was left in the background. It’s a shame the whole New X-Men cast has been forgotten, that was a great title. Oh, and could you stop with the Pixie dust? It’s all over my computer! =)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To me, Pixie proves that, if written well, any character can hit the big-time. And agreed about the New X-Men – I loved that book! 🙂

      Blame Loz for the pixie dust; he opened the can after shaking it 😛

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  2. She is also, in simple visual terms, one of the coolest looking characters in the X-Men world too; you just look at her and instinctively want to see more of her.

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    1. I think the initial design wasn’t so good – you know, that Academy X green outfit? But as she’s gone on, the artists have just worked out what to do with her, and she’s become extremely distinctive 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. True. She should be gracing more covers than she does.

        Like

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