Megan Gwynn, aka Pixie, is one of the youngest characters appearing in Marvel Comics' “Uncanny X-Men” series. Still, in her short time on this Earth and as a member of the X-Men, she’s experienced as much trauma as some of the team’s more seasoned members. When she was young, her miner father perished on the job. In her early teen years, her mutant powers became active and she joined the Xavier Institute, where many of her fellow classmates lost their powers in the sudden and traumatic events of M-Day.
Following that, many more of her friends and classmates were murdered when William Stryker and his anti-mutant Purifiers attacked the institute. Later, Pixie and several of her team mates were transported to the hellish dimension of Limbo where a portion of her soul was ripped from her being. And, as if that weren’t enough, she recently endured a severe beating at the hands of an anti-mutant hate group called The Hellfire Cult.
Despite all that, she’s endured and remains one of the most upbeat and positive members of the X-Men. This December though writer Kathryn Immonen and artist Sarah Pichelli will test the limits of Megan Gwynn’s optimism in the four issue “X-Men: Pixie Strikes Back” mini-series. CBR News spoke with Immonen about the project, which was announced today at the Mondo Marvel Panel at the Fan Expo Canada convention in Toronto
CBR: What drew you to this project, Kathryn?
Kathryn Immonen: Nick Lowe asked me. I knew that he'd been keen to get a Pixie project up and running, and he thought, based on work that we’ve done together, that I'd be a good fit. While I certainly knew what there is to know about her already, or rather, what there is to know about her based on her appearances, I confess I hadn't really given the character a second thought. But you know, how often are you given the opportunity to put the screws to a character for which Matt Fraction has expressed deep affection?
What made Pixie a compelling character to write about? Which of her traits have you come to find most interesting?
Frankly, I initially had a hard time trying to figure out what was interesting about her at all. Sure--the soul dagger and missing a chunk of her soul-- but my problem with her was really how little it seemed to affect her. And that’s not because she hasn’t been written well, not at all! But because she’s just so fundamentally upbeat, resilient and cute as all get out. And it’s not something that should be tampered with.
The last thing I’d like to see is to have a character like Pixie get turned all dark and end up in permanent metaphysical traction, implanted with the speculative catheter of doom. So, it’s kind of a problem. She comes to new situations and challenges as easily as she seems to have come to her mutanthood, which is to say--very.
This actually ended up being the way in, The solution, for me, was to propose a situation in which her adaptability and willingness to accept change, no matter how radical, would be a real liability with potentially tragic consequences.
From the information Marvel provided me with, it sounds like this situation initially manifests as a girl’s night out gone wrong for Pixie and some of her team mates?
That’s basically it. It goes about as wrong as it can possibly go. It’s about friendship and lies and betrayal and deception. About how you can make the wrong decision for the right reason and about how difficult it can ultimately be to forgive that. And if that’s not enough, it’s also about stabbing and brawling and torture and Cessily in a cheerleader uniform. And girls’ bathrooms.
You mention Cessily Kincaid, aka Mercury, and it also sounds like Armor, Blindfold, and X-23 play supporting roles in this series in this series as well. What made you want to use these characters in particular?
Who wouldn’t want to write those characters? The young X-Men are like the super screwy denizens of a Riverdale that never was. And it’s interesting to think about how the loss of the school milieu has affected them because, while they’re all X-Men, they’re still kids. Even everybody’s favorite hard case, X-23.
There’s been some really lovely development of the relationships between all of these girls and I really want to continue to pursue them as a group of pseudo-sisters, for want of a better term. Although the way I’m going at this, it may be a tad more Borgia than Bennet. I will say, though, that we’ll see these characters as we’ve never seen them before and as they’ve certainly never seen themselves--literally.
It sounds as though the being behind what Pixie and her pseudo-sisters endure in “X-Men: Pixie Strikes Back” is in fact the title character’s father. And in addition to not being dead, he just so happens to be an established X-Men villain. Is there anything you can tell me about Pixie’s dad?
Pixie’s father is 8 foot 2 inches tall and bright yellow. Damn. I just gave it away, didn’t I?
Your collaborator on “Runaways,”artist Sarah Pichelli, is assisting you in bringing Pixie, her father, and her friends to life in this mini. What’s like to be working with her again, and what do you feel she bring to this series as an artist?
I couldn’t be more pleased. It’s just like a continuation of our working together. I know that we’re both looking to try some new things with this, and it’s ridiculously exciting.
Beyond bringing beautifully composed pages and a real sense of intimacy to the relationship between the characters, things which I think we all now know Sarah does so brilliantly, I’m looking forward to being even more surprised and delighted.”
From what you’ve told me, it sounds like there are definitely fun and exciting moments in “X-Men: Pixie Strikes Back,” but it also sound like there some dark and possibly grim elements to the series as well. What type of tone are you looking to strike with this series?
Like I said, I’ve got no interest in disturbing the foundation of Pixie’s personality. And I think that I’ve previously and reliably staked some territory in the realm of the slightly absurd, but having said that, there’s is a lot about this story that is well and truly sinister.