“Is Pixie Strikes Back canon? Is Pixie a Faerie? I thought she was a mutant with wings whose magic comes from Limbo. Why does she only know one spell?”
Boy oh boy, are you ready to be very confused? Because here we go! The million-essay Pixie question. Almost ten years old now, the character was a background figure until the very end of Kyle/Yost’s New X-Men run, where she had the distinction of being one of the few characters who wasn’t killed off! She did have her soul removed, but meh, can’t have it all.
Following that, she caught the attention of the British writers. Mike Carey caught her first, writing a one-shot which established her Welsh heritage firmly (if not giving her a very Welsh accent, not yet) and told us her dad died in a mining accident. Her mother was AWOL.
She fluttered from Matt Fraction to Kieron Gillen until she settled with Kathryn Immonen, who was brought on to write the four part miniseries ‘Pixie Strikes Back’ with artist Sara Pichelli and colorist Christina Strain. The story here was about a demon who wanted to steal her energy for himself, basically, and bottle it. Which led the X-Men to a rescue. But it also led Pixie’s mother into comics for the first time.
It’s hard to know which way she means it. She could be telling Pixie that this is all a set-up, and that she used the Mastermind sisters because she needed their magic.
She could also be telling the truth. Pixie, as a result, sends the two girls back to wherever they came from. Firstly, though, she has to apologise for ALSO lying to the X-Men, pretending she was possessed in order to trick the demons and bring them into the open – where she and the other girls could then banish them, as a Trio.
But she doesn’t have a particular talk with her mother, not one which solidifies anything. Her mother classes herself as a faerie, and states again that Mastermind is Pixie’s father. But all we’ve seen from both women are deceits and illusions – illusions being not just Pixie’s power, but also one of the main themes of the book and of the character – and the reveal is scripted in a way which rings false.
Before anything gets properly talked about, Pixie’s mother says that Megan “has to go home now”. Pixie, sad, turns to the X-Men to say goodbye – only that’s not what her mother meant….
A bit of a downbeat ending, eh? And since then, we’ve not heard anything from Pixie’s mother – and her apparent father is dead, and won’t be telling any stories either. With all that in mind, things are left in an unfinished position. Although we’re told the facts of Pixie’s parents, we’re not given any reason to believe them. It could be true, it might not be.
But at any rate, her mother IS revealed to be a faerie, a magical type who spends a load of time in Avalon, the secret magical lands of England. Which makes Pixie half a faerie. And as you can also see in the pages above, Pixie knows magic – she’s given the opportunity to learn magic once her soul is taken out of her, but when she subsequently regains the soul.. she also retains the magic.
So it looks as though having her soul removed, y’know – it unlocked her inherent ability to use magic. Or something like that.
Why does she only know one spell? Because that’s all she’s bothered to learn, so far. When she grows up – which will likely never happen, because every young X-Men character has an 80% chance of being killed off each time they appear – she’ll probably go learn some more spells and that. For the time being? She’s happy with the teleporting.
So there you go – Pixie Strikes Back still counts as a canonical story, mainly because it suggests more than it tells. At the end of the book, you have to decide for yourself what is true and what is false. What really happened, and which parts were illusions.