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Unfortunate Parentage

June 15, 2010

Pixie’s solo adventure concludes in X-Men: Pixie Strikes Back! #4, which sees all three concerned parties (the X-Men, Pixie’s mom, Faerie, and the two Wyngarde girls, and Saturnine and his forces) face off.  A fight between the X-Men and Saturnine’s demons breaks out pretty quickly, and elsewhere, Armor, X-23, and Mercury try to get out of the bowels of the school.  Saturnine orders Pixie to get her mother, which she does.  Faerie tells her that Mastermind and Lady Mastermind are her sisters, to which Pixie responds by beating them up and forcing her mother to follow her command.  She punches out Emma Frost when Emma walks up to her, and Faerie casts a spell on Pixie’s soul dagger to make it a soulsword for Saturnine.  Saturnine uses it to kill basically all of his remaining demons and claims that he will now be his own master.  However, the magical sword does not affect mutants, so Psylocke convinces him to put it away and come get them.  As Saturnine discovers, Pixie and the Wyngarde girls cast an illusion, as the “soulsword” was actually just a normal sword.  So when he tries to put it away, he just stabs and kills himself.  Armor, X-23, and Mercury find Nightcrawler, who’s a tad dazed from some of Pixie’s pixie dust, and X-23 attacks the Wyngarde girls when she sees them.  Pixie teleports the sisters away, since she can apparently do that now, and she apologizes to Emma for having punched her, because she didn’t want her deception to be revealed.  Faerie tells Pixie that the original Mastermind was her father, and after admitting that giving Pixie to the X-Men was not a mistake, she leaves, leaving Pixie with her teammates.

Well, the end of this series was as confusing as every other issue.  It took me a while to figure out just what was up with the illusion and Saturnine’s death, since this series hasn’t exactly gone over the properties of soulswords again for those of us who didn’t read all the related classic New Mutants/Magik storylines.  Plus, the ending is rather awkward, though I think that’s deliberate.  I’m not really sure where this story leaves Pixie aside from knowing her own true origins, if not entirely.  After all, Faerie seems to have already left her daughter’s life again, and I don’t think that the Wyngarde sisters will be popping up again any time soon.  Sara Pichelli’s art is as awkward and stylized as before, such that the Wyngarde sisters on the first page look so anatomically incorrect with their breast sizes that it’s a tad funny.  For the most part, her work is decent, but it really just isn’t the kind of art for me.  Half of the problem with this series was the odd, occasionally confusing art, so I think that the series would have been better served to have cover artist Stuart Immonen do the interiors.  Kathryn Immonen really did try with this story to flesh out the X-Men’s youngest (is she actually youngest?) member, but I feel like it missed the mark somewhat.  I won’t say a missed opportunity, since there was little reason for this story in the first place, and the plot was confusing enough at times that I’m not sure if it could have been salvaged.  It was entertaining enough, with some nice characterization (at least for a few of the involved characters), but the problems really weighed down what could have otherwise been a pretty good story.

Plot: 6.7      Art: 7.3      Dialogue: 8.2      Overall: 6.9

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