Kid Dynamo

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Title: Kid Dynamo
Author(s): Connie Hirsch
Length: 898K
Fandom: New Mutants (X-Men)
External Links: (available via Wayback), (available via Wayback) (available via Wayback)

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"Kid Dynamo" is a novel-length story in the X-Men universe, written by Connie Hirsch. It was originally published in the X-APA apazine in the late '80s; the author posted it to Usenet in 1992. It was later archived at Ebonbird's Fan-Fic Archive, Donald's Eclectic Web Page, and Fonts of Pryde & Wisdom Fan-Fiction: Bootleg Story Annex.

It focuses on the original New Mutants team, and is told mostly from the viewpoint of Jessica Pierce, a teenage mutant OFC who joins the team halfway through their first series, during a time period when Magneto was the headmaster of Xavier's School. The story was extremely popular and often cited as a classic. This may be partly because it was written so early, but it was also long and well-written, providing characterization and development for the entire canon cast as well as Jessica. Additionally it was a fix-it fic, using Jessica's presence to alter canon events such as the death of Douglas Ramsey; the story started around the point where the comic's original writer, Chris Claremont, had left the book, and the author has said that her displeasure with the post-Claremont issues was her impetus for writing the story. [1] Many other fans had also been unhappy with the changes in the book, and "Kid Dynamo" provided a happier alternative for them. Such was the popularity of the story that it was the only fanfic included in the FAQ for the rec.arts.comics.marvel.xbooks newsgroup:

"Kid Dynamo" was also noteworthy for including a lesbian romance for Dani Moonstar (albeit largely off-screen).

Reactions and Reviews

Kid Dynamo is a fan-fiction written by once-netter Connie Hirsch, which deals with the New Mutants in the days just after Magneto took over the School (right after New Mutants #52). A very good story by any standards, most people who have read it have granted it automatic status in official Marvel history, vastly preferring it to the eventual rise of Cable and the appearance of X-Force, or at least delaying that inevitable occurence by including Kid Dynamo. [2]
If you've been around fan circles this long, I'm sure you've heard of Kid Dynamo.
If anyone else reads this thread (unlikely it seems) Kid Dynamo was New Mutants fanfic written in the 90's by Connie Hirsch. It was a novella, very long, written by the author after Chris Claremont quit writing New Mutants. It was a continuation of the New Mutants storyline the way it SHOULD have been written. Fans loved it. Really really really loved it. Google it. Twenty-five years after it came out people are still reading it and loving it and passing it around. The storyline is OBE (Overcome By Events) now but you can think of it as an alternate history timeline. [3]
Written when Claremont and Simonson were giving the best X in the late eighties. Go. Read it. Now. For the funniest Loki characterization this side of the ether. [4]

Discussing Jessica as an Original Female Character and/or Mary Sue

Claiming that all original female characters in fic are Mary Sues is a destructive meme that has clobbered many women's abilities to write interesting female characters. It's also sexist.

The useful definition of Mary Sue, in my eyes, is "original character who overshadows the canonical cast." A character may be more powerful than the canon cast without problems if this is done realistically (you can, for instance, create a Marvel character who's the daughter of Scott Summers and Jean Grey who's a reality warper. In fact you almost have to.) However, unrealistically powerful/talented characters tend to warp the canon cast out of character. For instance, in "Kid Dynamo", the fact that a new girl who's a godawfully powerful telekinetic and Magneto's daughter doesn't warp the cast out of recognition; the New Mutants continue to have their personal lives, they have interactions that have nothing to do with the new girl, and she pretty much never singlehandedly saves the day. However, in the Mary Sue "Enigma," which was inspired by Kid Dynamo, the heroine ends up performing *all* the actions that save the rest of the cast. Despite the fact that, you know, they're heroes, and pretty tough, and adept at saving themselves, they stand around and let the original heroine do all the work. [5]
Here is an example of doing [a female original character ] right. "Kid Dynamo" by Connie Hirsch (on Luba Kmetyk's bootleg archive) is a New Mutants fan story in which a new teen girl joins the New Mutants, she is Magneto's daughter, and she is very powerful. She is also the first person narrator for most of the story. For this reason some people have declared her to be a Mary Sue. On the other hand, not everyone instantly loves her. Some people like her, some don't. Everyone continues to have their personal psychodramas, which don't necessarily have anything to do with her-- Dani discovers she's a lesbian and Doug learns a new trick with his powers without any help from the new girl, Jessica. She doesn't like Magneto, her father, and she's presented as wrong about it. She is occasionally an idiot and the story admits it. Magneto gets to go off and develop a romantic life with a canon female character during the course of the story, with no impetus from Jessica. No one, with the exception of Kitty Pryde who appears solely in a two-line cameo, is out of character. When Dani, Doug and Jessica are kidnapped to Asgard, it's all three of them working together that get all the day-saving done. When Jessica tries to stop Apocalypse's Ship from crashing into the Statue of Liberty, she needs help from Jean Grey and Magneto. She has power but she's not skilled with it. Characters show teamwork; they don't stand around wringing their hands while she does all the work. [6]
Hi! I'm the author of Kid Dynamo -- imagine my thrill as I'm reading along, wondering how Jessica fits in into your categorization, only to find out that she's singled out as a good example! Heh! I hadn't read a whole lot of fan fic when I wrote that, so I wasn't so aware of the Mary Sue phenomenon, and I suppose I might have changed some things if I had... though, geeze, she's a superhero, so a lot bigger than life and a lot angst-filled pretty much fits. Anyway, thanks -- the story is still near and dear to me, and it is nice to think that other people agree that I didn't fall into error with it! [7]


  1. Comments in the author's LJ
  2. RACMX Newsgroup Questions (Accessed March 31, 2010)
  3. The Phoenix Café "OK--need some help about my X-novel" ersatz. January 14, 2013. (Accessed May 23, 2015)
  4. Ebonbird's Fan-fic Cache
  5. by Alara Rogers in Make up your mind: what is a Mary Sue?
  6. by Alara Rogers in Make up your mind: what is a Mary Sue?
  7. by theodosia in Make up your mind: what is a Mary Sue?