Kid Dynamo

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Title: Kid Dynamo
Author(s): Connie H
Date(s): approximately 1988 in print - 1992 online
Length: 898K
Genre(s): Gen
Fandom(s): New Mutants (X-Men)
External Links: (available via Wayback), (available via Wayback) (available via Wayback)
Kid Dynamo.jpeg

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"Kid Dynamo" is a novel-length story in the X-Men universe, written by Connie H. It was originally published in the X-APA apazine in the late '80s; the author posted it to Usenet in 1992. The story became so well-known it had a section to itself on the rec.arts.comics.marvel.xbooks FAQ (Item #8). Over twenty years later, it is still being recommended as how to write an original female character who by rights should be a Mary Sue, but is still an engaging character.


Kid Dynamo 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.

A fix-it fic, the story used Jessica's presence to alter canon events such as the death of Douglas Ramsey;[1] with the story starting around the point where the comic's original writer, Chris Claremont, had left the story[2]. The author has said that her displeasure with the post-Claremont issues was her impetus for writing the story.[3] Many other fans had also been unhappy with the changes in the comics, and "Kid Dynamo" provided a happier alternative for them.

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



  • 1998 - Best New Mutants Fanfic and Fanfic Hall of Fame.

Maggie Awards

  • 1999 - Gamma Ray

Reactions and Reviews

The story was extremely popular at the time it was posted and later was 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 the work's original character, Jessica.

The fanwork continues to be recced more than twenty-five years after it was originally written, with some fans describing it as "one of the greats" or as a classic fanwork in their recommendations and reviews. The humour within the fanwork is often commented on as well:

And even amoungst the greats, you have greats. Since it was written, nearly eight years ago, it has won countless awards, brought more writers into the genre than any other single work, and been held up as the example of everything that fanfiction is worth writing for. Kid Dynamo by professional writer Connie H is one of the paramount works of fanfiction produced. An exhaustive tale set in the Fall Of The Mutants era of the New Mutants, it concerns a young woman with a shared past with Magneto, the then headmaster. The story weaves its way in and out of the canon history, intent on slowly painting Jessica Pierce in subtle shades. She is an intensely angry young woman who has gone from violence to violence in her life, yet anger is not the central motivation of the character. Hirsch takes an interesting turn, trading angst for determination and will. The work moves cunningly through established canon, deftly integrating the new character in with the often confusing elements of the X-Men. Pierce is a powerful character, with extremely strong emotional and mental motivations. Her distrust of Magneto and her resentment of him is challenged not only by his actions in the months following her joining the school, but in the revelation that he is her father. The work also contains a lighter side, and flashes of both light humour and ironic wit surface time and time again in the peace. Written in the first person, it illuminates a rather caustic and often brilliant wit in the hands of Pierce.

My mother didn't raise no fool, as they say, and unlike most mothers, she specifically warned me about black cars like this. I speeded my pace a little, looking for alleys and cross streets: and I noticed that the black car increased its pace to match...

With both humour and purpose fueling the piece, Kid Dynamo is a single sweeping arc of discovery. The piece holds and enraptures from the introduction all the way to the surprising twist ending. Hirsch has only written the single piece of fanfiction, which is all the more tribute to her genius, that it has both intrigued and inspired writers in the genre since it's original post years ago.

IMHO #10 by Dex

Finally, for fans of the original Claremont run, let me recommend an absolute fanfic classic, Connie Hirsch's Kid Dynamo. No, seriously. No, it isn't porn. Set during the period when Magneto was headmaster and while Sunspot and Warlock were AWOL with the Fallen Angels, it's about a new New Mutant who is rescued by the school and…well, a lot happens from there. If you fondly remember this era I can't recommend it highly enough.


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.[5]

Other fans felt that Kid Dynamo was better than the New Mutants story-line that occurred in canon, considering it almost an alternative timeline to the original story-line and crediting the quality for its longevity:

Kid Dynamo is a fan-fiction written by once-netter Connie H, 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.[6]

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 H. 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.[7]

The quality of the writing for the original female character was also commented on by many fans with even those who considered any OFC to be a Mary Sue describing the characterisation postively:

There's a reason this one's considered a classic, folks. Some might think of it as a Mary Sue (or a "fangirl story"), as it involves an incredibly powerful new character with ties to Magneto and to Empath joining the New Mutants. However, the characterization of the New Mutants is spot-on and doesn't suffer in the slightest for the introduction of the new girl (the same, sadly, cannot be said for Kitty Pryde, whose brief appearance is marred by uncharacteristic dorkiness.) And the new character may be larger than life, but she's nonetheless very real. An excellent story.

Alara's Picks for Best Magneto Stories - Fanfic That Kicks Butt

One of the first fics I read was Kid Dynamo, a novel- length story set in the Magneto era of New Mutants. It was centered around an OC mutant. She'd be considered a Mary Sue by many people, but I thought she was really well- developed. X- Men canon's a good setting for OCs, anyways.


I remember getting into the New Mutants at the tail end of Inferno where X-Terminators teamed up with the New Mutants and eventually merged. At the time, I also got into what is considered the first X-Men fanfiction: Kid Dynamo, which had a Mary Sue-type character that was sort of a Kitty Pryde with mutant powers joining the New Mutants and doing all sorts of Mary Sue things (like hit on Magneto and help Dani Moonstar out of the closet). It was one of the first “fix-it” fanfitions I remember reading about comics…that sort of just retcons Rob Liefeld coming into the book. It helps define fan fiction for the comics-reading internet by being 2 parts Claremont and 1 part wish fulfillment. If you ever get the chance to find this, it is well-worth picking up


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.[10]

Here is an example of doing [a female original character ] right. "Kid Dynamo" by Connie H (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.[11]

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! [12]