MI13: Meggan's Return

Paul Cornell discusses bringing Meggan back to the land of the living in CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND MI13 ANNUAL #1

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Pencil art by
Michael Collins

By Tim Stevens Making long distance relationships work can be hard. Making long distance relationships work when one partner has no idea to find the other and the other remains trapped in Hell can be even harder. So goes the dilemma facing Captain Britain and his lost wife Meggan in the pages of CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND MI13. Meggan, however, has grown quite tired of the situation and decided to do something about it. Thus, on June 3, with the help of writer Paul Cornell and artist Michael Collins, Meggan looks to break free of the fiery depths in CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND MI13 ANNUAL #1. Unfortunately, rebuilding her marriage might be the least of the problems waiting for her back on Earth. For one, the vampire invasion of the United Kingdom remains very much on, a fact that Meggan has no knowledge of. "None at all," Cornell echoes. "As she's escaping, our heroes, what's left of them, are suffering terribly at the hands of Dracula's army. And she's not heading to help them, by the look of it. [Although] her powers could come in quite useful, if you think about it." Whether Meggan knows it or not, one mysterious character in particular has chosen to aid her in the long journey she has chosen to undertake for just that reason..

Pencil art by
Michael Collins

"She has a little help," notes Cornell. "A super villain who's not keen on Dracula is intending to give her a helping hand." Meggan's return has been a personal goal of Cornell's since he came on the title. "Her return to the Marvel Universe was one of my aims when I started the book, and having a whole Annual with a lead story that focuses on Meggan feels luxurious," the writer admits. "It's not just the story of her battles in Hell, but also of her life and her relationship with Brian, filling in that gap between how the world sometimes saw them and how they really were together. "I've always wanted to give a happily ever after. But it looks like that's still a long way away. Still, I'll keep trying." Collaborating with Collins only adds to Cornell's enjoyment of placing Meggan front and center: "I'm loving seeing Mike Collins let loose on an Annual-sized strip. His art has a very British/classic X-Men feel and it really suits Meggan, especially when we flash back to her history on Earth."

Pencil art by
Michael Collins

Fans of that classic X-Men approach should prepare themselves for a treat in the back-up story as well. "The back-up strip harks back to the old days of the X-Men, namely those mutant baseball games they used to play, though in this case, of course, it's cricket," divulges the writer. "And it ties into the lead strip in that we see the Meggan/Brian relationship, but this time from Brian's point of view." Love, hell, and vampires collide on the pages of CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND MI13 ANNUAL #1 from Paul Cornell and Michael Collins on June 3. For more MI13, visit Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited! Check out the official Marvel Shop for everything X-Men! Download episodes of "X-Men: Evolution" and "Wolverine and the X-Men" now on iTunes!

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      5 comments
      Stuart_Vandal
      Stuart_Vandal

      [quote@summers88 Around Excalibur #10, it was said that she and Brian both, cannot be away from Britain long without having their powers de-stabilize. I think Brian received a new costume from Roma to remedy this but as far as I know, Meggan still has that volnerability. (unless of course this was retconned also)[/quote] Yes, that was stated. And it was an erroneous assumption by the person who told them that, because Meggan's never had that vulnerability. Meggan had long periods away from the UK both before (when she and Brian travelled the world, visiting Africa, Russia, Bali, etc) and after. Meggan's powers were destablised at that time, but that was more likely caused by her recent demonic possession during Inferno and her subconsciously mirroring Brian's problem due to her empathic powers and strong feelings for him.[quote@summers88 She is highly attuned to the land and elements and has quite a rapport with animals and living beings in general. Again, this is leaning towards Fairy than Mutant. [/quote] Not really - mutants can be attuned to animals / living things (the Morlock Piper, Alyosha Kraven, etc.) and be attuned to the land and elements (Storm for example).

      Stuart_Vandal
      Stuart_Vandal

      Meggan's consistently been defined as a mutant. Some mutants get their powers from birth or a much earlier age - as you mention, Jamie Madrox is one example, but so is Franklin Richards (powers manifested when he was a toddler), Nathan Summers (creating telekinetic forcefields within months of being born), Nightcrawler (looks, agility and ability to stick to walls all there from birth, only the teleportation came later). Despite us seeing that she had her powers from a very young age, Meggan wasn't defined then as a fairy, and had already been identified as a mutant prior to that. In fact, the writers of the story that showed that early power manifestation made a point of highlighting that it was people's superstitious beliefs that she was some kind of mythical monster that shaped her into that form. I've read and re-read all of Meggan's appearances, and one of the things I did was to specifically look for evidence of whether she was a faerie or mutant. She can tap into magical energies - but she can tap into any kind of energy, so that's just a part of her broad spectrum affinity. Times she's been likened to a faerie: There was her encounter with the Neuri, but it only helped her see her true form and tap into the spirit plane, it didn't say she was a faerie. Billy the Kid on Earth-1193 likens her to a faerie because she is dancing with the local faerie (who look nothing like her), but he's a native of a realm of magic, and she has pointy ears - he's going to relate her to the frame of reference he's used to. As for the dancing bit, this is the same girl who dances with wolves, dolphins, Wonderland characters, and hangs out with lions in Africa and New Yorkers in NYC - the faerie welcoming her means nothing when you are an empathic type welcomed by all. Her powers make her ideal company and liked by whomever she spends time around. Excalibur #109 - Spiral calls Meggan a "faerie child". Excalibur #110 - Xiandu of the Crimson Dawn refer to her as a "faerie child" Both these individuals are magic users and there's nothing to show they actually knew and weren't just presuming based on their own magical backgrounds and experiences, going on her appearance. However, this is still a presumption if that is all they are going on - appearance would condemn Wolfsbane as a werewolf, and accessing magical energies would condemn Scarlet Witch - both of whom are mutants, not supernatural beings. What about mutant? We've seen her parents, and they looked human. Meggan told her friend Josie Scott she was a mutant, back prior to when she first met Brian. That's her third ever appearance, and the earliest time the nature of her powers was given. Excalibur #113 - The High Evolutionary referred to "mutants" plural when Meggan and Colossus entered his citadel. He is a geneticist and scientific genius, but he was allies with a magician and lives on a mountain beset by a demon, so he knows of and accepts the existence of magic and magical beings. He scans intruders so he knows what kind he is dealing with. And the single most definitive point comes in Captain Britain Monthly #9 (only one issue after the scene you brought up of her shapeshifting as an infant, and written by the same writers). Agent Gabriel of RCX, who has been using a scanner to identify things, is pointing his scanner at Meggan, and states "The MUTANT'S power is incredible." Gabriel correctly identified the Warpies as being empowered by magical energies and never calls them mutants, immediately recognises Braddock Manor's defences as holographic illusions, correctly identifies the Technet as non-terrestrial (when from the passing glance he got they could have as easily been mutants or Warpies), and admits when he can't understand the readings of his scanner when it reads "Jeeves" (the hologram extension of the Mastermind computer). He's not one to make assumptions as to origins of powers, and he is using a scanner which correctly got the origins of all those others. And if that isn't enough: Excalibur #108 - writer Ben Raab describes Meggan as an "elemental mutant" in a text box - that's the writer speaking directly to the reader. Excalibur 118 - text box again refers to Meggan as an "elemental mutant"Warren Ellis? In Excalibur #93 we had the following text boxes: "She'd forgotten the best thing about Meggan; that Meggan enjoys using her mutant powers more than anyone else she knows." "Meggan reaches out with her mutant nature once again, speaking to the flame." And for the final word, Chris Claremont in Excalibur: The Sword is Drawn p.10 (and on to p.11) "Her name is Meggan. And she is as much a creature of the Earth as of Man. In olden days she'd be called one of the Faery Folk...ACTUALLY, THOUGH, SHE's A MUTANT" That's Excalibur's longest serving writers giving a definitive "mutant." Prior to Excalibur we had her being identified as a mutant by Alan Davis and Jamie Delano. Within the stories we have people who definitely scanned her saying mutant. And we have that last statement which implies that less informed people who don't know about mutants could [i] mistake[/i] her for a faery.

      summers88
      summers88

      Actually, I have to disagree with you. She was in fact, at one point, defined as Fairy. Moments after her birth she shape-shifted, giving herself fur to keep from the cold, etc. As we all know, mutants gain their abilities at puberty. Now, I know recently this has been retconned, Jamie being the latest. When the doctor slapped him on the butt at birth, he multiplied. They explained it away by saying he was an "evolved mutant" or something to that effect in the current volume of X-Factor.Around Excalibur #10, it was said that she and Brian both, cannot be away from Britain long without having their powers de-stabilize. I think Brian received a new costume from Roma to remedy this but as far as I know, Meggan still has that volnerability. (unless of course this was retconned also) She is highly attuned to the land and elements and has quite a rapport with animals and living beings in general. Again, this is leaning towards Fairy than Mutant. I don't know what/when her being a Fairy was retconned, please let me know.

      Stuart_Vandal
      Stuart_Vandal

      [quote@summers88 I really hope Paul will return Meggen to her proper characterization. A) She's NOT a mutant. She's Fairy Folk. She was born a SHAPESHIFTER and at some point during Excalibur's run they forgot she could do that and made her an Elemental. That's fine is she learned a new aspect of her power. She's always had a connection to the Earth and elements but I don't recall her every shapshifting past issue 50 or so. It's sad. [/quote] I'm afraid identifying her as Fairy Folk wouldn't be returning her to her "proper characterization" - she's not a Fairy. She was identified as a mutant from her third appearance onwards. The Fairy error is a common mischaracterization.[quote@summers88 B) She was never taught to read or write. Now, I'm sure at some point maybe off panel people helped her with that. Not a major point but something to point out.[/quote] She knows how to read and write - she was learning during Excalibur's run, and reached normal adult levels during the Warren Ellis era, thanks to the help of Douglock.

      summers88
      summers88

      I really hope Paul will return Meggen to her proper characterization. A) She's NOT a mutant. She's Fairy Folk. She was born a SHAPESHIFTER and at some point during Excalibur's run they forgot she could do that and made her an Elemental. That's fine is she learned a new aspect of her power. She's always had a connection to the Earth and elements but I don't recall her every shapshifting past issue 50 or so. It's sad. B) She was never taught to read or write. Now, I'm sure at some point maybe off panel people helped her with that. Not a major point but something to point out.C) She's been here, there and back again in her time. She's done so much she could keep pace with the best of heroes. The one thing keeping her going is her love for Brian. They are married now. D) PLEASE ditch that horrid green costume! She's had it since Excalibur #14. IT'S TIME TO CHANGE!! I actually liked her yellow outfit she had at the very beginning of Excalibur. Even the costume she wore (for instance) in issue #110 was better than that green one. Ok, yes, she was wearing that rag when she disappeared BUT as SOON as she's returned to Earth I think it's time for a makeover. Yes, I'm a big fan of her. She has so much potential! I just want someone to realize it. She's not the mousy house wife that some have made her out to be. Please Mr. Cornell, take care with her.