From the very instant of becoming a member of Generation X, Paige Guthrie, aged 17 made her intentions clear. She loves being a mutant and she wants to be educated by Xavier. Having already had second-hand experience of what it is like to be a student at one of Xavier's schools, thanks to her brother, she declares that she will not make the same mistakes as her did. She is determined to surpass his achievements and become the perfect X-Man, something which she feels Sam failed to be be. She is aided somewhat in this goal by being more skilled and dedicated than Sam was when he joined the New Mutants. It becomes obvious that Paige not only intends to be better than her brother, but also to be the best member of Generation X. At first, an excess of confidence leads her to believe that she is already quite near to her goal, and this is manifested in many ways. The most obvious sign of her over-confidence is the frequency with which Paige rushes into battle without thinking. This thoughtlessness puts both herself and her team in danger and leads to her being injured on more than one occassion. As her own goal is to become the perfect X-Man, Paige is shocked when other members of the team inform her that they have no wish to join Xavier's team.
Paige has little time for sleeping, seeing it has a waste of time, and prefers to be engaged in some sort of activity, physical or mental. Every morning, she wakes up at around 5am and exercises to Cindy Crawford's workout video. This is followed up by a five mile jog, during which she also uses hand-held weights, all in the name of keeping in top fighting form. On a less physical level, she believes in being prepared for everything. Before coming to the school, she studied the danger room schematics thoroughly and is distraught upon learning that the Masachussetts Academy does not have one. However, she wastes no time in learning all about the school's biosphere. She also appears to have detailed knowledge on the working of Cerebro and reads books covering topics such as chemistry, quantum physics, advanced calculus and English literature. She quickly gains a reputation as a bookworm, often choosing studying over socialising. This single-mindedness, along with her need to know what will be happening next, leads to some of the others labelling her 'obsessive'.
When she arrives at the school, she firmly believes that she will be the leader of the team and, as such, should set an example. She admits to being eager to please and green but does not see this as any kind of obstacle on her way to leadership and plans to achieve her goal, no matter the cost to her sanity and social life. Despite her desire to be the leader, Paige finds it difficult to act as part of a team and is often guilty of putting herself before everyone else. On the occassions where she does work as part of a team, it is difficult to tell if this is because it is the right thing to do, or whether she is trying to prove that she can work as part of a team despite what people might think. Paige does, however, display several characteristics of leadership, including organisation, resourcefulness and the ability to give orders and have them followed.
In the early stages of her career, Paige is described as a 'self-induced perpetual metamorph' who has no control over her husks, which seem to be completely random, although they are always composed of 'bio-organic' substances. These changes put a huge amount of strain on her system, and can be dangerous if used incorrectly, or if she changes forms too often. Banshee, in his original assessment of his new students, believes that Emma Frost will be able to help Paige to develop her powers. Paige herself, appreciates the 'originality' of her power and is keen to stretch it as far as she can, even if it means putting herself at risk. She also studies chemistry in the hope that it will help her to understand the method by which her powers work and when she gains more control over her husks, can't seem to stop herself from showing it off. Each time she husks, she goes through a medical examination in another attempt to learn more about her powers. While it is important for her to have other people know that she is a mutant and what her mutant powers are, she worries about using them unnecessarily. According to other members of the team, she practises her power constantly, but never bothers to pick up her discarded skin. At this stage of her career, Paige's metamorphises are accompanied by a shripp sound, and do not destroy her clothing - when she returns to her normal form, the clothes she was wearing before the husk are revealed once more. Sometimes her hair comes off along with her skin, sometimes it does not. Sometimes she peels the skin off herself, sometimes it seems to come off without any help from her. Her husks sometimes give her the power of flight and sometimes don't. Also, injuries sustained in her husked form often do not remain once she has discarded the new layer and returned to her normal skin, but occassionally do. As she learns more about her powers, Paige begins to be able to control them, but this requires a large amount of concentration, and she finds it difficult to pick the form she wants. Although she revels in her own powers and shows no fear in the face of the powers of other mutants, Paige is scared of guns.
Mutant-powers aside, Paige, hailing from Kentucky, brings a certain 'down-home charm' to the group. She tends to have an upbeat outlook on life, which leads to Jono nicknaming her Sunshine. However, her early life was not as easy as the others first think and she resents when people try to protect her, thinking that she can't face up to the harsh realities of life Despite her serious attitude to study and honing her powers, she remains a teenager, and is not as grown up as she would like to think. She takes a certain delight in lording her knowledge over her team mates, and often indulges in sarcastic banter, both with friends and in the heat of battle. She is not afraid of spying on people and tends to read people on the surface, rather than looking deeper. Her organisational skills do not carry through to her bedroom which is surprisingly messy, much to everyone's surprise. Her desire to succeed leads her to overcompensate for almost everything and even though she puts on a strong front, Paige is often frightened by the things she experiences, but refuses to let anyone else see this. One of the exceptions is her reaction to the legacy virus - the first negative aspect of being a mutant she has come across. Paige acts like a typical teenager and when confronted with something she can't really understand, resorts to alcohol (although she turns out to be a light-weight). It also reveals that underneath her serious exterior, she is interested in boys, like most girls her age. In fact, she spends a lot of time thinking about her confused feelings on the subject. Despite all of this, Paige has only two kisses during this period, one of which was disastorous and one which she calls 'disgusting'. She occassionally indulges in fantasies of being looked after, but her friends, Angelo in particular, know that that's the last thing she actually wants. Finally, Paige keeps a diary which she uses to record her secrets and her 'poetry' and which she goes to ridiculous efforts to hide from the others, feeling that they would think it was childish and laugh at her.
Despite her anti-social habits, Paige becomes especially close to two of her teammates - Angelo and Jono. She shares a sarcastic friendship with Angelo, who scathingly nicknames her Country Mouse, while she pityingly calls him City Mouse. There is some suggestion of a flirtation between the pair, but mostly, Paige's romantic feelings are reserved for Jono. However, a misunderstanding early on in their relationship hinders her efforts to get to know him better. Even more important than her team friendships, however, is her family. Paige admits that part of her is always homesick and believes that family is the most important thing anyone can have. When Franklin Richards looses his parents, it is Paige who comforts him as she is one of the only ones to realise how important his family were to him.
Appearances matter little to Paige, as demonstrated in her interest in Jono and friendship with Angelo and she is always disgusted when someone is judged on their 'different' appearance. Her disregard for looks is also evident in her own fashion, or lack thereof, which in her early days with Generation X is firmly half-nerd, half-hick. She wears wide-rimmed glasses, dungarees and striped shirts. Her hair is not styled and is usually pulled back out of her face for the sake of convienience. Despite her disregard for appearances, Paige works hard to discard her Kentucky accent, feeling that it leads to people labelling her as backwards and uneducated.
Paige begins to learn that life isn't as perfect or as fair as she once believed it was. She realises that she may never become the perfect X-Man or have all the answers, and that being a mutant is not all she believes it would be. In the next stage of her career, she begins to become comfortable with this.