Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
Every week, we will be examining comic book stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent). Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of The Abandoned An’ Forsaked. Feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.
Today, we examine one of the quickest “everything you thought you knew was wrong” twists in comic book history, involving the extremely bizarre history of Psylocke and what is the deal with her having two bodies…
Our story begins in Uncanny X-Men #251, when Psylocke (who sensed that the Reavers were about to attack their depleted team of X-Men, as the team was down to just four members at this point in time) used her powers to trick the other three heroes to join her in transporting through the Siege Perilous, a mystical “get out of jail free” card that Roma had given them some time ago.
When next we meet Psylocke, she is now an Asian assassin working for the Mandarin…
Eventually, Wolverine breaks her free from her brainwashing and she is now once again a member of the X-Men, only as a telepathic Asian ninja…
Roughly three years later, in X-Men #20, writer Fabian Nicieza introduced a character who is in Psylocke’s OLD body! This character claimed to be Kwannon, the previous owner of Betsy’s current body. They both smelled like Psylocke to Wolverine and Professor Xavier read her mind and said that her story was true. The “truth” is revealed in X-Men #22 and #23….
At the end of this story, that is the basic set-up for the two characters. They are each who they say they are, each one having half the soul of the other. After a few months, though, Kwannon (who went by the codename of Revanche) is revealed to have become infected with the Legacy virus. In her dying days, in X-Men #30 (less than ten issues later!! Also written by Nicieza!), Revanche then goes to make her final piece with her old lover. She also left behind her eyes (which were robotic transmitters made by Mojo) so that the X-Men can learn the REAL truth, as they do in #31….
And that old dude that we met in the last story, Nyorin? He’s DEAD!
So yeah, a traditional “everything we said the first time was a lie.” So they did not share each other’s soul half/half, they just did a body switch with a few memories stuck with each body. And now that’s gone, too.
Who said X-Men comics during the 1990s were convoluted?
EDITED TO ADD: As a quick refresher on the changes, I’ll break ‘em down for you.
Psylocke and Kwannon were in essence sharing each other’s souls. They were basically clones of each other.
AFTER THE RETCON:
They just switched bodies. So Kwannon was now in Betsy’s body and Betsy was in Kwannon’s body. There were enough memories attached to each body that they both were confused into thinking that they were sharing souls, but they weren’t.
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