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Comic Book Legends Revealed #363

Welcome to the three hundredth and sixty-third in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. This is a special All-Psylocke edition of Comic Book Legends Revealed! Today, learn whether Psylocke was meant to die during the Psi-War, discover what the deal was with Psylocke and Cyclops’ flirtations back in the day and marvel at how a missing issue of Uncanny X-Men led to a tangled piece of Psylocke continuity.

Click here for an archive of the previous three hundred and sixty-two.

Let’s begin!

COMIC LEGEND: Psylocke was originally intended to die in the Psi-War.

STATUS: True

A few years back, reader Mario Fernández Navarro sent me a fascinating piece of artwork from artist German Garcia, who was the regular artist on X-Men for a while during Joe Kelly’s X-Men run. He really did a nice job (he even came with Kelly to Action Comics, although he only lasted an issue on Action Comics before Kano took over as the book’s regular artist).

It sure looks like Phoenix holding Pslocke’s dead body, huh?

Well, a couple weeks back in this installment of Comic Book Legends Revealed, former Uncanny X-Men writer Steve Seagle was kind enough to inform me about his original plans for Jean Grey, where she would become the Phoenix.

As it turns out, that story dovetailed right into the story that Joe Kelly was doing in X-Men where there was the “Psi-War.”

Here is how the books were published…

But here was Seagle and Kelly’s original plan (Steve was luckily working with Joe when I contacted him, so Joe was nice enough to chime in and give his insights as well as Steve’s)….

JOE KELLY: We were going to kill Psylocke in X-Men and she was going to be lost in the psionic plane. As a result, telepaths all over the planet were going to go ballistic – their powers were going to freak out affecting everybody on earth. Then there would be a quest to find Psylocke and repair the psychic plane.

and then Steve….

STEVE SEAGLE – And this would have dovetailed with the Phoenix story in Uncanny – Jean would have been more powerful than Xavier at that point, so they’d need her, but they’d also fear that turning the Phoenix loose on the psionic plane might do more harm than good.

Fascinating. So then this sure sounds like what the German Garcia piece of artwork was a part of.

Sadly, though, Steve and Joe’s plans were never realized and they were soon off of the X-books.

Thanks so much to Steve and Joe for the information and thanks a ton to Mario for the question AND the picture from the great German Garcia!
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Check out the latest Music Urban Legends Revealed to learn the amazing story of how the song “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” came about, find out the truth regarding Ronnie Van Zant’s funeral and marvel at the indie rock band that was formed…for a jeans commercial?!?!
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COMIC LEGEND: Marvel editorial nixed Fabian Nicieza’s plans for Cyclops and Psylocke to have an affair (psychic or otherwise)

STATUS: False

Reader Ben R. (and I believe someone else…I can’t seem to find the other e-mail in my files) asked if the long-running sub-plot in the pages of X-Men of the flirtation between Psylocke and Cyclops that Fabian Nicieza wrote (which was never consummated) was nixed by Marvel editorial.

Here is a glimpse of the long-running plot (that began when Jim Lee showed Cyclops checking Psylocke out in her bathing suit in X-Men #8)…

X-Men #12 (Nicieza’s first issue as the writer of the book)…

X-Men #17….

later in X-Men #17….

X-Men #20….

later in X-Men #20….

Cyclops leaves the title for a couple of issues to clear his head and returns in X-Men #24…

Cyclops and Jean marry in X-Men #30….

So, what was the deal? Did Nicieza have an affair storyline planned that Marvel killed when they decided that the two should get married? It would certainly not be the first time that editorial stepped in on a story that an X-writer was doing and it would not be the first time that editorial forced a wedding on the creative team of a comic.

I asked Nicieza about it, and he explained that while he certainly had plenty of stories that were squelched by editorial for one reason or another, that one was not one of them. The intent all along was for the Psylocke story to be part of the impetus to drive Scott and Jean to get married.

Thanks a lot for the info, Fabian! And thanks for the question, Ben (and whoever else asked about it)!
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Check out the latest TV Urban Legends Revealed to discover Radar O’Reilly’s secret, marvel at the time that Terry O’Quinn stabbed Matthew Fox with a knife and learn about the Bonanza star who was hired and fired all within a single episode!
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COMIC LEGEND: Fabian Nicieza missed an issue of Uncanny X-Men, which led to a continuity mistake with Psylocke that he had to fix ten issues later.

STATUS: True

Awhile back, I did an Abandoned An’ Forsaked on the introduction of Revanche, with Betsy Braddock’s original body, in X-Men #20 (she shows up at the end of the aforementioned scene where Jean confronts Psylocke about her deal with Cyclops).

Here is the original explanation for how there are, in effect, two versions of Psylocke running around…

So Psylocke and Kwannon merge minds. Psylocke runs off in Kwannon’s body, thinking she is Psylocke and is found by the Hand. Kwannon is later found by some other guy in Psylocke’s original body.

However, Uncanny X-Men #255 (at the end of an otherwise unconnected story) shows Betsy found by the Hand in her original body…

so she could not have run off with her mind in Kwannon’s body to be found by the Hand.

Nicieza, as he recalled to me when I asked him about it, just had not read that issue of Uncanny X-Men (thinking that Psylocke’s story began in Uncanny X-Men #256). As he stated:

So I started a storyline about the two different bodies because I screwed up the research and no one else in editorial noted it. In fact, no readers noted it until many issues after the storyline had started (don’t forget, this was before the instantaneous fact-checking and hating that can be accomplished on the internet today).

So Nicieza then wrote the events of Uncanny X-Men #255 into the storyline.

Thanks to commenter Michael for noting this and thanks again to Fabian Nicieza for the information.
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Check out the latest Football Urban Legends Revealed to learn what the name of the official NFL football is, discover how the Cleveland Browns got their name and find out about the strange origin of the Dallas/Houston Governor’s Cup.
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Okay, that’s it for this week!

Thanks to the Grand Comics Database for this week’s covers! And thanks to Brandon Hanvey for the Comic Book Legends Revealed logo!

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is cronb01@aol.com. And my Twitter feed is http://twitter.com/brian_cronin, so you can ask me legends there, as well!

Follow Comics Should Be Good on Twitter and on Facebook (also, feel free to share Comic Book Legends Revealed on our Facebook page!). If we hit 3,000 likes on Facebook you’ll get a bonus edition of Comic Book Legends the week after we hit 3,000 likes! So go like us on Facebook to get that extra Comic Book Legends Revealed! Not only will you get updates when new blog posts show up on both Twitter and Facebook, but you’ll get original content from me, as well!

Also, be sure to check out my website, Urban Legends Revealed, where I look into urban legends about the worlds of entertainment and sports, which you can find here, at urbanlegendsrevealed.com.

Here’s my book of Comic Book Legends (130 legends – half of them are re-worked classic legends I’ve featured on the blog and half of them are legends never published on the blog!).

The cover is by artist Mickey Duzyj. He did a great job on it…(click to enlarge)…

If you’d like to order it, you can use the following code if you’d like to send me a bit of a referral fee…

Was Superman a Spy?: And Other Comic Book Legends Revealed

See you all next week!

86 Comments

Man, I love Psylocke. As excellent as Claremont and Lee’s Lady Mandarin story was, it really screwed up the character. I like how Remender is writing her, but I’m not even sure if she’s recovered from that event yet.

Psylocke has seen a great revival in the past couple of years, and I think it all started with Yost and Tolibauo’s mini-series, which played up the emotional effects of the body-switch very well. Now she’s in X-Force and I’ve been loving it the whole way… until issue 24. They’ve been hinting at a romance between her and Fantomex for a while now, but that final page still pisses me off. I LIKE her and Warren, I LIKED the ending in UXF 18, and I know she has to move on at some point, but…. this was still too soon. I feel like she would still be trying to find a way to get the old Warren back, at least based on the very emotional scene at the end of UXF 18 – for god’s sake, she went through the same thing losing her entire identity and memory! She of all people should know there’s a way to get his old self back! Yet she just uses this as an excuse to bump uglies with the french dude on the team. Remender, you dropped the ball on this one big time….

Sorry about the rant, it’s just that you couldn’t have timed this installment any better lol

Man, I didn’t even remembered sending you that picture! Glad you saved it, because I don’t think I’d be able to fin it again if I looked for it.

I really liked German Garcia’s work on the X-Men. I thought he was a rising star in the making, then he just seemed to disappear. Conversely, those Kubert pages remind me in spades of why I’ve never been fond of his stuff.

It was definitely a long time ago, Mario!

Goodness that Kubert art is horrific.

It has been ages since I’ve read those X-Men issues. I’d completely forgotton how incredibly sexually aggressive Nicieza was writing Psylocke as being during that time period. In a way, it seems like harassment to me. I’m glad Nicieza finally revealed that the reason behind Betsy’s predatory behavor was that parts of Revanche’s psyche that were, at the time, stuck in her head and influencing her actions. If I recall, once Revanche died, Psylocke’s personality pretty much returned to its pre-transformation state. She even had a scene where she apologised to Cyclops for her whacko behavior.

Love it. I love Psylocke, and I adore what Remender’s been doing with her in X-Force.

Brian, could you please contact either Claremont or Salvador Larroca about their original plans for Psylocke after her death in 2001? It seems they wanted to bring her back to life right after her death in X-Treme X-Men, but in her original body. Then the story was nixed because of the dead-stay-dead policy Quesada had going on. I’d love to know more about that story. There’s even a Larroca sketch depicting how Psylocke would return: http://img15.photobucket.com/albums/v44/sketchy/sawapsy2.jpg

German Garcia’s artwork was GORGEOUS. That was such a good period for the x-men.

good god psylocke is so convoluted

Ok, 2 seconds ago there was a comment about Betsy’s death in X-Treme X-Men, and Claremont & Larocca’s plans to being her back… but it just disappeared.

Anyway, I think that story would have been much better than the one we got years later in Uncanny; the whole Jamie Braddock thing. At the very least it would have had better art (no offense to Alan David fans, he’s great but his Psylocke has always been ugly).

Garcia did come back just after Alan Davis left Avengers and filled in on art for a couple of issues.

I always thought it was a bit silly how so many artists seemed to have thought Psylocke’s original body had a natural purple hair, right down to the artists above drawing her with purple eyebrows, when in the original Captain Britain comics it was clearly stated she simply dyed her hair from blonde to purple. I guess natural purple hair makes her somehow more “mystical”.

Gotta agree with Burgas here; Psylocke used to be a good character, but Claremont and Lee messed her up with the whole silly body-switch thing, seemingly for no other reason than because Lee wanted to draw her as a hot ninja babe. Seriously, I can’t think of any other purpose that storyline would have served.

God I loved that X-Men #20 two Psylocke’s reveal. So much so that I even got Kubert to sign it for me at a con. “This woman is and always has been an imposter!”

Loved that so hard! LOL

Garcia did come back just after Alan Davis left Avengers and filled in on art for a couple of issues.

That was Manuel Garcia. Different guy.

If a comment seemingly disappears, it is always for a reason. Have no fear.

“Psylocke used to be a good character, but Claremont and Lee messed her up with the whole silly body-switch thing, seemingly for no other reason than because Lee wanted to draw her as a hot ninja babe. Seriously, I can’t think of any other purpose that storyline would have served.”

Having actually read X-Men back in the day when this all happened — nope, it was all being lead up to for several years and was signposted early on, beginning with the issue of Uncanny X-Men where Psylocke is chased by Sabretooth through the mansion (#213). It began the subplot of Psylocke being frustrated that her physical body lacked the strength that her mind/spirit had, and how she desperately wanted the two to be the same. From there we got the Annual where everyone is transformed into their heart’s desire and she becomes all organic steel and super-strong, although everyone remembers it more for the (often misinterpreted) drop-of-blood-turns-into-a-new-Wolverine scene at the end.

After Fall of the Mutants, Psylocke starts wearing the suit of purple armor, to try and be less physically vulnerable, but even then we still have scenes where she’s frustrated that it takes armor to make her tough. So when she steps through the Siege Perilous, she (like all the others who do so) end up in a new place where she can start over and get the life she always wanted. It’s true for the others (Havok is in a situation where he can take orders and not think for himself; Colossus gets to be an artist; Dazzler has the superstar life she had to give up), too, and in the case of Psylocke she’s dumped into a situation where she’s able to get the body that she’s always desired.

For those who read the book at the time, it wasn’t out of the blue or for no other reason. It was there because it was being led up to for several years.

(Also, Jim Lee was not the regular artist on Uncanny X-Men when this story took place; he was a fill-in artist for those three issues. Lee didn’t take over for another year.)

Do Kelly a favor and fix his quote: “…freak out effecting everybody on earth”

Should be AFFECTING…

The Betsy/Psylocke/Kwannon/Revanche thing was a mess. It was one of the first bits of evidence that Chris Claremont was a mere mortal who could screw up his stories.

Has anyone noticed that Scott Summers seems to go for telepaths? What’s up with that?

Has any story offered an explanation for this predilection? Perhaps Scott’s mommy was secretly a telepath so he’s subconsciously seeking a substitute. Or the Phoenix Force blasted Jean Grey’s soul into the minds of Emma Frost, Betsy Braddock, and whoever. Whenever he’s attracted to someone else, it’s really Jeannie.

The Betsy/Psylocke stuff was fine under Claremont, Kwannon/Revanche was later under a different author so you can’t blame Claremont for that.

You can’t blame Claremont for the Kwannon/Revanche stuff, he was gone by then

Rob – I’ve noticed that too over the years, and always attributed it to the fact (accidentally or purposeful) that Scott – being an emotionally “closed off” kinda guy to some extent – gravitates to women that can quite literally “get in his head”. I’m actually surprised Emma hasn’t brought it up in some smarmy aside. Maybe she has and I just don’t remember it.

Also – that stuff from UXM #255 confirms that the remaining Aussie X-Men that went through the crystal were STILL invisible to electronics (thanks to Roma’s enchantment)…I’d always thought the Siege was the reset point for that particular ability (and in Storm’s case, Nanny regressing her)…so I wonder when it was abandoned for the rest of them. Obviously Storm and Psylocke were mucked around with, but that still leaves Longshot, Dazzler, Havok, and Wolverine, with Colossus and Rogue as maybes due to death/rebirth and various power fluctuations.

I was reading X-Men at the time, so I do remember those issues where Betsy’s fear of her physical vulnerability was explored… But I thought that made her a more interesting character, as someone who (unlike most superheroes) wasn’t a badass physically, just mentally. I never felt Claremont was leading the story to a point where her problem was solved by such artificial means, I simply thought he tried to make her more human by addressing her weaknesses. So “solving” those weaknesses by making her into a super-ninja (i.e. more like the other “cool” superheroes of that era) felt really stupid, and that’s not even taking account the objectification of yet another female character, one whose look before was defined by her full-body armor, by giving her that ridiculous ninja bikini.

So that’s why Psi-War’s ending was so truncated and non-sensical.

I have a Comic Book Legends question. I was just talking to a couple guys at Millarworld who were under the impression that the Death of Superman storyline was done instead of a Neil Gaiman and Matt Wagner pitch. I had always heard that the plan was to marry Lois and Clark but the upcoming TV show had put a hold on that. I even sited an old Comic Book Legends to back me up. However, I am curious about the Gaiman/ Wagner on Superman team up. One of guys I was chatting with said their story was confirmed by Bob Schreck and Matt Wagner.

@Rob Schmidt

People certainly noticed the Cyclops and telepaths connection in the past. It figured into some anti-Cyclops jokes, like “Telepaths attracted to the calming effect of a lack of a personality”.

During the early days of Morrison’s X-Men run, there were some jokes on Usenet where people wondered if Morrison would complete the telepath trend by establishing a romantic relationship between Scott and Xavier. (Because if anyone would have done it, it would have been Morrison.)

@Kalorama
I totally agree. I hated his work so much on x-men that I was sure he wouldn’t make it for very long. Now he seems to be very well loved. I think his work has definitely improved over the years, but seeing his work still leaves a bad taste in my mouth

Brian from Canada

April 20, 2012 at 12:45 pm

Greg, I have to disagree.

Betsy’s vulnerability comes from her pre-US appearances as Brian’s twin sister. Following a bout with power that she didn’t feel comfortable with (as a member of the Corps), she sought refuge working with a government agency that ended up lying and manipulating her — not to mention blinding her. She is left somewhat shaken and that’s why she’s vacationing in Europe at the start of New Mutants Annual #2: she wants to run away from it all.

New Mutants Annual #2, though, fixes her eyesight so that she can be Mojo’s device against the mutants. In that issue, you see her trying to help but not taking charge with the clearly younger teens. Right after that is “The Mutant Massacre,” where she gets a bit of backbone to go up against Sabretooth but quickly realizes she’s outclassed.

But put it into context to what happens with Kitty and Kurt in that same story, and the armour makes even more sense. She stops worrying or complaining about her powers because The X-Men are clearly dysfunctional but honest with her about how to proceed from there — until “Fall Of The Mutants,” that is.

At that point, Claremont loses his direction with her. The dreams she has in lead up to the Siege Perilous make no sense given her power set at that point. She just didn’t fit.

The transformation is done because The X-Men needed to go up against someone else’s villain in “Acts Of Vengeance” and nobody was really picking up The Mandarin as an opponent (despite his clear participation in it). Jim Lee was the perfect artist for the asian storyline, since he loved ninjas and all that stuff. All that was needed was to give Wolverine a reason to go after Mandarin, and Psylocke became the plot device that, in some ways, gave The X-Men their own Elektra.

Since then, and particularly after the two teams united, Jean took on the wounded and unsure girl that Psylocke has been as her backstory (note that we get the Professor needing to help her being underscored more) while Psylocke becomes the female Wolverine or Gambit: a cool character to take out the bad guys and be gruff.

It’s not until X-Men #19 that the idea of Betsy’s high class upbringing puts her in with Warren, and she starts connecting more with the original five. The Sabretooth story turned her into a mystical warrior more, being able to merge with shadows, etc., and that’s where she should have died — because she had left everything she was before.

Tuomas, Psylocke was always an action junkie, compared to her bookworm brother Brian. The Hand, twisted her ultimate wish and turned her into the warrior woman that she’s always wanted to be, although controlled by the Hand. Her fondest wish certainly wasn’t the “weakling” that she was in the suit of armor.

I just wish they’d put Betsy back in her body already

I always thought the ‘Psylocke flirting with Cyclops’ was connected to the Revanche plot. I understood it as a hint that everything was not right with Psylocke. Can someone confirm, did the flirting stop after X-Men #20, where Revanche made her debut? It is the last example here.

Like that’ll ever happen. The Asian ninja Psylocke is way more popular than any other Psylocke costume. Even when Lenil Francis Yu and Alan Davis changed Psylocke’s costume to something more conservative, it reverted back to the Jim Lee outfit both times.

In regards to X-Men #20, Apparently, Psylocke loves engine grease.

Still don’t understand the 2 Psylockes thing. I still think Jim Lee just wanted to draw her that way.

Fabian Nicieza, still my favorite X0Men writer ever

I still say Kelly and Seagle’s run was underrated and ended too soon. It sounds like they had some great ideas for the X-Books and then unfortunately they were forced off the title.I would have loved to have seen what the had planned.

I’m enjoying these, recent, legends about Kelly and Seagle’s runs. There where parts of their runs that I really enjoyed. It’s a shame that they were driven off the books by heavy editorial interference. It seemed like they had some good ideas in store.

It’s interesting that Jean brought up “telepathic manipulation” when confronting Psylocke about having an affair. That’s, pretty much, the angle that Morrison took with Emma and Scott.

Brian, do you know if there was supposed to be some deeper reason why Betsy was flirting with Scott? Because in X-Men 19, a telepath invades Betsy’s mind and says “Betsy linked to Scott- in love or is it hate?” And later on in X-Men 20, right after Betsy uses her psychic knife on Jean, Jean thinks that now she understands Betsy’s motives, and Betsy says Jean won’t remember what she learned when she wakes up. So was Betsy supposed to have an ulterior motive for flirting with Scott? Because otherwise, that dialogue makes no sense.

Regarding Betsy’s transformation, Claremont originally intended it to be temporary. Unfortunately, the fans liked it and as a result it became permanent.

“All that was needed was to give Wolverine a reason to go after Mandarin”

That doesn’t make sense — the whole point of Acts of Vengeance is that the villains are going after different heroes, so why would they to invent a Macguffin to have the hero go after the villain to take part in the crossover?

Fabian’s boos, Bob Harras, should have remembered issue 255. He was editor of that issue.

Wait! There’s still more space dust!

I’ve always (or, at least, since it was retconned that Mr. Sinister has been interested in Summers DNA since Cyclops was a child in an orphanage) liked to think that Mr. Sinister had Scott mind-probed regularly when he was little and that his obsession with telepaths was some kind of pseudo-oedipal childhood regression thing.

I do love that in a building that’s both a mansion and a co-ed school there’s only one shower. But what do you expect from a structure that was never once depicted as having a wheelchair ramp or stairlift despite being owned by a rich paraplegic?

RE:The Siege Perilous effect. While I’m sure that the actual reason that it ended is that paying attention to it was too hard for writers to remember, there’s actually a pretty good explanation for it: Roma’s spell faded when the Otherworld Nexus went south in Excalibur. The X-Men’s first appearance on technological cameras takes place in the month immediately afterward, which at least makes the occurance fairly serendipitous.

Regarding Betsy’s transformation, Claremont originally intended it to be temporary. Unfortunately, the fans liked it and as a result it became permanent.

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Quoted for the truth. It should also be noted that he intended her transformation to only make her only part Asian (specifically part Chinese) not Japanese. This is why she still resembled her original body after the transformation. Also, during his XTREME X-MEN series when he killed her off, CC did so in order to resurrect her back in her original body, but Marvel nixed that idea.

Oz the Malefic

April 20, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Snark engaged: I do not miss the art of mid 90s X-Men one bit….

@Anonymouse- unfortunately there were several issues where the X-Men showed up on cameras long before the Nexus collapsed, which was in Excalibur 50, published in 1992. In X-Men 269, Rogue shows up on Magneto’s monitors. In X-Men 270, Storm shows up on the Danger Room monitors. In a Wolverine issue around the same time, Logan has his picture taken. All of these issues were in 1990.

I gave up on all things X-Men when Psylocke turned Japanese. I think I chose wisely.

@ZZZ – That scene where Cyclops enters the bathroom and Psylocke is there wearing only a towel doesn’t take place in Xavier’s mansion; that’s the house where Colossus’s family lives. I remember this story, the X-Men went to Russia to stop a mind-controlling villain. Colossus’s family is poor; that’s why there’s only one bathroom.

I had the same thought about Mel as to why Scott might be happy with a telepath. No need for anything complicated.

That is a nice shot from German Garcia – I really should hunt down more of his work. With all these legends refering back to Seagle and Kelly’s X-men – I think its about time I reread them! :) I may get some backlash here – but I liked their inclusion of new character Dr Reyes, Marrow and Maggot.

That is some terrible art from that second legend! Just… crap. And whats even worse?? I collected those issues way back when – but I dont recall it being that bad! haha…

Here’s what I took from the article:
Andy Kubert improved a lot!
Cyclops checks out Psylocke in her bathing suit, yet she wears one all the time as a “uniform”? Comics!

Brian from Canada hit the nail on the head, Jim Lee turned Psylocke into Elektra. That’s where this costume comes from and we know that Lee is a huge Miller fan. It’s even mentioned in the story, the head ninja guy says something like ‘ we can succeed where we failed with Elektra’.
I still like this story, and this is probably Lee’s best work.

” I’ve always (or, at least, since it was retconned that Mr. Sinister has been interested in Summers DNA since Cyclops was a child in an orphanage) liked to think that Mr. Sinister had Scott mind-probed regularly when he was little and that his obsession with telepaths was some kind of pseudo-oedipal childhood regression thing. ”

No-Prize! :)

I think some Bold writer and artist will one day put her back in her original body, along with any martial talent, and Power upgrades she gets. Even the Red queen thought that Psylockes original Body had enough Raw psionic Power to host her or the Phoenix.
I think once all of the “She’s only good as a Ninja” folks get older and such they’ll like her then also.
That way the X-teams can use REAL Asian/Eurassian characters more. I like Jim Lee, and Like what he draws, But Him and Nicienza will ALWAYS have a small piece of hateraide in my heart. They Sexified Psylocke to the point, that she lost character for nearly a decade, and became booty shots, to the fap boys ( some girls too?).

Under a few writers now she’s starting to shine like she should. I don’t dislike Eurasian Psylocke as much anymore, I only dislike her now, when artists and writers get lazy, and when so called fans don’t know her original history, when theres sooo many sources to get it from.

Tuomas says “whose look before was defined by her full-body armor, by giving her that ridiculous ninja bikini”

I don’t know…rather than body armor most of her history was pink silky rufflely outfits. She was hardly an ad for a “tough woman.”

Frankly reading at the time I thought they were trying to make her something other than Jean-lite. She served no purpose with the X-Men, had no personality, and nothing distinctive but purple hair. Then along the way they realized they had the “international” super-team that didn’t represent half the world’s population since Sunfire left right when the team formed, and even had to go to 3rd string New Mutants to find an Asian. So they kinda killed two birds with one stone. Then Jim Lee drew her amazing, and the rest is history. Complain about her costume all you like, but there’s a reason every comic convention has at least one Psylocke, and it’s the same reason they’re ever going back.

Brian from Canada

April 21, 2012 at 10:54 pm

Sean: it makes perfect sense if you look at the story and the context for it.

“Acts Of Vengeance” only works when there’s a defined hero for the villain to fight. Uncanny didn’t have a defined hero or team. By the time of 251, the team’s basically dissolved and the closest thing you have to a mutant fighting force is on Muir Island. In an ideal situation, that would have been the target for the villain, but the story directly behind “Acts Of Vengeance” deals with just that, and with great emotional impact.

(On a similar point, New Mutants skipped the crossover because they had just done a similar story in Asgard, while X-Factor was in space dealing with the Celestials, so neither team could get involved either.)

So Uncanny 256-258 are essentially a Wolverine solo story that’s further emphasized by the fact that Mandarin isn’t interested in Wolverine at all: he takes aim against Patch, a boss or important man of Madripoor — and it’s clearly stated in Uncanny 257 that Patch is the target, not Wolverine. Patch’s reputation on the island had just been emphasized in the solo books, and with no other great villain in the area, making Mandarin interested in the Asian island made sense.

But it’s not until 258, the final issue of the trilogy, that Mandarin connects Patch to Wolverine and tries brainwashing him — and, even then, Mandarin flees as soon as Logan gets free. Logan chases after and forces Mandarin to release Betsy. Thus 256 & 257 are really a set up for Wolverine to face Mandarin, not Mandarin to attack Wolverine (or any of the X-Men for that matter).

Yes wasn’t it mentioned before in the comics that Psylocke’s attraction to Scott was due to some influence of Revanche’s psyche in her?

As much as I enjoy Psylocke being written by Remender now, it sure was a pity that she didn’t remain in her British body after the Sisterhood Arc in Uncanny, sure wished Fraction wrote it that way. But then again, it would seem pretty impossible for her to EVER get back in the British body especially since there’s all that merchandising and all.

Just hope she stays in the costume she wears in Uncanny X-Force and not those cellulite thongs. LOL.

“Cyclops checks out Psylocke in her bathing suit, yet she wears one all the time as a “uniform”? Comics!”

There should be a term for that in comics (or a comic theory). Falls in the same area that Donald Duck never wears pants, only a shirt. Yet when he get’s out of the shower, he only wraps a towel around his waist…..

My eyes!! aaaaaghggghhhhh!!! I can’t even call it artwork. The drawings are horrible!

I need acid, acid!!!!

I believed it was cleared at the time. However, the bigger issue is changing a character entirely because the creative team doesn’t understand the character or doesn’t know where to take the character. This happens in TV all the time.
“Smallville” is the best example. Throughout the series, nearly everyone gains powers.
“Heroes” and “4400” did the same. Lana doesn’t need powers. Pete doesn’t need powers. Chloe getting possessed and then possessing a variety of powers was inane and truly jumping the shark.

If ‘you’ introduce the audience to Peter Parker, we expect MJ/Gwen to be many things–just not fighting with or alongside Spider-Man.

“changing a character entirely because the creative team doesn’t understand the character”
“Throughout the series, nearly everyone gains powers.”

That was (especially in the beginning) pretty much the theme of the show. If it was done “Throughout the series” how could that be changing entirely or “jumping the shark”? It isn’t a change in the show. It is a change from the comics to the show, but the show wasn’t the comic. Even in the comics though, Lana Lang got powers, Jimmy Olsen got powers, Lois did……..

And what is up with the way Betsy is standing in that second to last panel? Her arms both thrust out behind her???

This whole thread caused me to realize that you could do a future I Love Ya but You’re Strange entry on an even weirder character transformation which, if I recall correctly, Jim Lee was also involved with. Does anyone remember the time Sasquatch from Alpha Flight had his body destroyed, his consciousness inhabited a robot for a while, and then it transferred into Snowbird’s body, thereby turning him into a woman? I think Walter Lankowski and Betsy Braddock should get together and compare notes over a cup of coffee :)

I guess it just goes to show how generation affects taste: I am just shy of 30, so my main X-Men reading was early ’90’s, and I have always loved ninja Psylocke. I loved her being included in the Sega Genesis X-Men game, I loved her when Madureira gave her the cool eye-tattoo,and I love that Remender has made her a major part of his X-Force. To be honest, what I read of original Psylocke always seemed really, really boring.

This whole thread caused me to realize that you could do a future I Love Ya but You’re Strange entry on an even weirder character transformation which, if I recall correctly, Jim Lee was also involved with. Does anyone remember the time Sasquatch from Alpha Flight had his body destroyed, his consciousness inhabited a robot for a while, and then it transferred into Snowbird’s body, thereby turning him into a woman? I think Walter Lankowski and Betsy Braddock should get together and compare notes over a cup of coffee :)

Lee came on board at Alpha Flight 51. Sasquatchy was killed in 23, became Box in 24, was lost in issue 28 (all written/drawn by Byrne) and returned from the grave in Alpha Flight 45 becoming Wanda Langowski & The White Sasquatch. The writer of AF45 is the great Bill Mantlo penciled by June Brigman and inked by Whilce Portacio.

In fact for Lee’s stay on Alpha Flight she’s Wanda the entire time and doesn’t become Walter again till much later. They ain’t bad issues: Mantlo’s Alpha Flight was the best the title was when Byrne wasn’t writing it.

Thanks for jogging my memory, Phil. I thought Jim Lee was already drawing Alpha Flight when Sasquatch became a woman. So, I stand corrected. But I still think the bizarre evolution of Sasquatch would make a good entry for I Love Ya But You’re Strange.

she licked motor oil off of his face…………..

X-Men #20 was the first X-Men comic I ever read, having been intrigued by the cartoon.

I was six.

And thus, it was the LAST X-Men comic I read for many, many years after.

Brian Braddock

April 28, 2012 at 2:22 pm

I’m late to the game on this. As a Psylocke fan, wanted to share some thoughts.

@Coconutphone – X-Men 20 was the issue I dropped the book. Still sour about the way Psylocke was undermined as a female character Claremont had always written strong.

I didn’t like how the X-Men accepted the word of a complete stranger over “our” Psylocke. The way Gambit attacked her, when he’d never met pre-Siege Perilous Psylocke, yet believed Revanche was that person? Didn’t like.

Thanks to Nicieza’s cockup, the Psylocke character is now ruined. The body-switch thing is rubbish. Why aren’t newer creators retconning this piece of crap?

Then again, Claremont ruined her later on with X-Treme X-Men and Exiles with the whole death/resurrection thing.

I’d always liked Psylocke pre-Siege Perilous, with the armor and insecurity. The way she took down Sabretooth. Now we have a pretend Asian character being treated as a real Asian character. She’s constantly written as cold and detached – but, ‘cold and detached’ doesn’t equal ‘strong’. It equals cliched characterization. What, ninjas can’t be full-bloodied people too??

Like in UXF. I agree with Anonymous about issue 18. Though good to see Psylocke get the spotlight in UXF, she’s has no real purpose on that team other than to be a cold, detached love floozy for disturbed men. Psylocke is treated as easy bait – would it be okay if Wolverine were treated like that? Psylocke’s not treated as a standalone character in her own right. In fact, the only way we get to know her is through her lovers, brothers and teammates.

Finally, when is Psylocke going to stop wearing that costume??? Even dead, then resurrected, she’s in the same clothes! Are they attached to her??

I’m confused…was she undermined as a female character, or only known through her brother, lovers and teammates?

How long did Claremont have her in the X-Men? Not very long before the changes. Not one has retconned her back because more people like her this way.

And don’t all heroes wear the same costume?

Finally…are you, in fact, her brother? ;-)

Betsy approaches Scott from the side in X-Men #20, and the sound effect is “she flank”. :)

So, it wasn’t only me who was disturbed by Andy’s art?
BTW, that point when Psylocke is confronted by Revanche is where the series started to annoy me. And get that – I was a newcomer to x-men comics, my first issue was the one where Professor X reunites with the X-Men in space, just months before. Still, it took some years for me to drop comics altogether. It happened at the point where Kelly and Casey left the book and Alan Davis did some cool stories with Magneto returning. My subscriptions expired and there was a change in the format that DC and Marvel books were published here in Brazil, at the same time that I realized that for most of the time I had read x-men, they were depressing drama queens. There was a line that Wolverine said to Storm that perfectly summed up how much they became self-centered wussies in that period, it was during a baseball game between X-Men and Generation X, and Logan says “When’d life start slammin’ us so hard that we forgot how to laugh?”…
Come on… Next Wolvie would run upstairs crying, screaming that it wasn’t fair that he didn’t get a pony for christmas.

Just remembered something that bugged me for years… I think maybe Brian or someone here can shine me a light on it.
There was a story written by Peter David that took place right after the Muir Island were blown up by Legion/Shadow King. It was some kind of epilogue for that storyline, where Prof X had just been re-crippled and he’s trying to contact David Haller’s mind without success. There’s one point in that story where the X-men are watching Xavier’s attempts and discussing how much his new paralysis will affect his mood, when Wolverine just trolls it off saying that “walking or not walking makes no difference for Chuck, he’ll be fine.” The rest of the team get all upset, when Jubilee walks in, asking about something Wolvie wanted to talk with her, to wich he says something like, “Not here, this place stinks right now” and they leave. The story cuts to some other characters elsewhere in the island and when it goes back to Logan and Jubilee, she’s all pissed, saying, “No way! Forget it, pal! We’re a duo – like Lennon and Mccartney! Laurel and Hardy! (she mentions other ones I can’t remember) So, take it out of your mind!” and leaves kicking sand and rocks, and Wolvie says to the reader, scratching his chin, “Well, she handled it better than I had expected!”. Jubilee is pissed for the rest of the story, and they never mention it again.
Now, I don’t know if there was something in the original version that was left out from the story I’ve read in the Brazilian edition,or something was lost in translation, but what the hell did they talked about? To me that moment always felt a bit creepy, as if Wolverine had just proposed sex to the girl. Is that right? Also, I think this story had some references to Pink Floyd’s album The Wall… Can someone confirm this?

Leandro, I understood it at the time of reading that comic that Wolverine had talked about them breaking up their partnership. Jubilee was pissed because he was trying to ditch her as his sidekick. It seemed pretty obvious to me at the time. I can’t remember if that was due to some previous stuff in the story that pointed in that direction (as it’s been a long time since I read it, and don’t remember everything). Was that just when they were switching to the blue and gold teams. Maybe he was suggesting that she should go on one team and him on the other, rather than her just leaving the X-Men entirely.

I just stumbled on one of the replies to this in my inbox. Re Brian from Canada’s post on Acts of Vengeance:

On a similar point, New Mutants skipped the crossover because they had just done a similar story in Asgard, while X-Factor was in space dealing with the Celestials, so neither team could get involved either.

If memory serves the New Mutants Acts of Vengeance issue is #86,Liefield first, where Rusty fights the Vulture

Oh, I was trying to remember where I had posted that question… Thanks, Logan! Yeah, it makes sense… I didn’t knew at the time that Jubilee and Wolverine had been in a non-stop action rollercoaster since they first meet months before and that was the first time Logan had the time to think, “Now, what do we do with this brat kid?”…

@ M-Wolverine.
People like her half nekkid which is NOT a reason to say she was an awesome character. As much as I like Psylocke, Fake-Asian Psylocke was not written well at ALL under anybody, post swap until Yost and Remender.
She was booty in butt floss posing. Even her female fans just basically do the same poses. I’ve had to ask them sometimes when photoing them, Your front not your rear please!.

Now Under Remender with a new costume and being mostly written well. Im sick of the cold Psylocke already. She’s in good hands. People would like a white Psylocke just as much as long as she was written correctly. I absolutely haed Thor until JMS started writing him, loved the costume change, loved the slow build and direction of the book. After he left, I gave it 4 issues to see where the next writer went.. then dropped it.

White or Eurasian Psylocke can be cool, if written well. Good thing is Im starting to see MANY females starting to cosplay pre-nina psylocke.

People (meaning guys) like half naked women, yes. There’s a reason most female characters aren’t wearing much, or in something form fitting (but the latter no less so than the men). Early mysterious ninja Psylocke wasn’t badly written. And she’s really been written no worse than most of the X-Men have been over that time. Don’t get me started on how badly Wolverine has been written for ages….

I’d say Psylocke without the ninja psychic sword stuff is what..the 4th, 5th most important telepath in X-Men history? She’s redundant. She’ll never be Professor X, or Jean, and they kept her on the same team as Emma Frost and the Cuckcoo’s. She fills no role. She’s about the only high profile Asian member they have on the team. So she fills a role there. One that’s woefully inadequate on an international team when the majority of people on earth are Asian.

And I wouldn’t critique how young women and girls are posing in skimpy costumes when I was the guy taking pictures of them….

Hmm Don’t think im critiquing the cosplayers, as much as the direction of a certain character. Psylocke was pretty horribly written in the 90’s. Even the start of the new millennium. I do agree that wolverine was written pretty poorly, but Psylocke coulda filled Emma’s role just as easily. Since she was on that track anyway.
I do like her being an in your face Telepath, a role which Emma fills quite poorly.
Psylockes role on the Team would have been the same as it always was, An in field Telepath, Coordinator, Flanker, Distraction, Sniping, Psychological warfare, much of which none of the other Mentalists did. Even when she was Telepathic Jean was primarily a Teke. Professor X was almost never in the field, and the cuckoos, work best as home base support.
She is NOT Asian, She doesn’t have Dragons, or Futons, or stuff like that in her history. She looks Eurasian, but why can she not relate to her OWN homeland? She’s English… From England.. With Long Swords, Flats, Fish and Chips, and all that rot. I wouldnt have an issue if a real asian woman was on the team, but she’s Asian in looks only.

As far as me taking pics of Cosplay girls… Whats wrong with that? It’s like going to a fashion show, and not taking pic of the models..

I agree Psylocke could have filled te Emma role. Morrison’s obsession with her being transferred to other writer’s I never got. She’s made Scott even more unlikeable. But along with my point, I wasn’t just singling out Wolverine…a LOT of the X-Men had been poorly written for awhile there.

She is Asian now. Her body is Asian. She has some bit of meld with a (deceased) Asian Woman. If it’s “they took the English Woman”….well, there’s still Captain Britain and his crew, and various other British characters (Banshee’s clan, Wolfsbane) with not that many people, and the most populous continent in the world has an Indian doctor who’s not on the team, the on again off again Vietnamese New Mutant, Sunfire who has been on a non-Age of Apocalypse team since the beginning, and Armor in the Jubilee role (who got it from Kitty). Psylocke basically is the most prominent one. And I don’t think they were selling many pink ruffles English Psylocke busts.

And I don’t have a problem with cosplay pics. It’s just taking pics of young ladies and TELLING them how too pose to boot. A little too creeper or me. I wouldn’t go to a fashion show and tell the models how to walk down the runway for me.

Man, the Liefeld Feet Avoidance on some of those pages is cracking me right the hell up.

Scott & Betsy would’ve been all sorts of more tolerable than Scott & Emma. Yuck.

Emma Frost: why is she able to transform into crystal? The same issue uncreative writers had with Psylocke’s purported weakness.

Powering up humans is great for “What if?” stories. Powering up MJ and others because you don’t know what to do with her changes the confluence and context of Spider-Man storytelling.

Psylocke is sort of the X-Men’s Power Girl if you think about it. Both are often the first examples of fanservice in comics that people think of, both have constantly revised origins, and both can be very awesome when written correctly.

I remember reading an interview in Wizard with Kelly during that X-Men timeframe. “Who is your least favorite X-charac–” “PSYLOCKE. FIRST YOU’RE A BRIT, THEN ASIAN, TELEPATHIC, WHAT THE HELL.”

Then you read that story (I loved Kelly’s run on X-Men!) and Shadow King’s smack-talking is, well, apparently something the author came by naturally. Amazing stuff, but yeah, I was expecting her to die from that story.

Can we all agree that a fictional character represented by ink patterns cannot be objectified?
Such a construct literally is an object, such as they are any ‘thing’ at all.

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