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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.
COMIC LEGEND: Psylocke was originally intended to die in the Psi-War.
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!
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?!?!
COMIC LEGEND: Marvel editorial nixed Fabian Nicieza’s plans for Cyclops and Psylocke to have an affair (psychic or otherwise)
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)…
later in X-Men #17….
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)!
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!
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.
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.
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.
Okay, that’s it for this week!
Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is email@example.com. And my Twitter feed is http://twitter.com/brian_cronin, so you can ask me legends there, as well!
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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)…
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See you all next week!
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