|First appearance||Captain Britain #8 (December 1976)|
|Created by||Chris Claremont|
|Alter ego||Elizabeth "Betsy" Braddock|
Captain Britain Corps
Horseman of Apocalypse
|Notable aliases||Captain Britain, Lady Briton, Lady Mandarin|
Psylocke (Elizabeth "Betsy" Braddock) is a fictional superheroine appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, commonly in association with the X-Men. Created by writer Chris Claremont and artist Herb Trimpe in 1976, she first appeared in the Marvel UK series Captain Britain.
Betsy Braddock was initially a supporting character in the adventures of her twin brother, Captain Britain, even briefly substituting for him in the role, before becoming the mutant superheroine and X-Men member Psylocke in 1986. Originally presented as a precognitive in the pages of Captain Britain and then as a telepath, the character eventually had her mind placed in the body of the Japanese female ninja Kwannon, gaining many of Kwannon's martial arts skills and elements of her personality. Psylocke's codename, coined by the X-Men villains Mojo and Spiral, debuted during her introduction to the X-Men stories post–Captain Britain. Later, Psylocke acquired the power of telekinesis.
Many alternative versions of the character have also appeared in several comics series of Marvel Multiverse, as well as in various other media and merchandise, notably in numerous video games. The character has been played by Meiling Melançon in the 2006 film X-Men: The Last Stand, and by Olivia Munn in the 2016 film X-Men: Apocalypse.
- 1 Publication history
- 2 Fictional character biography
- 3 Characterization
- 4 Other versions
- 5 In other media
- 6 In merchandise
- 7 Reception
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Created by writer Chris Claremont, Elizabeth "Betsy" Braddock first appeared in Captain Britain #8 (Dec. 1976), published by the Marvel Comics' British imprint Marvel UK. The original spelling of the character's name was "Elizabeth", though relettering of the UK versions for American reprints would occasionally misspell it as "Elisabeth". This led to spelling inconsistencies throughout future publications. The inconsistency was resolved by Claremont 32 years later in 2008 in the series New Exiles, which reasserted the particular spelling of her name as "Elizabeth". In the Captain Britain series, Claremont introduced her as a supporting character, the sister of Brian Braddock, the eponymous Captain Britain, and established her career as a charter pilot. He also established that she had psychic abilities, the full extent of which were unknown, though no explanation is given for these powers. In Marvel UK's Super Spider-Man and Captain Britain #243 (Oct. 1977), Betsy Braddock is presented as a professional model.
In Marvel UK's Daredevils #3 (March 1983), Alan Moore established that the character has begun to work for the fictional governmental organization S.T.R.I.K.E., who are making use of her psychic abilities. Her lover Tom Lennox is also a S.T.R.I.K.E operative and is later murdered. The story also presents the character as having dyed her hair purple after being originally blonde; this hair color has subsequently become the dominant presentation of the character. The next major change for the character came in the 1986 relaunched Captain Britain series, where Betsy Braddock stands in for her brother as Captain Britain, and is rendered blind by the supervillain Slaymaster.
In New Mutants Annual #2 (1986), Claremont integrated Braddock into the X-Men franchise. The story sees her abducted to the Mojoverse, where she is subjected to brainwashing, fitted with bionic eyes, and referred to as "the Psylocke" for the first time. After being rescued by the New Mutants, she takes up residence at their mutant-training academy, run by Magneto at the time in the absence of Professor Charles Xavier. After aiding the team unofficially, Braddock proves herself by distracting the attentions of the murderous supervillain Sabretooth. Afterward, Braddock is formally invited to join the X-Men and officially adopts the codename "Psylocke", becoming an enduring fixture of the team over the next three decades.
Initially written as a pure telepath with few fighting skills, Psylocke later adopts body armor. In Uncanny X-Men #251 (November 1989), the X-Men flee from the cybernetic terrorists, the Reavers, through the Siege Perilous, an extra-dimensional teleportation device. The now-amnesiac Braddock is taken in by the Hand, who brainwash and physically alter her to take on an East Asian appearance so that she can blend in in Hong Kong. Braddock now believes herself to be "Lady Mandarin", the Hand's supreme assassin. After she is rescued by the X-Men's Wolverine and overcomes her brainwashing, the character retains the combat skills granted through the Hand's modification techniques as well as the ability to manifest her total focused telepathy in the form of a "psychic knife".
With the launch of the second volume of X-Men (later rebranded X-Men: Legacy) in 1991, the team splits, with Psylocke joining the team led by Cyclops. In Jim Lee-written issues, the character becomes flirtatious with Cyclops, eventually attempting to seduce him. At this point, Kwannon, a new character with the physical appearance of Braddock prior to the Hand's manipulation, claims to be the original Psylocke, accusing the Japanese-featured Braddock of being an impostor. After Jim Lee and six other creators left Marvel Comics to found Image Comics, new scriptwriter Fabian Nicieza established that Kwannon is the impostor and that Braddock's flirtations with Cyclops were part of a genetic and mental splicing in which the Kwannon impostor was first created.
In 1994, writer Scott Lobdell set up a relationship between Braddock and her teammate Archangel. The character is severely injured by a crazed Sabretooth in the Lobdell-written Uncanny X-Men #328. Her life is saved by the use of a mystic artifact known as the Crimson Dawn, the aftereffects of which granted Psylocke the ability to teleport in and out of shadows. Lobdell also temporarily took her out of the X-Men roster this issue. Braddock returns to the team in X-Men, vol. 2 #77–78, where she uses her Crimson Dawn-enhanced telepathy to trap the Shadow King in the astral plane. Any use of her telepathy would result in his release, so she forgoes the use of her telepathic ability. Some time later she would develop telekinesis for the first time instead. Psylocke's relationship with Archangel ends in the Claremont written X-Men, vol. 2 #109, where the character embarks upon a relationship with new Indian X-Men recruit Neal Shaara, also known as Thunderbird.
In the Claremont-written X-Treme X-Men #2 (2001), the character dies, her comic book death lasting until 2005's Uncanny X-Men #455; Claremont also wrote this issue, later stating he had always intended to revive her. Briefly, the character was depicted in Exiles, a spin-off comic-book series in the X-Men franchise, set in an alternate universe. With the cancellation of New Exiles, Psylocke starred in her first solo book, the X-Men: Sword of The Braddocks one-shot. Afterwards, the character was brought back to the main Marvel Universe in early 2009 within the pages of Uncanny X-Men. Beginning in November 2009, Psylocke was featured in a self-titled four issue miniseries, written by Christopher Yost and drawn by Harvey Tolibao; Matsu'o Tsurayaba and Wolverine are central characters in the story.
Betsy will become the new Captain Britain, leading a reformed Excalibur consisting of herself, Gambit, Rogue, Jubilee, Rictor and Apocalypse, to protect the Kingdom of Avalon. Her former identity of Psylocke will be taken by Kwannon, who will lead the Fallen Angels title. Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski compared Betsy becoming the new Captain Britain as being as important to Carol Danvers becoming the new Captain Marvel.
Fictional character biography
Elizabeth "Betsy" Braddock was born in England and was raised in the small town of Maldon, Essex. Betsy was Sir James Braddock's second child and she, her twin brother Brian, and elder brother Jamie had a very privileged life. By the time she entered college, Betsy had become a charter pilot. After she and Jamie were taken hostage by the Red Skull's agents and freed by Captain America and Captain Britain, Betsy learned the latter was her brother Brian. At this time Betsy began to develop precognitive powers. She dyed her hair purple and took up modeling. At the age of twenty-one, her psychic powers fully manifested, which grew to include telepathy. Agent Matthew recruited Betsy into S.T.R.I.K.E.'s Psi Division, and she became fellow psi Tom Lennox's lover. As she had inherited membership to the Hellfire Club from her father, Betsy was sent to infiltrate it, but was warned off by Tessa for her own protection. She also met future boyfriend Warren Worthington for the first time during one of the Hellfire Club parties.
When the crime lord Vixen hired Slaymaster to eliminate the Psi-Division, only Betsy, Tom Lennox, and their friend Alison Double were left when Brian defeated him. When reality warped due to James Jaspers' powers, Tom sacrificed himself to give the Braddocks time to escape from a group of superhero hunters. Betsy was in Tom's mind when he died; feeling his death, she was left traumatized. Following the repair of the reality warp, an evil version of Captain Britain from another universe named Kaptain Briton switched places with Brian. The double tried to rape Betsy. In self-defense, she telepathically killed him. The same night, the twins were informed of their father's Otherworld origins, and a new intelligence agency called R.C.X. asked them to billet Warpies, children transformed by Jasper's warp, at the Manor, which led to an argument between Betsy and Brian.
When Brian went overseas, Matthew (now codenamed Gabriel) convinced Betsy to become the new Captain Britain, wearing Kaptain Briton's modified costume. Working with Captain UK, the duo became public sensations. After several months, crime boss Vixen lured Betsy into a showdown with Slaymaster, who brutally beat her, then gouged her eyes out. Brian flew to her rescue and killed Slaymaster. Betsy refused R.C.X.'s offer of cybernetic eyes, preferring to rely on her psychic abilities; she and Gabriel went to Switzerland for Betsy to recuperate.
Betsy was kidnapped from the Alps by Mojo, brainwashed, given cybernetic eyes, and, as "Psylocke", became the star of his new show "Wildways". Brian and the New Mutants rescued her, after which Betsy moved to the X-Men's mansion to recover, exactly where Roma, Guardian of the Omniverse, needed her to be. When the Marauders attacked the Morlocks, the X-Mansion was used as a temporary infirmary for injured survivors of the massacre. Knowing that the X-Men were away in New York, the Marauder Sabretooth invaded the mansion. Psylocke used herself as bait to lead him away from the injured until the X-Men arrived to help her. While Sabretooth and Wolverine fought, Psylocke used her telepathy to gather information about the Marauders and their leader, Mr. Sinister, from Sabretooth's mind. Wolverine, though initially reluctant to involve outsiders in the X-Men's affairs, was impressed by her bravery and nominated her to join the team.
As an X-Man she met Mephisto, Dr. Doom and the Fantastic Four, and the Horde. The X-Men later battled Freedom Force and the Adversary in Dallas, and, in a televised battle, sacrificed themselves to allow Forge to bind the Adversary; Roma secretly restored them to life, and gave Betsy the Siege Perilous, which they could use if they ever wanted to start new lives. The X-Men moved to the Reavers' Australian Outback base, from where they took on the Brood, Genoshan Magistrates, Mister Sinister and the Goblin Queen, M Squad, Mr. Jip and the Serpent Society, Master Mold and Nimrod, Nanny and the Orphan-Maker, and Zaladane and the Savage Land Mutates. As they were about to depart the Savage Land, Betsy had a precognitive flash of the Reavers killing the team. To prevent this, she sent them through the Siege Perilous.
Betsy reappeared amnesiac on an island near China, where the Hand, a ninja clan, found her. Matsu'o Tsurayaba, their leader, saw a chance to save his brain-dead lover, Kwannon. Spiral informed Matsu'o that Psylocke's telepathy could restore Kwannon, and Matsu'o accepted. Unknown to Matsu'o, however, Spiral actually placed the two women's minds into each other's bodies. She also merged their genetic structures, leaving both women with physical and mental traits of the other, and with each possessing half of Psylocke's telepathic power. With some physical and mental conditioning, Psylocke—inhabiting Kwannon's body—became the Hand's prime assassin, taking the name Lady Mandarin. She gained highly remarkable fighting skills and learned to focus her telepathic power into a "psychic knife". Lady Mandarin's first mission pitted her against Wolverine. Betsy's psychic knife attack revealed Wolverine's memories of who she used to be and allowed her to break free from the Hand's conditioning.
Psylocke rejected her role as Lady Mandarin and escaped with Wolverine and Jubilee, eventually going with them to the island nation of Genosha, where the New Mutants had been kidnapped along with the X-Men's leader, Storm, by Cameron Hodge. Following Hodge's defeat, the X-Men reunited and returned to New York. Psylocke then joined the Blue Team led by Cyclops, for whom she displayed an obvious attraction. When Phoenix found out, the two women fought, but were interrupted by the arrival of Kwannon, now calling herself Revanche, in Betsy's former body, claiming to be the real Psylocke. Unable to discern which was truly Betsy, both stayed with the X-Men, maintaining an uneasy coexistence. Learning she had the Legacy Virus, Revanche had Matsu'o kill her, restoring Psylocke's full personality and telepathic potential. Having become involved with her teammate Angel, the following months saw her fight the Phalanx, try to reach Jamie's comatose mind, battle Legion in Israel, and combat Gene Nation.
When Sabretooth gutted Psylocke, Angel, Wolverine, Doctor Strange, and Gomurr the Ancient retrieved a magical liquid from the Crimson Dawn dimension that healed her and gave her the new ability to teleport through shadows, but also marked her with a red tattoo over her left eye. Her personality took on a cold edge, which created distance between her and Warren. Kuragari, Proctor of the Crimson Dawn, tried to claim Betsy as his bride, but was thwarted with Gomurr and Angel's aid, freeing Betsy of the Dawn's influence. However, Psylocke still retained the abilities associated with it. Soon after these events, the couple retired from active duty with the X-Men.
Subsequently, she aided Storm against the Shadow King, who tricked Psylocke into initiating a psychic shockwave that disabled all other telepaths, leaving him unchallenged on the astral plane. Her own astral form was destroyed, but her exposure to the Crimson Dawn gave her a new shadow form with temporarily enhanced powers, which she used to trap the Shadow King's core. To keep him trapped she was forced to constantly focus her telepathy on him, effectively rendering herself powerless.
Revolution and X-Treme
Jean Grey's attempt to help Betsy deal with the Shadow King somehow swapped their powers, leaving Betsy telekinetic. With her new abilities Betsy fought Belasco, the Neo, the Goth, the Crimson Pirates, the Twisted Sisters, and the Prime Sentinels, then aided her brother freeing Otherworld from Mastermind's Warpie army. After ending her relationship with Archangel, Betsy joined Storm's X-Treme X-Men team in the search for Destiny's diaries.
In Valencia, Psylocke died in combat with the man known as Vargas while protecting Rogue and Beast, who were badly beaten by the villain. Brian Braddock and Meggan collected Psylocke's body from Spain. She was buried at the Braddock family estate and a memorial to her was erected at the X-Mansion by Beast.
One year after her death, Betsy awoke where she had died, unaware of how she had survived, and was soon reunited with the X-Men, helping them against the Saurian Hauk'ka, and Mojo and Spiral. Jamie started to covertly observe his resurrected sister, allowing her to catch occasional glimpses of him. Betsy was reunited with Brian during the Scarlet Witch's "House of M" reality storm. When the timeline was set right, the memories of their encounter took on a dreamlike state, prompting Betsy and several of the X-Men to visit London to check on Brian's status.
Back in the USA, Betsy and the X-Men failed to stop Shi'ar Death Commandos from slaughtering the Grey family, targeted for death because of their relationship to Phoenix, but helped defeat them before they could kill Rachel Grey. With the First Fallen's servants, the Foursaken, about to make their move, Jamie revealed his part in Betsy's resurrection to the X-Men: sensing the approaching threat of the cosmically powerful First Fallen (a harbinger of frozen, eternal "perfection") and learning of Betsy's demise, an annoyed Jamie resurrected her, reaching back through time to stop her spirit passing into the afterlife. Intending her to be a weapon to use against the First Fallen, Jamie tightened up the "quantum strings" of Betsy's body, rendering her mostly immune to external manipulation, enhancing her telekinetic powers, and leaving her invisible to the First Fallen's senses. Jamie was abducted by the Foursaken before he could fully inform them of the imminent threat; trying to rescue him, the X-Men were easily captured, except Betsy, who found herself invisible to the Foursaken's senses. Disrupting their attempt to give the First Fallen full access to Earth, Betsy and the X-Men were pulled into his realm, the Singing City, where Betsy's immunity to his mental control allowed her to free the City's residents, including the Foursaken, from his dominance. As a wrathful First Fallen turned on them, Jamie sent the X-Men home while he held the entity back, apparently sacrificing himself.
Returning to the UK to tell Brian of Jamie's fate, Betsy learned that Shadow Xavier, leader of the Shadow X-Men, had taken over the minds of his jailors in Crossmore Prison, and was demanding to see her. Accompanied by Excalibur, Betsy visited the prison, where Xavier revealed his true identity as the Shadow King, and tried to take revenge, having Excalibur attack Brian so that Betsy could witness his death; however, immune to his control, Betsy telekinetically induced a stroke in Xavier's body, freeing Excalibur. Before she could finish him off, Psylocke was interdimensionally teleported to the Crystal Palace at the Nexus of All Realities.
Appearing at the headquarters of the Exiles, heroes gathered from several realities to protect the Omniverse; both the Exiles' choice of Psylocke as latest recruit, and the timing of same, were apparently the result of Roma's manipulations, again moving one of her pawns to where it would soon be needed as part of a greater plan. Her first mission with the Exiles brought Betsy face to face with Earth-1720's Slaymaster, brutally reminding her of her reality's Slaymaster blinding her. After escaping, Slaymaster-1720 began murdering Betsy Braddock in each reality he visited.
Meanwhile, determined to confront her fear, Psylocke began rigorous training to prepare herself for their next encounter. She returned to Earth-616 to let Brian know she was alive. Almost immediately both the Exiles and Excalibur were called to the defense of Otherworld, under attack by an army of Furies created by a resurrected Mad Jim Jaspers; though the heroes prevailed, the Exiles were left as the Omniverse's primary defenders until the devastated Captain Britain Corps could be rebuilt. Choosing to remain with the Exiles, Betsy traveled to several realities. Upon arriving on a certain Earth, Psylocke had a mental breakdown due to this world's Psylocke counterpart's psyche being at war with Betsy's own psyche in order to control her body. This reality's Ogun approached Psylocke and offered to train her so she could avenge the death of his apprentice, who was killed by Slaymaster. Psylocke eventually tracked him to Earth-616 and killed him. Betsy returned to the Crystal Palace, became involved with teammate Sabretooth, and promised to honor her mission as an Exile.
Somehow, Psylocke became trapped between parallel worlds and was rescued by Madelyne Pryor - now calling herself the Red Queen - who controlled her to join the Sisterhood. They also stole Betsy's original body, in which Kwannon had died, at a graveyard. A ritual of sorts with both bodies was performed, resulting in Betsy's original body being brought back to life. The Sisterhood, now including a brainwashed Psylocke, attacked the X-Men. Dazzler was forced to use her powers on Psylocke, blowing half of Betsy's face off. Dazzler's attack shocked Betsy back to consciousness, enabling her to overcome the Red Queen's control and return to her Japanese body.
After these events Psylocke's powers changed once again; she now possessed both telepathic and telekinetic abilities, but with her psionic potential divided between them, neither ability is as strong as it once was. The following days saw Betsy travel back in time alongside Beast's X-Club. Psylocke also led the X-Club in a mission to raise Asteroid M, which was at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, to serve as the X-Men's new base of operations and a haven for mutantkind, called Utopia. Soon after, Psylocke went to Japan with Wolverine to re-inter her former body. Upon arriving, she was ambushed by the Hand, who destroyed her original body at the behest of Matsu'o Tsurayaba. Enraged, Psylocke tracked Matsu'o down, finding him terribly disfigured as the result of Wolverine's yearly revenge on Matsu'o for his role in the murder of Mariko Yashida. Matsu'o, now missing both hands and other body parts, desired an honorable death and wanted Psylocke to grant him that honor since he could not hold a blade to perform seppuku himself. This put Psylocke at odds with Wolverine, who felt that Matsu'o's punishment was not over yet. Psylocke engaged Wolverine in a brutal fight which ended in a truce. With Wolverine's permission, Psylocke finished Matsu'o off mercifully, using her telepathy to project illusions into his mind of his body restored and of Kwannon embracing him. Psylocke quickly killed him with her psi-blade.
During the Nation X storyline, Psylocke, Wolverine, and Colossus were sent down into the sewers under San Francisco to investigate the case of a missing Predator X. They ran into Fantomex, who had slain the beast. Psylocke battled Sublime's associates with the help of Fantomex and her teammates. During the Necrosha storyline, Psylocke joined Rogue's team sent to Muir Island to battle the resurrected Proteus. Psylocke appeared to have lost her immunity to telepathic attacks and reality alterations, as Proteus easily possessed her. However, her psi-blade was able to break his hold on his hosts. Following the return of Cable and Hope Summers, Psylocke was selected as part of Cyclops' "Alpha roster" of X-Men sent to locate and protect the two from the forces of Bastion.
In the aftermath of "X-Men: Second Coming", Psylocke (along with Deadpool, Fantomex, and Archangel) was selected by Wolverine to be a member of the new X-Force; the sole condition being that no one could learn of the team's existence. Psylocke had been using her telepathy to help Warren control the "Archangel" persona in his mind, which led to the two rekindling their previous relationship. The team's first mission was to locate and kill Apocalypse, who had been reborn. Upon discovering that the reborn Apocalypse was a child, most of the team decided against killing him, but Fantomex fatally shot the boy. With X-Force, Psylocke also faced long-time rivals such as the Reavers and the Shadow King. The latter succeeded in freeing the Archangel persona in Warren. In order to prevent Archangel's ascension into Apocalypse, X-Force travelled to the Age of Apocalypse to seek a Life Seed, which could cleanse Warren. Psylocke's hesitation to kill Archangel led to her transformation into the Horseman of Death at his hands. Jean Grey of the Age of Apocalypse managed to revert this process, unlocking a previously untapped power in Betsy's mind, who became a full-fledged Omega-class telepath after these events. Psylocke stabbed Archangel with the Life Seed, killing Warren and creating a new being in his likeness in the process.
After the Schism between the X-Men, while Psylocke decided to stay on Utopia under Cyclops' leadership, she secretly remained part of X-Force to help whenever Wolverine requested. Cyclops also placed her in charge of a new X-Men Security team, asking her to be his spy and spy-hunter.
Soon after, Captain Britain learned of Betsy's activities with X-Force through their bond and decided to retrieve her to Otherworld, where Jamie Braddock was revealed to be alive, and punish Fantomex for his crimes. Betsy took up the Lady Briton mantle to rescue Fantomex and was ultimately forced to kill Jamie in order to prevent his future self from destroying the multiverse. X-Force faced a new Brotherhood of Mutants, of which the Shadow King was a member. Psylocke imprisoned his psyche for good into Omega White, whose ability was to eat psychic energy. After this last mission, X-Force disbanded for good and Fantomex, who had been keeping a relationship with Betsy, but died at the hands of the Brotherhood, was resurrected in three different bodies for each of his brains.
As a member of Cyclops' Extinction Team, Psylocke dealt with the fallout from Archangel's machinations in Tabula Rasa and sided with the X-Men against the Avengers once the Phoenix Force returned to Earth to reclaim a host. However, Daredevil made Psylocke question her motives, and she joined the Avengers, the X-Men and Nova in the final battle against Cyclops.
After the events of Avengers vs. X-Men, Psylocke and Fantomex spent weeks in Paris, engaging in drinking, sex and thieving. While Psylocke and Fantomex grew apart, she and Cluster – Fantomex’ female self – grew closer and more devoted to each other, resulting in a relationship. Feeling jealous about the new couple, Fantomex set Psylocke up. Once Cluster sided with him, Psylocke decided to leave them for good.
Upon returning to New York, Psylocke took a teaching position at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning. Due to Psylocke’s constant assaulting of the students and aggressiveness, Wolverine was forced to fire her, and instead assigned her a mission to take down Spiral. With the help of Storm and Puck, Psylocke faced her longtime rival and Bishop, who had returned to the present day. After taking a trip through Bishop’s mind, Psylocke managed to tame the Demon Bear in his psyche, making an unusual ally of it. She also rescued Fantomex from Weapon XIII at Cluster’s request, but left them once more. Bishop’s alliance with Psylocke’s group put them at war with Cassandra Nova – the Revenant Queen – who wished to unleash her revenants (or mummudrai) on Earth. Psylocke ultimately stabbed her to death, breaking her vow not to kill again. Psylocke’s group also teamed up with Cable’s X-Force in order to rescue Bishop and Hope Summers, both kidnapped by Stryfe. Psylocke’s posture in this mission impressed Cable.
As a member of the X-Men, Psylocke joined an all-female squad led by Storm alongside Rogue, Kitty Pryde and Rachel Summers, and later Omega Sentinel and Monet, taking on villains such as Arkea, the Brotherhood from a future timeline, Lady Deathstrike's Sisterhood and The Future. During this time, Psylocke started focusing her powers into different weapons of psychic energy such as a bow and arrow, a crossbow and a grappling line and a flail, mentored a small group of students consisted of Hellion, Anole, Broo and Rockslide and kept a relationship with a virtual boyfriend created in the Danger Room.
All-New Marvel NOW!
In the wake of a terrorist attack known as the Alexandria Incident, which claimed 3,000 lives, Cable re-formed the mutant black ops team X-Force so that mutantkind not only had a continued place in the world, but also had a stake in it. While Cable recruited Fantomex, Marrow and Dr. Nemesis as his teammates, Psylocke actually sought Cable because she couldn't bear staying away from X-Force as she admitted she was addicted to killing. Their first mission had the team track and face Volga, a wealthy business man responsible for the abduction and weaponization of several mutants and depowered mutants. As a member of X-Force, Psylocke grew more bloodthirsty, self-loathing and broken by the day, admitting that resorting to killing was the only way she could feel anything at all. She also kept a sexual relationship with Cable. X-Force also faced Fantomex, who was driven to the point of insanity and received god-like powers. Psylocke ultimately used her mind blade to scramble Fantomex's brain.
As a member of the X-Men, Psylocke investigated the Shi'ar's Providian Order, while taking on Skrull/Brood hybrids, investigated a mysterious natural phenomena in the Blackrock Desert, helped Nightcrawler against a newly returned Shadow King, and joined the X-Men and Avengers in Genosha to fight the clone of Red Skull during the AXIS storyline. Months later, Psylocke and the X-Men took refuge in the X-Nation under Cyclops' leadership, when Earth-616 suffered from an early death as a consequence of the multiversal phenomena known as the incursions.
All-New, All-Different Marvel
The intervention of Mister Fantastic in the rebirth of Earth-616 caused the Marvel Universe to be a direct continuation of the previous iteration. As part of the All-New, All-Different Marvel event, Psylocke reappeared in a world where the Terrigen released in the atmosphere by the Inhumans proved to be deadly to mutants. For this reason, Magneto invited Psylocke to be a partner in his endeavors and protect mutantkind. He also offered her the chance to work with a blank slate clone of Archangel he had came across earlier. Although not fully agreeing with Magneto's methods, Psylocke remained part of his team, alongside Monet and Sabretooth, for the sake of rehabilitating Archangel, whom she kept under telepathic control. Magneto's X-Men first mission had them face the Dark Riders, who were targeting mutant healers. Following a lead buried in the dormant Archangel's mind, Psylocke and Magneto travelled to Colorado, where they found a wingless Warren Worthington brainwashed by the son of Apocalypse, Genocide, and Clan Akkaba, who were harvesting his wings to create an army of Archangel clones. When Warren and Archangel merged, Psylocke started working with him to restore the man she once knew and loved.
Once Ulysses, an Inhuman with the ability to forecast the future, emerged, Psylocke briefly changed alliances, siding with Storm's X-Men in opposition to Magneto's team, who wanted to eliminate the boy. Psylocke also found out Magneto had secretly employed Mystique and Fantomex and made an alliance with the Hellfire Club, much to her annoyance. After the X-Men foiled Someday Corporation's plans to weaponize mutants, Psylocke quit the team, vowing to keep an eye on Magneto's operations and putting an end to them if he ever crossed the line. On her own, Psylocke tracked down and defeated threats to mutantkind such as Omega Sentinels, Sauron and the Nasty Boys. Psylocke also faced Mystique, stabilizing the shapeshifter's psyche once and for all.
When Beast discovered that the Terrigen was saturating and would soon render Earth completely uninhabitable for mutants, Psylocke joined the rest of the X-Men in their war against the Inhumans, seeking to destroy the cloud while the Inhumans fought to protect it. After the war ended, Magneto's team of X-Men disbanded and Psylocke learned that he was working alongside Emma Frost and knew about her deceptions that led to the war. Making good on her promise, Psylocke found Magneto and killed him. She then walked away, feeling like the world and the X-Men were better off without her. When Captain America and Hydra took over the United States, Psylocke and a few mutants relocated to the mutant sovereign republic of New Tian, under the leadership of Xorn, who was mind controlled by Emma Frost behind the scenes.
While the X-Men rebuilt the Xavier Institute for Mutant Education and Outreach in the middle of Central Park, Psylocke decided to return to England. After spending some time in London, Psylocke found herself under an overwhelming psychic attack by the Shadow King, which caused her to lose control. Psylocke called for help and Rogue, Bishop, Archangel, Gambit, Fantomex and Old Man Logan came to her rescue. She sent the X-Men to the Astral Plane to deal with Farouk and remained behind to maintain the necessary mental link back to the physical world. Psylocke found out the Shadow King was keeping Charles Xavier's soul trapped in the Astral Plane, and under the Professor's guidance, she managed to fight Logan and Gambit, both possessed by the Shadow King, contain the psychic infection in London and protect the civilians. After Xavier killed the Shadow King, Psylocke was shocked to learn he had taken over the body of Fantomex, who chose to remain in the Astral Plane.
Suspicious of X, as now Xavier started to call himself, Psylocke travelled to the Astral Plane herself to make sure Fantomex wasn't fooled into giving up his body. Unbeknownst to the X-Men, X had unintentionally brought someone else with him, a newly-resurrected Proteus. Not willing to take a risk with such a powerful being on the loose, the X-Men appointed Psylocke as their leader over X and attacked Proteus, ultimately defeating him with a combined effort. However, when Psylocke tapped into a psychic network to undo Proteus' reality-bending madness, the Shadow King took the chance to return to the physical world. Psylocke and X joined forces to defeat him once more, linking every psychic telepathically and cleansing the world of Farouk's filth. X erased the memories of the other X-Men and told Psylocke she would be the only one to remember he had returned.
As a member of the X-Men, Psylocke also tutored the time-displaced Jean Grey in the art of creating psychic weaponry and investigated the Phoenix-related phenomenon that led to the resurrection of the adult Jean Grey. Psylocke was also selected by Kitty Pryde to join a team with Storm, Rogue, Jubilee and Domino and hunt for a resurrected Wolverine, facing Viper and her Femme Fatales along the way.
During this encounter, Psylocke was attacked by the psychic vampire, Sapphire Styx who absorbed her soul into herself. Once inside, Psylocke discovered the psychic husks of all the victims Sapphire had claimed over the centuries, including a fragment of Wolverine's soul that she had been unable to purge from herself. Drawing on the strength of all the imprisoned souls, Psylocke used her telepathy to destroy Sapphire from within, and emerged in her original body. She later explained to Jubilee that after Sapphire was destroyed, she was able to use the soul energy she left behind to re-create her original body. It was also shown that Kwannon has apparently returned to life in her original body as well.
In her earliest appearances in Uncanny X-Men, Psylocke possessed the power of telepathy. She could read and project thoughts over long distances; control minds; manipulate people's minds and possess them; subdue and tap into other's powers; affect people's memories; project mental illusions; and generate psi-bolts that could stun, injure, or kill others. She could also project her astral self, and the astral bodies of other people, into the astral or physical plane. She could scan entire towns with her mind, and leaf through the psyches of the inhabitants of a city to learn of their condition or intentions. She was powerful enough to telepathically "shout" to her teammates in Australia while she was in Washington D.C. without the aid of any type of power-enhancing machinery such as Cerebro. She could also probe individuals to check up on their status.
When using her telepathic powers, a butterfly-shaped energy aura would appear around her face. It was never truly made clear in the comic books by the writers whether this was something that could be perceived by others or if this was simply an "effect" to show when Psylocke was using her powers to the reading audience (although it was implied that it could be). This "butterfly" (sometimes depicted as having eyes in its wings) was also the form Psylocke usually took when manifesting her astral form, both on the astral plane, and in the physical world, although she occasionally used an illusory image of her physical body. After her transformation, Psylocke's psi-form changed accordingly.
In addition, Psylocke could also use her telepathy to project a focused beam of directed psionic energy called a "psycho-blast" that could incapacitate or kill a living being instantly. This attack was powerful enough to pierce the Juggernaut's psi-proof helmet. The psycho-blast was able to affect inorganic material as well as living targets (when directing a psycho-blast at Sabretooth the energy destroyed the metal Cerebro helmet she was wearing). Psylocke also possessed limited precognitive powers that occasionally allowed her to envision probable future events, or to see quick flashes of the immediate future. These visions were random and infrequent, however, and she had no control over them.
While in her original body, Psylocke was given bionic eyes by Mojo and Spiral which instantly adjusted to any intensity of light, preventing her from being blinded by brightness. The bionic eyes were also cameras, transmitting to Mojo everything that Psylocke saw. For a time, Betsy took the role of Captain Britain from her brother, using the deceased Kaptain Briton's costume which had been modified by the Mastermind computer. This costume gave her superhuman strength and the ability to fly.
After her physical transformation into a Japanese ninja assassin, she gained highly developed fighting skills in addition to her telepathy, which at this stage was not as powerful as it had originally been before her transformation, as half of her psionic potential still resided with Revanche in her original body. After Revanche's death, Psylocke's telepathy was restored to its previous strength. The most common usage of her powers was the manifestation of a "psychic knife", which operated in the same manner as her "psycho-blast" ability, but at close range. Described as the focused totality of her psychic powers, she often used it to disrupt the minds and nervous systems of her foes by driving the glowing "blade" of psionic energy into their heads. At least once, she utilized two psychic knives simultaneously. During this time she chose to fight up-close most of the time, using her new martial arts skills, although she could still utilize distanced telepathic assaults. At least once, she experienced a precognitive flash while in her new body.
After her exposure to the Crimson Dawn, she also gained the ability to teleport herself and others using areas of shadow as gateways. The teleportation could cover huge distances; on one occasion she transported the X-Men from America to Africa in a few seconds. She could also teleport through the shadows of other dimensions. Psylocke has not been seen using this ability since her imprisonment of the Shadow King in the astral plane; during a mission against Stryfe, she mentioned to Nightcrawler that she no longer possessed this ability.
To keep the Shadow King imprisoned in the Astral Plane, Psylocke sacrificed the use of her telepathy, but at some point gained Phoenix's telekinesis instead. At first, due to the relative newness of her telekinesis, she could not exercise fine control over her powers, e.g. she could blast an enemy through a brick wall, but could not levitate small objects, like a dime, from the floor. As time progressed, Psylocke grew more proficient at using her powers, e.g. she could use her telekinesis to reshape a pistol into smaller metal projectiles.
Instead of her psychic knife, Psylocke began to manifest a telekinetic katana composed of raw psionic energy. At its lowest intensity her katana functions much like her psychic knife once did, short-circuiting the victim's nervous system on impact. At its highest level, the katana can slice through almost any physical matter. Psylocke's control over the katana is such that she can slice an armored opponent and cut through the armor, but only leave her opponent stunned or unconscious. Psylocke's telekinetic manifestations produce visible radiance in the physical world, and so she can use her psychic katana as a makeshift light source in areas of darkness. The katana can also affect beings that are more powerful than Psylocke herself. She can also use her sword to shatter telepathic power-inhibitors imposed on others, despite her own lack of telepathy. With no telepathy to guide her when performing this task, she must rely on her instincts to give the blade the sufficient strength necessary to break the inhibitors, without doing permanent damage to the subject in question. During the timeline shift known as House of M, Psylocke showed the ability to summon two telekinetic katanas at the same time. It is unknown if she is capable of this under normal circumstances.
Aside from the blade, Psylocke can use her telekinesis to enhance her speed, strength, and fighting skills to superhuman levels. She can also levitate herself and others, or manipulate matter on a molecular level. She can also create telekinetic shields of various sizes and strength, and her telekinesis has been said to be strong enough to shatter mountains. After her resurrection, Psylocke's telekinetic powers have been greatly enhanced. At the time of Betsy's resurrection, Marvel Girl claimed that Psylocke's telekinesis was on a level even she could not match.
After her resurrection, Psylocke was shown to be immune to all forms of psionic manipulations such as mind-reading, mind-control or mental attacks, and attempts of telepathic communication. This is a result of her brother Jamie's manipulation of the quantum strings that comprise her body. She is also immune or at least highly resistant to other psionic-based powers like the Savage Land Mutate Vertigo's disorientation power, or Nocturne's mind possessing abilities. Due to Jamie's alterations, Psylocke is also immune to any physical and mental alteration by beings who can radically restructure reality, such as Proteus. She can, however, still be killed in more traditional manners, such as being stabbed or shot. She is also at least partially resistant to magical manipulation. Somehow these various immunities also affect her detectability from higher order technological equipment. For example, all sensor-arrays of the Exiles Crystal Palace are not able to detect her—as if she does not even exist. Beside this immunity, she is able to use her telekinesis to modify her own molecular structure to render herself invisible to at least the naked eye.
However, Psylocke's telekinetic powers seems to evolve with the return of her telepathy since her encounter with the Sisterhood as, at first, she has rarely been seen using her telekinesis to levitate objects or create her trademark telekinetic katana. It appears also, that she is focusing more on developing her returned telepathic powers and that the various immunities that were granted to her by her resurrection at the hands of her brother seem to have vanished or at least greatly diminished, as during the Necrosha event Proteus was not only able to possess Psylocke but also was able to alter her body structure. During the "Second Coming" storyline, Betsy has once more been depicted using her telekinesis for considerable feats: such as making a shield to protect herself and X-23 from bullets, ripping a Nimrod robot in two and even achieving what appears to be a form of flight or levitation.
Returned powers and abilities
The events involving the Sisterhood of Mutants triggered a return of her original telepathic abilities. Upon rejoining the X-Men, Psylocke states that while she is still primarily a telekinetic, she has gained the mental ability to telepathically "suggest what people see" (i.e. cast telepathic illusions). In an interview, writer Christopher Yost and editor Daniel Ketchum confirmed that Psylocke now possesses telekinesis, telepathy, and empathy. Additionally, she is once again able to focus her telepathic energies into a solid psychic knife and can still manifest her telekinetic katana.
As shown in the events of the Psylocke miniseries, she still appears to be an unusually strong and powerful telepath, with a range of abilities similar to what she possessed at her introduction, as well as manifesting her trademark psychic knife. Psylocke is also shown to have levels of telekinesis sufficient to increase the strength and power of her physical blows as well as ward off attacks via force fields and telekinetic "blasts or bursts". During the Utopia storyline, she was seen manifesting her telekinetic katana, but of late she has been seen using a pair of traditional katanas as well. After the events of "Second Coming", Psylocke establishes that her psychic abilities fluctuate in strength; if her concentration is divided as a result of a telepathic response to her environment, it has an adverse effect on her telekinesis.
During the "Dark Angel Saga", Psylocke's full psionic potential was unlocked by the Jean Grey from the Age of Apocalypse timeline. She was able to overcome Archangel with her newly strengthened and increased telepathy - a feat that had previously been beyond her power. Writer Rick Remender has stated that she is now an Omega-class/level mutant and telepath on par with Jean Grey and Charles Xavier.
Psylocke has been classified as a master martial artist, though the specific fighting arts she has mastered have never been revealed. Psylocke's fighting skills and techniques have been shown to surpass those of the average Hand ninja, or Crimson Dawn Undercloak, and have been said to rival those of a ninja master. In addition to the fighting skills she learned from The Hand, Psylocke has recently received training from fellow Exiles teammate Sabretooth and from an alternate reality's Ogun, who used science and magic combined to alter the passage of time itself, allowing them to accomplish a lifetime's work in a few short hours, thus improving Psylocke's skills once more.
As a telepath, Psylocke could take advantage of her powers in a fight by reading her opponents' movements seconds before they made them, giving her the opportunity to counter-attack faster. She could also use her telepathy to mask her presence from other people, humans and superhumans alike, e.g. from Wolverine's super-enhanced senses or from Jean Grey's telepathy. She could also create telepathic illusions to distract her enemies while fighting them, and as a ninja, she can use her psychic knife to incapacitate her opponents instead of killing them; although she will kill her opponents if she finds it to be necessary.
As a telekinetic, she often uses her powers to augment her strength and speed, making her fighting skills strong enough to match, and even outmatch other superhumanly strong opponents, like a holographic version of Sabretooth in the Danger Room. During a training session with Rogue and Thunderbird, Psylocke was able to match Rogue’s attacks despite the fact that Rogue had greatly enhanced speed and strength at the time.
During the time when the X-Men were based in the Australian outback, Psylocke gained possession of a unique suit of armor. Made of an unknown metal, it was lightweight and form-fitting, yet extremely resistant to physical damage, giving Psylocke an added protection to her physical body. The armor was also resistant to projectiles and energy weapons. Wolverine had the armor custom-ordered through a weapons and technology firm named Landau, Luckman, and Lake for "a colleague". Mr. Chang, an agent of Landau, Luckman, and Lake, loaned the armor to Lindsay McCabe since Wolverine had sent her to him. Tyger Tiger also wore the body armor for a short time, and she was briefly trapped in the armor due to a built-in security mechanism, which Wolverine managed to free her from. After traveling through the Siege Perilous and trading bodies with Kwannon, Psylocke no longer used the body armor. When Kwannon, in Betsy's original body, returned to Xavier's mansion, she was wearing an armor that was similar to the one Betsy used to wear, but it has never been officially stated whether or not this armor had the same capabilities as Psylocke’s original one. The same can be said for the armor worn by Psylocke's resurrected original body, after it was brought back during by Madelyne's sisterhood, wearing armor of the same coloring.
Elizabeth Braddock has been involved in a series of romantic relationships during the years. As a member of S.T.R.I.K.E.'s Psi Division, she was involved with fellow agent Tom Lennox. He was murdered while trying to defend her, during which time she was telepathically linked to him. Telepathically experiencing Lennox's death left Betsy traumatized for a time.
After returning to the X-Men in Kwannon's body, Psylocke psionically and telepathically manipulated Cyclops, her team leader, into being romantically attracted to her. After regaining her full personality from Kwannon, Psylocke offered a belated apology to Jean Grey, admitting that the flirtation was due to the presence of Kwannon's lingering personality traits in her mind, but that she did in fact find Cyclops attractive. Later, Elizabeth and Archangel had a romantic relationship, but chose to end it after realizing that the differences between them were too great. After Betsy's death, Archangel suffered anguish from being unable to save her, but eventually made peace with it and moved on to a relationship with Paige Guthrie.
Psylocke and the X-Man Neal Shaara were romantically involved until her death. After joining the Exiles, Psylocke has been flirting with teammate Sabretooth. They passionately kissed each other, eventually leading to both acting on their romantic feelings more intimately. Some time later, Psylocke and Archangel have been seen to be in the process of rebuilding their romantic relationship. Psylocke later had a brief romantic and sexual relationship with both Fantomex and his female counterpart Cluster, after Fantomex was separated into three people.
In addition to her mainstream incarnation (known as the Earth-616 Psylocke), the character has had been depicted in the comics set in many other fictional universes and timelines of the Marvel Multiverse, including Age of Apocalypse, Days of Future Past, Earth X, House of M, Marvel Comics 2, Ultimate X-Men, and Age of X. These alternative representations usually differ considerably from the details and events of the main story, without affecting that story's narrative continuity.
Age of Apocalypse
The "Age of Apocalypse" (Earth-295) incarnation of Psylocke was created by Akira Yoshida and Chris Bachalo. She is an Asian ninja (wearing a mask), though no explanation is given as to the circumstances of her ethnicity. She possesses the ability to generate psychic blades (an ability that the Earth-616 Psylocke only manifested after switching bodies with Kwannon) that can affect physical matter as well as living beings. She frees the captured X-Men and has a brief reunion with Logan, for whom she bears an obvious grudge. Psylocke later battles Dagger, defeating her quickly, and uses her psychic blades to counteract the brainwashing of some of the X-Men; first on Jean, who is released from Mr. Sinister's influence, and then on Kirika, which allows the young mutant to remember that Logan and Mariko Yashida are her parents. At the end of the series, Psylocke and the other Japanese members of the X-Men (Sunfire, Kirika, and Silver Samurai) depart for Clan Yashida's refugee colony in New Japan.
Age of X
In Age of X (Earth-11326) storyline of X-Men: Legacy, Psylocke, created by Mike Carey and Clay Mann, Psylocke is still in her original body of Elizabeth Braddock, having never switched with Kwannon. She is depicted as a member of the Force Warriors, a select group of telekinetics who rebuild the telekinetic shields that protect Fortress X on a daily basis. Prior to the mutant/human conflict she lived a privileged life among the upper class of British society, similar to her Earth-616 counterpart. Along with others (such as Megan Gwynn and Jonothon Starsmore "Chamber") was part of a general expulsion of X-Gene positive families from the United Kingdom. The plan was to exile them on a series of small islands in the Irish Sea, but was foiled when the Irish separatists bombed one of the ships carrying the transportees. The Mutant Liberation Front seized control of the other ship (with Chamber on-board) and was ultimately able to berth it at the Canadian port of Saguenay. As a member of the Force Warriors, Betsy used her telekinesis in concert with the other members to rebuild the walls around Fortress X every evening in preparation for the next morning's attacks. She is in a relationship with the Age of X version of Iceman.
Days of Future Past
The dystopian "Days of Future Past" (Earth-811) version of Psylocke was created by John Francis Moore and Joe Bennett. Psylocke has not only the Crimson Dawn tattoo over her left eye, but also additional tattoos on the right part of her face. Psylocke is first seen as a mysterious hooded female that sneaks up undetected behind Logan and telepathically destroys his consciousness. She is the new Red Queen and one of the Lords Cardinal of the new Hellfire Club. Psylocke is seen by Shinobi Shaw’s side as they watch the trapped Scarlet Witch. As Shinobi brags about world domination, Betsy reminds him that without her help he would not have been so lucky and he tells her that her name is never far away from his thoughts and that they will rule the world side by side. Suddenly, Psylocke cries out in pain and says that Wolverine has reawakened and that Emma Frost is responsible for bringing him back. She summons the female ninja Midnight (Amiko Kobayashi) and instructs her to kill Wolverine, in spite of their past together. Baron Zemo makes his way back to Shinobi and Elizabeth to celebrate their victory, just as Magneto makes his way into their base. Betsy senses betrayal from one of the workers, whom she stuns with her psychic knife and find out to be Jubilee in disguise. As she is preparing to kill Jubilee, Synch and Leech use their combined powers against Psylocke to intervene. Wolverine finally knocks her down with one punch, commenting that during the years she has grown a bit “rusty” with her martial arts skills. She is taken back to Emma Frost’s base of operation and Emma later tells Jubilee and the rest of the team that Betsy will be transferred back to her brother in England as soon as her recuperation is completed.
In Excalibur, the Earth-9620 Psylocke has no tattoos at all and her eyes are completely blue, with no visible iris or pupils. One thing that connects these two storylines with each other and with the original Days of Future Past, is the death of Warren Worthington (Angel). Psylocke is a member of the underground resistance against Black Air, the security service that rules Britain. She is first seen as part of the Excalibur team that goes on a mission to rescue Douglock from the Black Air headquarters. Inside the Black Air HQ, Psylocke fights off techno-organic Brood replicas and uses her psychic knife to open up a neural linked brain-lock. Inside the locked room, she finds herself trapped together with the rest of the team. What happens to her afterwards is unknown. This story, "Days of Future Tense," revealed the final fate of the "Days of Future Past" timeline's Excalibur team.
Several versions of the character appear in the Exiles comics:
- Earth-1081: This Psylocke, created by Judd Winick and Mike McKone, is a member of the X-Men and appears to be identical to the one from Earth-616.
- Earth-2182: A minor character who is an X-Men affiliate with all-blue colored costume, hair and powers, created by Jim Calafiore.
- Earth-7794: A minor character who was murdered by Slaymaster; created by Chris Claremont and Paul Pelletie.
- Earth-51489: A barbarian female warrior killed by Slaymaster; created by Chris Claremont and Paco Diaz Luque.
- Earth-72911: Created by Chris Claremont, she was another Betsy Braddock murdered by Slaymaster.
- Earth-80827: Created by Chris Claremont and Tom Grummett, this version of Psylocke was a Japanese woman affiliated with Ogun and known as Lady Mandarin, who was also killed by Slaymaster when they fought.
- Earth-80911: Married to Victor Creed and murdered by Slaymaster along with her husband and children; created by Chris Claremont and Paco Diaz Luque.
- Earth-89145: In this reality, Braddock was a British pilot, who was murdered by Slaymaster as part of his attempt to kill every version of Betsy Braddock throughout the Multiverse; created by Chris Claremont and Paco Diaz Luque.
It is unknown if the Betsy Braddock version of the Earth-X (Earth-9997) future timeline ever switched bodies with the Japanese assassin Kwannon or if the effect was undone somehow, but she was entirely European when she was brought to Otherworld to further hone her telepathic and precognitive powers under Merlyn and Roma’s tutelage. Her abilities boosted, Psylocke's telepathic signature, the butterfly image, was much bigger than before and constantly “on,” bathing her head in bright, pink light. Her training completed, she rejoined her brother, King Britain, on Earth at some later point, as she, Merlyn and Doctor Strange used their powers to weaken Mephisto, allowing Brian to kill him.
House of M
In the House of M reality (Earth-58163) created by the Scarlet Witch, Betsy found herself as Princess Royal named Elizabeth Glorianna Braddock, sister to the monarch of Britain. In fact, Betsy was actually the rightful heir of the throne, being a few minutes older than her twin brother Brian, but she had stepped down in his favor, as she preferred traveling and adventuring with her lady-in-waiting, Rachel Summers. Nevertheless, she still had an Asian body, and possessed the same powers as the Earth-616 Psylocke.
Although not seen on-panel, Psylocke's counterpart of the Marvel Comics 2 universe (Earth-982) was at least mentioned. Apparently, this Psylocke acted as a godmother to Wild Thing, the daughter of Wolverine and Elektra, and she also trained her in the use of her psychic powers. Wild Thing had no real claws but psionic ones that she could use in similar ways to Psylocke's psychic katana.
Several versions of the character appear in the X-Men: Millennial Visions comics:
- Earth-1003: Created by John Paul Leon, Betsy Braddock is good character affiliated with the X-Men and a member of Professor's Secret Service. She, Magneto and Quicksilver are all murdered at a peace summit.
- Earth-1011: Created by Sean Chen, Psylocke is an evil cyborg affiliated with the X-Sentinels.
- Earth-1017: Created by Pablo Raimondi, Psylocke (Code X 11095) is an Asian ninja affiliated with the X-Men, with short spiky hair and a different red tattoo over her left eye.
- Earth-3933: Psylocke was bitten by a monster which ate her family in their sleep, and is empowered with super human strength and makes her virtually immortal, though she now hungers for human flesh.
In the World Tour story arc of Ultimate X-Men (Earth-1610), Agent Betsy Braddock was created by Mark Millar and Adam Kubert. She was introduced as a colonel for the British Secret Intelligence Service along with her partner Agent Dai Thomas. As in the mainstream Marvel Universe, Betsy is the twin sister of Brian Braddock, who is now a member of the European Defense Initiative (the European Union's equivalent of the Ultimates), code named Captain Britain. Her father, Professor Sir James Braddock, is still alive in the Ultimate universe, and oversees the EDI's super-soldier program. She is a telepath and, judging by her own assertion, the most powerful in England. The "psychoblast" power she possessed in her British form in the Earth-616 universe was manifested as a "psychic grenade" that she "detonated" in the minds of others. Agents Betsy Braddock and Dai Thomas, were assigned to aid Xavier in his search for his son, David, a powerful mutant who could physically possess the bodies of others and manipulate reality. During the investigation, however, Agent Thomas was killed and Betsy's body was possessed by David, who set about wreaking havoc and killing innocent humans while in her body. She eventually managed to resist his control, albeit briefly, and pleaded with Xavier to kill her. Xavier could not bring himself to do so, but Colossus dropped a car on her, killing both Betsy and David Xavier.
Betsy's consciousness survived, however, somehow moving into the comatose body of a Japanese girl called Kwannon. Kwannon was glad to be able to move on to the afterlife, and willingly gave Betsy her body. Betsy regarded her near-death experience as intensely fascinating. The change has also led her to bear a less formal look, as she was seen after her body-switch with a number of cosmetic piercings. She somehow retained her telepathic powers in Kwannon's body and even gained the new ability to create a blade that can cut through most materials, even a Sentinel. She was said to be aiding in the formation of S.T.R.I.K.E., the British division of S.H.I.E.L.D. Later, though, she was revealed to have been working undercover for Charles Xavier as a spy investigating the activities of Fenris.
Betsy officially joined the X-Men as Psylocke. Her employment with S.T.R.I.K.E. had ended because the body she currently inhabits is that of a minor, making her too young to serve as a government agent. She was recruited by Bishop into his new X-Men after angrily informing Cyclops that he had turned his back on the X-Men and the good they can achieve after he refused to help a group of mutants being attacked by Sentinels solely because he thought it would make the Xavier Institute look bad. Bishop later referred to Psylocke as his wife, when the Fenris twins threatened to kill her. Psylocke confronted Bishop about his comments about their future marriage, and from what he says, it is implied that Psylocke was killed before Bishop traveled back in time. Eventually, Bishop is stabbed and killed by Wolverine.
Xavier returns from the future revealing himself to be alive and Psylocke begins living at the Xavier Institute as a student. She is seen again after the Ultimatum wave hits New York. While the main X-Men go after Magneto, she stays at the Institute. When Reverend William Stryker attacks the school planning to kill every student, Psylocke uses Cerebro to send a telepathic message to any mutant that can help save them. Ultimately, she survives the school massacre alongside Rogue, Toad, and Firestar, though, for some reason, she and Toad are listed among the deceased in the final issue of Ultimatum.
Subsequently, a young woman appears claiming to be Psylocke, having "jumped" her consciousness into another body before her death (however, oddly no one recognizes or remembers her). She sides with Mach Two (Nomi Blume) to leave Reservation X, which was given to Kitty Pryde by President Captain America after the fight with the Sentinel, though Kitty wins the vote to stay as the leader of Reservation X. She was then seen manipulating Rogue by using telepathy while she is sleeping, teasing her about Quentin Quire. She eventually leaves with Nomi after the Seed is "destroyed". In Ultimate Comics: X-Men #24, it is revealed that she has enlisted Warpath (who is in love with her) to betray both Kitty and Nomi. In Ultimate Comics: X-Men #27, Jean Grey (herself in disguise) unmasked Psylocke as being a fake, revealed her to be Mothervine, who set out to destroy both Utopia and Tian.
Several versions of the character appear in the Uncanny X-Force comics:
- Earth-11045: In this reality, all superhumans were converted into the cyborgs Deathloks and were converted into a global police force for a global utopia. Psylocke was among them and was sent to the past together with the rest of X-Force in order to secure a high-tech, self-contained research facility known as The World and kill X-Force of the past.
- Earth-12218: Betsy Worthington is an elderly version of Elizabeth created by Rick Remender, Jerome Opena and Esad Ribic. After living a good life with her husband Warren and their two daughters (one of them named Jean), Betsy was present at Warren's deathbed.
The Earth-12928 version of Psylocke, an elderly woman known as Magistrate Braddock, was created by Rick Remender and Julian Totino Tedesco. In this reality, Evan Sabah Nur ascended and became Apocalypse, the greatest threat the Earth had ever faced, which forced Wolverine to create an X-Force composed of various heroes. Together, they managed to defeat Evan and save the world. In order to prevent someone like Evan from threatening the Earth again, X-Force were elected as the new rulers of Earth. Psylocke, in her Asian body, became the leader of X-Force and the world. They first killed every villain and criminal, and then began killing people preemptively, as soon as they made up their minds to commit a crime. At some point Elizabeth and Logan fell in love. When X-Force from the past came to the future, Psylocke ordered X-Force to track them down and send them back. The past Psylocke, horrified with the future, decided to kill herself in order to prevent it from happening. Magistrate Braddock began fading from existence, but the past Psylocke was saved, which prevented her death. Magistrate Braddock spoke to her past self, talking mostly about their loss of Warren and Fantomex, before sending her and the rest of X-Force back to the present.
Several versions of the character appear in the What If comics:
- Earth-957: Appears to be basically the same as the Earth-616 ninja Psylocke in Kwannon's body; created by Tom DeFalco and Leo Fernandez.
- Earth-983: Created by Stefan Petrucha and Greg Luzniak, this version of Psylocke is very similar to the Earth-616 ninja Psylocke in Kwannon's body, but with a modified costume.
- Earth-34922: When the X-Men were attacked by Sentinels, Psylocke (postbody swap), along with the other members, reluctantly attempts to wake up Wolverine in order to battle them.
- Earth-77995: Created by Benny Powell and Warren Ellis, this Psylocke is an evil version the Earth-616 ninja Psylocke from X-Men: Legacy. Three months after the deaths of Charles Xavier and Apocalypse, Psylocke joined the Followers of Apocalypse after they were nearly destroyed by Phoenix.
- Earth-89721: An armored and cloaked version of Elizabeth Braddock in her original body, created by Roy Thomas and Ron Wilson. Due to the Evolutionary Bomb she is now able to read the thoughts of everybody around her.
- Earth-95169: This Psylocke appears to share her body, power and costume with the Earth-616 X-Men: Legacy version.
- Earth-98193: Captain Britain is briefly seen in an interview with Vulcan as a member of the X-Men. This version of Elizabeth Braddock appears to still be in her blonde, British body.
Psylocke of Earth-21993 was created by Kurt Busiek and Tod Smith. Her past history mirrors that of her Earth-616 counterpart until just after she crossed through the Siege Perilous. After Charles Xavier escaped Skrull activity and returned to Earth, she is among the many teams of X-Men gathered by Xavier, who express his disapproval with the state they had left human/mutant affairs in his absence. This meeting erupts into violence due to an argument between Cable and Xavier over what direction to take. Psylocke joins the other X-Men in attempting to incapacitate Cable and the New Mutants, but the New Mutants flee. Following Cable's assassination of Xavier, Psylocke joins a group of X-Men led by Wolverine in tracking the New Mutants down to their new headquarters, where, as she battle the remaining New Mutants, Wolverine kills Cable. Wolverine then leads his team of X-Men on a mission to slay all their enemies. After killing Mr. Sinister and his Nasty Boys, Psylocke has enough with the mindless killings and defects over to another team of X-Men led by Storm. By this point, the U.S. government unleashed the Sentinels in response to Magneto taking over Washington. Betsy comes across Storm just as most of the X-Men on her side either defected over to Magneto, or found themselves killed or captured by the Sentinels. Realizing that current events might lead up to the nightmare future (Earth-811) where mutants have been either enslaved or wiped out by the Sentinels, Storm and Psylocke seek to try and talk Magneto into stopping his aggressions. Breaking into the United States Capitol, Psylocke and Storm attempt to warn Magneto of the possible apocalyptic future ahead of them, but he scoffs at the idea and attempts to destroy another attacking squad of Sentinels. Mentally detecting that one of them carried a nuclear warhead, Psylocke attempts to warn Magneto, but she is too late. The bomb goes off, killing them all.
- Earth-161 (X-Men Forever): Elizabeth "Betsy" Braddock in an Asian body, based on Chris Claremont's original story where she was transformed by Spiral to look Asian, but was not bodyswapped with anyone. created by Chris Claremont and Paul Smith.
- Earth-597 (Marvel Graphic Novel): In this universe, where the Nazis won World War II, an evil Elizabeth Braddock, created by Michael Higgins, Tom Morgan and Justin Thyme, is a Nazi agent affiliated with the Reichsmen.
- Earth-2107: Created by Robert Kirkman and Yanick Paquette, Elizabeth "Psylocke" Braddock was Bishop's wife in the future Ultimate universe, seen during a flashback when she got killed.
- Earth-2301 (Marvel Mangaverse): Created by C.B. Cebulski and Jeff Matsuda, this version of Psylocke appears to be of Indian ethnicity. X-Men and has the ability to project numerous green telepathic gremlins by gesturing with her arms. They are able to pass through solid matter and cause severe physical pain to those they struck, but if interrupted, Elizabeth herself seems to experience severe headaches.
- Earth-2319 (New Avengers Vol. 3): Created by Jonathan Hickman and Simone Bianchi, this Psylocke is, like her brother Brian, using the identity Captain Britain. They are both members of the Illuminati and are killed by Mapmakers during an incursion.
- Earth-9921 (Gambit): Created by Fabian Nicieza and Yanick Paquette, this Psylocke is an X-Men affiliate similar in appearance to the Earth-616 Asian Psylocke but with a different costume.
- Earth-8101 (Marvel Apes): A simian version of Psylocke.
- Earth-11080 (Marvel Universe Vs Wolverine): Jonathan Maberry, Goran Parlov During a mission with Wolverine, Psylocke was attacked by Angel, who had developed the same cannibalistic hunger as Spider-Man did earlier. All he left behind was her right arm, but using his tracking skills, Wolverine soon found her remains. After samples of Psylocke's DNA were studied, Wolverine tracked down Angel and killed him.
- Earth-41001 (X-Men: The End): The only apparent difference between this version and the ninja Psylocke of Earth-616 is a different costume; created by Chris Claremont and Sean Chen.
- Earth-70105 (Bullet Points): Psylocke lived virtually the same life as she did on Earth-616, and helped defend the Earth from Galactus.
- Earth-95126 (Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe): An Asian version, killed by the Punisher along with every other mutant.
- Earth-807128 (Wolverine/Dark Reign): Psylocke was one of the X-Men Logan was tricked into murdering by Mysterio when the villains got organized and attacked the heroes at once.
- Earth-TRN037 (Uncanny X-Men): A male version of Psylocke exists on Earth-TRN037. He is a muscular Asian male in a similar costume and powers as the Earth-616 Psylocke.
- Earth-TRN150 (5 Ronin): Created by Peter Milligan and David Aja. In 17th-century Japan, Elizabeth Braddock is the half-Japanese orphan daughter of a local Japanese woman (who died when she was a baby) and an English expat trader (who committed suicide when she was a child after his business failed), who is forced into the yoshiwara in order to survive and grows up to become the top-ranked prostitute (codenamed "Butterfly") in a high-end brothel. She crosses paths with this Earth's version of Wolverine (who is also reimagined as a 17th-Century Japanese samurai, along with Punisher, Deadpool, and Hulk), who becomes her regular customer.
- Earth-TRN192 (Astonishing X-Men): Created by Tommy Lee Edwards, this Psylocke is a young Asian ninja character affiliated with the evil Mutant Monarchy. She has a shorter hair and is apparently younger, and fights blindfolded with twin daggers.
- Earth-TRN716 (Age of X-Man): Created by Zac Thompson and Lonnie Nadler, this Betsy Braddock is a clerk for Department X, maintaining community relations and standards.
In other media
Psylocke has made many appearances in media other than comic books. These include television series, films, and numerous video game adaptations and crossover titles. Psylocke has been voiced by Grey DeLisle, Heather Doerksen, and Tasha Simm in cartoons, and by Laura Bailey, Kimberly Brooks, Catherine Disher, Melissa Disney, Kim Mai Guest, Erica Lindbeck, Junk Luk, Masasa Moyo, and April Stewart in video games. In the film series, she was portrayed by Meiling Melançon and Olivia Munn.
Several statuettes of Psylocke were produced by various manufacturers, including by Bandai in 2005, Hasbro in 2008 (Marvel Super Hero Squad Wave 7), Kotobukiya in 2010 (redesigned in the Japanese bishōjo style by Shunya Yamashita) and 2011, Bowen Designs in 2010, and Sideshow Collectibles in 2010 and 2011. A diorama of Psylocke and Spiral was also created by Sideshow Collectibles in 2009.
Mini-bust statuettes of Psylocke were made by Bowen Designs in 2005, and by Diamond Select Toys, which also released several regular statuettes. Psylocke figures were also released as part of The Classic Marvel Figurine Collection by Eaglemoss Publications and the HeroClix collectible miniature game by NECA (Experienced - Giant-Size X-Men, Veteran - Armor Wars and Veteran - Xplosion).
Three Psylocke action figures were produced by Toy Biz in 1996, including one as part of the Marvel Legends line which was later picked up by Hasbro. Two other action figures were released by Hasbro, one as part of the Marvel Universe toyline in 2011. Diamond Select Toys released three different Psylocke Minimates between 2009 and 2011, in the series Wave 7, Wave 28, and the Uncanny X-Force Box Set.
The character has achieved a significant critical praise and popularity following the 1989 redesign. According to UGO, "Basically, Marvel gave a third-rate character a makeover, hence, creating one of the most popular female mutants in X-Men history."
Psylocke was included in IGN's "Battle of the Comic-Book Babes" contest in 2005, winning the first two rounds against Aspen Matthews and then Natsumi and Miyuki, before losing to Emma Frost (the eventual champion of this edition). Psylocke, however, emerged victorious from the following year's "Battle of the Comic-Book Babes" in 2006, winning the consecutive rounds against Deena Pilgrim, Rachel Summers and Black Cat. In the final round, she managed to get almost two-thirds of the votes (64%) when pitted against video gaming's female icon Lara Croft. In 2006, IGN also rated Psylocke as the 22nd top X-Men character, comparing her to Rogue" and calling her "a born leader" whose "abilities make her one of the most potent fighters to ever wear the X", and also placed her third on their list of top 'X-Babes' for her being an "Asian gal with incredible body and a British accent". Marvel themselves declared her their own second most favorite hero of 2011, citing her "tremendous and thankless heroism". That same year, UGO ranked her ninth of their list of "superhero power upgrades that kicked complete ass" and also featured her among 25 "hot ninja girls" and called her an "eye candy that's less lollipop and more atomic warhead".
In 2011, IGN included Psylocke among the eight mutants IGN wished to see in the sequel to X-Men: First Class, stating that "mentally, she can go toe-to-toe with fellow telepaths like Emma Frost, and physically, she can kick as much ass as Wolverine when the situation calls for it", and adding that they would prefer to see her appearing as an Asian and a ninja, while disregarding her prior appearances in X2 and X-Men: The Last Stand. In 2013, WhatCulture ranked Psylocke as the sixth most underrated X-Men character, and included her on the lists of ten mutants they would like to see in the film X-Men: Days of Future Past and in the future sequels. In 2014, WhatCulture also included her among the ten female superheroes who deserve their own film spin-off, opining she should be played by Zhang Ziyi. Days of Future Past writer and producer Simon Kinberg said Psylocke is a fan favourite, and also a favourite of his, and said the director and producer Bryan Singer "thinks she’s a neat character so there’s certainly a chance she’ll be in an X-Men movie some day". In 2015, Olivia Munn was cast as Psylocke in Singer's X-Men: Apocalypse, which was released the following year.
Some of the praise was directed especially for her many video game roles, including in a series of 2D fighting games by Capcom wherein she was noted as a particularly well animated character. In 1996, MAXIMUM reported Psylocke being possibly the most popular X-Men character in Japan, where Capcom games have introduced the franchise to general public, "due to her Japanese appearance...and ninja-esque martial arts moves". Psylocke was chosen as one of the 20 "muses" of video games by Brazilian magazine SuperGamePower in 2001. In the 2009 Marvel poll asking who is the better fighter in Marvel vs. Capcom 2, Psylocke got over two-thirds of the votes (68%) against the Street Fighter series icon and the fighting game genre female symbol Chun-Li. UGO ranked her as fifth on their 2011 list of fighting games' finest female fighters for her appearances in Capcom titles, stating that "the only thing more confusing than Psylocke's backstory is what exactly her powers are [but] all you really need to know is this: Psylocke is a sexy Asian lady ninja sporting the most obscene butt-floss this side of Linda Kozlowski in Crocodile Dundee". Complex included her in their 2012 list of the most humiliating victory quotes in fighting games.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Psylocke.|
- Psylocke at the Superhero Database
- Psylocke at IGN
- Psylocke at the Comic Book DB
- Psylocke at the Grand Comics Database
- Psylocke at the Marvel Database Project
- Psylocke at the Marvel Universe wiki
- Betsy Braddock at the International Catalogue of Superheroes
- Like a Butterfly Psylocke Appearances Blog
- Psylocke at UncannyXmen.net