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Psylocke manifesting her "psychic katana", in the cover for Uncanny X-Men #467. Art by Chris Bachalo and Tim Townsend.
|Publisher||Marvel Comics/Marvel UK|
|First appearance||(UK) Captain Britain (vol. 1) #8 (Dec. 1976)|
(U.S.) New Mutants Annual #2 (Oct. 1986)
|Created by||Chris Claremont|
|Alter ego||Elizabeth "Betsy" Braddock|
Sisterhood of Mutants
Captain Britain Corps
|Notable aliases||Captain Britain II, Lady Mandarin|
Highly skilled martial artist
Psylocke (Elizabeth "Betsy" Braddock, sometimes spelled as Elisabeth) is a fictional character depicted in comic books published by Marvel Comics, most notably those comics featuring the superhero team the X-Men. The character has also appeared in licensed adaptations. Created by writer Chris Claremont and artist Herb Trimpe, she first appeared in the UK comic book Captain Britain #8 (Dec. 1976), by the Marvel imprint Marvel UK. She was initially a supporting character in the adventures of her fraternal twin brother, Captain Britain, briefly substituting for him in the role.
Later, she became the mutant superheroine Psylocke. Originally presented as a precognitive in the pages of Captain Britain and then as a telepath, the character was eventually written as unexplainedly acquiring the telekinesis of Jean Grey. Psylocke later possesses both telepathy and telekinesis.
- 1 Publication history
- 2 Fictional character biography
- 3 Powers and abilities
- 4 Relationships
- 5 Other versions
- 6 In other media
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Elizabeth Braddock first appeared in Captain Britain #8 (Dec. 1976), published by the Marvel Comics imprint Marvel UK. There, writer Chris 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 establishes 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, who is later murdered. The story also presents the character as having dyed her hair purple; 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 stood in for her brother as Captain Britain, and was 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 absence of Professor Charles Xavier. After aiding the team unofficially, Braddock proved herself by single-handedly facing the murderous supervillain Sabretooth, and also by using her telepathy to glean vital information from his mind during the events of the "Mutant Massacre". Afterward, Braddock is formally invited to join the X-Men and officially adopts the codename "Psylocke".
Initially written as a pure telepath with few fighting skills, Psylocke later adopts body armor. This changes in Uncanny X-Men #250-251 (1989), where the X-Men flee from the cybernetic terrorists, the Reavers, through the Siege Perilous, an extradimensional teleportation device. In the next story-arc, Braddock has fallen prey to the Japanese terrorists the Hand, who brainwash and physically alter her. Braddock now believes herself to be "Lady Mandarin", the Hand's supreme assassin. This physical manipulation involves the modification of Braddock's physical features, modifying them from the previously established depiction of Caucasian to Japanese. 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 X-Men vol. 2, 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 after-effects 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 #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. 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. Psylocke was featured in a self-titled four issue miniseries beginning in November 2009, written by Christopher Yost and with art by Harvey Tolibao. Matsu'o Tsurayaba and Wolverine are central characters in the story.
Fictional character biography
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Elizabeth "Betsy" Braddock was born in England. Raised in the small town of Maldon, Essex, Betsy was Sir James Braddock's second child; she, her twin brother Brian, and elder brother Jamie had a very privileged life. By the time their parents died, 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, while her powers 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. She was sent to infiltrate the Hellfire Club, but was warned off by Tessa for her own protection.
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, 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 a 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, Spain, she 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 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.
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.
Betsy 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 Fury’s 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 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 was kidnapped by Madelyne Pryor's Sisterhood while traveling between parallel worlds. 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 possesses 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, in order for it to serve as the X-Men's new base of operations and a haven for mutantkind, called Utopia.
Soon after, Psylocke goes to Japan with Wolverine to re-inter her former body. Arriving in Japan, she is ambushed by the Hand, who destroy her original body at the behest of Matsu'o Tsurayaba. Enraged, Psylocke tracks 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, desires an honorable death and wants Psylocke to grant him that honor since he cannot himself hold a blade to perform seppuku. Before Psylocke can oblige, Wolverine emerges from the shadows and says that Matsu'o's punishment is not over yet. Unwilling to walk away, Psylocke engages Wolverine in a brutal fight which ends in a truce. Wolverine then permits her to finish Matsu'o off. She does so, mercifully, using her telepathy to project illusions into Matsu'o's mind of his body restored and of Kwannon embracing him, then quickly kills 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 encounter Fantomex, who has slain the beast. Psylocke battles Sublime's associates with the help of Fantomex and her teammates. During the Necrosha storyline, Psylocke is part of Rogue's team sent to Muir Island to battle the resurrected Proteus. Psylocke seems to have lost her immunity to telepathic attacks and reality alterations, as Proteus easily possesses her. However, her psi-blade is able to break his hold on his hosts. Following the return of Cable and Hope Summers, Psylocke is 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 Second Coming, Psylocke (along with Deadpool, Fantomex, and Archangel) is selected by Wolverine to be a member of the new X-Force, the sole condition being that no one must learn of the team's existence. Psylocke has been seen using her telepathy to help Warren control the "Archangel" persona in his mind, which has led to the two rekindling their previous relationship. The team's first mission is to locate and kill Apocalypse, who has been reborn. 
Powers and abilities
Psylocke originally possessed the power of telepathy, she could read and project thoughts over long distances; control minds; 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 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 apparati 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 to reflect her new Japanese appearance.
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. 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 couldn't exercise fine control over her powers, e.g. she could blast an enemy through a brick wall, but couldn't 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. Thus, 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 in standard telekinetic fashion. 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 couldn't 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 doesn't 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 more of her telekinesis rather than her telepathy. She has managed considerable feats in the storyline 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.
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 ability to telepathically "suggest what people see" (i.e. cast telepathic illusions). In an interview, writer Christopher Yost and editor Daniel Ketchum confirm that Psylocke now possesses both telekinesis and telepathy. Additionally, she is once again able to focus her telepathic energies into a psychic knife and can still manifest her telekinetic katana. Yost and Ketchum have also stated the upcoming Psylocke miniseries will definitively show what she can and cannot do in terms of her current power set.
As shown in the events of the Psylocke miniseries, she still appears to be a considerably strong telepath, capable of reading thoughts, mind control, and manifesting her trademark psychic knife. Also, she is shown to have levels of telekinesis sufficient to increase the power of her physical blows as well as ward off attacks via force fields and telekinetic "pushes". She was also seen manifesting her telekinetic katana during the Utopia storyline, 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 telekinetic abilities.
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 used 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 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 psi-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 mentally manipulated Cyclops, her team leader, into being attracted to her. After regaining her full personality from Kwannon, Psylocke offered a belated apology to Jean, 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 relationship, but chose to end it after realizing that they were too different to stay together. 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. So far, neither Warren Worthington nor Neal Shaara's reaction to Elizabeth's resurrection have been depicted or spoken of, despite having both Elizabeth and Warren fighting the villain Ghoul together, alongside other X-Men, in Generation M.
Some time later, Psylocke and Archangel have been seen to be in the process of rebuilding their romantic relationship.
Age of Apocalypse
Originally, Psylocke was the only X-Man not depicted in some form or another in the X-Men crossover "Age of Apocalypse". However, for "AoA"'s 10th anniversary, a new miniseries was created and Psylocke made an appearance for the first time since the original "AoA" miniseries. Psylocke in the "Age of Apocalypse" appears as a ninja, with black hair and blue eyes. She is a telepath, and an old acquaintance of Weapon X. It also appears that Psylocke has an affinity for the shadows but bears no Crimson Dawn mark over her eye, as her "616" counterpart once did. This "AoA" version of Psylocke shows the ability to manifest two psychic knives at the same time, which are able to affect physical matter, as can be seen in X-Men: AoA #4, where she cuts the chains binding Charles Lensherr. An official explanation for Psylocke's Japanese appearance, various powers, and fighting skills in the AOA universe has not been depicted.
Psylocke's appearance is first noted by a captured Logan, who spots her glowing eyes in the nearby shadows. Psylocke then releases Charles from his chains and helps the rest of the captured group escape. She has a brief reunion with Logan, for whom she bears an obvious grudge, and battles Dagger, defeating her quickly. Psylocke later 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 leaves for the refugee colony of New Japan with Kirika, Silver Samurai, and Sunfire.
Days of Future Past
In the Days of Future Past storyline, which took place in Wolverine: Days of Future Past #1-3, 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. It isn’t until the final panel that the mysterious woman is revealed to be Psylocke, the new Red Queen and one of the Lords Cardinal of the new Hellfire Club. In issue 2, 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 wouldn’t have been so lucky and warns him about celebrating a victory in advance. 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 informs Shinobi that Wolverine has reawakened and that Emma Frost is responsible for bringing him back.
Psylocke summons Midnight (the female ninja that accompanied her to Moscow in issue 1) and she instructs her to kill Wolverine. Betsy asks her if she has any problems with betraying Logan considering their past together, to which Midnight responds that betrayal comes easily nowadays. Elizabeth doesn’t respond and instead smiles at Midnight, reminding her that they all have known defeat in the past.
In issue 3, Baron Zemo makes his way back to Shinobi and Elizabeth to celebrate their victory, just as Magneto makes his way into their base. A panicking Betsy yells to Shinobi to do something, and he tells her that the computer-defenses will soon be activated. Suddenly Betsy senses betrayal from one of the workers, whom she stuns with her psychic knife. She smiles as she finds out that the worker was Jubilee in disguise. As she’s 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’s 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.
Days of Future Tense
In Excalibur (vol. 1) #94, Psylocke is a member of the underground resistance against Black Air, the British security service that rules Britain. She is first seen walking into the computer area under Braddock Mansion. She's 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 lock room, she finds herself trapped together with the rest of the team. What happens to her afterwards is unknown. In Days of Future Tense, 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. This story, "Days of Future Tense," revealed the final fate of the "Days of Future Past" timeline's Excalibur team.
It is unknown if the Betsy Braddock version of the Earth X future timeline ever switched bodies with the Japanese assassin Kwannon or if the effect was undone somehow, but she was entirely Caucasian 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 created by the Scarlet Witch, Betsy found herself as Princess Royal, 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 Grey.
Although not seen on-panel, Psylocke's counterpart of the MC2 universe 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.
In the World Tour story arc of Ultimate X-Men, Agent Betsy Braddock, along with her partner Agent Dai Thomas, was introduced as a Colonel for the British Secret Service. 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 "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. She 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. Recently, 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. In issue 88, Psylocke confronts 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. Psylocke is seen again after the Ultimatum wave hits New York. While the main X-Men go after Magneto, Psylocke 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.
In other media
- Psylocke appears during the fourth season of the X-Men animated series, in the Beyond Good and Evil story arc. She was in episode 51 entitled "Promise of Apocalypse", and in episode 53, entitled "End and Beginning". In this storyline, Psylocke appears to be a lone warrior who practices theft with a cause. She comes into direct conflict with Archangel and, later on, Sabretooth and Mystique. She refers to her brother as fighting to help mutants, but does not name him as Captain Britain. This incarnation of Psylocke had the notable ability to use her psi-blades as projectiles, incapacitating opponents from a distance and destroying matter. She also makes two quick cameos: during Season 2 in episode 18, "Repo Man", and episode 24, "Mojovision".
- Psylocke appears in Wolverine and the X-Men episode "Time Bomb" voiced by Grey DeLisle. In this series she is Asian in appearance, though no explanation is given as to the circumstances of her ethnicity. She is a telepath and displays a butterfly-shaped energy aura when using her powers. It's hinted that Quicksilver had previously rescued her from an anti-mutant prison and now wants her to return the favor. He asks her to use her telepathy to block Nitro's powers. The X-Men arrive to stop them and later Psylocke is defeated by Emma Frost. Although Psylocke works with the Brotherhood, earlier in the episode she helps a woman who was about to be ticketed by an officer, forcing the latter to eat the ticket.
- In the film X2: X-Men United, her name appears on a list of names Mystique scrolls through on Stryker's computer while looking for Magneto's file, and in the X2 novelization, Psylocke made a cameo as one of the mutants affected by Dark Cerebro. In it, she is in Vatican City during a fashion show and is seen waking up from her coma —induced by Dark Cerebro— when the machine begins affecting humans. She uses her telepathy to sense what is going on.
- Psylocke appeared as a villain in the feature film X-Men: The Last Stand, played by actress Meiling Melançon. In the film, she fights against the X-Men as a member of The Omegas. During an interview with Wizard magazine, Melançon said that in X3, Psylocke has the power to turn into shadows and create psi-blades. However, in the film, she doesn't demonstrate any psi-power, but uses her shadow teleportation to appear out of nowhere. In the film, Psylocke is killed alongside Arclight and a character based on Quill (named "Kid Omega" in the credits) by Jean Grey's disintegration wave. The film's novelization makes no mention of what happens to Psylocke, Quill, and Arclight after their unsuccessful attempt to kill Archangel's father. According to scriptwriter Zak Penn, the character played by Melançon was not named as Psylocke in the original script. In a Q&A on thexverse.com, he claimed that: "There was some switching of character names later in production, and I'm not exactly sure how Psylocke got thrown into the mix." On the DVD commentary of the film, Brett Ratner said that the character played by Meiling Melançon is Psylocke.
- Psylocke has appeared in many video games, beginning with the 1990s PC game X-Men II: The Fall of the Mutants in her original Caucasian body.
- Psylocke is one of the main playable characters, and the sole female in X-Men 2: Clone Wars for the Sega Genesis console. Her psychic knife is her special attack, and also carries a katana. As a nod to her ninja training, she can cling to walls.
- Psylocke later appeared in Capcom fighting game X-Men: Children of the Atom and the only female character in Marvel Super Heroes (not counting Anita (partner of Donovan from the Darkstalkers series, a secret character available only in the Japanese Sega Saturn version).
- Psylocke has a cameo appearance in Cammy's ending in X-Men vs. Street Fighter and resurfaced as a special assistance summon character in Marvel vs. Capcom, eventually becoming a playable character in Marvel vs. Capcom 2.
- Psylocke was the sole female playable character in X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse for the Super NES.
- Psylocke is an unlockable character in Activision's X-Men: Mutant Academy 2.
- Psylocke was a playable character in X-Men: Next Dimension, appearing as two different selectable characters, Betsy (telepathic) and Psylocke (telekinetic).
- Psylocke makes an appearance as the final playable character in the game X-Men Legends voiced by Masasa Moyo. In the game she is rescued by the team in New York City after Sentinels attack her during a riot in New York City. She later meets new team member Alison Crestmere (Magma) in the day room and joins the team to help the X-Men save Professor X from Shadow King on the Astral Plane. She was one of three playable characters who did not appear in the sequel, along with Magma and Jubilee.
- Psylocke was a NPC in the Wolverine game for the original Nintendo.
- Psylocke makes an appearance in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance as a mini-boss. After being among the many superheroes who tried to stop Doctor Doom in the Doom's Day cutscene, he transformed Psylocke and other heroes into evil versions of themselves after he stole Odin's power and began corrupting the Earth. She teams up with Cyclops and, when defeated, gives the Crimson Dawn item.
- Psylocke was a playable character in the Sega Game Gear title, "X-Men".
- Psylocke is a playable character in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2, voiced by Kimberly Brooks. Exclusive to the Wii, PS2, and PSP versions. She is also available as a downloadable character for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game. Her default costume is an updated version of her classic 90s ninja uniform with the Crimson Dawn mark over her eye. Her alternate costume is the costume she wears in the House of M storyline. Her powerset includes telekinesis as well as mastery of martial arts and katanas. She fits under several team bonuses including X-Men and Femme Fatale.
- Psylocke won IGN's Battle of the Comic-Book Babes '06 contest. In the final round, she managed to get almost two thirds of the votes (64-36). She was pitted against the female computer icon Lara Croft.
- Marvel Encyclopedia: X-Men (2003)
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- Captain Britain vol. 2, #12-13 (UK); Captain Britain trade paperback (US)
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