The Irrepressible Psylocke
Born of British nobility to the illustrious Braddock family, Elizabeth “Betsy” Braddock, later known as Psylocke, is one of three children. She is the twin sister of the famous and powerful Captain Britain, and the older sister of the, slightly mad, reality warping, James Braddock. The family isn’t simply gifted by the presence of the X-gene, which in Betsy’s case granted her telepathic and precognitive abilities. The Braddock’s have deep connections to magic due to their roots in the enchanted realm of ‘Otherworld’.
Betsy began her career as a tag-a-long to her twin brother’s adventures, however, her journey wouldn’t be a pleasant one. Betsy endures a couple of extremely disturbing experiences which included nearly being sexually assaulted by an evil alternate reality version of her brother, as well as having her eyes gouged out by the villain Slaymaster. While recuperating, Betsy was kidnapped by the despot, Mojo. She was given cybernetic eye-replacements and forced into one of his entertainment shows under the new name, Psylocke.
Betsy’s rescued by Captain Britain and the X-Men, whom she eventually joined full-time after assisting them during the Mutant Massacre. Through their conflict with the demon called the Adversary, Betsy sacrificed herself alongside the X-Men to seal the fiend. They are then brought back to life and revived by Roma, the guardian of the Omniverse. Following a period in the Australian Outback, Psylocke foresaw the X-Men being attacked and slain by the villains known as the Reavers. To avoid this, she sends her team through a mystical gateway called the Siege Perilous, a gift left to them by Roma.
Separated from the X-Men, Psylocke reemerged in China, lacking her memories. There, with the assistance of the Mojoworld witch, Spiral, Psylocke’s mind was placed into the body of an injured Japanese-woman named, Kwannon. Kwannon was a highly skilled warrior and world-class assassin. Due to Psylocke’s telepathic abilities, much of (if not all) Kwannon’s abilities and skills are also transferred, as well as portions of her personality. The same was done in reverse for Kwannon, however, she would later contract the Legacy Virus. Facing certain death, she ritually sacrificed herself.
This is the beginning of the modern-day and most famous form of Psylocke. Since then, Psylocke’s abilities have been expanded to include telekinesis. Recently during the ‘Hunt for Wolverine’, she battled the villain Sapphire Styx. After being absorbed and reconstituted, Psylocke regained her original Caucasian body. The act subsequently restored Kwannon to life, and inside her original Japanese body to boot.
Off the Pages
Even though she only guest-starred in the X-Men: The Animated Series arc “Beyond Good and Evil”, Psylocke has been a mainstay throughout X-Men media. She’s been in numerous X-Men themed games including; X-Men: Children of the Atom, X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse, Marvel Superheroes, X-Men Vs. Streetfighter, and the Marvel Vs. Capcom series.
As far as film goes, Psylocke has been featured in two of the X-Men movies; X-Men: The Last Stand (X3) and X-Men: Apocalypse, portrayed by actresses Meiling Melancon and Olivia Munn respectively. Sadly, both films were widely panned.
- Though not usually exhibited in the books, Psylocke is considered to be an Omega-Level mutant.
- During the early 90s, as part of the X-Men Blue team, Psylocke attempted to lure Cyclops into having an affair with her on several occasions.
- In X-Treme X-Men, Psylocke was brutally murdered by the villain only known as Vargas. She would later be resurrected by her reality warping brother, James Braddock.
- While in her Japanese body, Betsy spoke with a British accent… because she was British.
- For a time prior to joining the X-Men, Betsy used the Captain Britain name. Right after acquiring Kwannon’s body she went by Lady Mandarin.
- When Betsy’s mind was implanted in Kwannon’s body, she lost half her psionic potential. When Kwannon died, she regained that power.
- Though she’s had a long-standing ‘off and on’ relationship with Warren Worthington, Angel, Psylocke has also been attached to both the female and male versions of Fantomex.