Monday, June 22, 2009

Chris Yost: Settling the Ghosts of Psylocke

Newsarama: And you thought Psylocke had been through a lot in her recent appearances in Uncanny X-Men. Just you wait. Plus sketches by Harvey Tolibao, the penciler to the mini-series!

November will see writer Chris Yost head up a four issue Psylocke miniseries with art by Harvey Tolibao which will kick off with a trip to Japan and a reunion with Matsu'o Tsurayaba. Madness, violence, and ninjas follow.

We spoke with Yost for more on what readers can expect in the coming miniseries.

Newsarama: First off Chris - you were an X-Men fan long before you got into weaving their tales - what's your first X-Memory?

Chris Yost: Not as long as some. The very first time I read X-Men in a comic was when Spider-Man took them down in Secret Wars #2. I had no idea who they were... although I'd seen Nightcrawler in an issue of Amazing Spider-Man and didn't realize it.

Then I picked up Uncanny a while after that... but the issue I picked up had Forge, Illyana, a powerless Storm, Dire Wraiths and Rom Spaceknight. And Illyana Rasputin and Amanda Sefton. So, it was awesome... but I had no idea who the hell they were. And they didn't have Wikipedia back then. But I was hooked.

NRAMA: Obviously, you follow along with the series, and know what's coming up, so what was your reaction when it became clear that Psylocke was coming back in a big way in Uncanny?

CY: My reaction was 'Finally.' Psylocke is one of the new new wave of X-Men, one of the ones that I got introduced to as I read the book. Her, Gambit, Psylocke, Longshot, Dazzler... the Silvestri/Mister Sinister/Morlock Massacre days. The anything could happen days.

NRAMA: So spell things out a little for where this miniseries picks up with her - Betsy is back, and Kwannon is gone, as per what Madelyne explained to the Sisterhood?

CY: This is post Sisterhood, so Betsy is back and Kwannon is gone... but Betsy is in Kwannon's body. Elisabeth Braddock's 'birth' body is dead. Again.

NRAMA: Again. Since we're talking about Madelyne, where does Besty fit in in your mind, in regards to the psychics of the X-Men’s world? Just how powerful is she?

CY: Betsy is one of the planet's most powerful telepaths... of course, there aren't that many left. She's not Xavier or Jean Grey level, but she can hold her own. But what she can do that the others can't is focus her telepathy into a psychic knife. So she can physically and psychically kick your ass, and look amazing doing it.

NRAMA: Groundwork out of the way, let's talk about your miniseries - was this something you volunteered for, came up with, or were just the guy who picked up the phone and said, "Hell, yes, I'll write it!"?

CY: Much like the recent Storm mini, editor Daniel Ketchum called me up and asked if I'd be interested. I can't imagine a character that I'd answer 'no' for, but with Psylocke, it was an easy decision.

NRAMA: While this starts as Betsy looking to do the right thing, it quickly becomes a revenge flick on paper. Who is she gunning for?

CY: Matsu'o Tsurayaba. But wait, you say... the two of them made their peace! She's got nothing against him. Well, just wait.

NRAMA: Oh, like we’re going to let you go with that... Why's she got such a mad on for Matsu'o and figures she must stop him?

CY: Matsu'o does something pretty unspeakable. For a very simple reason, he hurts Betsy in a very personal, very violent way. It's pretty shocking, and at first glance non-sensical. But by the end, it will all make sense. Fingers crossed.

NRAMA: What's your take on these eddys that flow off the main X-Men current like Psylocke and her whole adventure? In a way, you could argue that it was almost an afterthought when Betsy and Kwannon were mashed up, and here, a couple of decades later, we're still telling and reading stories about it...

CY: This is a story about Betsy coming back to the world, trying to figure out who she is and what her place is... and having an option taken off the table in a horrific way. Betsy has been on a rollercoaster, that's for sure. There's a laundry list of weirdness and complexity that's been heaped on her, but at her core, she's still Betsy. She's a hero, and a fighter. She's got an edge. She's sexy as hell, to the point where Cyclops finds himself staring at her.

This mini does touch on the 'two bodies' bit, but it's the set up for a pretty personal conflict. It's about revenge, but it's about mercy. After everything Psylocke has been through, does she have any humanity left?

NRAMA: What do you want this miniseries to do for Psylocke as a character when it's all said and done?

CY: I want this mini series to remind people how and why we're still telling stories about Psylocke. To show the youngsters why she kicks ass, and remind the rest of us what we love about her.

NRAMA: Can't let you go without a tease - how does issue #1 kick off?

CY: Psylocke kills some guy.


FSaker said...

Good interview (although not very different from the IGN one)! Who could be the guy she will kill, and why would she do that?

centurion said...

Yes. I guess we will have to wait and see. What Yost and crew have planned is the most intelligent way to de-muddle Betsy's often convoluted history. I am elated to see that Psylocke is getting greater exposure in comics this year. 2009-2010 may be the year of Betsy. If this translates into further exposure in the animated series and videogames, I will be in heaven.


Askanipsion said...

She looks great!! Elegant and beautiful!

La Betsy said...

I love having big news about Betsy!
Im so excited... The mini, the cover of uncanny x-men 513, she's finally getting spotlight!
And i also love the fact they want to remind people why she is so damn cool and the way she can kick asses.
The creative team of the mini is the shit.
Yost and Tolibao... WOW
This remind me the 90s golden era with C.C. and Jim Lee. I think this is the old good Psylocke we gonna see.

Francis said...

hope she's gonna give Sabertooth some serious beating! xD

Psychilde said...


PsySpears said...

Wow beautiful sketches,she reminds me of somone in them but i cant think who.This is gonna be a great mini.ive been dyin for one since the last which was waaaaaaaaaay back with the crimson dawn one with warren.And yeah,it looks like marvel are pushing betsy as the new spotlighted x-lady since jean and Emma are off the scene.

FSaker said...

But isn't Sabertooth dead?? The 616-Sabertooth, at least? I remember Wolverine decapitating him some time ago (unless his healing factor allows him to grow his head back).

Sure, there's still the AoA-Sabertooth (aka Exiles-Sabertooth, aka Betsy's former lover), but Yost said the Exiles' time won't be a part of this mini. Plus, why would she beat this Creed?

Nah, I'm hoping this mysterious villain is actually the villainess Spiral! She has messed with Betsy for a long time; it's time for Betsy to punish her!

Psychilde said...

OMG ALL THIS AWESOME PSYLOCKE NEWS IS GONNA MAKE MY HEAD EXPLODE!!!! Actually can't wait for this mini, I want it now!!! lol

centurion said...

I miss those days in the 1990s with C.C. and Jim Lee, La Betsy. I enjoyed the first issue of X-Men Forever, and I am looking foward to the other issues this month. For those of you who have read X-Men Forever 1, did you notice in the upper left-hand corner of the cover page that there was a picture of most of the blue team X-Men, including Betsy? I wonder if this is a mistake or a subtle hint?


Giles said...

LuckyStar, there is more Betsy goodies to be found:


Pedro_Berenguer said...

All I got to say is HURRAY! :D

Argus said...

You know, reading this interviews with Yost and Fraction worry me. They really dont seem to know Psylocke at all! (eg, "I dont know about Crimson Dawn", "Did she get with Sabretooth?"). C'mon guys, do your reading!

Im also hating the way her powers have been mucked with so much. Get her back to telepathy and stick her there. And just how redundant was the recent Kwannon story, and how much did it NOT make sense?

Gah. I wish Carey was writing Psylocke :(

Giles said...

It's just the opposite for me Argus, I find it amazing that Yost think about certain aspects of Betsy the same way that I do. For e.g:

As Yost sees it, while recent events for Betsy would seem rather extraordinary to most, for her it comes off as relatively normal.

Remember, even Regan Wyngarde (Lady Mastermind) thought that the whole "two Psylocke"-thing was weird, something that Betsy takes almost for granted. ;)

IMO, Yost gets the character of Betsy 100%. I'm looking forward to the mini so friggin much, that it's almost ridiculus. lol

Anonymous said...

Perfect power adjustment, exactly the combination i wanted!

I disagree judging by how he spoke of her i think this is going to be the limited series I have ALWAYS dreamed Psylocke could have. I really dont want to build my hopes up but oh my god its exciting. I hope with all the lethal killing she retains her confident playful personality ala Jolies Croft.

So Matsuo will be the first villain followed by somebody else who is "culminating in a battle with one of the most vicious killers on the planet..." and "And her final adversary is a doozy." I would have guessed Spiral at first but the last part has thrown that off, Im guessing Sabretooth but hes dead right? someone Hand related makes me think Elekta (but shes good now right?) or Bullseye... (is he still hand related or has that been retoconned? too Elektra aswell if she fights him...)


Anonymous said...

They swapped bodies its really not that confusing... Especially when you compare her story to something like the Spiderman clone saga or Wolverines or convoluted history.

Kike Galván said...

i just wanna show u my painted Psylocke!!! i hope u like it

Tazirai said...

hopefully she'll be treated with the respect she deserves with this one.