Wednesday, April 26, 2017

FEUD: Psylocke and Shadow King

With the imminent launch of the new Astonishing X-Men, Psylocke will face the Shadow King again. These two have crossed paths many times before. Their feud has only grown over time, turning it into something personal. Has the Shadow King become Betsy’s greatest enemy?

Uncanny X-Men (Vol. 1) #273
When Jean Grey attempted to use Cerebro to track some former X-Men on the Astral Plane, she was attacked by the Shadow King. Psylocke entered the Astral Plane and was forced to use her psi-knife on Jean to free her. Upon returning to the real world, neither woman was sure who their foe was or what he really wanted.

Uncanny X-Men (Vol. 1) #278-280, X-Factor (Vol. 1) #69
After warnings from Forge and Banshee, a team of X-Men – including Psylocke – decided to investigate Muir Island, whose inhabitants have been taken over by the Shadow King, but they were soon captured. Psylocke was among the many mutants possessed by the Shadow King. Forge defeated Betsy and used her psychic knife on Polaris, who was being used as a nexus between the physical world and the Astral Plane by Farouk. His power source destroyed, the Shadow King was ripped apart.

X-Men (Vol. 2) #77-78
Years later, after the Onslaught incident, Farouk was able to return. Posing as "Ananasi", the Shadow King took over the African tribe who worshiped Storm. Psylocke took to the Astral Plane to fight him, but ended up falling into his trap. Betsy accidentally caused a chain reaction that crippled the psionic plan itself, damaging the collective subconscious of every being on Earth, especially those born with psionic abilities. Psylocke's astral form was destroyed as Farouk ascended to dominance. While the Shadow King began to corrupt mankind, the Crimson Dawn saved Psylocke once more, assigning her the ability to command the shadows of the Psionic Plane. Once Farouk sensed Betsy's presence, he stretched his powers to the maximum to infect every mind on Earth. Psylocke discovered that the Shadow King had left his nexus exposed and used her shadows to contain it. Psylocke trapped the Shadow King, focusing her telepathy on him, which prevented her from using her telepathic abilities again.

Wolverine (Vol. 2) #147
Sometime later, when Psylocke was forced to use Cerebro to reach and cleanse Wolverine and Archangel of the Death persona, the Shadow King eventually managed to convince Betsy to release him so she could help both men. As Psylocke was ready to embrace the Shadow King, Warren stopped her. After that encounter, Betsy turned off Cerebro, imprisoning Farouk again.

X-Treme X-Men Annual 2001
The Shadow King was eventually released from his prison when Psylocke perished in combat with the mutant hunter, Vargas. Once again free, he possessed the Reavers and attempted to attack the X-Men. However, Rogue used her strength of will to stop the Shadow King and imprison him, like Psylocke did before.

New Excalibur #8, #19
After Psylocke was resurrected by Jamie Braddock, she visited her twin brother Captain Britain in England and faced the Shadow King once more. Farouk explained that when Psylocke died, her consciousness was pulled by the strings of reality itself and part of him managed to escape to another universe where he possessed an alternate version of Charles Xavier. The Scarlet Witch's Decimation Wave enabled the Shadow King to return to Earth-616, seeking revenge on Betsy. Immune to his control, Psylocke telekinetically induced a stroke in Xavier's body. However, before she could finish him off, Betsy was interdimensionally teleported to the Crystal Palace at the Nexus of All Realities. Farouk was later defeated by Lionheart, who killed his host’s body, sending him back to the Astral Plane.

Uncanny X-Force (Vol. 1) #8, #10
The Shadow King later resurfaced in Wakanda, where his plans were foiled by Storm and the Panther God, Bast. Sometime later, X-Force investigated a nuclear facility, from where Psylocke sensed strange psionic readings. Betsy easily uncovered the enemy the Shadow King, who engaged her in battle on the Astral Plane. Farouk released the Archangel persona from the psychic prison in Warren's mind to exact revenge on Psylocke. The Shadow King hoped to use Warren to launch nukes at Utopia, a haven for mutantkind. Archangel slayed the Shadow King on the Astral Plane and killed a soldier at the military facility, even though said soldier was no longer possessed by Farouk. The Shadow King later gave a reporter a USB containing images of Archangel, and X-Force, acting as assassins, hoping to expose the black ops team.

Uncanny X-Force (Vol. 1) #26-27, #32-35
The Shadow King later joined Daken’s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants in a plot to attack the X-Force. Psylocke was psychically attacked by Farouk, who played with her weaknesses and insecurities, however Fantomex used his psi-shielded mask to break Farouk’s mind control over her. When X-Force faced the Brotherhood again, the Shadow King attacked Betsy on the Astral Plane, reminding her how he promised to tear her life apart. Psylocke manifested the sum of her psionic might and the Shadow King fell. Betsy decided not to kill him, which Farouk used as an opportunity to shatter her psyche. In the physical world, Betsy used Omega White to drain the Shadow King’s psychic essence and trap him. Psylocke later asked her brother, Captain Britain, to keep the imprisoned Shadow King in Otherworld.

Nightcrawler (Vol. 4) #8-10
Brian Braddock sealed the Shadow King's host body in a tomb in the Gobi Desert where it was eventually found in stasis erroneously trapped inside Omega Black's body by the Crimson Pirates and unwittingly released by their telepath, Bloody Bess. Bess appealed to Nightcrawler for help, and alongside Kurt, fought the Pirates and the X-Men, who were controlled by the Shadow King – including Psylocke. Once Bess broke the Shadow King’s control over Betsy, both women sent Nightcrawler against Farouk on the Astral Plane armed with Psylocke's psi-blade, which stunned him long enough to be interred again in Omega Black's body.

Astonishing X-Men (Vol. 4)
The Shadow King returns! The ancient evil is attacking the world’s most powerful minds, one by one, twisting reality. A band of X-Men – Psylocke, Old Man Logan, Bishop, Archangel, Fantomex, Rogue, Gambit and Mystique – discovers the truth behind the threat and will try to save the world.


FSaker said...

Great recap! And yes, Shadow King is probably Psylocke's worst enemies; the only other villains who I associate with her are Mojo and Spiral - but neither of them is as dangerous as Farouk (plus, Spiral supposedly reformed after Humphries UXF).

That's interesting when we consider that Farouk was originally Xavier's archnemesis, then Storm's. Yet, Betsy is the one who crossed paths with him more frequently ever since their feud began.

Luis Peixoto said...

I really hope Betsy will have a good plan here. She got everything to be one of the principal characters in this book. I wish they keep portraying her as a strong women willing to do anything for a greater good. And yes please use her powers right and strong. (Sorry for my English) ;)

Eduardo said...

This raises my anticipation to check what will come!!! I never get tired of seeing Psylocke against the Shadow King, as it takes more than just telepathy, but also intelligence, to defeat him.
As the only telepath in the series, her role is gonna be pretty meaningful probably. I wonder what consequences will come out of this in terms of changes.

Toca do Caranguejo said...

What I am most impressed with is that, even with (fortunately) Betsy's brief absence from Marvel, there is always a lot to be said about her. It is not for nothing she's one of my favorite characters.

Tazirai said...

Humphries run doesn't exist at Marvel lol.
But this was a great job at recapping their past together and their rivalry.

Toca do Caranguejo said...

But Betsy never fought with Farouk. Betsy's only battle at the astral plane was with Cassandra Nova.

Unknown said...

What are you talking about? Betsy fought with Farouk on the Astral Plane plenty of times. Just read the article.

nicce said...

I think Toca do Caranguejo is refering to Tazirai's post about Humphries's UXF.

Toca do Caranguejo said...

Exaclty nicce, thank you.

FSaker said...


And Tazirai's post wasn't related to Betsy fighting Farouk (if I understood correctly), but to Humphries making Spiral become a heroine (or something close to that), which the other Marvel writers will probably ignore whenever she appears in a comic book again.

Toca do Caranguejo said...

Fsaker, I do not entirely agree with you about Psylocke's stance toward Magneto. I admit that Cullen Bunn did not make himself understood as he should for common sense, but I do not think it was merely for Erik "to have associated with Emma Frost to exterminate the Inhumans". You see, Psylocke always been a mindful person but, shall I say, deranged too. When Magneto came to her (using Archangel for blackmail her emotionally), it was to offered a partnership, not for her to become his blind follower (Magneto's words in UXM # 12). However, in pratice, Eric tooks a lot of madman, mindfucked and/or warmongers desperated for a cause or for taking it out in some Inhumans (for obvious reasons) and whose members had nothing to do with each other (easier for Magneto manipulations). And acting and calling themselves X-men, but using Brotherhood, Hellfire Club and other enemy groups and its methods. In the end, when it became clear that he maintain hidden secrets from his "partners", Magneto simply asked Betsy to trust him (but if she did, she would be a blind follower, right?).

But, as we all know, all this is typical of Erik, so is enough reason to kill him? Many people think "er... no", most because Magneto did worse of the past and the X-men always been full of fingers with him, instead of think "no" because it's wrong to kill for start.

For me, therefore, kill Erik was yes a hypocritical attitude of Psylocke, because she was basically anger with him for manipulated her, as Magneto has always done with all the mutants he has ever had contact with. Betsy couldn't admit to being treated like any pawn. Moreover, by the new times that would come after Inhumans vs X-men, a person like Magneto would only mess with all, for all his historical precedence. Rage + "Rational Motivations", that's my interpretation of Bunn's UXM.

In short lines, the association of Magneto was the last straw but not all of the problem that Betsy had with him.

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