Friday, August 24, 2018

Hunt For Wolverine: Mystery in Madripoor #4: Full Breakdown and Reference Guide

Blond Ambition: Although Psylocke was inhabiting the body of Kwannon for the past years, her soul reflected the image of her original self. Betsy Braddock debuted in Captain Britain v1 #8 (1976) as a natural blonde Caucasian girl.


Purple Rain: Upon noticing her blonde hair, Psylocke immediately changed it back to purple (or lavender, if you must). Betsy debuted her purple hair in Daredevils v1 #3 (1983), much to her brother’s dismay. Thank you, Alan Moore.

Dressed for Success: Got nothing to wear? How about that little pink dress you wore when you proved yourself worthy of the X-Men by kicking Sabretooth’s ass? Betsy brings back her vintage dress from Uncanny X-Men v1 #213 (1986).


My Reflection: Did Psylocke reflecting on her self-image over the years ring a bell? That’s what she did when she was brought back to life by her brother Jamie in Uncanny X-Men v1 #456 (2005) and came to the same conclusion: Betsy is Betsy.

Greatest Hits: Schoolgirl uniform (Uncanny X-Men v1 #256), Mojoworld slave (New Mutants Annual v1 #2), Vintage pink (Uncanny X-Men v1 #213), Outback armor (Uncanny X-Men v1 #232) and Captain Britain (Captain Britain v2 #12).

Greatest Hits vol. 2: Lady Mandarin (Uncanny X-Men v1 #257), All-New, All-Different Marvel (Uncanny X-Men v4 #1), Crimson Dawn (Uncanny X-Men v1 #333), Marvel NOW (Uncanny X-Force v2 #1) and Classic Ninja (Uncanny X-Men v1 #256).

Kissed to Death: Curious about when Wolverine locked lips with Sapphire Styx and got a piece of his soul trapped forever in her mindscape? Try Marvel Comics Presents v1 #4 (1988). Unfortunately for him, it wasn’t as pleasant as it was for her.

Break it Down: Psylocke exploded Sapphire Styx’s body from within and shattered all her pieces to the four winds. Maybe she took inspiration from the best: Mojo, back when he did the same thing to her in New Mutants Annual v1 #2 (1986).

‘80s Trends: Betsy debuted a new uniform which seems to be based on the original design of her Captain Britain suit, except with the color scheme of her Outback armor, lavender and pink instead of old Britain’s red, blue and white.

Mind Witch: Psylocke tricking Snake-whip into attacking an illusion instead of her felt familiar, right? That was one of Betsy’s favorite tricks back in the day. Here’s Betsy doing the same with poor Rogue in Uncanny X-Men v1 #239 (1988).

Let Me In: When Betsy was admitted to the Xavier School, she wasn’t sure if she belonged with the senior X-Men or the youngsters in training. Fortunately for her, she did show them the tiger within in Uncanny X-Men v1 #213 (1986).

Killing Me Softly: It doesn’t look like Psylocke regrets killing Magneto back in Uncanny X-Men v4 #19 (2017). This is the first time they have met each other since then and judging by her thoughts, she’s ready to kill him again.

Full Circle: Psylocke and Jubilee share a moment after a major change for Betsy. Unlike the first time in Uncanny X-Men v1 #258 (1990) when she was a bit distrustful, Jubilee now showed support to her friend and made sure she was ok.

Ghosts: Dr. Synne mind-controlled her – Captain Britain v1 #8. S.T.R.I.K.E. infiltrated by Vixen targeted her and her friends – Daredevils v1 #3.  Mojo kidnapped, enslaved and gave her bionic eyes – New Mutants Annual v1 #2. The Hand violated her body and soul – Uncanny X-Men v1 #256.

At Last I am Myself: Those were the exact same words said by Betsy when she was free of Spiral’s control in New Mutants Annual v1 #2 (1986). She shares the same sentiment now that she was able to choose who she wants to be.

Je Veux ta Revanche: Kwannon a.k.a. Revanche is back from the dead after 24 years. This is the first time she was seen in her original body other than flashbacks like this one straight from the pages of X-Men v2 #31 (1994).

26 comments:

Jeferson Santos said...

I really love all this references to the classics stories. This was a right and refreshing path: go back to the start! With Jean alive (I still did not accept that) and Betsy in her own body (I imagine that she feels very comfortable) the things are going to be interesting.

Eric Ton said...

Great job, I never realize how much work was put into reminding me of the importance of such a character as Psylocke. I even appreciate the use of reference where her previous costume had defined what she truly looks like in the past.

Some dude said...

No wonder this felt so regressive and rehashed.

Chris said...

This guy really did his homework. Psylocke hasn't been written so in character since Remender's X-Force. Great use of continuity.

Rahsaan Chisolm said...

@Chris, agreed. I love a writer who researches! One thing this reinforces to me though which many of us have echoed time and again is how silly it is when she uses offensive strikes unnecessarily and parts herself in harm's way. Why would she previously launch a physical attack on Mags when she confirms here that she can kill him from afar?

Don't get me wrong. I love that she can fight and will do so. However, I hope to see more of a combination of all her skills which I hope they are alluding to here. Any smart, trained martial artists knows that the best way to incapacitate an opponent is the road of least resistance and the one that poses the least physical risk to self. There are times when a fighter has to offensively strike like when trapped or they sense imminent doom, but too often, this woman just fights for no good reason at all. Odd since she is thoroughly trained and long past the action junkie phase she was first in when she first learned how to fight.

Here is to a more thoughtful, intelligent Psylocke going forward.

FSaker said...

Wow, lots of references, indeed! I particularly love the reference to the UXM #456 scene; Claremont's third run was full of flaws, but it also had some nice moments, and Psylocke looking at her reflection while it changes was one of them.

By the way, next week Marvel will release the Dead Ends one-shot wrapping up all the four miniseries (including Mystery in Madripoor), right?

Vigmed said...

Good stuff!

Stewart Walker said...

This is a brilliant breakdown of her history and all the nostalgia nods! I think from what I'm reading on other sites the main argument now is some people think that this reverse to true self will somehow devolve the charecter And she might end up just another jean or Emma. I also just read another comment suggesting, why don't you just retcon the whole braddock family to be half Japanese? Problem solved? Theres alot if people complaining that it didnt explain enough and im like what? So this explains it beuatifull. Although i would love
a mini on how shes coping with being back and how shes adjusting with her body and powers etc would be awsome!So again it really does seem to come down to if you know her history well enough to recognise all the nostalgia nods. Personally I'm exited to see where she goes from here! As long as the storys are good and she keeps evolving I'm happy.

Tazirai said...

Impressive use of references and understanding of the character that Psylocke is and was. Greta way to show her growth as a woman and Hero. I've never understood the need of the action junkie, when she has been portrayed as tactical and smart. Here's to her return to form.

Welcome home Elizabeth Braddock, welcome home Psylocke.

David D-Pole said...

Regressive :/ just because sombody rehashed her "greatest hits" and read a couple of back issues does not make this boring character regression a good thing. Dumb 2018 BS.

Tazirai said...

It's only Boring David, if it's not given a chance to work. I know some of you feel betrayed, but the same way I had to learn to accept the Asian body. Because I thought it was pointless.
Can you guys do the same or is your anger too much to overcome?

CmX said...

Awesome breakdown. Kudos

AKO Star said...

Damn... I guess this part of Hunt for Wolverine was very well written. I remember over half this but not all yet I felt a.lor.of.flashbacks when I read it. the dude did put some really good work now.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely loathe this development and agree with what David D-Poole said.

Unknown said...

And yet Psylocke was more interesting this issue than she ever was in the past three years.

Anonymous said...

Psylocke was more inconsistent in this issue than she has been in the past three years.

X-Man said...
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X-Man said...

I totally agree Rahsaan.

Rahsaan Chisolm said...

Whether we like or dislike this new status quo, canwe all agree that both Elizabeth and Kwannon going forward will both better served in the hands of more capable writers and artists than we were given during the Hunt for Wolverine? I look forward to the new era coming this fall. I just hope that Leinil Yu will not be the regular artist.

X-Man said...

Love it. I can't wait to read these issues. To each their own, but I just dont see how a character being a specific race makes them more interesting or not interesting. I said it other places and I'll say it here. I didn't mind the other body when I thought she and Kwannon merged, but the minute it was a swap..... I was done (not with her to be clear, but in terms of liking it, always stayed loyal to Psylocke/Betsy though). That's IMHO borderline "blackface" and I find it pretty offensive of the writers to have ever done it in the first place to be honest. She can only be interesting, complex, a great fighter etc etc when she's literally wearing a minority person's body? I actually find that regressive and pretty insulting to the character. That was pretty much what the movie "Get Out" was showcasing. I could see if she got a different personality, bad writing etc etc for years or something (though she had that a lot in the "Asian" body to be honest), but this literally just happened. No one knows what she can or can not do yet, how she'll be coping, her upcoming story arcs etc etc. Yet people are already assuming and done? I am sincerely not trying to be offensive and I know some people are very upset, but it does genuinely appear to some of us that people were more a fan of that look/body than the actual character. I honestly dont know how else we can perceive it? She hasn't even got the material written to b!tch about yet lol. Kinda makes me sad.

Nikki said...

Make it so that she's still swift, agile and a kickass ninja... Get her lavender hair styled like straight with bangs, bunned or simply on a ponytail... After all, the Psylocke mini series made it clear that her tastes when it comes to aesthetics is still Oriental... My rant is seriously with the hair... Somebody please change it permanently... Betsy's a British model... That hairdo makes her look like having nursed tentacles on her head the entire time!

Eduardo said...
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Eduardo said...

I first saw Psylocke in the Marvel Super Heroes game, which drove me to the comics. I had never seen the british version and as I started reading I retroactively searched for her other arcs and came to fall in love with her when I read the fall of the mutants, the australian outback team and the mutant massacre, which portrayed more her essence as a warrior and creativity when using her powers. Although many think the body swap makes her story convoluted, I think oppositely: I love Psylocke because of her unique story. Everything can happen to her. And she rises back to herself.

Rahsaan Chisolm said...

@Eduardo, she was pretty dope in Fall of the Mutants. I agree with what you, AO and FSaker have all said. I respect fans of Asian Psylocke. I was a fan of hers during Acts of Vegeance through Claremont’s firts departure. And I always was fan of European Psylocke. Looking forward to seeing how she moves forward and embodies the person she always wanted to be. That is, a warrior both inside and out with her birth face. Respect to everyone here and to Elizabeth Braddock and Kwannon.

Tazirai said...

@nikki nobody says Oriental anymore, unless They are talking about rugs. Also, they tried for years to get us to accept her turning her back on her English roots. That is not the case. I actually lived in Japan for near a decade, and I don't have "oriental" stylings. I lived their longer than she's actually been in that body in comic years. 3 to 4 tops. Psylocke isn't and never will be Asian. She can have some tokens and mementos of Japan. But to show them over her own actual heritage does the character lasting harm. Since some of her "fans" don't even know the basics of the character they claim to love. They love the look of her it seems and not the actual woman. It's not regressive at all. Had Marvel properly dealt with her body issues over the years people's feelings would be different But no, they teased a swap yearly, writers made fun of it, and she got shuffled off to. Non main team books. Maybe now things will change for her and Kwannon

Anonymous said...

Fall of the Mutants is my favourite X-Men story arc ever. I thought it was very moving.

-AO