Saturday, December 09, 2006

Profile: Psylocke

Betsy Braddock, Psylocke
First appearance: 1976 in Captain Britain. She’s the twin sister of Brian Braddock, and at one point took up the role in his stead. In 1986, when she, along with kunoichi (female ninja) Kwannon, were captured by villainess Spiral, they had the essence of their bodies switched, and were even brainwashed as well, in one of the most bizarre storylines of the Bronze/Iron Age.

Current status: she has now joined the cast of Exiles. When Chris Claremont was assigned to write that book, she went where he did.

Was subjected to the following acts of discrimination: she was violently assaulted by the villain named Slaymaster (whom her brother Brian killed to defend her), and was blinded for a time. In 1996, she was gashed by Sabretooth, and it was thanks to the Crimson Dawn that she was healed. In 2001, she was slain by a villain named Vargas, all so that writer Chris Claremont could replace her with an obvious clone (in fighting style anyway), the former Black Queen of the Hellfire Club, in the pages of X-Treme X-Men (now cancelled). In New Excalibur, when she vanishes into the dimension of the Exiles, it would seem as though nobody can remember her except her own brother Brian.

What’s wrong with how this was done? Two violent acts of assault inflicted upon her at the hands of two violent villains is just two acts too many, and the second one was certainly overkill. And that Claremont would replace her so pointlessly with another protagonist was also stupid. The way that the annoying Pete Wisdom makes a remark about an "imaginary sister" to Brian Braddock is equally annoying, since, while I'm not as prone to attack Chris Claremont as some other people are, that was still insulting, even if she's still alive in the next dimension.

Was there anything good to come out of this? Since then, she’s alive and well again, having been found alive and little the worse for wear in Uncanny X-Men, and she’s returned to her role as a crimefighter again. She’s lucky to have the nine lives or more of the cat she is!


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