Elizabeth Braddock (Psylocke)

PsylockeTime for another character appeared in X-Men: Apocalypse first pics: Psylocke, portrayed by Olivia Munn. In the movie, she’ll be a young girl working for mutant underground boss Caliban, later recruited by Apocalypse as one of his Four Horsemen (it’s unclear which one). In the original timeline (the one prior to Days of Future Past), Psylocke had an unfortunate fate: she appeared briefly in X-Men Origins: Wolverine as a prisoner of William Stryker in his Weapon X facility, freed along with the others at the end of the movie, but she ends up joining Callisto and her Omegas in X-Men: The Last Stand; in this last movie, she’s portrayed by Meiling Melançon, and she has the power to teleport through shadows (an ability she possessed only temporarily in the comics). She fights against the X-Men in the final battle, and she’s vaporized by the Dark Phoenix‘s powers before even doing anything, being just a disappointing cameo. Hopefully, the new version will be a better one…let’s wait and see. In the meanwhile, let’s see who she is in the comics.

Elizabeth “Betsy” Braddock was born in MaldonEngland, the daughter of Sir James Braddock, an “alien” from the parallel dimension Otherworld sent on Earth by Merlyn to conceive a champion, and Elizabeth. The Braddocks had three children: the first one, Jamie, was a powerful mutant with reality-bending powers, while the other two were the twins Betsy and Brian; the latter would have grown up to become the champion Merlyn forsaw, Captain Britain, while the first had a pretty impressive “career” of her own. After her parents died, Betsy became a charter pilot, and she helped Captain Britain in some of his missions: it was during one of these that Dr. Synne, one of her twin’s enemies, brainwashed her into attacking her siblings. Betsy was freed by Synne’s mental control, and when it was revealed that the telepathic supervillain was in league with the Red Skull, she allied with psylockecomics1Captain Britain and Captain America to defeat both criminals. Synne’s psychic attack, however, had consequences, as it triggered Betsy’s latent powers: she was in fact a mutant like Jamie, with the gift of telepathy. After quitting her job as a pilot and working for a time as a model, Betsy used her increased abilities to contact a psi-agent from S.T.R.I.K.E. (the English version of S.H.I.E.L.D.), and she was soon recruited in their ranks. Betsy operated in the psi-division, and she kept her modeling career as a cover for her actual profession; when S.T.R.I.K.E. was decimated by the combined attack of crimelord Vixen and deranged mutant Mad Jim Jaspers, Betsy was one of the few survivors of her division, along with her boyfriend Tom Lennox and Alison Double. When the emergency was solved with the intervention of Captain Britain, Betsy was recruited by the agency created to replace S.T.R.I.K.E., R.C.X., but her time with them was pretty short: during a mission, the mercenary Slaymaster brutally beat her and blinded her, and only Brian’s intervention prevented her to lose her life as well. The experience left Betsy deeply scarred, and she retired from R.C.X., seeking rest and time to recuperate in Switzerland, on the Alps. Peace, however, wasn’t an easy thing to be found.

While in her shelter, the blind Betsy was kidnapped by Spiral, the bodyguard of Mojo, an interdimensional tv producer who had quite a lacking professional ethics. She was brainwashed by Mojo, renamed Psylocke and used as the “host” of his new tv program, Wildways: her task was to “recruit” (kidnap) superpowered children from all over the world to form Mojo’s new team, the Bratpack, to be used for a reality show. She was also given a pair of artificial eyes by Mojo, so that she regained her eyesight. Under Mojo’s orders, Psylocke kidnapped also Rahne “Wolfsbane” Sinclair and Bob “Sunspot” D’Acosta, two teenagers members of the New Mutants. The other New Mutants went to the rescue, and during the following battle they managed to break Mojo’s control over Betsy. psylockecomics2Finally free from the madman’s influence, Psylocke decided to follow the New Mutants to their house and base of operations, Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, and she chose to stay, believing she could learn much about her powers from the institute’s director, Professor X. Unfortunately, Mojo was still watching her and the other mutants through the cybernetic eyes he had implanted in Betsy, and she was used to transform the X-Men into de-aged versions of themselves, the X-Babies: the villain filmed the babies’ adventures through Psylocke, and made a tv show out of them, until the New Mutants managed to rescue their senior teammates, and joined them in defeating Mojo. After this misadventure, Betsy wasn’t exactly trusted by the X-Men, and she was also suspected to be an accomplish of the Marauders when they massacred the mutant outcasts Morlocks; Psylocke, however, engaged in battle the fiercest of the Marauders, Sabretooth, risking her own life, something that deeply impressed the X-Men. After the battle, Charles Xavier offered her a place with his X-Men, believing she had demonstrated incredible courage and skill: Betsy accepted the offer, and she officially embraced the monicker Mojo had created for her, Psylocke, in order to redeem her name from all the things her former master made her do.

Betsy Braddock is a strong and motivated young woman, the heir of a glorious family who fights for justice and honor…and who has fallen into a spiral of violence that, with time, made her addicted to it. As Psylocke, she was at first just a telepath, but some experiences of death and rebirth and some intervention from other mutants (her brother Jaimie and an alternate-universe Jean Grey especially) improved her powers: she’s now able to use telekinesis to move objects, to levitate, to create force fields and weapons (especially knives and swords, but also crossbows and other arms); she’s able to hide her presence from others with her Psionic Shadow, and she can mind-control other people, project her astral form on other planes, and perform other telepathy-related deeds (she also shares a special psychic bond with her twin, Brian, and they’re able to sense if the other is in danger); she’s also a skilled ninja, extremely proficient with martial arts and with swordmanship. A fearsome warrior with a just cause to pursue, Psylocke has on her conscience all the crimes she committed while under control of others (something that happened far too many times): now she struggles to be the only one controlling her actions, the mistress of her own destiny, only fighting for her friends and the causes she believes in.

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7 Comments

  1. […] there were four very particular customers that day at the mall: Ororo Munroe, Anne Marie, Betsy Braddock and Alison Blaire, better known as Storm, Rogue, Psylocke and Dazzler from the X-Men. The […]

  2. […] they came to the Savage Land investigating about the mysterious resurrection of one of their own, Psylocke. Raina, along with two teammates (telepath Kaidan and flyer Masano), as well as some giant, […]

  3. […] a brand new haircut, apparently. As for now, we know that the Horsemen will be Magneto, Psylocke, Storm and Angel, thus making the latter the only one retaining the role from the comics. […]

  4. […] from the fact that he’ll be a mutant broker, and that he’ll enlist the services of Psylocke, sending her behind the Iron Curtain for some unclear business. In the trailer, we also see him […]

  5. […] there an ambush. When they came back to their base, however, the X-Men were warned by precog Psylocke and managed to escape from the trap using the Siege Perilous, thus spoiling the cyborgs of their […]

  6. […] Creek, taking advantage of the team’s absence, and set a trap for them. Thanks to Psylocke‘s precognition, the X-Men managed to avoid the ambush and fled to the Savage Land instead, […]

  7. […] a trap for the mutants. Most of the team avoided being ambushed by changing destination, warned by Psylocke‘s precognition, but Wolverine, who was in Madripoor at the time, came back unaware of […]


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