Saturday, June 08, 2013

Psylocke Psaturday #15: Heavens to Betsy

So, where were we? Ah yes...Betsy has come to America, is living in the X-Mansion, and is in the diabolical clutches of scripter Chris Claremont, who will fill her life with unbearable angst, even more so than under the magic, bearded hands of Alan Moore. As Uncanny X-Men Annual #10 opens, the Uncanny Ones are working out in the Danger Room (again). Betsy's either running the controls or maybe laying down some backing tracks for Supertramp, and Cypher and Sunspot are alongside, angsting away. Well, I told you it was a Claremont comic.

Panels from [Uncanny] X-Men Annual #10 (January 1987), script by Chris Claremont, pencils by Art Adams, inks by Terry Austin, colors by Petra Scotese, letters by Tom Orzechowski

Suddenly Longshot! Which is something different than Suddenly Susan or Suddenly Salad. Ann Noincenti and Art Adam's luck-based superhero teleports into the Danger Room and into the X-Men's lives, accompanied by a whole slew of sticky goo. Look, it's best not to think about all the goo everywhere. Anyway, all of the X-Men including Betsy are covered in it. Even Nightcrawler's scary, scary toes.

A note for all you X-Men trivia buffs: Wolverine's eye line is on the same level as Psylocke's breasts. So that explains that.

Where there's Longshot, there's also Mojo, but I'm going to spare you the sight of any panels that feature probably one of my least favorite X-Nemeses. Especially the panel of him in a pig mask. Instead, let's look at Rogue's first pre-Gambit crush. She's heavily into them, not least for the reason that they have similar mullets. Also in this scene: the panel border warns them to hold it.

The mysterious goop has de-aged all the X-Men and turned them into...oh, dear, it's the first appearance of the X-Babies. Sigh. Nobody explains how their uniforms shrunk with them (unstable molecules, probably), or why, as the other X-Men de-age from their twenties to pre-teens (and Kitty Pryde to a baby), Wolverine is also a kid. Well, still, it's nice to see him without his arms being covered in hair for once.

As much as I loathe the X-Babies, you cannot deny this is the single greatest exclamation ever out of the mouth of Wolverine:

Meanwhile, the New Mutants, who have changed into their individual, "grown up" costumes that we'd seldom see ever again, are tracking the X-Babies, who have been led by Mojo to a production of Shakespeare in the Park. I am not kidding you.

Present in the audience: the Bratpack from Longshot (also seen in New Mutants Annual #2)...

Also present: Puddlegulp and the frog family from Thor #364-366 (yes, the ones where Thor got turned into a frog). And: Walt and Louise Simonson.

Somewhere also in this issue is supposed to be Carrie Kelley, the futuristic Robin from Batman: The Dark Knight. But I can't find her (she's probably among the audience members). Anybody who knows where she is, let me know so I can post the panel!

ADDED ON JUNE 9, 2013: Hooray; I knew one of my faithful readers with better eyes than my button ones would come through! Thanks to the ID by by Boistrous Bully backer OTL in the comments, here's Carrie Kelly, and I'm ashamed I didn't recognize her dialogue!:

And sitting next to her is Michelle, ma belle Carrie's cautious companion:

Panels from Batman: The Dark Knight (1986 limited series) #1, script and pencils by Frank Miller, inks by Klaus Janson, colors by Lynn Varley, letters by John Costanza

A closer look at Carrie:

But who's this Art Adams-added aquatic-appearing animal-man in the same panel?!?

I'm baffled! Answers on a postcard to get your name added in another color in a second edit to this post!

Oh yeah, I forgot: this is a post about Psylocke. Like the other X-Men, she's been returned to her original age but turned into a villain by (sigh) Mojo. You can tell she's not a hero by her color scheme. Green and purple? No self-respecting Marvel superhero would be seen in those two colors.

I also forgot to mention all the New Mutants have pink masks. Oh dear oh dear oh dear. Tim Gunn could not join the Marvel Universe fast enough. Yep, even Cypher's Cyclops-wannabe visor has a pink screen. And Wolverine is running around naked. Golly GUMbucks, Claremont!

We begin to see the genesis of the ruthless ninja "kill 'em all and let Jim Shooter sort 'em out" version of Psylocke:

By the end of the issue Longshot has joined the X-Men and we're barreling headlong towards the Outback era of the X-Men, where they sit around eating steak and onion blossoms are headquartered in an Australian hidden base. Psylocke will be a major player during this era of the X-Men, so stay tuned: Ol' Purple-Head will be back!

Next up: We've seen Betsy Braddock among the X-Men, but when did she decide to be an X-Man? We'll see how and why and what hideous monstrosity of fashion she'll be wearing in Uncanny X-Men #213, which I think happens chronologically before this Annual because Longshot isn't in it, but who the heck knows? All I know is that it's drawn by Alan Davis, so it's Psylocke at her Psylockiest. And facing off against Sabretooth. Hope you survive the experience!

Panel from Uncanny X-Men #213 (January 1987), script by Chris Claremont, pencils by Chris Claremont, inks by Paul Neary, colors by Glynis Oliver, letters by Tom Orzechowski


OTL said...

Carrie Kelly is on page 26, panel 7.

Bully said...

Thank you, OTL! Your keen eye has been saluted in a new edit to the post! Consider yourself thoroughly awarded a Bull-Prize!

Tazirai said...

Probably one of my favorite periods in X history when she joined. Mullet boy non withstanding!

Eric Gimlin said...

Only saw the question WELL after the fact, but since nobody else answered: the "Art Adams-added aquatic-appearing animal-man" is the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Adams later drew the character here:

Bully said...

Thanks, Eric! Wow, I'd forgotten that Art Adams Creature comic!