Saturday, July 20, 2013

Psylocke Psaturday #17: Who She Is (in the X-Men) and How She Got That Way (in the X-Men)

When we last left our lavender-locked lass she hadn't quite made up her mind whether to join the X-Men or not, and then at the end of that issue Longshot joined the team. So obviously, this issue we're lookin' at tonight (Uncanny X-Men #213), in which she does decide to join the X-Men, must occur after UXM Annual #10. Except Longshot's not in it. Which means it happens before UXM Annual #10. Except #213 has to happen after A#10, because Nightcrawler, Shadowcat, and Colossus are out of action due to the Mutant Massacre in #213, but they were active in A#10. Except...augh! Claremont, why the Sam Scratch don't you date these things?

Error in continuity or not (for the No-Prize, I say Longshot was stuck at the airport picking up his luggage), this is the issue in which Betsy becomes an X-Man. She's not on the cover (Wolverine is, surprise surprise), but she does get to be in the corner box of the cover, marking her X-costumed debut...

...and she does have the honor of not only having her big Cerebro™-helmeted-face plastered all over the splash page but of having the story named after her. That's something Marvel Girl never even got!

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

Huh, now her eyes are purple too. But does anybody in comics draw a woman biting their pouty lower lip better than Alan Davis? No. No, they do not. (Get outta here, Greg Land, I said artists.)

E-Betsy-eth is eager to aid the X-Men in investigating attacks , but new X-Men headmaster Magneto and new X-Men team leader Storm think she'll be better off on the sidelines. With her "we'll take your proposal under advisement," it's obvious that Storm has been to business school. Also: Mon-El is gonna be pretty ticked when he finds out Magneto has stolen his cape.

Betsy—a former supermodel, remember—is manning Cerebro in a Laura Ashley cast-off. Or maybe it's just her bathrobe. Don't man Cerebro in your bathrobe, kids!

Suddenly, the X-Men's mortal enemy, Air-Rrgh Sabretooth attacks! Hey, why is he called Sabretooth? His teeth are perfect. I just wonder these things sometimes.

First appearance of Psylocke's fondness for sharp bladed weapons! And hey, is Sabretooth a vampire? That would explain a lot, actually. Also, somewhere in that third panel there really needs to be a Kick in the Crotch. See, Betsy, you don't even know the most common trope of comic books...that's why they won't let you in the X-Men!

Tonight, thanks to Storm's escrima stick (I bet she stole that from Tim Drake), no one will have to pay for the privilege of walking with Psylocke. I think that's what she means.

As befits everyone's introduction to a super-hero team, we see 1) Psylocke take on the villain by herself and 2) we hope she survives the experience. Also, another thought: how do Magneto and Quicksilver get their hair to do that? Mousse?

Let's face it, she's becoming an X-Man...and looking great doin' it. Say, how does she get her hair to do that?

You can tell this is a very old comic book, because how often do you see all the X-Men smiling in a single panel? Also, this is before Wolverine gave everyone on the team secondary smoke cancer and Jim Shooter made him give it up.

That Psylocke X-Men costume is actually one of my favorite of hers, although it violates some of my personal dislikes in giving supervillains something to grab onto (e.g. Ms. Marvel's sash) in her puffy sleeves, bare shoulders and dingly-danglers hanging from her wrist. What are those for?

Oh yeah! For her backup career as Olympic ribbon dancer.

Anyway, that's the story, wherever it falls in continuity, of how Psylocke came to be an X-Man. (And the Japanese version hasn't even happened yet!) So let's take a purple-eyed gander at this week's Psylocke Psurveillance Psummary:
  • Hair: Still purple.
  • Eyes: Still bionic, but now purple.
  • Outfit: Pink! Pink pink pink pink pinkety pink. Man, does she wear a lotta pink.
  • Surviving the experience count: One or two, depending on whether this happens before or after Annual #10. I worry way too much about this stuff.


-- MrJM said...

The gif was worth the work.

-- MrJM

Blam said...

I think that's more of an Alan Scott cape than a Mon-El cape, with the flared-up collar — not that either of theirs was red. Maybe it's, oh, I don't know... Satans?!?

Taylor said...

great point about sabertooth not having jank teeth