Saturday, April 27, 2013

Psylocke Psaturday #13: Welcome to being written by Claremont, Psylocke...hope you survive the experience

At last, a decade after her first appearance in Marvel UK comics, Betsy crosses the pond to pop up in her very first Marvel USA book: New Mutants Annual #2 (and not, as we might expect, a Daredevil annual). In this comic, I'm sure she'll be a strong, forceful, solid role model figure who won't ever get victimized or refrigeratored or have anything horrible happen to her mentally or physically ever again...

Oh shoot. She's now being written by Chris Claremont. So sorry, Miss Braddock. So very sorry.

Page from New Mutants Annual #2 (1986), script by Chris Claremont, pencils and inks by Alan Davis, colors by Glynis Oliver, letters by Tom Orzechowski

OH DEAR GOOD GOLLY MISS BETSY! As a former fashion model, surely you should realize that a red and blue skisuit clashes horribly with purple hair. Why, you'd have to be blind to...oh. Wait. Yeah. Sorry. (Seriously: Daredevil Annual. Woulda been a great crossover.) Anyway, Betsy is being attacked... Iceman! (or maybe, Crystal.)

Actually, no: she's been kidnapped by Mojo long before we all got seriously tired of him. Mojo is another of those characters you might think Claremont created because he became so identified with the X-Universe, but Mojo was actually created by Ann Nocenti and Art Adams in the Longshot limited series. Most recently, Ann Nocenti has scripted issues of the New 52's Green Arrow and Katana, but you may also know her from many fine issues of Daredevil, Marvel Comics Presents, Classic X-Men, and of course we all know that she's on the cover of the final issue of Spider-Woman:

Cover of Spider-Woman v.1 #50 (June 1983), photograph by Eliot Brown, touch-ups by Bob Larkin

Yes, that is indeed a photograph of Ann Tigra!

And that is by far not the strangest cameo of Ann Nocenti in a Marvel comic book. There's this one:

Panels from Avengers v.1 #215 (January 1982), script by Jim Shooter, pencils by Alan Weiss, inks by Dan Green, colors by Christie Scheele, letters by Joe Rosen

And that portrayal is why Ann Nocenti punched Jim Shooter in the face.

We love you, Ann! But this feature is not titled "Ann Nocenti Nsaturdays," so let's get back to Betsy Braddock. And she's been kidnapped by, before our long digression, Mojo, the only Marvel supervillain who has a UK music magazine named after him! (If you don't count Captain America's frequent nemesis NME.)

Say, have you ever wondered when Betsy first got the name "Psylocke" and who gave it to her?

Yep: Betsy was named Psylocke by the hideous blob creature who kidnapped, physically violated and mind-enslaved her. You know...I'm pretty sure I'd drop that name as soon as possible after I got back to the real world. Then again, I am not a Chris Claremont character. This little stuffed bull has rarely never worn spiked heels, frilly garters or a velvet collar.

Mojo also gave Betsy back her vision by implanting bionic eyes. It's nice to see Betsy with her baby blues again. Unless it's written by Claremont, in which case it's FREAKY AND CREEPY.

Besides the debut of Psylocke, this Very Special Issue™ also contains the first-ever appearance of Jubilee! Wow, she really changed from her debut, didn't she?

A-ha-ha-ha! I have pulled a little trick on you. While this is the first appearance of a Jubilee in the Marvel Universe, t'aint "our" Chinese-American mallrat yellow-raincoat-wearing teenage vampire Jubilee. This is, in fact, Claremont using another Nocenti/Adams creation from Longshot, Darla of the Bratpack (not to be confused with Rick Veitch's Brat Pack, thank heavens for my gentle sensibilities).

Panels from Longshot #4 (December 1985), script by Ann Nocenti, pencils by Art Adams, inks by Whilce Portacio, colors by Christie Scheele, letters by Joe Rosen Script:

The Bratpack were thinly disguised members of the Little Rascals/Our Gang who befriended Longshot when he landed on Earth. Yep, there was even an Alfalfa:

Meanwhile, just in case you had forgotten this comic was written by Chris Claremont, suddenly: Evil Lingerie Psylocke! That is, Psylocke is evil, not the lingerie. Unless it is evil alien lingerie from the same place that the Venom symbiote came from. (!!!) Hey, Marvel, have I got a crossover concept for you!

And, the moment every Marvel fanboy has been waiting for...Naked Psylocke! And a teen-age boy. Oh ick Mister claremont make it stop make it stop

And so, Betsy comes to stay with the New Mutants at the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters, where she will have to learn to think in lengthy, stilted inner monologues. Tom Orzechowski's children's college fund thanks you, Betsy.

Dressed in a très unfashionable lime-green Laura Ashley princess gown, Betsy Braddock, the newly-named Psylocke, has joined the New Mutants, and will be a continuing and regular cast member for many years to come!

Next time: Betsy dumps those loser New Mutants and joins the X-Men.

This week's Psylocke Psurveillance Psummary:
  • Hair: Actually a lot more lavender than purple.
  • Eyes: Baby-blue 'n' bionic.
  • Outfit: Averages out to about .65 of an outfit across the entire issue.
  • Being allegorically stuffed in the refrigerator count: Two and rising.


Taylor said...

Ann Nocenti Nsaturdays!

CalvinPitt said...

Is that Darla the same one that popped up in Nocenti's Daredevil run?

Bully said...

Hmmm, could be, Calvin...I'm not sure! This warrants further investigation!

Tazirai said...

I'll have to go back and read so much of this. I love this Version of Betsy.. thanks for the "refresher" courses of what Uncle Claremont did to her.. "Noddy uncle montie!