AUTHORS: Christopher Yost, Chris Claremont
PENCILLERS: Harvey Tolibao, Jim Lee. Cover by David Finch.
COLLECTS: Psylocke #1-4, Uncanny X-Men #256-258
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASED: June 9
By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder
A bitchin’ babe with a pair of swords and telepathic powers. Doesn’t get much more kick ass than that, does it?
I didn’t know much about Psylocke going into this book. She was always that character in the X-Men video games I had no idea about. But when the consciousness of pilot Betsy Braddock was transferred into the body of a Japanese ninja, the genesis of Psylocke began. That psychic transfer was initiated by Matsu’o Tsurayaba, leader of a ninja clan called The Hand (not to be confused with The Foot Clan, who the Ninja Turtles fight). When Tsurayaba has Psylocke’s original body destroyed, severing her last tie to her former life, she seeks him out, intending to kill him.
Little does she know that Wolverine also has an agenda involving Tsurayaba, which will bring them into direct conflict.
That’s the cliffnotes version of the story. If you’re not a Marvel buff and you let yourself get bogged down by all the continuity, the story can get needlessly confusing. Thankfully, Christopher Yost does a good job of acknowledging the past while remaining in the present. After the main story, they threw in a three-issue story arc from Chris Claremont (who originally created the Betsy Braddock character) and Jim Lee’s run on Uncanny X-Men in 1989/90, which adds a little perspective, but a bit of confusion as well. Still, the Jim Lee art alone makes the retro issues a worthy inclusion.
Psylocke straddles between the “journey of self discovery” and “rage-filled murder quest” story archetypes, and actually does it quite well. With only four issues, Psylocke’s journey is short, but packs a punch. Her flashbacks are interesting, while giving us the exposition we need. The fights are good, though we spend just a little too much time with a pyrokinetic who’s also felt the wrath of Tsurayaba. And of course, the confrontation between Psylocke and Wolverine is fun.
Meanwhile, Harvey Tolibao’s art is pure magic. He draws an awesome Psylocke, and a fantastic Wolverine. The colorists also compliment his pencils very well. This art team could do an amazing silent issue on any title.
Yost writes Psylocke as someone who believes she knows it all, and has lost it all. The main characters she meets during her journey are the same way. Through them, she comes to see that her life, her journey, has not ended. She still has miles to go. That’s a pretty cool message, and an unexpected one coming a book about a telepathic ninja.
I’m impressed, Christopher Yost. I’m very impressed.
Front page image from panelsonpages.com.