Psylocke, aka Elizabeth Braddock, is a mutant from the Marvel Universe. She has recently received some major publicity after being portrayed by actress Olivia Munn in 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse, but sadly did not get the screen time her character deserved. Psylocke’s past was kept out of the movie’s plot line, which did not fly too well with the movie’s critics, causing many people to believe the movie should have been more focused on the characters instead of the battle.
Psylocke is an extremely talented mutant who has faithfully fought alongside the X-Men for many years. She has the ability to create telekinetic shields, conjure psionic weapons, and manipulate the minds of her opponents. Psylocke has also been known to conjure a telekinetic katana, crossbow, bow and arrow, spiked flail, and set of claws. But that’s not all; this wicked mutant can also send off psionic blasts, display telepathic illusions, and mask her presence with the use of her psionic shadow. In fact, Psylocke has so many abilities that it’s a wonder she hasn’t been showcased more often.
Psylocke’s body and mind have been altered so many times that it is almost impossible to list all her skills, especially since she continuously sheds powers and gains new ones. On top of her many powers, Psylocke is also a trained martial arts master who has been known to swing a 90-pound spiked flail with one hand, despite only having human strength. Learn a bit more about his amazing, but unsung, X-Men character.
15. Her Twin Brother Is Captain Britain
James Braddock, Sr. was sent to Earth from another dimension to create an heir that would later become the ultimate protector. Instead of only having one child, Braddock, Sr. ended up fathering a set of twins, Betsy and Brian, and a son named Jamie. His children were raised in Great Britain, learning early on that their lives would be far from easy. When Betsy and Brian were in their late teens, their parents allegedly died in a lab accident, leaving them to fend for themselves while mourning their deaths.
After their parents’ deaths, the twins began to exhibit strange powers, later realizing that they had been born mutants. Since Brian’s destiny had been planned out for him long before he took his first breath, he did not hesitate to respond to his true calling. He soon took on the superhero identity of Captain Britain, dedicating his life to fighting evil and defending the multiverse against potential threats. The other twin? Psylocke.
14. She Used To Be A Pilot
When it became time to choose her future vocation, Betsy Braddock decided to become a charter pilot while her twin brother majored in physics. Soon after becoming a successful charter pilot, Betsy caught wind that her brother Jamie had been injured in a grave accident. She informed her twin of their brother’s circumstance, immediately flying home to their mansion in Britain to save him. While flying her charter plane, Betsy fell victim to mind control, causing her and Brian to crash miles away from their family home.
Brian and Betsy managed to survive the crash, but it later became clear to Brian that Betsy was still under the influence of Dr. Synne. While under Dr. Synne’s mind control, Betsy became convinced that her brothers were evil, disgusting creatures. She panicked and began attacking them viciously. Luckily, her brothers were able to restrain her, and her mind was soon freed when Captain Britain defeated Dr. Synne.
13. She’s A Professional Model
After going through the traumatic mind control experience, Betsy began experiencing psychic abilities. Apparently being toyed with had caused a rupture in her psyche, unlocking her psychic potential and allowing it to grow. Betsy decided to distance herself from her charter pilot duties, fearing that another mind control attack could lead to her death and even the death of others. The mutant opted for the life of a super model instead, dyeing her hair purple to gain further recognition.
Betsy spent a good amount of time modelling and it proved to be a rather successful venture. Unfortunately for her, her psychic abilities began to develop a mind of their own, eventually contacting a S.T.R.I.K.E. Psi-agent unknowingly. Betsy was soon recruited into the team of psi agents, managing to maintain her model status as a cover. The S.T.R.I.K.E. Psi-agents were later targeted by Slaymaster, only to be saved by Captain Britain.
12. She Was Blinded By Slaymaster
After being tricked by Betsy’s former lover, Captain Britain left the UK for months to accomplish a mission. Betsy’s lover, Gabriel, convinced her to take on her brother’s superhuman identity, which she willingly accepted. Betsy began training her psychic abilities, later magnifying her strength to superhuman levels. She donned her brother’s old Captain Britain’s uniform, learned to fly, and was trained by Captain UK in physical combat.
After fighting alongside Captain UK for several months, Betsy decided that she was ready to go solo. Betsy, aka Captain Britain was then tricked by her twin’s enemy, the Vixen, and lured into a battle field. Thinking that she was indeed Captain Britain, Slaymaster brutally beat Betsy and blinded her. Although far away, Brian felt his twin’s pain through their interconnected minds, instantly coming to her rescue, killing Slaymaster once and for all, and resuming his predestined post as Captain Britain.
11. She Unknowingly Spied On The X-Men
Betsy and Gabriel moved to Switzerland after getting engaged, but unfortunately for them, their happiness was short lived. Betsy was kidnapped by Mojo, who forced her to become the star of a popular show called the Wildways. Mojo surgically attached artificial eyes into Betsy’s sockets, gave her the name Psylocke, and used her to capture children from all around the world. These mutant children were then made to act in Mojo’s junior show, Bratpack. Professor Xavier received news of the kidnappings and sent a team of mutants to free Mojo’s captives.
Once freed, Psylocke made the decision to join Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, ending her engagement to Gabriel. Psylocke soon found out why Mojo had been so keen on supplying her with artificial eyes, realizing that she had been used to spy on the X-Men. The mutants eventually found and defeated the spineless Mojo once and for all for his deeds.
10. She Was Physically Altered By The Hand
One day, Psylocke had a vision which foresaw her fellow X-Men’s deaths. In a desperate attempt to prevent her vision from occurring in real life, she used a device called the Siege Perilous to give the X-Men new lives. What a neat parlor trick, right? Anyway, when Psylocke walked through the Siege Perilous, something went terribly wrong and she awoke on an island near China without any of her original memories. She was then found and captured by a group of ninjas called The Hand, who brought her to Spiral’s Boddyshoppe and physically altered her appearance.
The Hand’s leader, Matsu’o Tsurayaba, used Psylocke’s body as a vessel for his girlfriend’s brain-dead mind. But instead of just swapping his girlfriend Kwannon’s soul with Psylocke’s, he fused their bodies together, making them one. Their physical features, minds and abilities were meshed together, creating the Asian-looking Psylocke that we all know and love.
9. She Was Once Known As Lady Mandarin
Once physically altered, Psylocke was handed over to The Mandarin and made to serve as his assassin. Psylocke was renamed as Lady Mandarin, and forced to serve at her new owner’s will. Lady Mandarin decided to strip herself of her heavy armour, opting for a much more revealing assassin’s uniform. Fortunately, The Mandarin’s influence did not last as long as predicted, and Psylocke would soon return to her senses after her first assignment.
Lady Mandarin’s first assignment was a simple one: kill Wolverine. A mission she would have accomplished if it had not been for Wolverines regenerative powers. When she got close enough, Lady Mandarin managed to stab Wolverine in the head with her psychic knife. This action, however, allowed Wolverine to view Psylocke’s hidden memories, therefore giving her access to them via her telepathic mind. Psylocke then abandoned her assassin name, escaping with Wolverine and returning to the X-Men.
8. She’s Actually Blonde
When you think of Psylocke, the first thing that comes to mind is her dark violet hair, Asian heritage, and psychic katana, but this is actually very far from the truth. Born in Britain as Elizabeth Braddock, the soon-to-be superhero would go through a series of transformations before becoming the bad*ss, katana wielding, vixen from the Marvel comics that we know and love now. In fact, Psylocke was born as Captain Britain’s identical twin, sharing everything from his blue eyes to blonde hair.
Betsy got rid of her blonde hair early on in life when she decided to pursue a career in modelling. After dyeing it her trademark purple colour, she lost her blue eyes in a battle against Slaymaster. At this point, Betsy already looked unrecognizable, but her transformation was far from over. She was then physically altered by The Hand, given Asian features, violet eyes, and extremely dark hair.
7. The Reason Behind Her Crimson Dawn Tattoo
Some people might believe that Psylocke obtained her crimson dawn tattoo when she was physically altered by The Hand, but that isn’t how it went down. In fact, Sabertooth is the one to blame for Psylocke’s face tattoo. At one point in time, Sabertooth faked a mental handicap and was allowed to live at the mutant headquarters. One day, he attacked Psylocke and nearly beat her to death. Despite being a martial arts master, Psylocke was overpowered by Sabertooth’s extreme force and was gruesomely pummelled.
Fearing the worse, the X-Men rushed Psylocke to the Crimson Dawn and used a magical healing liquid to cure her of her injuries. Psylocke was instantly saved, but gained a crimson dawn face tattoo as a side effect. The red dagger shaped tattoo gave her new powers, thus allowing her to hide and teleport through shadows. Sadly, the tattoo also altered her personality, causing her to become colder, solemn, and more distant than ever before.
6. She Temporarily Lost Her Telepathic Powers
When Storm received word that her adoptive mother was being held prisoner by a villain named Ananasi, she gathered a small group of X-Men and took off to free her. Psylocke teleported the group to Storm’s mother’s location, immediately jumping into a wicked battle against sand warriors. After the X-Men defeated them with Wolverine’s help, the group found Storm’s mother in a nearby town. Psylocke began to piece the story together using her telepathic powers, coming to the realization that they were up against an extremely powerful telepath.
After cornering the villain Ananasi in the Astral Plane, Ananasi took off his mask and revealed that he was in fact the Shadow King. After rescuing Storm and her mother, Psylocke surrendered to the Shadow King, swearing allegiance to him and his cause. She later tricked him into over-exhausting his telepathic powers, separated him from his powers, and sent him to the Psi-plane. To keep him there, Psylocke dedicated her telepathic powers to his imprisonment, rendering them useless to her otherwise.
5. She Has Been Resurrected
Psylocke later joined Storm’s X-treme X-Men in their search for Destiny’s diaries. Once in Spain, Psylocke battled a villain named Vargas and was defeated by him. His sword skills were so intense that he cut through Psylocke with ease, sending her into an early grave. Psylocke’s body was then taken back to the Braddock estate and buried. On her way to the afterlife, Psylocke’s spirit encountered a glowing portal which sucked her in and resurrected her. Psylocke miraculously appeared at the exact spot she had been murdered, however, her resurrection stripped her of the crimson dawn tattoo and all the powers that came with it.
Psylocke was then captured by the Guardia Civil, who contacted the X-Men and informed them of Psylocke’s resurrection. She was taken back to the Xavier Institute for further inspection, but before the X-Men could legitimize her, they were summoned on the grounds of an emergency. The X-Men were captured and brought to the Savage Land where their only hope of survival was placed in Psylocke’s hands. Psylocke and student X-23 quickly teamed up and rescued them, which helped Psylocke regain the X-Men’s trust.
4. She Has Anger Issues
Despite Psylocke’s sweet appearance, she has been known to lash out in anger whenever a tempting situation arises. After ending her relationship with Fantomex, Psylocke returned to the Jean Grey School and started teaching the young mutants to control their powers. However, Psylocke could not control her own anger issues and ended up attacking one of her students in a fit of rage.
When Headmaster Wolverine heard of Psylocke’s attack on student Quentin Quire, he decided to terminate her teaching responsibilities, stating that her anger problems were out of control and that she needed to find an outlet for them, realizing that there is probably no psychiatrist in the world that would be brave enough to treat her. After scolding her for her anger outburst, Wolverine hinted that reforming the X-Force could be exactly what Psylocke needed. However, Wolverine also hinted that he would not be able to join her, claiming it would interfere with his headmaster duties.
3. She’s Had Many Love Interests
Throughout Psylocke’s hectic life and numerous alterations, she has managed to engage in a handful of relationships with many different individuals. Psylocke’s first love was agent Tom Lennox, who she met during her S.T.R.I.K.E days. Tom later changed his name to Gabriel, and they were engaged for some time before she joined the X-Men. Afterwards, Psylocke attempted to telepathically seduce Cyclops but chose to engage in a long-term relationship with Angel instead. This relationship didn’t last, but was rekindled many times. Not long after, Psylocke dated Thunderbird before getting herself killed by Vargas.
When she came back to life, Psylocke began flirting with numerous men from the X-Men. She seduced Beast, Nightcrawler, and Cannonball, but left them all hanging. Psylocke then engaged in a brief relationship with the Apocalypse version of Sabretooth, which some would find ironic since he had once beaten the life out of her. Psylocke also had a one night stand with Hercules, sex with Fantomex, and an unknown relationship with Colossus.
2. She Has a Butterfly Shaped Aura
Psylocke has a range of different abilities, some of which she was born with, and others she encountered along the way. Psylocke is commonly known for her dark purple hair, psychic abilities and precognitive powers. But she has also been recognized for her butterfly shaped aura. Whenever Psylocke uses her powers, a butterfly shaped aura miraculously begins to frame her face, releasing a set of powerful wings.
Although the origin of Psylocke’s bright purple, butterfly shaped aura has never been confirmed, it’s been speculated that it stems from her childhood. When Psylocke was roughly 9-years -old, her father and his friends used to catch butterflies and pin them to a board for sport. Psylocke was always amazed by these insects, especially after her father exclaimed that they were known for their vigour and grace. Some believe that Psylocke willingly manipulates her aura through telepathic ties, reshaping it into a purple butterfly. In reality, no one knows for sure.
1. She Was In The X-Force
After the X-Force was initially disbanded by Cyclops, Wolverine decided to take matters into his own hands. He put together his own secret X-Force team, calling upon Archangel, Deadpool, Fantomox, and Psylocke to join him. The mutants agreed to join the secret X-Force under Wolverine’s strict secrecy agreement, quickly plunging into their first mission.
The secret X-Force’s first mission proves to be a tough one, and the team sets off to murder a newly resurrected version of Apocalypse. When Psylocke comes face-to-face with Apocalypse, she is surprised to find out that he is only a child. Despite her great efforts to prevent his death, the young Apocalypse gets shot in the head by Fantomex anyway. The X-Force goes on to battle many different villains, but later decides to disband the team once again, after the death of Fantomex. During their last battle, the X-Force headquarters gets completely obliterated by Ultimaton.