Hunt for Wolverine: Mystery in Madripoor #4

Issue Date: 
October 2018
Story Title: 

Jim Zub (writer), Thony Silas & Leonard Kirk (artists), Felipe Sobreiro & Andrew Crossley (colorists), Virtual Calligraphy's Joe Sabino (letterer), Giuseppe Camuncoli, Roberto Poggi & Morry Hollowell (cover artists), Chris Bachalo; Terry Dodson & Rachel Dodson (variant cover artists), Chris Robinson & Christina Harrington (assistant editors), Mike Paniccia & Jordan D White (editors), C B Cebulski (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (president), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Special thanks to Mike O'Sullivan

Brief Description: 

Absorbed by Sapphire Styx, Psylocke’s life force finds itself in the wasteland of Sapphire's mind, where she comes across the remains of many others that Sapphire has absorbed over the centuries. She appears in her original British form and is able to look back at her own various appearances across the years. When some of the life forces come for her, Betsy runs and finds a sliver of Wolverine's life force, trapped within Sapphire Styx. They form a plan, using Betsy's telepathic powers they project a hallucination of Wolverine as Patch, who begins to torment Sapphire Styx. The other life forces are grateful for this, and plead to be freed of their torment, so Betsy literally breaks Sapphire Styx apart, shattering her body – and Betsy finds herself reborn in the middle of a crisis where Jubilee, Kitty and Domino are about to witness the launch of a rocket. Magneto is with them and he finds himself unable to prevent the rocket from launching, so Kitty phases into the rocket to rescue the captive Rogue and Storm. The Femme Fatales begin to attack, but Betsy easily takes out Bloodlust and Jubilee distracts Knockout. Viper and Snake Whip join the battle, but Betsy uses her powers to take Viper out of the battle. Kitty finds her teammates and phases them out of the rocket, just in time as it launches into space. Psylocke then defeats Snake Whip, while Rogue re-joins the battle for revenge on Knockout and takes her down. Magneto seeks vengeance on Mindblast for the way she tortured him, until Domino and Kitty talk him down. Magneto releases Mindblast, only to thank the X-Men for rescuing him. Storm, Kitty, Domino and Rogue meet with Mr Halliday and thank him for his earlier assistance, even though they didn't find Wolverine. Storm is certain that Wolverine is not dead, and Kitty reverals that Snake Whip gave up the name of the organization who hired the Femme Fatales – Soteira. Jubilee finds Betsy sitting on a rooftop. Betsy tells her that when Sapphire exploded, she used the power Sapphire left behind to create a new body in the image of her original body. She tells Jubilee that she was used and manipulated by so many over the years, that now she is at last herself. Later, in the now abandoned fortress Viper was using, a crew of men are discussing the rocket launch, when one of them is grabbed by a mysterious woman who speaks Japanese and announces that she has some questions.


Full Summary: 

Betsy Braddock a.k.a. Psylocke is scared a she falls, tumbles, swirling out of control – she is so scared as she continues to fall, past the agonized souls of the victims of Sapphire Styx, some of who reach out to her. She has never felt pain – not like this. She remembers Sapphire Styx briefly introducing herself as she shoved her hands onto her head and absorbed her soul. She burns, drowns, everything begins to fade. Betsy wonders what this is – she can't concentrate, can't feel anything – except the fear. 'UHHH!' she cries out as her soul lands after being swallowed by Sapphire – lands inside Sapphire among the bones of long forgotten victims. Betsy begins to feel a bit of pain and confusion and wonders where she is – and for that matter, who she is.

Betsy's form is neutral, white and blank save for her blonde hair, and then her caucasian body forms. She stands up before a reflective surface, 'Stop that. Stop. Even here, torn away from your physical form... you are yourself. You are Betsy Braddock' Betsy tells herself as her blonde hair gives way to purple hair, and pink clothing manifests.

More reflective surfaces appear, each showing Betsy at a different time in her life – as a model, in her early pink X-Men costume, as Captain Britain, as a victim of Mojo, and in her armored X-Men costume. She reaches out to one of the reflective surfaces, which causes them all to ripple, and the reflections change – she sees herself as Lady Mandarin, and in her classic 90s ninja costume, the costume she wore while part of an X-Force squad, and how she looked after an encounter with the Crimson Dawn, as well as a more recent costume. This all feels like a lifetime ago, and most of them were, before her life merged with Kwannon, all of them – Betsy Braddock.

Betsy begins to wander this strange place, bones under her feet, she knows that this place is not her – she has been drawn here by that horrific woman, Sapphire Styx. Betsy decides to dig a little deeper to find out who Sapphire Styx is. She discovers images from across time of Sapphire draining the life force, the very essence from many victims. Always feeding, always killing, preying on souls for centuries, extending her own life and vitality by destroying theirs. Betsy is horrified by the images that play out before her. Men, women, lovers, children. Some skeletal figures start to rise from the muck and bones around Betsy, they are the psychic shels left behind in Sapphire's mind. 'Stay back!' Betsy calls out, pushing one of them away. Betsy thinks that she may no longer inhabit the body of a Japanese warrior woman, but that doesn't mean she is helpless. She knows she needs to get out of here and find her friends, so starts to run – and is shocked when she comes across Wolverine, or at least a sliver of his soul, trapped in here!

'Logan!' Betsy gasps. 'Betsy-girl, you're sure a sight fer sore eyes... well, the one I got left, anyway' Logan's life force smiles. Tears fall down Betsy's face as she goes over to Logan and asks him how long he has been here. 'Years, maybe' Logan replies, joking that it is hard to check a calendar when you're strung up in the swamp – but he knows it has been awhile, remembering kissing Sapphire Styx. Betsy realizes that Sapphire drained the others but couldn't purge Logan completely. She tells Logan that they need to fight back together, that they can find a way through Sapphire's mind and escape. Betsy projects psionic energy, merged with Logan's life force to appear as a hallucination of Patch, which begins to plague Sapphire – and begins to drive her insane.

The other drained souls begin to cry out to Betsy, surrounding her and Logan's life force, 'No more!' one of them calls out. 'Avenge us!' another pleads. 'You must!' one of them tells her. 'Please!' others exclaim. 'You heard 'em, Bets. Break the beast' Logan tells Betsy, and her indomitable will saves her again, even from beyond the grave. 'I will! I swear!' Betsy smiles, as she draws on the strength of those souls around her, and of Logan's life force, 'IT ENDS HERE, SAPPHIRE! NO MORE! NO MORE SOULS!' Betsy shouts, and in the real world, Sapphire Styx's form begins to shatter and is torn apart as Psylocke is reborn – like waking from a dream, she is back, back where she belongs.

In dramatic display, Betsy is wearing a new purple and black costume, her light purple hair has returned as has her caucasian body. 'Betsy! You're you again!' Kitty Pryde calls out as she, Domino, Jubilee and Magneto stare at her in awe.

Betsy knows that there is no time to celebrate, as Domino urgently tells Kitty that Rogue and Storm are on the rocket which is about to launch nearby. 'We've gotta stop it before they go into orbit!' Domino shouts. 'Erik!' Kitty calls out to Magneto. 'Of course...I am the Master of Magnetism' Magneto boasts as he flies over to the rocket, but after his ordeal he is still weak, and he can't hold onto it. 'Our friends are still in danger' Betsy thinks to herself, while Kitty rushes over to the rocket and phases into it. 'An X-Man's work is never done' Betsy thinks, while nearby, the Femme Fatale called Bloodlust stirs, and moves towards her. 'The battle is never over' Betsy reminds herself, as she spins around and unleashes psychic energy, knocking Bloodlust backwards. 'Stand still you little fire freak!' Knockout exclaims as she tries to hit Jubilee. '“Fire freak”? Really?' Jubilee replies, before remarking 'C'mon, Miss Grunts-a-Bunch, you can quip better than that. When it comes to trash talk, there's only one rule... “Don't hold back”!' Jubilee exclaims as she kicks Knockout in the face, sending her careening backwards.

'Snake Whip, keep them occupied so we can complete the mission!' Viper orders as she and Snake Whip appear on the edge of a broken window. 'Yes, my mistress' Snake Whip responds as she drops down to the ground. Betsy knows that Viper has the higher ground and opens fire, which makes the X-Men easy targets – as long as her eyes are working properly, of course. Domino takes cover behind some rubble, while Betsy gives Viper a quick psychic suggestion, and Viper suddenly finds that her vision is far from optimal. 'What the $#%&' Viper calls out, while inside the rocket, Kitty finds the stasis tanks where Storm and Rogue are being held captive. Betsy contacts her telepathically and asks if she's found them, and Kitty confirms that she has. She phases Storm out, and then Rogue. 'Now just gimme a sec... while I get them free... and rip-cord outta this rocket ride!' Kitty exclaims as she phases through the rocket, holding her friends and making them intangible as well as they float down to the ground.

'Well done, Katherine...' Magneto utters as he moves away from the rocket as it launches into space. Magneto drops to the ground, gasping for breath. 'I don't know who the $%^& you are, Tea and Crumpets, but I'm gonna -' Snake Whip calls out as she lunges towards Betsy, who knows that Snake Whip could be a threat – if only she knew exactly where Betsy was standing, as Snake Whip falls through a psychic projection of Betsy, crashing to the ground. At the same time, Knockout gathers herself, 'You are not taking us out. No way, no how...' she calls out. 'Lady, Ah do believe it's time for some payback' Rogue responds, grabbing Knockout's head, she admits that Knockout is tough, and tells her that she appreciates that, as she absorbs Knockout's strength to her own, and slams her hard in the face to make sure that she doesn't cause any more trouble. Domino goes over to Snake Whip, 'Ohhh – down for the count! Give up?' Domino asks. 'I'm not %$&^#%& stupid. I know when I'm beat' Snake Whip replies, looking up at Domino. 'Good girl' Domino tells her.

Betsy looks up to see Storm soar into the sky and remembers how awestruck she was when she first joined the X-Men, the trepidation and fear that she wouldn't find her place among them – a simplier time, beautiful and vulnerable, back when they fought villains instead of each other. Storm uses her powers to calm the raging weather, before dropping to the ground, regrouping with Betsy, Kitty, Domino and Magneto. 'You let the rocket get away!' Jubilee calls out to Magneto, who turns to Mindblast, still trapped in metal bonds, struggling to free herself. Magneto explains that Mindblast's torture left him weaker than he anticipated, but he still has enough strength to ensure she pays for her deeds. Domino raises her gun to Magneto and tells him that the Femme Fatales are done, and that he needs to let Mindblast go. 'Killing in the heat of battle's one thing, but we're not doing cold blooded murder. No way' Domino exclaims. 'She's right, Erik' Kitty agrees. Magneto glances sideways, 'Pointing a gun at me, really?' he frowns.

'If you go down this road again, we'll stop you' Domino warns Magneto. 'As if you could' Magneto mutters, while tightening the metal around Mindblast's neck. 'I could. With a moment's concentration I could stop him cold. But I need to see if he's returned to the darkest parts of himself... if I need to kill him again to save us all' Betsy thinks to herself as she watches Magneto intently. Blood pours from Mindblast's eye sockets, she appears to be in agony, before Magneto releases her, and tells the X-Men that he will leave Mindblast alive as a gift to them for helping him escape. 'You're welcome' he adds. 'Small blessings' Betsy thinks to herself. The X-Men question Magneto about Logan's body doing missing, but he denies any knowledge or involvement. Betsy detected his mind, which was a swirl of complex emotions and loyalties, but knows he is telling the truth. Magneto swears that he will destroy the launch site, track down Viper and purge every vestige of her criminal empire from Madripoor. She hopes that will keep him busy, as the Master of Magnetism needs focal points for his attention, lest he fall back on bad habits and try to reclaim the past.

Later, Kitty, Storm, Rogue and Domino return to Patch's secret room at the Princess Bar. Kitty thanks Mr Halliday for his assistance earlier. Mr Halliday responds by telling her that Patch always paid his debts and did fight by him. 'I hope you found what you were looking for' Mr Halliday adds. 'Not quite. But we're not giving up yet' Kitty responds. Domino turns to Storm and tells her that she is sorry she missed out on the nightlife – when they weren't almost getting killed, it was pretty badass. 'No wonder Logan finds this island so charming' Storm replies. “Found” Domino reminds Storm. 'He “found” is charming'. She adds that she knows it sucks to be reminded, but Logan is dead. Storm folds her arms and tells Domino 'You've been with the X-Men long enough to know that death  is more of an intermission than a conclusion'. Domino smiles and replies 'Heh. May we all be so lucky...'

Rogue tells Kitty that that was bad luck – no body and no leads. 'What do we do now?' she asks. Kitty replies by telling Rogue that she wouldn't say there were “no leads”, and informs her that Snake Whip was the first to start talking once she was locked up, and she told them that the people who hired Viper and her team were definitely looking for Logan, and in return for a lighter sentence, she coughed up the organization's name - “Soteira”. Rogue asks Kitty if she has any idea what it means, to which Kitty tells her that she doesn't, but that it is worth investigating in any case. Kitty reports that she has already reached out to Carol Danvers to see if she and the team at the Alpha Flight Space Station can track where the rocket was heading after they lost sight of it. Rogue remarks that Betsy has been quiet since they left the fortress, and Kitty reminds her that Betsy has been through a lot, and Jubilee has gone to check on her to make sure she is okay.

'Hey, Betsy' Jubilee calls out as she finds Betsy sitting on the edge of a rooftop. 'Hullo Betsy responds. Jubilee sits down next to Betsy and hands her a snack – a lepat pisang, which is palm sugar and banana mush cooked in banana leaf. 'It's good' Jubilee assures her. Betsy thanks Jubilee, and places the snack down next to her, before gazing out over Madripoor. 'So, this is you, right? Like, the original you?' Jubilee asks. 'Yes' Betsy replies. Jubilee asks Betsy if she still remembers all the dumb $#%& they have been through. 'Absolutely' Betsy tells her. 'Okay, cool. So... how do you feel?' Jubilee asks. Betsy explains that when Sapphire Styx exploded, her psychic form began to slip away, so instinctively, she used the soul power Sapphire left behind to create a new body, molecule by molecule. Betsy tells Jubilee that as she might imagine, it feels a bit strange, but also oddly comforting, as for so many years her mind and body have been manipulated for the machinations of others – Doctor Synne, the STRIKE Division, Mojo, the Hand, all of them using her soul to further their ends. 'No more. At last I am myself' Betsy exclaims. 'No longer tied to someone else's destiny'.

A crew of men is inside Viper's fortress, and one of them tells the others that Dao said he saw a rocket launch from here last night. 'What? Dao's a drunk! No one's gonna launch a rocket during a typhoon!' another man exclaims. 'Did he take a video?' one of them asks. 'No, he said he couldn't find his phone' the other man replies as they start to remove a window. 'Well, there you go...' another man mutters. 'Another weird thing on an island full of mysteries' one of them points out. Suddenly, a woman appears behind him and holds a blade of psionic energy to one of the men, and in Japanese, she tells him to stay silent, and calm – she has a few questions!

Characters Involved: 

Domino, Jubilee, Kitty Pryde, Psylocke, Rogue, Storm (all X-Men)


Bloodlust, Knockout, Mindblast, Snake Whip (all Femme Fatales)

Viper II

Sapphire Styx






Mr Halliday



in Sapphire Styx's mind:

Psylocke at various stages

Sapphire Styx



Story Notes: 

Betsy was placed in Kwannon's body in the classic Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #256-258.

Sapphire Styx first drained Wolverine's life force in Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #3.

Betsy refers to killing Magneto again – she believed that she killed him in Uncanny X-Men (4th series) #19, although he was healed by Elixir immediately afterwards.

Kwannon was killed in X-Men (2nd series) #32. The Sisterhood resurrected her in Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #508, but Psylocke killed her in #511.

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