X-Men (2nd series) #20

Issue Date: 
May 1993
Story Title: 
Digging In The Dirt

Fabian Nicieza (writer), Andy Kubert (penciler), Mark Pennington / Bob Wiacek (inkers), Bill Oakley (letterer), Joe Rosas (colorist), Bob Harras (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

In the Xavier Institute, Professor Xavier watches on a video screen the recent events of the deaths of Colossus' parents. Afterwards, Xavier asks Jubilee if she is hurting from the recent events in Siberia. She tells him "no" and they head off to check on Illyana who is sick from an apparent flu. Psylocke, dressed very sexily, heads for the Blackbird hanger where she finds Cyclops working on the plane. As she walks up to him, he accidentally falls, knocking her down. As he apologizes, Psylocke passionately kisses him. Cyclops breaks the kiss and leaves the room. Passing Jean along the way, and he tells her that he will have to miss their lunch date. As Jean watches Psylocke leave the hanger with a smile on her face she wonders whether she is prepared for the battle where she may lose her husband. Jubilee, looking for Wolverine, finds him in the grounds outside carving on a tree. He tenses up when he thinks he smells an intruder, only to realize it is just Psylocke, though he does not see her. In the mansion, Cyclops informs Xavier and Storm that he will be going to Alaska on vacation for a couple of days to see his Grandparents and relax. Xavier and Storm try to talk him out of running from his problems, but he is resolute. After watching him leave, Jean runs to the Danger Room to find Psylocke. Once there, she demands Psylocke to tell her if her and Cyclops are having an affair. Enraged, Psylocke uses her psi-knife on Jean and knocks her out. Suddenly, Psylocke sees an image of her previous self who turns out surprisingly real. The new arrival attacks Psylocke, and defeats her. When the rest of the X-Men arrive, the new arrival reveals herself as the original Betsy Braddock, stating that the Psylocke they know is and has been an impostor.

Full Summary: 

In the Xavier Institute, Xavier is hooked up to Cerebro, which projects some of his X-Men's thoughts on the video screen. He replays the events of a week ago when Colossus lost his parents. He is also saddened, because he knows that Colossus lost part of his soul along with his family. Xavier turns Cerebro off and asks Jubilee, who has been sitting behind him putting on rollerblades, if she was affected by Peter's family's death, considering her own parents' fate. Jubilee lies, telling Xavier that she is not, but Xavier knows the truth of how she really feels. Jubilee finishes lacing her rollerblades and says she is heading to check up on Peter and Illyana.

Xavier decides to follow Jubilee and thinks to himself that he and Jubilee have become closer, bonded by the pain that they have in common. The two enter the room where Illyana is in bed; suffering of the apparent flu she got on her trip coming back to America. As he feeds her some soup, Peter tells Xavier that he will take care of Illyana from now on and no one will ever harm her. Xavier asks how he is holding up after losing his parents. Peter tells him that he is doing what he has always done, surviving. Jubilee decides that she cannot stay any longer so she roller blades from the room. As she leaves, Psylocke walks from her own room, dressed very sexily, and heads for the hangar area.

In the hangar Cyclops works on the Blackbird. As Psylocke gets closer, he slips and falls off the ladder upon which he was standing. Instead of the ground, he lands on Psylocke, knocking her over. As the two lay on the ground, Psylocke licks the oil from Cyclops' face and follows with a passionately kiss. Cyclops breaks the kiss and tells Psylocke that it isn't right and it isn't going to happen. When she asks him if he wants it to happen or not, Cyclops says he doesn't know anymore and leaves. Leaving the hangar, Cyclops meets Jean, walking down the stairs to get him for their lunch date. Exasperated, Cyclops storms past her, telling her that he will have to miss lunch. Confused, Jean asks herself what happened only to see Psylocke emerge from the hangar with a smile on her face. Jean runs from Psylocke, thinking to herself how she has faced many battles, been to the far places of the galaxy, faced death more often than she can remember, and yet the thoughts, loves, and drives of the man she loves are suddenly unknown to her.

Outside the mansion, Jubilee looks for Wolverine and complains about rollerblading on cobblestones. When she finds him, Jubilee sees Wolverine carving on a tree with one of his claws. When Jubilee asks Wolverine what is wrong, he tells her that he is tired of giving so much to the world but not getting anything in return. Suddenly, Wolverine bares his claws, sensing the smell of an intruder. He calms realizing, even though he does not see her, it is only Psylocke.

In the mansion Jean Grey enters the Danger Room control booth to watch Beast and Gambit training against battle robots. Gambit taunts Beast, telling him that he will win again for the third straight time. Afterward, Gambit asks Beast what is bothering him. Not answering seriously, Beast makes a joke, saying that he is either depressed that Gambit is so much better than him at Danger Room etiquette, or that he let Gambit win to boost his confidence. After watching Beast leave, Jean visits Storm and Rogue in the medical bay. There, Storm is checking Rogue's eyes to see if they are healthy after being temporarily blind for the last couple of weeks. Jean asks Rogue if Gambit was a good set of eyes for her. Rogue answers that Gambit sees where he wants to go clearly enough, but she just doesn't know if the path he sees is the same as the path she wants. Storm then grasps Jean's shoulder and tells her for all the times they have been taunted for being mutants, one would think they would be better able to handle being humans.

In his bedroom, Cyclops looks at the picture of Jean he accidentally broke a few weeks ago. He wonders why life keeps adding layers of complexity and longs for simplicity and clarity. Lost in thought, he is startled when Xavier enters the room and asks if he can be of help. Cyclops tells Xavier no, but a few days rest in Alaska may cure him of his stress. As Cyclops walks out of his room, Storm asks him not to build walls around himself to keep out the pain, because it might cause him to lose Jean like she lost Forge. Cyclops thanks her for the advice but tells her that he has been building walls for himself longer and better than anyone else he knows has. As Cyclops is fixing to walk out the front door, he spots Jean watching him. They both stare at each other briefly and then he leaves without saying a word. In tears, Jean asks the mansion's computer to locate Psylocke and it tells her she is in the Danger Room. The computer begins to say that another Psylocke is found.... but Jean tells the computer to never mind.

In the Danger Room Psylocke faces holograms of the Hand when Jean walks in and demands that Psylocke discuss her feelings for Cyclops. Point blank, Jean asks Psylocke if she is having an affair with Scott. Psylocke tells her that they are not having an affair, but she does want him to run his fingers through her hair, feel his back tense beneath her fingertips, and see him smile... for a change. Irate, Jean asks if Psylocke is mind controlling Cyclops. Likewise angered, Psylocke surprises Jean by stabbing her with her psi-knife, revealing to Jean her motives and actions, though the knowledge will fade upon awakening.

Jean falls to the ground, unconscious. Looking up, Psylocke sees a vision of herself from the past. Clad in the purple armor she once wore, Psylocke sees herself in her old British born body, before her transformation by the Hand. At first Psylocke believes the image to be a hologram, created by Jean, to force her to question what she has become in full view of what she once was. The image surprises Psylocke by first calling her Kwannon, and then creating a psychic katana blade from her thoughts. Realizing that she is real, Psylocke asks the woman who she is. Moving in to attack, the woman replies that she is the one thing that Psylocke has feared since the beginning... she is the truth. As Psylocke falls to the woman's attack, she realizes for the first time, how much it hurts to be stabbed by her own psychic attack.

Suddenly, the X-Men burst into the room and rush in to aid their fallen teammates. Wolverine, claws unsheathed, asks the armored intruder who she is, how she got in there, and why does she expect to walk out on two legs. As the intruder dissolves her psychic katana, Storm asks why she has attacked them and why she is wearing Elisabeth's old Psylocke armor. The intruder explains that she did not attack any of them, only Kwannon. Then, removing her facemask, the intruder reveals the face of Betsy's old British-born face. To the group of extremely shocked X-Men, she says that she is Betsy Braddock, and that the woman she has beaten is and has always been... an impostor.

Characters Involved: 

Beast, Colossus, Cyclops, Gambit, Jean Grey, Jubilee, Psylocke, Rogue, Storm, Wolverine, Professor Charles Xavier (all X-Men)



On video screen:


Omega Red

Danger Room holograms:

The Hand

Story Notes: 

Colossus' parents were killed by government agents in X-Men (2nd series) #18.

Cyclops broke the picture of Jean in X-Men (2nd series) #12.

Rogue was blinded by the MLF terrorist Strobe during the X-Cutioner's Song conflict in X-Men (2nd series) #15.

Revanche's name is not revealed to the X-Men till issue #21 and apparently behind the scenes because the Beast is the first X-Man to reveal her name.

Issue Information: 
Written By: