X-Men (2nd series) #32

Issue Date: 
May 1994
Story Title: 
Soul Possessions - part 2: The Leopards and the Cats

Fabian Nicieza (writer), Andy Kubert (penciler), Matt Ryan (inkers), Kevin Somers / Digital Chameleon (colorist), Bill Oakley (letterer), Bob Harras (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

Psylocke and Warren fight for their lives against the villainess, Spiral. Amidst the battle, she informs them that the way to find the truth about her past is to use the eyes that were given her. The other Blue team members arrive to help battle Spiral but, as soon as they arrive, the time-witch disappears into the snow-filled sky. Back at the mansion, Banshee and the Beast rig a device that can scan the memory banks of Revanche’s bionic eyes. After seeing the information they contained about the events surrounding their mind transfer, Psylocke decides to leave for Japan to tie up a few loose ends. Gambit watches her leave and turns to Xavier to request some time with him, to talk about his recent encounter with his wife, Bella Donna, and his relationship with Rogue. Xavier agrees to listen. In Japan, Psylocke goes to the estate of Lord Nyoirin but, too late, she finds that Matsuo has already arrived and killed the Japanese lord. After a brief conversation, Matsuo kisses Psylocke and uses last of Revanche’s powers to steal away all of Kwannon’s memories from the mind of Betsy. With his duty finished, Matsuo grasps Betsy’s Katana and attempts to commit suicide upon it. Betsy talks him out of it and he decides to live his life to honor the life of his butterfly. Two days later, at the mansion, Psylocke hurls the bionic eyes into the lake on Xavier’s estate and meets up with Warren to discuss their future.

Full Summary: 

On Mill Road, just this side of the Titicus Reservoir in Salem Center, New York, Psylocke and Archangel face off against an old foe named Spiral. Warren’s metal wings unfold and his image inducer is turned off to reveal his true, bluish form. Spiral informs Betsy that she has traveled across many dimensions to absolve herself of her part in the crime against both Kwannon and Betsy. Warren tells Spiral that, first, they should talk and then consider whether or not forgiveness is in order.

Psylocke tenses, using her powers to create her ultimate weapon, the psi-blade. With her weapon, she hurls herself into the air and tells Spiral that her apology will not be accepted, because she is tired of everyone manipulating her mind. She says that, first, it was Slaymaster, then Mojo and, now, Matsuo, the Hand and even Revanche. She states that she has allowed too many people to manipulate her life, until she doesn’t even know who she is anymore. So now she is not going to take anymore.

Betsy’s blade draws near to Spiral’s body but the witch is easily able to maneuver herself out of harm’s way and sends Betsy to the ground below. Holding her side, Betsy tells Spiral that she knows about her time before Mojo messed with her body. She knows that Spiral was once a woman named Rita and she was in love with Longshot. She wanders aloud how Spiral can ruin other people’s love when she knows first-hand what the loss of love can feel like? As she floats above Betsy, while Warren nears her from behind, Spiral tells Betsy that, if it wasn’t for her magic and Mojo’s Body Shop, she would not have become the woman she is today. Archangel blasts in and sends his paralyzing feathers into the left arm of Spiral, paining the time-dancing witch for a moment. He asks Spiral if she thinks turning someone into a predator is such a great thing?

Psylocke races towards Spiral’s fallen body, she tells Warren that he shouldn’t waste his breath in trying to talk any sense into her, since she has proven time and again that she lacks the courage to break her physical and emotional enslavement. Spiral tells Betsy, as she parries her attacks, that she followed Mojo willingly, because he gave her a sense of purpose. Blasting into the air carrying Betsy upwards, Spiral tells Betsy that she had came to try and make amends for her past mistakes. Warren catches the falling Betsy and tells Spiral that he knows it’s hard for leopards to change their spots and that’s the reason they are having a hard time believing her now. Spiral smiles at Warren and tells him that it is ironic that a member of the X-Men can say it is hard for a leopard to change their spot, considering who they align themselves with.

A sound is heard nearing Spiral and she wanders aloud where the noise is coming from. Just then, a flash of green shows that Rogue is coming to the rescue. She tells Spiral that the sound is her own words being shoved down her own throat. Spiral sails through the air and crashes into a field of trees. She tells Rogue that she has fists that match her heart, hard as a rock. From behind Spiral, another voice his heard. The voice is eloquent in nature and it states, as a blue-furred fist rest on her brow, that Rogue’s heart is as soft as his own tootsies. Spiral whispers that luck should rot their bones, because the X-Men are all there.

Suddenly, a staff appears in front of Spiral, announcing the arrival of Gambit. He tells her that he would try and think of better things to do with six hands then hit. He questions if she knows why he says that. When she asks why, he states, because “BANG you dead.” She now realizes that it was the Beast who stole her helmet and this new one, whom she has not dealt with much before, is named Gambit. Spiral stands before the might of the Blue team and Archangel; she tells them that she is nor going to fight anymore or talk, because she has accomplished what she came there to do.

Rising into the air, Spiral begins to dance a transportation spell and tells them that, after months of trying to realign the transmission signal of Revanche’s bionic eyes, she has finally accomplished her task. When Psylocke questions what she has done for her, Spiral answers that, if she cannot see the forest for the trees, then their game is over and, whether Betsy realizes it or not, she owes a debt of gratitude to her for her help. With that, Spiral disappears into the sky and, leaving her last words, she tells Psylocke that she should use all the eyes she has been given.

Gambit states that you got to love a woman that knows how to make an exit! Gambit offers Psylocke his jacket and tells her that it is too cold for her to be out right now. Betsy questions why Spiral spoke in so many riddles and just didn’t come out and tell her what she means? Warren lands near the wreckage of his car and tells Betsy that Spiral’s mind thinks in riddles and it was probably hard on her to say what she said to begin with. Reaching into the car, Warren pulls forth Revanche’s bionic eyes and tells the others that these eyes were given by Revanche and they were Spiral and Mojo’s eyes into the X-Men’s lives.

Hours later in Xavier’s mansion, Banshee and the Beast work hard into the night, trying to piece together a way to see what data Revanche’s bionic eyes may contain. Banshee teases the Beast on how easy it was supposed to be to hook up these eyes to their own video screen. Finally, the two friends find success and Hank sets the bionic eyes to show all their data from the moment she awoke from the Siege Perilous. Hank asks Betsy if she wants them to leave the room, seeing how this information is about her life and may be private. She tells them that she has hidden enough from her friends and she doesn’t want to hide anything from them anymore.

The data from Revanche’s eyes:
Matsuo and the Mandarin discuss how Matsuo’s plan to use the Mandarin’s rings to power a device that will remove Kwannon’s mind and place it in Betsy Braddock’s body. Matsuo states that their psi-sensitives have found that Kwannon has always been a low level empath, so they believe her mind will be able to withstand such a jaunt. The Mandarin states that, if he goes through with this plan, he will gain a prime-telepath assassin, but will Kwannon’s body be able to handle the pain? Bowing to his knees Matsuo tells the Mandarin that he has found another person to help him in that matter.

Back in the Present:
Psylocke states that it must have been Spiral that switched their bodies. Hank tells her that Spiral did more than switch their bodies; he merged their genetics and minds as well. Psylocke says that it explains her fevered dreams at the time, but she wonders, when Lord Nyoirin came into the picture?

The data in Revanche’s eyes
The video screen shows Lord Nyoirin asking Spiral if in this pale, purple-haired girl lies the soul of her beloved Kwannon. She tells him that it is for her to know the truth, but now the game is afoot. With that said, she disappears into thin air, leaving Nyoirin questioning what game she means.

Back in the Present:
Still in the lab of the Beast and Banshee, Psylocke states that Lord Nyoirin then took Revanche and turned her into the assassin she became. Hank tells her that it is, at least, all over now, but Psylocke tells him that it isn’t, due to the fact there are some loose ends that need to be attended to.

Later that day, Betsy walks from the mansion’s front door, followed by her mentor, Charles Xavier. Gambit stands outside, smoking his cigarette, and tells Betsy that, if she wants him to, he will take her to the airport on his Harley. She exclaims that she had enough excitement for one day, but thanks. Xavier asks if she needs anyone to go with her, as he feels they should be by her side during her trials. She tells them that she appreciates their concern but, while Warren will drive her to the airport, she must face this trial on her own. Getting into the car, Gambit tells her to take better care of this car. He then quietly states that she should take care of herself as well.

Xavier turns to Remy and asks him if he is getting cold. Remy tells Charles that he is freezing but, since he made Hank in charge, he can’t even smoke in his own room anymore. Xavier tells Remy that he shouldn’t have such a vile habit anyway, considering the life they already live. Remy tells Xavier that those words are exactly what Bella used to tell him and Rogue has told him of late. Xavier asks Remy if everything is okay and Gambit replies that he’d like to talk more about his troubles with Bella and Rogue in his office. With that said, Gambit throws down his cigarette and steps on it with his boot. The two friends begin to go back into the mansion, when Xavier stops and asks Gambit to properly dispose of his littered cigarette butt. Gambit has a blank expression on his face and he tells Xavier that he must still be a kid at heart.

One day later, at the ancestral home of Nyoirin Henecha in the Kanagawa prefecture in Japan, Betsy sneaks into his home, trying to gain some knowledge from him about Revanche. With Katana drawn, she enters his office and announces that she has come to speak with him. Nyoirin sits in his chair, looking straight ahead at the oncoming woman. Betsy just barely gets out a sentence, when Nyoirin falls face first onto his desk, dead! Looking behind her, she notices Matsuo sitting on a nearby chair, as he flicks a nearby lamp on. He tells her that Nyoirin is dead, just like their love.

Betsy states that the two of them never knew love together; she calls him Mata, once realizing who he is. He asks her why she calls him only the name that her lover Kwannon would have? Matsuo tells Betsy that she and Kwannon are like Siamese twins; two people linked body and soul, but never met. Matsuo walks from the house of Nyoirin and Betsy follows after, wondering where he is going. Matsuo takes her to the cliff that Kwannon fell from and tells her that this is the place Kwannon sacrificed herself for her lord. When Betsy questions Matsuo on why he killed Nyoirin, he tells her that it was because he lied to him and tried to ruin the only love he has ever known. Matsuo holds Betsy close to his body and tells her that, because of the oxygen depravation that Kwannon suffered, she was basically amnesiac after her reformation in Betsy’s body. He tells her that Nyoirin lied to her and tried to make her into the woman he wanted her to be in real life: his own. It saddened Nyoirin after he sent Revanche to kill Wolverine and Psylocke for their attack on his master, the Mandarin, and she found a home with his enemies instead.

Betsy asks Matsuo how he got all this information and he tells her that, when Revanche died, she gave him all her memories. Betsy tells her that she felt her passing yesterday. Matsuo tells her that she gave him a passing gift to give, or actually take away from her. Leaning Psylocke over, Matsuo kisses her and takes away all of the memories of Kwannon from Betsy’s mind. Also, Matsuo sneaks the Katana blade of Kwannon’s from the back of Betsy and asks for her to allow him a final piece along with his lover.

Betsy begs Matsuo to give her back the Katana, but he denies her and tells her that it is time for him to know peace too. The telepathic essence of Kwannon begins to leave Matsuo and he tells Betsy that she knows she is only the shell of the woman he once loved and he’d feel better if his spirit soared into the sky along with his lover. Betsy begs Matsuo not to kill himself and, moments before he is about to plunge the Katana into his heart, she convinces him that it is better to honor her life, with life, rather than her death, with death.

The next day, Matsuo places the Katana of Kwannon over her grave, along with his. He tells her that he will take their love with him forever. Betsy tells him that she is giving him a chance to make amends for his life and hopes that he will not prove her wrong. She begins to walk away from the grave and tells him to honor the life of the woman that meant so much to the both of them.

In Westchester, two days later, Psylocke silently walks to the pier of Xavier’s estate and hurls the bionic eyes into the lake. Warren meets her out on the snow-filled grounds and offers a hand back to the mansion. She takes his hand and the two of them admit that everyone who has manipulated them in their lives has only served to make them stronger. Betsy tells Warren that the two of them can fly high, thanks to their trials, and fly together, they will.

Characters Involved: 

Archangel, Banshee, Beast, Charles Xavier, Gambit, Psylocke, Revanche, Rogue, (all X-Men)

Lord Nyoirin

Data stored in Revanche’s Bionic Eyes:
Betsy Braddock
Lord Nyoirin
Matsuo Tsurayaba

Story Notes: 

Spirals story of how she was once the lover of Longshot named Rita can be found in X-Factor (1st Series) Annual #7.

Uncanny X-men #257 is when Psylocke and Wolverine foiled the Mandarin’s plans.

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