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YMMV / Psylocke

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  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • While some people do question this, Betsy's return to her British Caucasian look in Hunt for Wolverine: Mystery in Madripoor is seen as this as current Marvel Editor in Chief C.B. Cebulski did see her as appropriating something she shouldn't (especially since he did the same exact thing when pretending to be a Japanese man he himself hired).
    • For those don't like it, other writers would utilize Kwannon in the traditional Psylocke role, before outright making her the new Psylocke. All the while, Betsy becomes Captain Britain for the Dawn of X initiative, which addressed complaints of taking away Asian representation and desexualizing her, when being a Ms. Fanservice is a defining trait for the character. Both are even the lead of their own comics, Excalibur and Fallen Angels. This was very clearly done as an even-sided compromise for everyone.
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  • Best Known for the Fanservice: Even leaving aside her years in Marvel UK (pilot, secret agent, dead fiance, killed her brother's Evil Twin when he tried to rape her...), remember those years she spent as the team's primary telepath? How about those two times she took on Sabretooth with nothing but her psychic powers? Held off Mr. Sinister in the Inferno grand finale? Nothing? Okay, how about that time she got turned into a hot Asian babe and spent years posing in a thong?
  • Broken Base: While very popular, she's subject to this.
    • Despite being her most popular and well known incarnation, her Asian form is still the subject of much debate. Some fans like it and think it's cool, while some others find the idea of a white woman in the body of a Japanese person to be weirdly offensive (Why not just create a character who's culturally Asian?). There are others who find her portrayal objectifying: taking a female character who had never been overtly sexualized in her long comic history and turning her into an Asian ninja pinup babe. Then of course, there are those who like her as being a Ms. Fanservice as they consider it a character trait like any other, and see fanservice as just harmless fun and a legitimate design choice.
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    • And then there's the whole matter of Betsy reverting back to her original body in 2018. Some appreciated it for undoing decades of weird racial politics involving the character, while other felt they should've just kept her Asian (because of how few major Asian characters there are in American superhero comics), taking away her Ms. Fanservice status when that's a defining character trait for her. Some wish they just retconned her as simply always having been that way instead.
    • Jonathan Hickman addressed this with the Dawn of X relaunch and is making an attempt to please everyone. Betsy will remain in her original body, but she won't be Psylocke; instead, she'll be the new Captain Britain and headline Excalibur (2019). Meanwhile, the role of Psylocke will become a Legacy Character with her former body Kwannon taking up the mantle and becoming an Ascended Extra from bit-part character to legitimate member of the X-Men and lead of the Fallen Angels comic. And yes, she wears the iconic ninja bathing suit. That said, jury's out on if this does please everyone, or just causes another case of this.
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  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Has been one since her introduction in the comics.
  • Escapist Character: Psylocke is popular with many fans precisely because she's both sexy and has it all. Betsy is filthy rich, a literal supermodel, becomes increasingly powerful as time goes on, a master ninja, assassin, secret agent, adventurer and pilot, and of course, is quite possibly the most sexy woman in the Marvel Universe. Is it any wonder fans often want to be her, or rather, be with her?
  • Strangled by the Red String: With Fantomex in Uncanny X-Force. Later turns out to be invoked. Fantomex knew Psylocke didn't really have feelings for him, but he had to make her question her devotion to Warren in order to acquire the courage needed to kill him.
  • Values Dissonance: The whole "Freaky Friday" Flip that turned Psylocke from a relatively wholesome Caucasian Brit to a very sexualized Japanese ninja. It was odd back then, but dismissed as just comic stuff that's par for the course. Today, it would've likely raised a vocal backlash. After so many years, people just accepted it, and that in itself created a multitude of hurdles.
    • It was done because Jim Lee wanted to draw her as a sexy ninja chick, and no attempt was ever made at hiding it. Though it was intended to be temporary, it ended up making Psylocke so popular that the upper management at Marvel forbade the writers from reverting it (this being a time where every sale counted in the Speculation Boom). This created some rather awkward situations. For one, Psylocke became by and far the most iconic Asian hero for Marvel (and maybe even comics in general), when the few they had before such as Shang-Chi, Jubilee, Sunfire and Faiza Hussain were nowhere near her level (Jubilee being the closest contender, but she was a Scrappy at the time and her appeal was very different), despite not having been born or culturally Asian. This especially came to head later, when Marvel made many legitimate attempts at authentic diversity, and yet Psylocke remained prominent and retained her odd backstory. Tellingly, while nearly all adaptations do retain her being an Asian ninja, they usually have the body swap aspect Adapted Out or simply gloss over it, to avoid opening that can of worms.
    • Even some of those who defend her as an Asian ninja will often admit the body swap was just weird, and say that they should just retcon her origins to always being Asian, and even in the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe reboot they could have them change the Braddocks from twins to adopted siblings to allow it.
    • Eventually, C.B. Cebulski put his foot down and in 2018 she reverted to her original body to put an end of Betsy appropriating something that isn't hers (which is ironic as, infamously, he once pretended to be a Japanese man named Akira Yoshida to draw attention to Marvel and gain sales). However, this itself created problems because after so many years, fans and readers were just accustomed to Psylocke being an Asian ninja, and white Psylocke just didn't take. Uncanny X-Men (2018) tried to please them by having Kwannon dress in a similar outfit and take on the traditional role associated with her, while the Dawn of X relaunch sees Betsy become the new Captain Britain, and Kwannon actually becomes the new Psylocke with the iconic bathing suit intact, with her becoming an Ascended Extra to match. Some admit it's a better development then simply reverting them, as the racial politics are completely sidestepped though others admit they like Betsy as a ninja.


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