In the latest issue of “Excalibur,” the new Captain Britain is finally able to have an awkward, yet long needed conversation with Psylocke.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Excalibur #17 by Tini Howard, Marcus To, Erick Arciniega & VC’s Ariana Maher, on sale now
The connection between Kwannon and Betsy Braddock is an uncomfortable one, to say the least. The two were combined into one against their will, with Betsy’s mind inhabiting Kwannon’s body, up until Jim Zub, Thony Silas, and Leonard Kirk’s Hunt For Wolverine: Mystery in Madripoor #4 separated the two once again.
Since they both arrived on Krakoa they have largely avoided each other, with Betsy giving up the name Psylocke and taking on the Captain Britain identity alongside Excalibur, and Kwannon working primarily with the Hellions. The time spent combined left both with an uneasy feeling, with Kwannon understandably angry that someone else wore her skin and Betsy feeling terrible for what happened but not knowing how to apologize. After a long time coming, Excalibur #17 finally sees the two talk about what happened, in a sense.
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During the “X of Swords” event, Tini Howard and Phil Noto’s Excalibur #14 saw Betsy killed, leading to the arrival of several alternate reality Betsy Braddocks and the revelation that the 616 Betsy was stuck in an alternate reality where that version of her is the Queen of England. While the rest of Excalibur deals with issues in Otherworld, Betsy and the alternate-universe version of Angel come up with a plan to get her back to her native universe. Unbeknownst to Betsy, this involves the alternate universe Kwannon, the mutant whose body she inhabited for years.
Back in Fabian Nicieza and Andy Kubert’s X-Men #32 in 1994, it was revealed that the villainous crime boss Matsu’o Tsurayaba had the sorceress Spiral body swap the two mutants. Kwannon would later die and leave Betsy’s mind trapped in her body for years until the two were finally separated over 20 years later in 2018’s Hunt For Wolverine: Mystery in Madripoor #4. As the two are both mutants, they ended up on Krakoa and things have been understandably tense between them. Betsy has shown that she wants to talk about what happened but can’t work up the nerve, and seemingly lost her chance after her presumed death in “X of Swords.” However, the alternate universe Kwannon has finally given Betsy the opportunity.
As the two embark on their mission to Otherworld Betsy plays things coy, asking Kwannon 3 questions and not revealing the nature of their relationship in her universe. Kwannon, unaware of her alter’s body swap, is just as short with Betsy as her 616 counterpart, displaying a natural dislike. Eventually, Betsy reveals their relationship in her world, which sets Kwannon off as she takes the revelation to be a threat. Despite Kwannon’s less than welcoming response Betsy finally gets the chance to say she is sorry before entering the portal to Otherworld and leaving the alternate Kwannon behind.
While this is not the same Kwannon whose body Betsy inhabited for years, this is precisely what allows Betsy to have the conversation she has been unable to have with the 616 Kwannon. Betsy tests the waters with the alternate Kwannon and, despite the anger she is met with, it is a perfect warm-up for her to have the same conversation with the real Kwannon and settle things between them once and for all.
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