X-MEN #31-32 (1994): Soul Possessions; Revanche dies


This story attempts to explain Psylocke/Revanche, which is good because I’m totally confused.  The characters look the same but aren’t the same but are the same.

Through flashbacks, we see Kwannon (aka Revanche—yes, she goes by multiple names to make this even more confusing) romantically linked to Matsu’o Tsurayaba, back when they were both Ninjas in competing clans.  We see Kwannon die as a result of Matsu’o’s mistake, and his love/guilt is what drives him to try to resurrect her in the form of Psylocke after The Hand found Psylocke washed up on the shore of their island compound with amnesia.

Spiral helped him do it.  We already knew she was involved, but in these issues we’re shown that her motivations included a desire to sabotage the star-crossed lovers out of spite—since she, too, lost love (back when she was the human Ricochet Rita).  For that reason, she made the psychic replacement of Psylocke with Revanche intentionally defective—and vulnerable to the Legacy Virus.

As Revanche is dying from the virus, Spiral admits that she made her only partially whole—that Revanche shares the human form with Psylocke’s consciousness.  Thus, although Psylocke’s body was re-formed by Spiral to look like Kwannon, her mind was only partially revised.  And Matsu’o was ignorant of these facts (we learn them as Angel and Beast hack Psylocke’s cybernetic eye and scroll through the data inside it).

As the story is told through flashbacks, Spiral attacks Psylocke.  Some X-Men join the fight to protect her, and Spiral runs away.  She was only there to kill Psylocke’s body (and thus kill Kwannon’s spirit and make Matsu’o sad), and I guess she leaves because spite isn’t a terribly important motivation.

Dying, Kwannon/Psylocke goes to Japan to say goodbye to Matsu’o–and tell him that he’s basically killed both women occupying the body. 

Rather than let her die, Matsu’o absorbs Kwannon out of Psylocke’s body.  This saves Psylocke’s life-removing her vulnerability to the virus—but kills Revanche.  It also enables her to throw her cybernetic eye away—the eye that Mojo used to spy on the X-Men.

Also in this issue: On the letter page, a tribute to Jack Kirby.

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