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Face Front, True Believers! A Marvel Comics Thread

I thought Chuck used telepathy while Psylocke used telekinesis. No?

Psylockes got both, but she usually just uses it for a psionic knife to make her punch’s cause brain damage.

Or to make a weird little eyeball-butterfly thing to talk to people.

They were really throwing a lot of spaghetti at the wall with her

It's very complicated. The short version is: Both Xavier and Psylocke are primarily telepaths.

The longer answer...

When Betsy Braddock originally had powers in Marvel UK Captain Britain comics, she was introduced as being a "psychic" in the sense of being precognitive. When she came over to be an X-Men character, she occasionally had precognition but primarily became a psychic in the typical Marvel sense of being a pure telepath. Psylocke was the team's primary telepath for a very long stretch when Xavier was not part of the book at all. Later, she was given a psionic knife as part of her wedgie ninja redesign when she inhabitated Kwannon's body. The psionic knife is just like . . . doing telepathy violently at close range, not telekinesis. Later still, was given shadow teleportation. At some point I haven never read but before present day, she was given telekinesis, I would guess probably as a way to make the psionic knife make more sense and give it physicality. But present day, both Betsy Braddock and Kwannon's power sets seem to in practice have reverted to the earliest wedgie ninja incarnation of Psylocke, in that they are primarily telepaths but sometimes do telepathy violently, at close range. Every once in a while, someone writes psionic knives as telekinesis, but it's inconsistent. Historically, she has primarily been a telepath.

Xavier was a psychic in 1960s Marvel, when that meant something more like a pulp sci-fi ESPer than a character who purely reads and alters minds. There's precent for him doing... basically anything, with no real narrative consistency or even issue to issue consistency. But at least from the 70s on he's been primarily a telepath. But he's also been a Marvel character for that long, which means sometimes even though he's a telepath he learns how to use telepathy to alter the the corporeal world, because they couldn't figure out a better way to pay off all those Onslaught teases they set up a few years ago.
 

gogglebob

The Goggles Do Nothing
(he/him)
With zero range. I always loved that - it was a good twist in an old power.

Funny, I feel like this brings the conversation full circle, as Superboy's "tactile telekinesis" and its attendant blurb is the only comics explanation I remember more vividly than Psylocke's "focused totality of psychic powers".

EDIT TO ADD: If memory serves, I remember seeing somewhere that Psylocke's telekinesis in regards to the psychic knife started as something of a no-prize explanation as to why her "psychic knife" could occasionally work on brainless robots, and "human" opponents who turned out to be robots. Gotta account for that surprisingly frequent scenario.
 
If so, that's a pretty funny needless complication to an already needlessly complicated character, because the rules around how telepathy and smart-enough-to-seem-human robots interact in the Marvel universe are not consistent enough for that to even require an explanation beyond "uhhhh this was one of the many, many robots that telepathy does work on."
 

Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
There's a whole storyline in the late '90s where the Shadow King comes back and by the end of it Psylocke entraps him in the astral plane, in effect sacrificing her telepathy to keep him imprisoned. She subsequently undergoes psychic therapy sessions with Phoenix, which ends up somehow "swapping" their powers--so Betsy's sudden onset of telekinetic abilities from then on are actually Jean Grey-derived. It is kind of a funny dynamic as both characters have access to both or one of their powersets at any one point in their histories--prominently, when Jean "resurrected" for X-Factor in the '80s, she was written without her telepathy for a good while, mirroring Betsy's circumstances in the late '90s and early 2000s.
 
There's a whole storyline in the late '90s where the Shadow King comes back and by the end of it Psylocke entraps him in the astral plane, in effect sacrificing her telepathy to keep him imprisoned.

Ah, that makes sense. I'm still mid-1997 now, and I think I saw covers for what looks like that story coming up pretty soon.
 

Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)
Not Marvel, but Superboy has just telekinesis.

"So you don't really fly."

"No."

"You're not really invulnerable."

"No."

"You don't have super strength."

"No."

"Then...?"

"Tactile telekinesis. I mimic all those powers by subconsciously applying telekinesis to myself and things I touch."

"Telekinesis... to things you need to touch."

"Yeah."

"So no 'tele'. Just... 'kinesis.'"

"Yeah......"
 

gogglebob

The Goggles Do Nothing
(he/him)
Don't worry, the people around him cope.



 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
If I had any complaints about Alan Davis’ run on Excalibur, and honestly, I really only have the one, it’s that he leans on “This character is more nude than she would prefer” as a joke a lot, and almost always with the teams literal child.

Admittedly, he doesn’t draw Kitty as a child, and I suspect he keeps forgetting she isn’t old enough to drive, but still.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
So when did Mr. Sinister become the best X-villain? Because he used to be a menacing Science Dracula with gross computers and now he’s Tim Curry at his most extra.

Also, Hellions is probably the most fun X-book right now.
 

Positronic Brain

Out Of Warranty
(He/him)
So when did Mr. Sinister become the best X-villain? Because he used to be a menacing Science Dracula with gross computers and now he’s Tim Curry at his most extra.
I don’t know! Hickman in Secret Wars is the earliest example I can think of, but there might be a previous example I don’t know if since I dropped off X-Men after the Morrison run until, well, Hickman started writing them.
 
I think the major turning point toward Tim Curry Sinister was Kieron Gillen's Sinister, although Hickman cemented that by continuing and building on Gillen's characterization. It might not have stuck beyond Gillen's work if no one had followed up on it, since it was a significant departure that some writers just kind of ignored. For now, at least, it's the status quo thanks to Powers of X/House of X selling a ton of copies, and it's great.

Agreed that Hellions is wonderful. I enjoyed how they had fun with the mostly bad X of Swords event by having a premise that just made no sense considering everything that happened between the two Hellions issues of the event. As someone who has read many superhero comic events, you get into a kind of turn off your brain mode and just No Prize it into fitting in somehow, but then the twist is that actually no what they were doing really didn't make sense, and by going into the typical "yeah I guess I can justify how this could make sense, kind of" comic event reading mode, you the reader were duped in the same was as the characters in the narrative.
 
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The X of Swords crossover is one of the few times I genuinely laughed out loud at a superhero comic

I'm not sure which part you mean, but I thought the final sequence and especially the final page was hilarious, in a, "Well, I guess I should have seen that coming," sort of way.




 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Or his genuine heartbreak when the Hellions crashed his jet, with an autopilot designed to compliment him; compared to his incredibly fake tears when the team was entirely killed, earlier in the issue, even setting aside the fact that he’s the one who killed them

Also the book has the highest concentration of Nanny of any other book in Marvel history
 

Jeanie

(Fem or Gender Neutral)
I did love the callback in Planet Sized X-Men, where Magneto goes to Jaime Braddock and asks for help and says "name your price but the cape stays with me.".
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Also just read an issue of X-Men Unlimited from the mid-90s, written by Larry Hama, after hearing Jay and Miles talk about it and holy cripes, this is the most beautiful sack of non-sense ever. Much of the plot concerns C-list Wolverine villain Bloodscream deciding that being a vampire wasn't as fun as being a GHOST PIRATE, stealing a sunken galleon, hypnotizing a crew into thinking they, too, were ghost pirates, and then hanging out in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle. Which catches the X-Mens attention because Wolverine was after apparently just having run clean from New York to Florida in order to chase some pigs around (?!?!?).

Then Belasco pops up and reveals he was the one ordering Bloodscream around and Bloodscream is OUTRAGED, because, even though he's a vampire who has been calling himself CAPTAIN BLOODSCREAM, and hypnotizing people into thinking they were ghost pirates, he assumed he was a good guy and doesn't like the fact that a literal satan was giving him orders. Belasco is also referred to as "The Master of the Cat People" in a narration box and that's not technically wrong, I guess, but it's really weird and misleading. And also Wolverine is bitter because the last time they met, Belasco literally tore his entire skeleton out.

In conclusion; X-Men Unlimited #9; check it out, why don't you?
 

Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
Hama was the unsung pillar of the X-line in the '90s, though perhaps increasingly less as time goes on and people figure out that massive Wolverine run wasn't just existing and justifying itself through sheer marketing-based momentum. He made the character and book his like few ever have.
 
"spot the 90s continuity error" is so easy that it's lazy to even complain about this, but...
she was literally a fashion model before the transformation




i feel like by 1997 there's a lot of received wisdom that pre-body swap psylocke was a boring character who sucked before she became a bikini ninja, and this idea that she used to be frumpy is kind of extension of that mindset... (in any case, in actuality, the old psylocke already ruled, no matter what you think about the merits of her various costume designs... or body designs, for that matter)

also, not an error, but just annoying, from the same issue you've got "remembering time i helped kill hundreds of people is kind of like good food that gives you gas--just fine at the time, but bad in retrospect"
what???



i was looking forward to a post-lobdell era, but steve seagle's early scripts are just full of stuff that kind of irks me
basically all the dialogue and narrative feels incredibly overwritten, but without any thought to what the characters are saying actually means...
hopefully i will like joe kelly on adjectiveless x-men better....

(the plotting i can't really complain about because seagle's still cleaning up lobdell's mess in this issue and also apparently the entire seagle/kelly era was extremely editorially driven and everyone involved was having an awful time... this is definitely when i actually quit reading these comic books back in the day, not onslaught like i misremembered...)
 
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gogglebob

The Goggles Do Nothing
(he/him)
This is peak Gambit to me. Gambit should always be portrayed as someone trying to portray himself as a debonair ladies' man with a tortured inner monologue... but incidentally does not have a functioning brain cell to spare for such matters.

"I am trying to think about deep stuff here"
"Like what?"
"Farts."

Gambit is the guy that should live up to his official Marvel handbook description of "Education: No official schooling in Data-Base".

Also, for the record, it is canon that Mr. Sinister once gave Gambit a lobotomy...
 
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