This post covers X-Men, Volume 2, Issues # 20 - 23, which was published between May 1993 and August 1993. It primarily focuses on a new (depending on your point of view) character named Revanche and does a lot of table setting for both the upcoming Fatal Attractions crossover event and the long gestating Legacy Virus plot line.
X-Men # 20 - 23: Revanche is a dish best served cold.
Writer - Fabian Nicieza
Pencils - Andy Kubert (20, 22 - 23), Brandon Peterson (21)
So Psylocke is strutting around the mansion in what Jubilee later calls her "I-Want-Sex" outfit, lol. She goes straight to Scott working on the blackbird and is less direct than in the past, going straight for a kiss. Making out, making out! (I don't know if this is a common song or not, but when I was in college we would sing the Making out, Making out song if we ever caught our friends getting frisky).
Following up on the epilogue to X-Cutioner's Song, Jubilee and Professor X are still bonding as Professor X asks Jubilee if the murder of Colossus's parents is affecting her. I appreciate that Nicieza is picking up on a thread started by Scott Lobdell in Uncanny (these two bonding) and to an extent, Larry Hama in the Wolverine series (where we learned that Jubilee's parents were murdered).
Peter is taking care of Illyana, who is sick. We'll learn in this time frame that she has Stryfe's Legacy Virus.
After making out with Psylocke and having a mini argument with Jean, Scott packs his bags and decides to see his grandparents. Storm tries to stop him on the way out but without stopping Scott talks about how he's the best at blocking people out. When I first read this, I assumed he was just be a bit more overt about his feelings or lackthereof, but as the arc ends with him opening up to Jean, I see it was all part of the long game. Two points for Griffondor.
Beast and Gambit doing a little Danger Room session, showing us that Gambit is recovering from getting his kicked by the MLF during X-Cutioner's Song.
Speaking of recovering from X-Cutioner's Song, Rogue now has her sight back. Storm is so elegant. Look at her rocking those heels while doing routine medical work.
So it all comes to a head. Psylocke makes out with Scott, Scott splits to think things over, Jean confronts Psylocke asking about an affair and Psylocke...answers her. This is a little messed up. Instead of answering you, let me just stab you with my psychic knife and you can see for yourself. I guess the point of this issue to show her acting erratic so that when this "new character" shows up, we are already questioning her.
Ok, so this new woman, soon to be labeled as Revanche, shows up and claims to be the real Betsy Braddock. She resembles the British version of Betsy Braddock.
The first reaction of the team, or at least Wolverine, is to be like "So who is this Asian chick!?"
I'll save you all the confusion I just went through trying to figure this out. So the running story is that BOTH of them are the real Betsy. Apparently there was a separate Psychic Asian Ninja named Kwannon who had her mind merged with the X-Man psychic British Betsy Braddock. It didn't help that this happened shortly after the Siege Perilous. So apparently both of them are the correct one as the Psylocke we have been seeing has Kwannon's body. This explains why Psylocke (and Revanche) have all of Betsy's memories and most of her traits, but is also a bit more erratic (dressing sexy and hitting on Scott) and has mad ninja skills. Make sense? Me either.
All side characters must go! The theme of killing off second tier mutants continues, this time Mesmero is the victim by the hand of the Dark Riders. So they claim they are culling the weak. That was Apocolypse's thang, but he was defeated and they defected to Stryfe. But Stryfe is believed dead now so.....are they on their own at the moment? Really unsure why they are even showing up here. They also kill one of their own Psynapse, who appears to be struggling with the Legacy Virus.
The other members of the team are noticing that Psylocke and Revanche fight the exact same way.
After splitting, Cyclops decides to tell his grandparents the truth. Like everything. The truth about Maddie and Nathan including both how they live and how they die.
Psylocke, Revanche, Gambit and Beast go to Japan to learn the truth about these two. Since they are in Japan, they must run into Silver Samurai. Surprisingly, they were able to resist bringing Sunfire into this issue. I'm sure they wanted to.
Soooooooo, Mr. Sinister shows up at his grandparents in Alaska waiving the white flag. We've seen that Sinister has some sort of hard on for the Summers family and here he shows up as a friend with a warning. He tells Scott (and the audience) that Stryfe gave Sinister the Legacy Virus as a way to get revenge on him and Jean by killing all mutants. That seems...a little extreme to be honest. Wasn't the MLF carrying out terrorist acts to help mutants? I wonder if we'll ever get more about this or if this is the story they'll stick with and it will just always be weird.
Mr. Sinister accidentally refers to "Brothers." I got a little excited here. I've dabbled a little with the Hickman Hox/Pox era and I've seen that there is a 3rd Summers brother, but I had no idea who he was. Looks like we might be getting that soon. Fun!
Those stupid Dark Riders show up again to "test Cyclops" and Mr. Sinister fights on his side. Both Scott and the Riders make a comment about Sinister being "soft" and then he whoops all of their asses.
Dark Riders officially calling out that Sinister surprised them and that they are done testing Scott.
At the end, some of the X-Men learn that Magneto is still alive. Rogue comes right out and says that they can't beat him and Jubilee is freaking out that Wolverine is clearly scared about this.
As you're likely noticing, I was obsessed with collecting Super Hero cards. I read a good deal of comics, but I collected every single set ever printed. I still consider to this day the absolute best Christmas present to be getting a "box" of super hero cards. This was a box that came with like 20 packs of cards. I would open them one by one and start keeping track of them immediately. In fact, I spent most of my youth doing nothing but re-arranging the cards in my plastic sleeves, constantly trying to decide who would go best on my team.
So now you know my secret and why I create those Roster graphics. I'm essentially creating my own Super Hero Trading cards and using that system to track the rosters with how they change over time. And boy, that is my favorite part of this project!
Where was I going with this? Oh yea. So I had a Revanche card and never knew what the hell was up with her. The explanation on the back was really confusing. So I recognized her instantly when reading this and feel thrilled to FINALLY know what her deal is.
Nicieza contines working with both Andy Kubert and Brandon Peterson. To be honest, I find this X-Men comic to be a bit bland at the moment. It constantly switches but my unofficial rank has been Lobdell's Uncanny, Nicieza's X-Force, Peter David's X-Factor, Alan Davis's Excalibur, Nicieza's X-Men, and then Larry Hama's Wolverine. With Alan Davis and Peter David both leaving their respective titles, I'm not sure where that will leave things. I'm also digging Cable so far so I might need to throw that in somewhere near the top. Wolverine has always been last.
Psylocke and Scott's weird yet awesomely erotic flirting comes to a crescendo and in typical comic fashion, there is a very comic booky reason for it: Psylocke's mind has been messed up as she's also got a mischievous ninja assasin influencing her too.
Scott and Jean have a fight and Scott leaves, but in the epilogue to this story (which I'm covering next) it leads to them making up and agreeing to me more honest with each other, which I enjoy.
I love that Jubilee and Professor X are continuing to bond.
Colossus is staying as grumpy, depressed Colossus while he takes care of his sick sister.
Gambit and Rogue continue to take their relationship to the next level.
My Rating and Review
This comic is very average right now. It isn't bad. It has it's perks. The art is cool. But it just seems like the story is running in place. The last Soul Skinner story was filler and this is a bit better, but not by much.
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