Sunday, February 14, 2010

Great unrequited loves of the comics: Psylocke & Cypher

In honor of Valentine's Day, allow me to spotlight an unlikely pair from the past of Marvel Comics.

Cypher (Doug Ramsey) was a teenage member of the New Mutants, the heroes-in-training who lived under the X-Men's roof. Doug's power was the decidedly non-flashy ability to read and speak any language. He often felt like an outsider amongst his classmates because he was fairly useless in battle. This, of course, made him a great point of view character.

Psylocke (Elizabeth Braddock) was originally a supporting character from Captain Britain, being the titular hero's sister. She had telepathic powers and around 1986 X-Men author Chris Claremont decided to transfer her into the X-Men cast.

It went down in the pages of New Mutants Annual#2 when Betsy was transformed into a slave of the villain Mojo, which led to her kidnapping mutant children and attracting the New Mutants' attention. Doug risked his life to set Betsy free and save everyone from Mojo. Although well aware of their difference in ages, Doug was clearly attracted to Betsy.

Of course, Doug's home title was the New Mutants and Betsy's was X-Men and developing plotlines meant they didn't see much of each other beyond Betsy's introduction to the X-Men. In fact, soon after Doug was killed.

Betsy went through a lot of changes in the years which followed, what with being killed and most notably being transformed into an Asian ninja woman who forgot how to wear pants:

Interestingly, Doug was recently brought back from the dead and has likewise picked up ninja skills:

The secret to becoming a martial artist? Apparently it's just something that happens when you come back from the dead. You know, like Jesus Christ, Vampire Hunter.

Well, now that Doug and Betsy are both alive at the same time, I propose that someone revisit Doug's one-time puppy love. The age difference doesn't seem to be an issue now and considering that Doug seems to be rather well-adjusted in spite of his recent resurrection, he might provide valuable insights to the consistently identity-conflicted Psylocke. Also, he might reintroduce her to the concept of pants.

1 comment:

Nitz the Bloody said...

That's a better suggestion for what to do with the characters than I had, which was " Put them both lost causes on a rocket and shoot them into the sun ". :P

( Also, it's unfortunate that both Doug and Betsy, characters who were very distinct in the fact that they weren't suited to physical combat, were given super-ninja skills through very contrived means. )