The woman named Kwannon by the Hand was raised from birth to be a killer. As one of Japan's top assassins, she ultimately abandoned the Hand and became the top operative of the crime boss Lord Nyoirin. This brought her into conflict with her lover and rival, Hand assassin Matsu'o Tsurayaba.
After she nearly died in battle with Matsu'o, the Hand had Kwannon's body switched with that of Betsy Braddock, the X-Man Psylocke. Confused and believing herself to be Braddock, Kwannon took the codename Revanche and joined the X-Men. After discovering her true nature, she contracted the lethal Legacy Virus and was mercy-killed by Matsu'o at her request. Braddock continued to live in Kwannon's body.
When Braddock was apparently killed by Sapphire Styx, she telekinetically rebuilt her original body, and Kwannon was somehow resurrected in her own. Kwannon soon became an ally to the X-Men once more, joining them on Krakoa. There she claimed the codename Psylocke, while Braddock became the new Captain Britain of Earth-616. Forging an uneasy alliance with Mr. Sinister for the sake of her daughter, Kwannon took on a leadership role as the supervisor of his troubled charges, the new Hellions.
Raised to be an assassin ninja by the Hand, Kwannon was baptized as such to be "the enemy of peace". Kwannon fell in love with a boy and gave birth to a daughter. This displeased her masters, who killed her lover and took her daughter away from her, as a lesson of mercy. As a mutant telepath, she built herself a notorious reputation as a killer who could "hear thoughts", being a loyal member of her clan. However, after years of psychological torture, Kwannon turned against her masters, assassinating them.
Kwannon eventually became the prime assassin of Japanese crime lord Nyoirin, as well as the lover of Matsu'o Tsurayaba, a high-ranking member of the Hand. When the interests of Nyoirin and the Hand came into conflict, Kwannon was honor-bound to face her lover Matsu'o in combat. During the conflict, she fell from an ocean cliff and suffered injuries that left her brain-damaged and comatose with no hope for recovery.
Shortly thereafter, the telepathic X-Man Psylocke was found washed up on the shore of the Hand's island base in the South China Sea after passing through the Siege Perilous. To save Kwannon, Matsu'o sought the help of the sorceress Spiral, a begrudging servant of Mojo (who had shown a marked interest in Psylocke prior to these events), as he believed Kwannon's limited empathic power allowed her mind to withstand contact with a high-level telepath like Psylocke. Spiral, penchant for trickery and deception, transferred the two women's minds into each other's bodies, instead of simply recovering Kwannon. Matsu'o tried to manipulate Psylocke, whom he thought to be his lover Kwannon, into becoming the Mandarin's second-in-command, but an encounter with her teammate Wolverine enabled her to break free of his control and rejoin the X-Men.
Meanwhile, Kwannon was recovered by her employer Nyoirin with the assistance of Spiral. The merge of bodies and minds between the two women led Kwannon to believe that she was truly Betsy Braddock. After months under Nyoirin's care, she was sent to the United States to confront Psylocke. She infiltrated the X-Mansion and attacked Psylocke. When the X-Men arrived to aid Psylocke, Kwannon (now assuming the codename "Revanche") claimed that Psylocke was an impostor. The other X-Men were unable to determine the true identities of the two women. According to Wolverine, their scents were identical, and Psylocke, subject to manipulation many times in the past, was unwilling to allow Professor X to telepathically probe her mind in search of the truth. The X-Men left for Japan to uncover the truth. Reading Nyoirin's diary, the X-Men learned that Kwannon was supposedly the first person to happen upon the unconscious Betsy Braddock after her re-emergence from the Siege Perilous portal. Amnesiac and disoriented, Psylocke's telepathy ran unchecked and fused the two women's minds together. Confronted by the X-Men, Nyoirin told them to search for Matsu'o, but, as he was found, he revealed nothing about what had truly transpired.
Revanche returned to New York with the X-Men, becoming member of the team, much to Psylocke's discomfort. On a mission to an island which housed a colony of Legacy Virus victims, Revanche revealed she had contracted the deadly disease. As the disease progressed, her telepathic powers were slowly enhanced, allowing her to cut through the confusion and distortion of her own memories. Sure of her real identity, Kwannon chose to leave the X-Men, but not before forcibly removing the bionic eyes Mojo had implanted in Betsy's body so long ago, severing her connection with Spiral. Finding her back in Japan and close to death, Kwannon asked Matsu'o to end her life swiftly, she might die of her own will and not as a victim of the disease. Matsu'o killed Revanche with a tantō. As she died, she left a portion of her psionic energies within Matsu'o, which allowed him restore Betsy's mind and memories, making her full again. Kwannon's epitaph read "Kwannon, love that transcended body and soul".
When Psylocke (Betsy) was attacked by the psychic vampire Sapphire Styx, who absorbed her soul into herself,, her body was left apparently dead. As Psylocke managed to recreate her original body, her previous body was later reanimated, inhabited by Kwannon once again.
Kwannon's path would cross the X-Men again when the X-Men took on the latest incarnation of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants that reappeared in East Transia. As the X-Men found out that this Magneto was actually the clone Joseph, Kwannon killed him with her katana. She then told the X-Men she was trying to remember them and that she was "nothing", as translated by Wolverine from Japanese. She claimed she killed Joseph because he was manipulated into being weapon to be used to erase mutants from the world.
Though the X-Men incarcerated her at their hideout, Kwannon was soon freed by Wolverine, who wanted her help with avenging Wolfsbane's death. She tracked Wolfsbane's killers and shared their memories with Wolverine, who in turn killed them after a brief confrontation against O.N.E. agents. She also assisted Wolverine in a fight against Emma Frost's new Hellfire Club, being defeated by Mystique.
Claiming the codename "Psylocke", Kwannon became a citizen of the mutant nation of Krakoa, which she considered a peaceful paradise that had no place for her. There, she experienced the apparent murder of her long lost daughter by a threatening artificial intelligence called Apoth. Since Krakoa was on a severe lockdown after the murder of Professor X, Psylocke turned to Mister Sinister for help in reaching Apoth. She recruited X-23 and Cable and they learned in Japan that Apoth was using children to disseminate a technological drug called Overclock. Sanctioned by Sinister, Psylocke promised to bring Apoth to him if her mission was kept hidden from the Quiet Council of Krakoa. The group found Apoth in Brazil, where Psylocke communed with Apoth and learned that back when she worked as an assassin she was responsible for its conception. Sinister modified Overclock to allow Psylocke to interact with Apoth on a cyberspace. Psylocke killed Apoth and, as promised, delivered its remains to Mister Sinister.
Following the Apoth incident, Psylocke was assigned to monitor Mister Sinister's new team of Hellions, composed of mutants who were too violent or troubled to be around the rest of the Krakoans. Their first mission led them to taking down the Mister Sinister's orphanage, which was a cover for Sinister's still active Marauders cloning farm. When Kwannon and the Hellions arrived, they were confronted by and battled the Goblin Queen and her perverse Marauders, whom she had been magically and psychically torturing. After a swift defeat, most of the Hellions were captured, except for Psylocke and Wild Child, who had the urge to attack her after believing she was faulting as the alpha of their 'pack'. After his quick defeat, Kwannon stabbed him with her psychic knife and broke his neck, forcing him to accept her as the one in charge. Psylocke freed her fellow Hellions, and the Goblin Queen was shot dead by Greycrow, allowing the rest of the Hellions to escape safely to Krakoa.
Before the start of a sword tournament, that was set up to settle matters between Krakoa and Arakko, the Hellions were tasked of infiltrating and sabotaging Arakko's forces. There, they learned the contest had already started as they brutally fought the Locus Vile, so their mission was a ruse. Mister Sinister then manipulated Psylocke into abandoning the Hellions in Arakko and return to Krakoa with samples of DNA of the Locus Vile, something he intended to do since the very beginning. As she arrived in Krakoa, she was murdered by Mister Sinister as a way of covering his deceiving actions.
After being resurrected, most of the Hellions questioned Sinister's take on Arakko, but he was fiercely defended by Psylocke. It was revealed that her loyalty came from the fact that Mister Sinister recovered Psylocke's daughter, now living a cybernetic existence, from the Apoth's remains she delivered to him.
Later this loyalty was tested again when Sinister arranged for the Hellions to be kidnapped by Arcade and tortured by Mastermind as part of a trick to make Arcade a mental slave and take over his clone farm, giving him a place to make clones behind the council's back. During this mental torture Wyngarde made her think she had spent many years being hunted by Betsy Braddock wearing her sking as a mask. In this dream, she'd kill her over and over again but she'd always come back. Mr Sinister told her he was moving her daughter's consciousness there and if she told the council what had really happened they'd have it destroyed, leaving her with no choice but to watch as Sinister and Mastermind sent the Hellions home believing they'd escaped on their own.
Having worked through her anger at Betsy in this mental simulation, Kwannon would later team up with Excalibur when Betsy went missing after her fight against Isca the Unbeaten. When Elspeth Braddock retrieved Betsy's spirit, Rictor attempted to perform a ritual to return her spirit to her body. When this failed, Psylocke set Betsy's spirit free and hunted her mind in Avalon. As the two women met, they finally had the opportunity to talk about their sorrowful connection. As Psylocke offered to host her psyche, Betsy was fully resurrected. Soon after she returned, Excalibur learned her body had been previously possessed by Malice. Betsy and Psylocke, with newfound sympathy for Malice's situation, tracked her down on Krakoa and eventually fought her in a telepathic battle that ended with Psylocke killing her by destroying her necklace. They then convinced Xavier to forgive her past crimes and have The Five revive her in a new body so she could have a second chance at life.
Powers and Abilities
Telepathy: As a mutant, Psylocke displays telepathic abilities which enable her to read minds, communicate with others by broadcasting her thoughts psychically and other talents. Originally, she had low-level empathic/telepathic abilities. After having her body switched with Betsy Braddock, contracting the Legacy Virus and being a member of the X-Men, her powers developed significantly.
- Psychic Katana/Knife: In Betsy Braddock's body, she physically manifested her telepathic powers as a blade, created as an ornate psionic katana. The blade could disrupt the autonomic nervous systems of other living beings, incapacitating them instantly. Kwannon could also use her psychic katana to force her way into an opponent's mind and reveal any thoughts that were originally shielded from her telepathic powers, including those of other telepaths. After returning to her original body, she altered such a manifestation to one similar to Betsy's psychic knife, the focused totality of her powers.
- Telepathic Detection: With her psionic senses, Psylocke can track other sentient beings by their psionic emanations. She did this to locate Wolfsbane's killers.
- Flight: Psylocke can use her psychic powers to levitate and even fly at higher speeds. She floats in the air when meditating and once created a pair of psionic butterfly wings to fly a longer distance.
Master Martial Artist: Psylocke is highly skilled in different ninja fighting techniques and other martial arts, including sword fighting, as she was trained from very tender age and worked as an assassin for years.
Psylocke possesses the normal human strength of a woman her age, height, and build who engages in intensive regular exercise.
Untrained Telepath: Being relatively untrained in the use of her telepathy, Psylocke rarely employs her abilities beyond generating psionic blades and unconsciously clouding the minds of others.
- The name "Kwannon" (観音菩薩 in Kanji character) is an archaic transliteration of her namesake, the bodhisattva of mercy, which would be rendered as "Kan'non" in current Japanese, pronounced as [kanːoɴ].
- The name "Revanche" ([ɹəˈvɑ̃ʃ]) is not simply an alternate derivative of the word "revenge," but rather means a "policy designed to recover lost territory or status." From French origin, it is pronounced as [ʁəˈvɑ̃ʃ] in French.
- The name "Psylocke" ([ˈsaɪ.lɑːk] SEYE-lok) is assumed by some fans to be a wordplay with the words "psyche", "key" and "lock". As "psyche" is pronouced as "psy-key", "Psylocke" would be pronounced as "psy-lock".
- 62 appearance(s) of Kwannon (Earth-616)
- 4 minor appearance(s) of Kwannon (Earth-616)
- 9 mention(s) of Kwannon (Earth-616)
- 173 image(s) of Kwannon (Earth-616)
- 10 quotation(s) by or about Kwannon (Earth-616)