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Quote1.png A guild of assassins needs employment. Just as a great lord, Mandarin, needs spies to seek out his enemies. And executioners to deal with them. In Psylocke, you have both. Quote2.png
Matsu'o Tsurayaba

Appearing in "The Key That Breaks the Locke"

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  • Jamie Braddock's Ferrari Testarossa

Synopsis for "The Key That Breaks the Locke"

In Hong Kong, Matsu'o Tsurayaba approaches the Mandarin with an offer of an alliance between his organization and the Hand, a ruthless clan of assassins. Matsu'o's deal is for the Hand to help the Mandarin build an empire unparalleled by any in the past, in exchange for gainful employment in its service. To begin their alliance, Matsu'o offers a gift; that of an ultimate assassin. This assassin is Psylocke.

What follows next is a surrealistic "dream" sequence as Betsy relives details of her life, undergoes a physical transformation from British to Japanese at the hands of the Body Shoppe (with nightmarish versions of Spiral and Mojo causing the transformation) and her being set against her teammates, who she murders in order to obtain each of Mandarin's ten rings. In the end, Psylockes defeats Mandarin himself (who takes the form of Slaymaster) and it is revealed that the "dream" was a sensory deprivation brainwashing experiment that the Hand used to finalize their assimilation of Psylocke into their organization. In the end, she returns the rings to Mandarin, to whom she pledges her undying loyalty.


  • The truth about Psylocke's transformation from British born mutant to Japanese born telepath would not be told until X-Men V2 #20-24 and #31-32. It would be revealed that Psylocke's mind was transferred into the body of a Japanese mutant known as Revanche and vice versa, but that due to Psylocke's lashing out upon Revanche when the latter found the former's body, their minds briefly merged and caused each to absorb personality traits of the other. Furthermore, it was revealed that Spiral orchestrated the mind swap and helped Revanche's lover kidnap the mutant (now in Betsy's body) away from his romantic rival Matsu'o prior to him presenting Psylocke to Mandarin.
  • This issue is part of the Acts of Vengeance crossover event, though not tied directly towards the main plotline of the event as far as Matsu'o and Mandarin's alliance taking place without Loki's involvement or knowledge.
  • The storyline involving Psylocke becoming a thrall of the Hand was originally intended for Wolverine; the notion of Wolverine as brainwashed would be resurrected several years later with the twelve part "Enemy of the State"/"Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D" storyline.
  • The dream version of Havok in Genosha as well as Rogue and the phantom "Ms Marvel" fighting each other would foreshadow their ultimate fates upon leaving the Siege Perilous.

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