Chris Yost: Settling the Ghosts of Psylocke

Chris Yost on the Psylocke Miniseries

And you thought Psylocke had been through a lot in her recent appearances in Uncanny X-Men. Just you wait.

November will see writer Chris Yost head up a four issue Psylocke miniseries with art by Harvey Tolibao which will kick off with a trip to Japan and a reunion with Matsu'o Tsurayaba. Madness, violence, and ninjas follow.

We spoke with Yost for more on what readers can expect in the coming miniseries.

Newsarama: First off Chris - you were an X-Men fan long before you got into weaving their tales - what's your first X-Memory?

Chris Yost: Not as long as some. The very first time I read X-Men in a comic was when Spider-Man took them down in Secret Wars #2. I had no idea who they were... although I'd seen Nightcrawler in an issue of Amazing Spider-Man and didn't realize it.

Then I picked up Uncanny a while after that... but the issue I picked up had Forge, Illyana, a powerless Storm, Dire Wraiths and Rom Spaceknight. And Illyana Rasputin and Amanda Sefton. So, it was awesome... but I had no idea who the hell they were. And they didn't have Wikipedia back then. But I was hooked.

NRAMA: Obviously, you follow along with the series, and know what's coming up, so what was your reaction when it became clear that Psylocke was coming back in a big way in Uncanny?

CY: My reaction was 'Finally.' Psylocke is one of the new new wave of X-Men, one of the ones that I got introduced to as I read the book. Her, Gambit, Psylocke, Longshot, Dazzler... the Silvestri/Mister Sinister/Morlock Massacre days. The anything could happen days.

NRAMA: So spell things out a little for where this miniseries picks up with her - Betsy is back, and Kwannon is gone, as per what Madelyne explained to the Sisterhood?

CY: This is post Sisterhood, so Betsy is back and Kwannon is gone... but Betsy is in Kwannon's body. Elisabeth Braddock's 'birth' body is dead. Again.

NRAMA: Again. Since we're talking about Madelyne, where does Besty fit in in your mind, in regards to the psychics of the X-Men’s world? Just how powerful is she?

CY: Betsy is one of the planet's most powerful telepaths... of course, there aren't that many left. She's not Xavier or Jean Grey level, but she can hold her own. But what she can do that the others can't is focus her telepathy into a psychic knife. So she can physically and psychically kick your ass, and look amazing doing it.

NRAMA: Groundwork out of the way, let's talk about your miniseries - was this something you volunteered for, came up with, or were just the guy who picked up the phone and said, "Hell, yes, I'll write it!"?

CY: Much like the recent Storm mini, editor Daniel Ketchum called me up and asked if I'd be interested. I can't imagine a character that I'd answer 'no' for, but with Psylocke, it was an easy decision.

NRAMA: While this starts as Betsy looking to do the right thing, it quickly becomes a revenge flick on paper. Who is she gunning for?

CY: Matsu'o Tsurayaba. But wait, you say... the two of them made their peace! She's got nothing against him. Well, just wait.

NRAMA: Oh, like we’re going to let you go with that… Why's she got such a mad on for Matsu'o and figures she must stop him?

CY: Matsu'o does something pretty unspeakable. For a very simple reason, he hurts Betsy in a very personal, very violent way. It's pretty shocking, and at first glance non-sensical. But by the end, it will all make sense. Fingers crossed.

NRAMA: What's your take on these eddys that flow off the main X-Men current like Psylocke and her whole adventure? In a way, you could argue that it was almost an afterthought when Betsy and Kwannon were mashed up, and here, a couple of decades later, we're still telling and reading stories about it...

CY: This is a story about Betsy coming back to the world, trying to figure out who she is and what her place is... and having an option taken off the table in a horrific way. Betsy has been on a rollercoaster, that's for sure. There's a laundry list of weirdness and complexity that's been heaped on her, but at her core, she's still Betsy. She's a hero, and a fighter. She's got an edge. She's sexy as hell, to the point where Cyclops finds himself staring at her.

This mini does touch on the 'two bodies' bit, but it's the set up for a pretty personal conflict. It's about revenge, but it's about mercy. After everything Psylocke has been through, does she have any humanity left?

NRAMA: What do you want this miniseries to do for Psylocke as a character when it's all said and done?

CY: I want this mini series to remind people how and why we're still telling stories about Psylocke. To show the youngsters why she kicks ass, and remind the rest of us what we love about her.

NRAMA: Can't let you go without a tease - how does issue #1 kick off?

CY: Psylocke kills some guy.

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