Tuesday Showdown: Psylocke vs. Hawkgirl

Psylocke vs. Hawkgirl

Former police officer Martin Coffeetable P.I. sat hunched over his eMac, the search for a reliable synopsis of Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love stretching into its third hour. That night, he was to join his sister and her friend Kerry Campbell at their local library for the second meeting of their monthly book club. Kerry Campbell was a pleasant looking woman who found the retired policeman dangerous and exciting. That's how Martin's sister Joyce always put it in her e-mails. Dangerous. Exciting. He liked that. He'd put in the effort to find out just what happened in Eat, Pray, Love, just as he'd managed to trick his way through Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance in those final days of May. When called upon at the first meeting, he'd quipped that he hadn't expected so much zen, but that he really should have since it was the first word in the title. A few of the women had laughed, and Kerry Campbell had playfully swatted at him with her rolled up library newsletter. He liked that too. 

"Memorable quotes," murmured Martin Coffeetable. "There's the ticket."

The woman didn't knock. She simply entered the small office. "Well?" she said in her accent, which was somewhat Japanese, but also like Mary Poppins. She hadn't moved her lips either.

"Oh," said Martin, closing out the browser. "Miss Psylocke." He reached over to a sloppy pile of papers. "There's a new lead."

"I see," said the woman. She stood there appraising him coolly with those eyes he knew weren't hers. 

"I think you started out English."

"And the hair?"

"I'm going to need an extension."

"You've been at it for three months now, Mr. Coffeetable."

"No, I'm going to need one of your extensions. Or maybe just a lock of it to test for your natural color." He rifled through his documents for a plastic zip-lock baggie. "There's a lab in Virginia."

"My hair has been purple for a very long time, Mr. Coffeetable. Wouldn't someone remember consistently dying their hair?"

"Stands to reason. But as you've said…"

"I don't remember doing it myself. Nor do I or have any salon receipts."

"It's a pickle."

She crouched then on the top of his filing cabinet, pivoted just so as to stair directly at him while still flashing her be-thonged buttocks. It was how she was most comfortable, while still wholly tormented. "I came to you because I was desperate to know who I am, Mr. Coffeetable. Are we really any closer to figuring this out?"

Martin sighed. I'm used to tracking down estranged family members, the parents of foster children. This might be beyond the scope of my abilities, Betsy."

Psylocke looked around the room. "Who is Betsy?"

"It's one of your names. Short for Elizabeth."

"Ah," she said.

"Last night I checked your census records and passports. I've also been spending an hour or two each night on your Wikipedia page. It's all pretty fucked up, honestly."


"You were in Mojoworld for a while."

"I kind of remember that."

Then they noticed the woman at the door.

"Hawkgirl…" said Martin, shrinking into his chair.

She hoisted her mace to rest on one shoulder. "I thought you were working my case."


Psylocke vs. Hawkgirl

Who wins?

Show your work!


Do YOU have an idea for the next Tuesday Showdown? If you do, e-mail your submissions to paul@ifanboy.com. You may also send your own illustrations. If your matchup is selected, your name might even appear in the story!

This week Paul asks: "What do you think Martin Coffeetable P.I. looks like?"


  1. I <3 Martin Coffeetable

  2. I don’t even know what Psylocke’s power are. I’m going to assume she has the psychic ability to unlock doors.  This proves useless in her fight against flying, mace wielding Hawkgirl.  Hawkgirl hits Psylocke so hard that she evaporates from 616 continuity.  No one notices.  The end.

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say Martin Coffeetable P.I. has a bushy mustache and drives a Ferrari from time to time.  (Or is Paul to young to get that reference?  I read somewhere that he is only 16.)

  3. isnt psylock just a ninja


  4. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Psylock, from my limited understanding, has telepathic and telekinetic powers, including the ability to create psychic knives. She was also surgically altered to appear Japanese? And in this process she was also granted martial arts skills? And her eyes are replacements? 

    I think? 

  5. That all makes perfect sense.  I stand by my original conclusion.  Nth metal mace beats psychic knives (based on my vast experience with both).

  6. @Paul: That is my understanding. Though it’s been a long time since I was a regular X-reader.

  7. She’s not surgically altered to appear Japanese, her consciousness was switched into the body of a Japanese woman, Kwannon (which is apparently a Chinese name) by Spiral and Mojo. (Who had previously given her the eyes). Now, this was all ex post facto things added to when British Psylocke entered the siege perilous with the other X-Men (The mystical plot advancement device of the late 80s Claremont books) and had her life rebooted. Originally, she just *became* Asian (like how Storm became a kid) and was captured by the Mandarian and brainwashed into being a ninja just in time for Acts of Vengeance. It’s all very weird and overly complicated, yes. And I kind of hate that I remember all of this. Now, Kwannon did come back in the 90s as a anti-hero called Revanche who wanted her body back. She then died of the Legacy Virus in Psylocke’s original body, which was supposed to say "We’re not making Betsy white again."  Fraction changed all this from the story point of view, but the art has not really reflected she’s white again except for the Butterfly power aura she has again.

  8. Wow.  I think PraxJarvin just defeated Hawkgirl, Psylock, and Mr. Coffeetable.

  9. @stuclach That’s what years of buying dollar Uncanny X-Men backissues will do to you. 😉

  10. The women fight  each other furiously until Coffeetable zaps them both with a dose of "retcon" that he ‘borrowed’ from his friends at the Torchwood Institute.  Both women were suddenly blessed with completely coherent backstories that provided them with compelling but understandable motivations to move forward and have awesome adventures together.  Everyone was happy, until Martin met his next client: the mutant named Cable.

  11. This is a tough one. A lot depends on Psylocke’s range of telepathy. If it’s relatively low, Hawkgirl flies and throws an nth metal mace. Then again, telekinesis blocks the mace doesn’t it?

    TeleK and teleP is deadly combo!

    Edge Psylocke.

  12. I think the eye-replacement happened by Mojo while she was still a white british girl. Shoddy memory, but I seem to recall some Alan Davis drawn issues to that effect. I stopped reading before all the Kwannon stuff (just the first part where she just mystically became Asian), so maybe it was all explained differently later.

    Also, I don’t think she’s white again… although, it’s a bit unclear in the recent issues. I was never under the impression that she went back to her old body during that recent Uncanny storyline. I think wikipedia is wrong about that. Or maybe I wasn’t reading those issues very carefully.

  13. @Daccampo You’re right. Her eyes were replaced in a separate incident. (I think Sabretoorth blinded her?) And I didn’t think she was supposed to be white again until I read Wikipedia and remembered that’s how the story was supposed to shake out. It’s exceedingly unclear though from the text of the issue and from the art. I assumed her getting back the butterfly aura was supposed to be it but c’est la vie. :-p

  14. @Prax — yes, she WAS blinded.That’s right! I think it was Sabretooth. Yeah, I’m unclear on the Uncanny (and I just read those a few months ago, so that tells ya something), so… I guess maybe we’ll see after all the Second Coming stuff plays out and we have some down time to see how they’re playing these characters?

  15. I actually think she is supposed to be Asian again/still, but considering the art involved, I don’t blame Wikipedia if they can’t tell.

  16. @redhood22…only in comic books can "just a ninja" be a deragatory statement. 

  17. I want to point out  my delight that Paul’s jokey post about the characters’ confusing continuity quickly spawned a totally earnest conversation about the character’s real continuity.  (The more you explain, the more I don’t understand!)

  18. Psylocke isn’t actually that complicated.

    1) She didn’t just *become* Asian. The Mojo & Spiral part is right there in the issues where it happens.

    2) She isn’t white again; she’s still Asian.

    3) The only part that’s actually weird (for comics) was the power switching that happened in the 90’s with the shadow business and picking up telekinesis (which wasn’t originally part of the power-set).


  19. Back to the fight:

    Psylocke kills Hawkgirl

    Hawkgirl gets re-incarnated

    Psylocke kills hwakgirl again…

    Hawkgirl gets re-incarnated again…

    Repeat ad naseum until both girls give up, go out for coffee and buy shoes together.

  20. @ Diabhol

    Haven’t read much X-men in a long time, but never thought I’d see the phrase "Psylocke isn’t actually that complicated".  If you have to put quotes around the word "become",  can’t you concede that its at least a little bit complicated? 


  21. Aalbatr0ss: For comics, she’s not that complicated. 🙂