Warning: SPOILERS for Excalibur #1
Betsy Braddock, the X-Men superheroine they call Psylocke has become the new Captain Britain, and leader of Excalibur in the Marvel Universe. Psylocke is one of the most complicated members of the X-Men, in large part because of a confusing plot in the 1980s that saw her body-swapped with a Japanese assassin named Kwannon. But the last year has seen a dramatic change in her status quo.
The Return of Wolverine event saw Psylocke use her telekinetic powers to recreate her physical form, and she unintentionally restored herself to her old British default. Though she didn't know it, her psychic powers also recreated Kwannon as well. Since then, Betsy Braddock has struggled to work out just how her restored self fits into the world. The recent changes in the mutant race - including the foundation of the mutant nation of Krakoa - has brought matters to a head.
Writer Tini Howard and artist Marcus To have taken charge of a new series of Excalibur, and the first issue sees Betsy Braddock embrace a new destiny as Captain Britain. Hearing news of trouble in Avalon, a mystical realm her brother Brian is sworn to protect, she insists on accompanying him there. To their horror, Brian and Betsy discover that Morgana Le Fey has become ruler of Avalon, which means Brian is forced to become her sworn servant. With her brother under Morgana Le Fey's control, Betsy is forced to claim the mystical Amulet of Right, and she's transformed into the new Captain Britain.
The Amulet of Right is one of two items offered to potential members of the Captain Britain Corps. To choose the Sword of Might is to commit to the path of violence, whereas anyone who selects the Amulet of Right becomes an avatar of reason. Three previous Captains Britain have chosen the Amulet of Right, including Betsy's brother. It's safe to assume that Betsy now shares Captain Britain's powers as well as her own, meaning she's a physical powerhouse as well as one of the X-Men's most notable psychics. But that also means Betsy Braddock now shares her brother's responsibilities. That means her loyalties are divided; a war appears to be brewing between the mystical beings of Avalon and the mutants of Krakoa, and Betsy now has a responsibility to both of them. It will be fascinating to see how Betsy balances this out.
Meanwhile, there's increasing evidence that the MCU is preparing to introduce its own version of Captain Britain. In Avengers: Endgame, the heroes time-traveled back to SHIELD's base at Camp Lehigh in 1970. One scene saw Steve Rogers unwittingly hide in the office of Director Peggy Carter, and he was shocked as he watched his love through a window. It was easy to miss, but Peggy Carter was talking about someone called "Braddock." There's only one Braddock family in Marvel, which surely means Avengers: Endgame had a Captain Britain Easter egg. Most viewers assumed that this was a reference to Brian, but it's entirely possible Marvel Studios could switch things up and go straight to a female Captain Britain. There's precedent for this idea, and the MCU's future is believed to lie in diversity - so the X-Men comics' latest twist could foreshadow the movies too.
Excalibur #1 is on sale now from Marvel Comics.