Psylocke, by Nate Hallinan

psylocke1Psylocke from the Order of X, by Nate Hallinan

“Why we are necessary?! Here is the reason! People like her, mutants like ourselves—for if we don’t stand up to defend them, who will?!” —Elizabeth Braddock

Hey, everybody! Bonus update! I’d been thinking about writing a bonus update to make up for the two weekends I missed for NaNoWriMo. Then Saturday I saw this awesome redesign of Elizabeth Braddock, the X-Men’s Psylocke, by the always awesome Nate Hallinan. I fell very much in love with his portrait and couldn’t wait a whole week to do the writeup. Nate’s Psylocke is part of his Order of X project, a reimagining of Marvel’s X-Men characters in a Medieval-fantasy setting. The story is not dissimilar to the X-Men as outlaw mutant do-gooders in a world filled with hate and prejudice.

Nate hasn’t offered discussion just yet on Elizabeth’s role within the team, but it’s interesting to speculate. Unlike with Lady Grey, where he added an archer/sniper role to her character, I suspect that charming Betsy here’s role in the Order is pretty much identical to her role in the comic. Clearly she is a high-dexterity melee fighter, wielding her psionic blades in combat as well as steel knives and swords. One key difference of note: where Elizabeth is trained as a ninja in the comics, based on her very Western style blades, I imagine that she uses more of a European-style cut-and-thrust martial arts.

psylocke2Betsy’s leather armor is clearly designed for a character who is in constant motion in combat. Though not heavy enough to offer much staying power in heavy melee, it should allow excellent freedom of movement while protecting from glancing blows and light weapons. Hinged leather spaulders protect Bets’s shoulders from disabling blows, while allowing a decent level of rotation and mobility. Her torso armor is a partial leather cuirass, offering flexible protection from chest to groin. Though it won’t much more than slow a battleaxe or claymore, the boiled leather provides deflection from projectiles and small blades like daggers and rapiers.

Elizabeth’s gloves keep her hands and arms safe in a scrap without hindering her blade use. And her tall boots should protect her legs from minor blows or high water, but remain flexible enough for quick movement in combat. I like as well that Bets knows to layer up in combat. Leather chafes skin nearly as bad as iron, while sweat and skin oils can weaken the leather over time. Thus her burgundy arming shirt is vital for both her personal well-being and for the maintenance of her armor.

I like that Nate gave Psylocke different types of blades to work with for different types of combat, rather than making her a one-trick character. She has the psyblades that are part of her mutant power, obviously, but she also carries a pair of daggers for dual-wielding combat. Plus she has a broadsword or longsword across her back for when she needs better reach or armor penetration. Nate has excellent attention to detail in all of his work and I appreciate the level of care shown in his design of our lovely warrior.

A million thanks to Nate for his lovely depiction of our beloved Elizabeth. Feel free to check out his online galleries as well. As always, thanks so much for reading, folks! Take care and stay awesome!

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