* minor spoilers for X-Men: Apocalypse *
You'd be forgiven for walking out of [X-Men: Apocalypse](tag:1194267) still a little unsure as to what exactly Psylocke/Elizabeth "Betsy" Braddock's role was supposed to be in the superhero blockbuster.
From her introduction as the henchmen of Caliban (Tómas Lemarquis) — a notable mutant and Horseman of the comic — to the final moment in which we see her skulking in the background in the aftermath of the climactic battle and scowling at the X-Men team from the shadows, Psylocke's function was sadly reduced to a footnote, lost in amongst the more prevalent characters of the piece.
No-one felt this absence of character development so much so as Olivia Munn, the actress behind the skimpy costume and CGI psionic blades. A self confessed comic book geek, Munn got more than hands-on with her role — delving into Psylocke's comic book origins and developing some impressive sword-fighting skills as displayed via her Instagram account.
Whilst working on the set of Apocalypse Munn joked about the fact that she knew more about the character than even director Bryan Singer did, saying (via ScreenRant):
"I felt like I had to basically pitch [Psylocke]. You have to do her justice."
When the production team wanted to give Psylocke a black costume Munn raised an objection, telling them "it has the be purple". And when she realised that her character was unlikely to be more than bad-ass eye-candy, she pushed to get Psylocke a larger role and instil the importance of her comic book origins in the producers.
From viewing the finished product, it seems her hard work has gone largely unnoticed. Is Psylocke formidable? Yes. A total bad-ass? No doubt. A character who functions as anything more than a cardboard cut-out? Sorry, no dice.
And it's not just Psylocke who feels like a let down, Angel/Warren Worthington III (Ben Hardy) arguably had more development in The Last Stand, despite having more screen time in Apocalypse.
It's a specific let down due to the fact that both Angel and Psylocke are the two of the bunch who have the most history with Apocalypse and the Horsemen in the comics.
Canonically Angel serves Apocalypse for some time, due to the big blue bad saving him from an explosion and restoring his amputated wings — as we saw a nod to in Apocalypse. He becomes Death with new bio-organic metal wings and the head of the Horsemen, and later becomes the heir to Apocalypse following the villain's apparent death.
Psylocke has generally been a hero as part of the X-Men team, but she too served as the Horseman Death. At the time of Angel's ascension as the heir to Apocalypse, the two had a history and an ongoing relationship. The two were unable to bring themselves to kill each other, so Angel turned her into the Horseman Death to serve as his protector and his Queen.
Unfortunately, due to the logistics of working with an ensemble cast of characters neither Psylocke nor Angel really get any development to establish them beyond henchmen caricatures.
But their fates are both left uncertain. Unlike Storm and Magneto who turn back to the side of light, Psylocke skulks off to places unknown, and it remains unclear whether or not Angel even survived the final battle.
Hopefully this means there's plans to develop these two further down the road, rather than leaving them hanging like yesterday's jam. As to their future, we'll have to wait and see where the main series X-Men franchise takes us next, and there's always hope for Psylocke popping up in that proposed X-Force spin off...
Who was your favorite character in X-Men: Apocalypse? Tell us in the comments below!