- A guild of assassins needs employment. Just as a great lord, Mandarin, needs spies to seek out his enemies. And executioners to deal with them.
- -- Matsu'o Tsurayaba src
A member of the Hand, Tsurayaba was directly involved with the "body swap incident" between Betsy Braddock and Kwannon just after Betsy's emergence from the Siege Perilous.
Matsu'o Tsurayaba was a Hand assassin working in Japan. His love, another assassin by the name of Kwannon, worked for an opposing crime boss named Nyorin. Though they knew their respective employers would eventually clash, the two remained lovers, and vowed to fight honorably to the death should they have to. Fatefully, they did. Matsu'o was ordered by the Hand to kill Nyorin, and during his fight with Kwannon, she slipped, and fell from the cliffs they were on to the ocean below. Matsu'o brought her broken body to the labs of the Hand. They were able to keep her body alive, but her mind was shattered beyond repair.
Not much later, the X-Man Psylocke emerged from the Siege Perilous. Betsy Braddock washed up, naked and amnesiac, on a beach of an island belonging to the Hand. Matsu'o recognized the woman as Psylocke and devised a plan to use her telepathic abilities to restore his lover's mind. His idea was to transplant the mind of Kwannon into the body of Psylocke. Kwannon's own low-level telepathic abilities would ensure her mind would survive, but her body was still too weak for such a transfer. Matsu'o contacted villain Spiral, who agreed to help.
Of course, Spiral being the tricky woman she is, did more than just switch the two minds. She twisted the DNA of both women so that their bodies were genetically the same. She also spliced the minds of both women, planting pieces of each in both bodies. After the transfer was complete, both the Asian body of Kwannon and the Caucasian body of Psylocke possessed parts of the psyches of both women, though it was later revealed that more of Betsy's mind existed within the Asian body and more of Kwannon's lived within the Caucasian.
Seeing that both women seemed to be in both bodies, Matsu'o was more interested in the body that looked the most like his lost love, and left the other body, who would later become Revanche, in the hands of her old employer Nyorin.
Matsu'o aided Psylocke, now Asian, in her recovery, training her in various martial arts and making her into the Mandarin's finest assassin. Ironically, a warrior is exactly what Elisabeth Braddock had always dreamed becoming, and Matsu'o, along with Spiral and the Hand, gave Betsy Braddock her innermost desire.
Later, when Revanche attacked Psylocke, claiming to be the true Elisabeth Braddock, the two women, accompanied by Beast and Gambit, went to Japan to discover the truth. Though they found some planted evidence in the form of Nyorin's personal diary, Matsu'o refused to reveal the truth.
Later still, Revanche contracted the Legacy Virus. Her telepathic powers slowly increased to the point that she remembered who she truly was; she was the real Kwannon, as Psylocke was the real Betsy Braddock. Near death, she confronted Matsu'o, who finally admitted the truth and begged for forgiveness. Sensing her imminent death, she asked Matsu'o (affectionately called Matta) to kill her before she burned herself out. He did, plunging a blade into her heart, and buried her.
When she died, her energies struck Betsy Braddock. Realizing that Revanche had died, she went to find Matsu'o, who explained everything, and gave her a "gift", left behind by Kwannon. The gift was her psychic imprint, which entered Betsy's mind and cleared up all confusion about who she was before finally departing. Matsu'o, about to commit suicide to join his love, was stopped by Psylocke, who convinced him to honor her memory by becoming the man she would have wanted.
At some point later Matsu'o was visited by the minotaur Achelous and the head of Eurystheus to make a deal with Matsu'o and the Hand. Using the Hand's mystic ritual, they brought back to life a number of Ancient Greek monsters to pit them against Wolverine and Hercules. This alliance caused an inner divide and a war between the forces of Matsu'o and the Hand ninjas. Wolverine and Hercules managed to stop the chaos saving numerous innocent lives and decapitating Matsu'o in the end. The villain's death was brief as he was resurrected by the Hand.
Later, seeking to end his life, Matsu'o set up a series of attacks against his enemies designed to draw them to him in missions of vengeance. With Jinn and Psylocke closing in, Matsu'o begged Psylocke to end his life, revealing his scarred body, his hands missing, and the technological implants that kept him alive. Before she could kill him, Wolverine arrived, revealing that he "wasn't done paying" for the murder of Mariko Yashida and "didn't get to die yet", showing he was prepared to stop Psylocke. Psylocke battled Wolverine for the right to end Matsu'o's pain, fending off his berserker rage, and eventually offering her own life to Wolverine, a move that ended his rage. Wolverine left Psylocke to do what she felt needed to be done. Using her telepathy, Psylocke gave Matsu'o a brief moment of happiness, reunited with Kwannon and his body restored, before she drove her psychic knife into his skull, frying his brain and sending his body tumbling to the ocean below, seemingly ending his life.
|Power Grid |
|* Capable of energy projection when wearing armor|
Highly skilled martial artist
Matsu'o's strength has been augmented by his cybernetic implants
Occasionally an armored battlesuit
Right hand once had retractable finger blades
- Appearances of Matsu'o Tsurayaba (Earth-616)
- Minor Appearances of Matsu'o Tsurayaba (Earth-616)
- Media Matsu'o Tsurayaba (Earth-616) was Mentioned in
- Images featuring Matsu'o Tsurayaba (Earth-616)
- Quotations by or about Matsu'o Tsurayaba (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: Matsu'o Tsurayaba (Earth-616)
- uncannyxmen.net Character Profiles: Matsu'o Tsurayaba
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