X-MEN: FALLEN ANGELS
Writer: Jo Duffy
Pencilers: Kerry Gammill, Marie Severin & Joe Staton
Inkers: Tom Palmer, Val Mayerik & Tony Dezuniga
Colorist: Petra Scotese
Letterer: Jim Novak, L.P. Gregory & Bill Oakley
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Rating: 8/10 Super Lobsters
My name is Trevor Bieker. I am 28 years old. And I am back again with another weekend review from my ever-expanding collection of comics. If like me, you have also been whisked away by the Dawn of X and the many titles that came with it (even willing to overlook the very culty vibes going on). I have found myself considerably happy with the launch of each title’s first issue and one place I like to go among the mutant community (besides Krakoa! ...I’m still waiting on my invitation) is over to Mutant Musings where I can hear two awesome X-Fans muse about their love for all things mutant. With their most recent episode, they brought to my attention that one of the new titles, Fallen Angels, didn’t make its debut this year, but rather back in the late 80s. After listening to their breakdown of the story, I had to pick up this trade which luckily just released a new printing this November. Alert! SelfReader must be prepared for spoilers!
It’s A Yellow At Best
Our story kicks off with the New Mutants in a heated match of normal soccer (using powers during soccer would make it a whole new game). Our soon to be Fallen Angel is Roberto daCosta, aka Sunspot, who is fourteen years old and will remind you every issue of this series. While playing with his friends, his buddy Sam on the opposite team comes in a little too aggressive for that goal and in moment of panic from being hurt, Roberto angrily uses his powers to throw Sam away, giving him a trip to the hospital and the rest of the young mutants a reason to make Roberto feel bad and run away from the school.
Roberto daCosta is fourteen years old and a runaway now. Along the way, he struggles internally on whether he is truly a hero or a villain now as he helps a young girl from being attacked. This moment of bravery gets his foot in the right dimension door as he, as well as a couple of mutants that were sent from the school to find him, are introduced to the Fallen Angels. The unique thing about this group of young heroes is that they are not out there saving the day, or even heroes for that matter. Led by a teleporting mutant named the Vanisher (use to be a villain), Sunspot, his buddy Warlock, Siryn, who is the daughter of Banshee, and Multiple Man, meet the rest of the Fallen Angels crew. There is Gomi, a boy whose own cousin performed experiments on him that gave him weird force pushing powers shot from his head. Gomi tends to be the most picked on from the group and treated the poorest but he is not without friends when it comes to Bill and Don. Who are Bill and Don? Why just two cybernetically enhanced lobsters with super strength and the cutest dialogue in the series! Also in the group (I mean it’s really hard to top these lobsters), we have Boom Boom, with her tiny timed explosives, Ariel, who can make doors lead to anywhere, Chance, who likes to let you know to take a chance against her, and eventually the recruitment of Moon Boy and Devil Dinosaur.
Roberto daCosta is fourteen years old and now part of the Fallen Angels whose mission is...just basically survive. The group doesn’t save the day or anything heroic They just go out and look for food, mess with each other and deal with their own personal issues. Once tensions start to get high between most of the group (and their mutant powers going haywire randomly), Ariel offers to take them to her homeworld, Coconut Grove, where they can hang out, relax, and try on super heavy 80s outfits that are out of this world. It would seem like a spot to end what could be filler here. Fun little makeovers, some flirting, and even putting Roberto da Costa, who is fourteen years old and being an asshole to the female members of the team, in his place. Nice, but these misfits need something to team up against if this going to be a team book! Our group’s common enemy reveals their true intentions when Ariel’s people imprison the gang, in search of experimenting on the mutants to unlock the secrets of mutation to use on their people who haven’t had any in millions of years (*they have though). Turns out Ariel and Chance sold them out. Also, turns out they are getting captured to because they are mutants too!
Roberto daCosta is fourteen years old and along with the rest of the Fallen Angels who have also squashed their beef with each other, can now work together to break out of this alien prison thanks to Bill coming to the rescue. With quicking thinking and powered help from the former non-mutant members of the group, the Fallen Angels are able to fight off the people of Coconut Grove and return to their home on Beat Street. This little outing has taught our fourteen-year-old living solar battery some good lessons which he decides he will take back to Xavier’s school as he and Warlock set off while Multiple Man and Siryn stay behind with the Fallen Angels.
Roberto daCosta is fourteen years old and I feel like the overuse of that opening in this collection probably wasn’t what they were planning when this series was being released (makes for a great joke though). This is my first time reading anything from Jo Duffy and I gotta say, It was a fun read. Duffy kept the story entertaining with an interesting range of characters whose personalities really jumped out whenever one was on the panels. Along with the team of artists, the Fallen Angels designs and appearances really lent to each of their voices in a way that I could almost hear what each person sounded like, especially with Chance and Ariel. The story itself was not what I was expecting after finishing the story even after hearing about these issues and what happened, I was surprised how little conflict that Duffy had pit against this group. Really their biggest enemies were each other, but it was done in a way that I found myself curious each time a different member of the team began acting with another and waiting to see what conflict would arise from it.
Fallen Angels vs. Fallen Angels
Since I basically knew what the story was going to entail after listening to Mutant Musings, I asked the folks over there what was something to consider after finishing the read. The answer they gave me was a great one, which was connecting the original Fallen Angels to the series currently running. As the musers pointed out for me, both titles feature people who are questioning their identities and where they land between good and evil.
Roberto daCosta is fourteen years old and feeling terrible about what he did to his best friend Sam at the start of this story. He sees his anger as the trait of a villain and throughout the story each decision he makes, his internal struggle is determining if the choices he is making are still in line with a hero or a villain’s. Each member of the group also is finding themselves as well. Vanisher looks to have something of his own instead of playing a henchman to a bigger villain. Multiple Man has copies of himself that don’t want to merge back, seeking their own lives to live. Gomi, Don and Bill and cyborgs, abandoned by the people who made them what they are looking for a group to be a part of. Even Chance, who learns that she is a mutant towards the end, is still dealing with her own issues of letting herself become close to her new teammates. A group of people who didn’t fit in where they were and ended up finding each other.
The Dawn of X may be doing some culty stuff, but it’s titles don’t avoid paying tribute to their predecessors as the current team struggles as well with who they are. Psylocke (Kwannon) has her own body back and is looking to regain her life and freedom from the time lost to Betsy being in control. X-23 doesn’t feel like she can relax on Krakoa and party it up with everyone. She was made to be a weapon and she is looking to for the next hunt. Kid Cable (who swaps from funny to serious now) can’t relax either, looking for the next fight since that’s all he was ever raised in the future to know. Even among their friends and family who are all happy and in a new era for mutants, these three still can’t seem to fit in with the rest yet find each other and form something new. They also kill people which is supposed to be a big no-no rule on Krakoa now. That could be another reason they are Fallen Angels compared to the old team since they are committing one of the biggest crimes which can lead to exile from paradise, aka Heaven for mutants.
Take A Chance With This Book
My name is Trevor Bieker. I am 28 years old and I am done talking about Roberto daCosta, who is fourteen years old and a living solar battery. X-Men: Fallen Angels really gave me something really special in this group of misfits and outcasts among the world. Their inner struggles and conflicts had me wondering what each character would do next as you couldn’t really predict these conflicted youths. The art was a lot of fun and really gave me a dose of the 80s fashion that I enjoy from older comics. You also have Don and Bill, who are both intelligently enhanced lobsters. Super lobsters was an easy sell for me and if you made it through this review and still aren’t sure, then let super lobsters be it for you and pick this book up at your local shop or wherever you get your reads.