FALLEN ANGELS #1
Writer: Bryan Hill
Artist: Szymon Kudranski
Colorist: Frank D'Armata
OK first off let me start by saying, that while I have been a HUGE fan of this X-Men relaunch, I haven't loved all of the titles. So far X-MEN is amazing and MARAUDERS was my second favorite the other books just didn't grab me as much. Then I read FALLEN ANGELS and it became my second favorite X-book. That's right I loved it. When it was first announce I wasn't to into the premise. None of the characters on the cover really interested me. But it was Bryan Hill on writing (whose work I love) and Szymon Kudranski on art, that made me say "OK, maybe I should give it a shot". Well I am so fucking happy I did. It was so far removed, in tone, from the rest of the X-line. That's what makes it truly stand out from the pack and has my undivided attention.
So first off, while I have a basic knowledge of the 3 lead characters of the book, I don't know a whole ton about them. I get that this is now Kwannon back in her own body, now that Betsy Braddock is back in hers. She has chosen to keep the Psylocke codename, which works out since Betsy is the new Captain Britain (see EXCALIBUR). X-23 I pretty much only read when she was in team books, so it's cool to be able to learn more about her. I also wanna check out her solo series which I know my fellow Lounger, Cidnya, has said was phenomenal. Then there's the younger Cable, I have no real clue why he's back in this time, or why it was necessary to have him instead of the OG version, but whatever. I'm intrigued after reading this issue and I'll hold judgement until I read more of him.
The big question I had before reading the issue was "Why are these characters teaming up?". Now I know and it makes complete sense. Bryan Hill brilliantly put them together because they are all warriors, essentially. With this newfound peace they feel a sense of restlessness. So when Psylocke gets a vision she gathers them together to help her fight this "war".
The brilliance of this book though isn't just this team, it's the spot on characterization of Magneto and Mister Sininster. Since Prof. X was "assassinated" last week, Krakoa has been put on lockdown. So when Psylocke requests to leave, she is denied. But Magneto still helps her and sends her East, to Sinister. It's there that Psylocke bargains with him to get passage off the island. These 2 interactions were probably my favorite part of the book. The dialogue was amazing and the art truly gave these two villains the gravitas they deserve. Kudranski used closeups to really accentuate the scenes in a beautiful way.
After Psylocke approaches Laura (X-23) and Nathan (Cable), she drags them into this fight she's waging. by appealing to their inner warrior. This book really dives into the mind of Psylocke and what her motivations for doing what she does. After a trip to Tokyo to locate this mysterious Apoth, she returns to Krakoa and is set on her mission. She tells Laura and Nate to gather other like minded mutants to join them in their cause.
This book was not only different in tone in terms of story but the art as well. Hill and Kudranski have really set themselves a part from the rest of the line, and I think that's what makes this book so great. This is sure be the sleeper hit among the X-books, I don't think anyone could have prepared themselves for this type of book. Take it from someone who was on the fence about this one, this book was phenomenal and you have to get it. There is something really special and unique happening in these pages and you can't afford to sleep on it. FALLEN ANGELS took three characters I wasn't even interested in and made me love them in one issue. I can only imagine what Bryan Hill has in store for us next.