Fallen Angels #1
Written by Bryan Hill
Drawn by Szymon Kurdranski
Colored by Frank D’Armarta
Lettered by Joe Sabino
Review by KrisK
Peace cages predators; soldiers need a war. The central tenet of the X-men spinoff series, Fallen Angels, is simply that some mutants don’t want peace. They need more than safety. They fight, when others dance.
The first issue of Fallen Angels, and likely the first arc at least, revolves around Psylocke. They no longer share a body with Elizabeth Braddock, and for the first time in years, they live their own life. We learn in this issue that Psylocke cares about someone outside of Krakoa. A train wreck in Japan involving the long lost person draws Psylocke to Japan. The calamity of X-Force #1 left the mutant island on lockdown, though. She approaches Magneto who unofficially sends her to Mister Sinister. He agrees to send her off the island, but he suggests she take help. Other mutants made for battle, not peace. Cut to the celebration and Cable, the younger version, not the grizzled older original, flirts with Laura Kinney by fighting her. She bests him easily and seems unimpressed. Psylocke offers them the gig, and they agree.
The issue includes info-graphics on a new drug, Overclock, which works as a virtual narcotic. A robotic drug consisting of normal electronics, combined to create an implant capable of creating euphoria and extreme psychological trauma. Taking out the drug ring ties into saving the one Psylocke loves. The constant info-graphics throughout the X-men titles create a great cohesion, no matter the tone and art of the issues.
The writing of the story by Bryan hill creates a solid Psylocke story. The downside is the other characters get no breathing room. If you missed Psylocke, who has been used less lately, this comic fills a void. If she doesn’t catch your interest, then the story leaves little for the reader. Laura Kinney and Cable serve as filler, though I sense Mr. Sinister staying with the team in an advisory role. Think Hannibal Lector with genetics. While the book hits some high notes, they feel rushed and underdeveloped. The ending, with Psylocke taking on a mentorship role for Cable and X-23, seems forced. Both characters established themselves as masters of battle by now and fully independent.
The art on the book calls back to the work in the early 2000s. The work suits a gritty, more violent book like Fallen Angels. The colors most of the scenes, even in daylight, cast in shadows. Faces stay hidden, and most of the colors lean toward the violet hue of Psylocke’s sword.
Verdict: Pass. The book is good, don’t get me wrong. While I enjoyed it, good pales to the great work being done in the other X-books. If you plan on getting the full Krakoan saga, then get this book. If you love Psylocke, get this book. But if you are deciding what you can afford though, and making cuts, this book doesn’t make it.