By Bryan Hill, Szymon Kudranski and Frank D’Armata
Fallen Angels has been a surprisingly good book to come out of Dawn of X. Teaming up three characters who have been playing nice but have a buried bloodlust is a good idea for a new X-book. Psylocke, X-23 and Cable all have good reasons for being in the book. While recent series like All-New Wolverine have tried to calm X-23 down as a character, she’ll always be remembered for her days in X-Force and NYX. Young Cable is a fairly new addition to the X-Men, but we do know that he has a killer instinct, since, well, he’s Cable. Psylocke also has a dark past, and if you read Cullen Bunn’s Uncanny X-Men, she “killed” Magneto at the end of it, so it was only a matter of time before she went back to her dark roots. Fallen Angels is the series to get these dark characters front and center and dealing with their issues.
For the most part, this was a decent issue, but there were a couple of gripes. First, the book is way to Psylocke centric. Bryan Hill makes her almost seem untouchable. Psylocke comes off as too good of a character here. She never seems to make mistakes and always knows what the right thing to do is. X-23 is also written off in a way. X-23 was a character that was an assassin, through the help of the X-Men and Wolverine, she became a better person and learned how to control herself. All-New Wolverine was a great example of the change that happened to X-23. Some of this seems to be thrown out the window in this book, and the talk she has with Psylocke seems unnecessary. “Never take your attention off the enemy” Psylocke tells her. X-23 knows how to kill people. She knows this. Those two minor gripes aside, this issue is a fun read. Hill is finally getting us closer to who or what Apoth is. Hill also gives us a peek into the motivations of Apoth, and it makes sense. Fallen Angels is a decent read this week, but this is a book that will be overshadowed by the other Dawn of X titles.
The pencils this issue are handled by Szymon Kudranski with colors by Frank D’Armata. The art really helps out the story for this issue. This is a darker book, and Kudranski actually uses very smooth lines for his pencils. As we see Cable suspended in the air from wires, the line work is incredibly smooth on him. Kudranksi also makes this a close and intimate book. We get several panels of characters eyes as they talk. This allows us to feel closer to the character. The colors by Frank D’Armata are dark and moody. This really adds to the feel of the book. D’armata does an excellent job of showing of vibrant colors in dark panels. As Psylocke goes to read a child’s mind, the pink shines brightly in an extremely dark panel. The light glows and attracts your eye. The pencils and colors work really well here and stand out for this issue. These are the things that separate this book from the other Dawn of X series out right now.
Fallen Angels has been a decent read, but a little too Psylocke centric. The dark tone works for the characters in the book, but there isn’t enough of X-23 or Cable. The pencils and colors lift this book up and give it a distinct feel that differs from other X-titles at the moment. Fallen Angels is a Psylocke fans dream.