Review: Fallen Angels #1 Is A Promising But Challenging Debut

by Tony Thornley

The Dawn of X has officially brought some of the most unusual new concepts to mainstream superhero comics, and none of them are more out there than Fallen Angels. It’s full of machine gods, digital adrenaline, and body swapping. As the last official launch of Dawn of X, it’s the most unusual and ambitious concept of the bunch.

Bryan Edward Hill, Szymon Kudranski, Frank D’Armata and Joe Sabino show us the birth of a new god.

Kwannon, recently restored to life in her own body and taking the name of Psylocke, has an overwhelming vision of a train wreck and a new god by the name of Apoth. To combat it, she organizes a new team, starting with Cable and Laura Kinney. Will they be prepared for what they found, and will the Quiet Council of Krakoa have their backs when the going gets tough?

Hill sets up some fascinating concepts here. Overclock and Apoth are both fascinating sci-fi concepts, which feed right into the themes of post-human evolution that we saw in Powers of X. Apoth isn’t just an eerie concept either, as his appearance and confrontation with Kwannon and Laura is straight out of a horror comic in the best way.

However, where it’s great in introducing high concepts, it falls short in character work. Kwannon is an interesting new protagonist finally exhibiting agency as a character since her introduction over twenty five years ago, but a big part of her story is centered around an unknown child suddenly being fridged. Meanwhile, Cable is pushed into a mindless jarhead role, and Laura seems to be back to her old “pre-Woverine” self. There’s a lot of promise there though that makes it worth checking out in the future.

Kudranski does a very good job on the line art, though there are some quirks that keeps it from reaching its full potential. He creates a completely frightening atmosphere, but uses too many intense close-up panels in the actual story telling. He also uses the layout and structure of the page as scenery and as a device for moodsetting. D’Armata’s colors are much too dark too, creating a dark and angry tone that pushes the story further into a grim and gritty tone than the rest of the Dawn of X.

Despite that, this is still a good comic, with a lot of interesting concepts. The creative team has also done great work elsewhere, adding to the promise of this title. With another couple issues, this really could turn into the strongest of Marvel’s Dawn of X line.

I’m excited to see where this series goes, and to see it grow into its potential.

Fallen Angels #1 is available now from Marvel Comics.

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