Comics
Published November 13, 2019

How 'Fallen Angels' #1 Brings the Mutants Back Down To Earth

Spoiler alert! Get the full context for all the action going down across the Dawn of X!

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Warning! This article contains spoilers for today's FALLEN ANGELS #1, so read on at your own risk, True Believers!

If anyone was thinking that last week’s shocking cliffhanger in X-FORCE #1 was a trick, then it might be time to think again. Charles Xavier is dead, and the sheer fact that he hasn’t been brought back to life makes it seem like the resurrection protocols can’t work without him... That’s a very dangerous place for the mutants to be, especially after they believed that they had conquered death.

Writer Bryan Edward Hill and artist Szymon Kudranski’s FALLEN ANGELS #1 takes place in the shadow of Xavier’s assassination. It also establishes that Magneto is now essentially the sole leader of Krakoa. Magneto plays only a small role in this issue, but it proves to be of great importance to Psylocke.

Fallen Angels (2019-) #1
FALLEN ANGELS #1 cover by Ashley Witter

While FALLEN ANGELS shares its name with a NEW MUTANTS spinoff from 1987, it’s very much its own thing. This book belongs to Psylocke more than anyone else, but Psylocke isn’t Betsy Braddock anymore. Instead, Psylocke is Kwannon, a woman that X-Men fans are still getting to know. This is fitting, because Kwannon barely knows herself. In fact, Kwannon has only had a few scant appearances since her first death over two decades ago; she and Betsy had their bodies switched way back in UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #256. Kwannon has resurfaced in Betsy’s original body more than once, but the two were joined in a way that magic and science have never been able to fully explain.

Betsy does make the attempt to reach out to Kwannon in this issue, but she is quickly rejected. Kwannon even rejects her name in favor of adopting Psylocke as her own. Psylocke even believes that she has earned the peace of Krakoa, even though something else has other plans for her. An enigmatic entity gave Psylocke a vision of Apoth, a new god-like being who is behind the technological drug, Overlock. The opening pages of the issue also introduce Psylocke’s previously unknown daughter as she falls to Overlock’s power and influence.

Who exactly is Apoth? And more importantly, who is guiding Psylocke’s hand? The first issue doesn’t really attempt to answer those questions. But it does place Psylocke between the apparent rivals as she forms an unlikely team with Cable and X-23. Betsy has a history with both of Psylocke’s new companions. In UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #456-460, X-23 quickly became fond of Betsy and began emulating her movements and style. Betsy may have even been X-23’s first role model, so to speak.

As for Cable and Betsy, the older version of Nathan Christopher Summers was her teammate in X-FORCE (2014). Betsy was even intimate with Cable during a very dark period in her life—but Psylocke and the young Cable definitely don’t have that connection. Nor does X-23 share the same bond with Psylocke that she had with Betsy. The only thing this trio really has in common is that they may not be suited for times of peace. Psylocke has given X-23 and Cable a new cause to live for and also to kill for. Additionally, they may not be her last recruits...

Intriguingly, Magneto gave his tacit approval to Psylocke’s new crusade by telling her to seek out Sinister for his aid. But Sinister has no altruistic motives, he’s assisting Psylocke for his own reasons. She promised Sinister Apoth, and that may not be a promise that she can keep. Because of that, Sinister now has a chance to put Psylocke, X-23, and Cable deeply in his debt. Never assume that Sinister won’t call in that marker during the exact moment that it suits him.

There are dangerous times ahead in the Dawn of X. Fortunately, the Fallen Angels aren’t unfamiliar with danger or death.

Read the full story in FALLEN ANGELS #1 at your local comic shop now! Then pre-order FALLEN ANGELS #4 before picking it up on December 18!

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