Comics
Published August 20, 2020

How 'Fallen Angels' Redefined Psylocke

Examine a fascinating corner of the Dawn of X on Marvel Unlimited!

Historically, in the mutant community, the term "Fallen Angels" refers to the misfits and outcasts who don’t fit in anywhere else. That’s the way it was in FALLEN ANGELS (1987), and that's the way it was in the book's modern counterpart, FALLEN ANGELS (2019).

Fallen Angels (2019) #1

The Dawn of X series tied more closely to the X-Men than the original run did—and it also had a major impact on Psylocke, which continues to play out in HELLIONS.

After being blended together in a single body for years, Betsy Braddock and Psylocke were split into two people again in HUNT FOR WOLVERINE: MYSTERY IN MADRIPOOR (2018). Betsy regained her original body, while the assassin known as Kwannon regained command of her body as well. Kwannon was somewhat confused when she returned in UNCANNY X-MEN (2018), but now that she’s on Krakoa with her fellow mutants, Kwannon has abandoned her old name and claimed Psylocke’s codename as her own. But that doesn’t mean that Psylocke knows who she is or where she belongs.

Psylocke is very much a work-in-progress in the six issues of FALLEN ANGELS (2019), all of which are on Marvel Unlimited as of this month. Writer Bryan Edward Hill and artist Szymon Kudranski sent Psylocke on a profound journey that forced her to question everything she thought she knew about herself. And what Psylocke discovered may change her life forever...

Fallen Angels (2019) #1

Fallen Angels (2019) #1

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Her Daughter’s Keeper

FALLEN ANGELS (2019) #1 began with a bang, and the first appearance of Kwannon’s daughter. Until now, no one knew that Psylocke even had a child. But this act of love and defiance earned a swift rebuke from Psylocke’s masters in the Hand. They killed her lover and sent her daughter away, before continuing to mold Psylocke into an assassin.

Unfortunately, any hope of a reunion between mother and daughter was dashed in issue #1, when Apoth targeted and slew Psylocke’s daughter alongside thousands of other victims.

Fallen Angels (2019) #2

Fallen Angels (2019) #2

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A Message from God

Apoth’s arrival triggered a suspicious vision for Psylocke that she embraced with conviction. An omnipotent voice told Psylocke about Apoth and ordered her to protect the world by destroying him. Psylocke questioned whether the voice was actually Apoth himself, or Apoth’s unknown counterpart. But his emergence gave Psylocke a new purpose and a new enemy that she could actually fight...as opposed to her lingering inner demons.

Fallen Angels (2019) #3

Fallen Angels (2019) #3

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Through the use for a device called Overclock, Apoth was able to spread his consciousness to thousands of his victims around the world. More alarmingly, Apoth considered himself to be both a god and Psylocke’s child. Moreover, it intended to reclaim its mother.

The New Squad

Betsy Braddock had extensive history with both Cable and X-23. But Kwanon didn’t know either of them. It may have been easier for Cable, since he is a younger incarnation of the man who was once in X-Force with Betsy. For X-23, Betsy’s Psylocke was her first real female role model; she emulated Betsy’s body language and clearly admired her. X-23 couldn’t entirely shake that hero worship with the new Psylocke, and she sought her guidance about how to deal with her rage issues.

Fallen Angels (2019) #4

Fallen Angels (2019) #4

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Psylocke also had an ulterior motive for picking Cable and X-23, but she was very open about it—she needed them to teach her “goodness,” because it was truly a foreign concept to her. Psylocke wants to be good and desires to be a hero, but she has no idea how to do that beyond the abstract. In return, Cable and X-23 placed their faith in Psylocke and recruited a few other mutants as well.

A Sinister Proposition

At Magneto’s suggestion, Psylocke sought aid from Mister Sinister. Regardless of Psylocke’s blank slate with Sinister, she knew better than to completely trust him. But she did rely on Sinister’s aid in forming her new team...and in discreetly sneaking off of Krakoa when the island was on lockdown.

Fallen Angels (2019) #5

Fallen Angels (2019) #5

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Sinister’s favors always come at a price. He has yet to collect on those debts, but the bill may soon come due in HELLIONS.

Fly Butterfly, Fly

Early in the series, Psylocke admitted that she had previously lied about the butterflies that Betsy so often used when she was Psylocke. Kwannon claimed that she disliked butterflies because she wanted some distance from Betsy’s preferences. In reality, butterflies are an important symbol to Psylocke. Her lost daughter was marked with a butterfly tattoo, in order to give Psylocke the hope of one day reuniting with her.

Fallen Angels (2019) #6

Fallen Angels (2019) #6

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Butterflies also symbolize rebirth, and that carries significant weight for Psylocke as well. In issue #5, Psylocke used her telekinetic powers to give herself butterfly wings, which she used to fly towards her final confrontation with Apoth—an outward manifestation of Psylocke’s internal changes. Psylocke wanted to be a new person, and she may have gotten her wish.

Psylocke’s journey of self-discovery is only beginning, but you can experience her first steps now in FALLEN ANGELS (2019) #1-6 on Marvel Unlimited!

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