Fallen Angels #1 (1987, April)
It starts with that great mutant tradition, a game of . . . soccer. Huh. actually, even the softball hasn’t had a chance to really become a tradition yet – as best I can recall, the X-Men have only had two games so far. But I don’t think we ever see another soccer game in an X-title. Oh well. It’s a really fun scene. Bobby, of course, was a great soccer player in Brazil, so his team is kicking the asses of Sam’s team. He also talks a little smack, which is great. Rahne and Warlock are watching from the sidelines, for a cute scene of their own. Bobby’s narrating the story, and he mentions wanting to be a great hero like the X-Men, “or even Magnum, P.I.” I love the obsession the New Mutants had with Magnum PI. It’s such a great little running gag.
Magneto calls Moira for help with running the school. Over on Muir Isle, Moira and Madrox are watching Siryn do some training. Magneto asks her to help him with drawing up report cards. Back outside, Bobby’s in goal and Sam comes in with the ball. Bobby catches the ball, but Sam loses his footing and accidentally smashes into Bobby pretty hard. Bobby freaks out a little, and throws Sam into a tree. Everyone rushes over to check on him, and when Bobby asks how Sam’s doing, they tell him off. They are really hard on Bobby. Like, way too hard. They know Bobby, they know he wouldn’t intentionally hurt Sam, but they act like he did intentionally try to hurt him.
He feels guilty and walks off as Magneto and Shan approach. I guess Shan was probably inside doing administrative work, which is, after all, what Xavier originally hired her to do. I mention this because I want to remind everyone that Shan is one of a very small number of X-Men with actual, real-world-applicable skills. She’s one of the only X-Men qualified to work at a school in any capacity. Anyway, Sam wakes up, groggily asking if he scored.
Inside, Bobby feels guilty and self-pitying. He goes into Magneto’s office, while Magneto’s not there, and sees his own report on the desk. It mentions concern that Bobby could go down the same road his father did. The funny thing is, he did. He not only eventually joined the Hellfire Club’s Inner Circle, just like his dad, but he ran the Inner Circle. He was trying to turn it towards good, but it’s still funny. (Bobby did also spend some time as a villain, Reignfire, but, uh . . . let’s try not to think about that until we get there, shall we?)
At the local hospital, Sam tries to tell his friends that what happened wasn’t what it looked like, and Bobby wasn’t to blame, but the others still seem mad at Bobby. In Scotland, Moira, Siryn and Madrox are getting ready for a flight to the US. The Mutants get back to the school, and find a note from Bobby. He’s left the school, because he’s realized he’s evil and will just hurt them if he stays. The two best lines of the letter: “I am an evil person,” and, “And tell Sam I hope his head is better soon.” The second one is how he ends his letter. This dramatic letter about how he’s a terrible person and he can never see them again, and then he ends with “get well soon.” While the kids go up to their rooms, Magneto goes to find some way to fix the situation. Warlock decides to go look for Bobby in Manhattan.
Bobby is in fact in Manhattan, continuing to feel sorry for himself, and also being hilariously dramatic about how bad he is even while he keeps being good. He’s spotted by some Asian-American person of currently-ambiguous gender, who decides to ignore him. The person is then approached by a kid selling calendars of “Oriental beauties.” The person rips up the calendar and yells at the kid for raising money for Yune Kim Park and the Glorification Church. The person is a girl, Chance, and she hates the Church. A couple thugs try to mug her, and she runs into an alley. Then she tries to give them the money in the hopes they won’t hurt her. But they still want to hurt her.
But! Bobby to the rescue! He starts kicking their asses, but then his power suddenly cuts out.
This is a great start to what ends up being a wonderful limited series. It’s going to be so much fun. This opening issue is a lot more dramatic, with Bobby hurting Sam (it does turn out Sam has a concussion), and his friends rejecting him, at least temporarily. And Bobby’s reaction to these things is dramatic. But his youthful arrogance takes that drama to comedic levels. He isn’t just a kid who panicked for a moment when a much larger kid crashed into him. He’s evil! There is something sad about it – he holds himself to a high standard and when he fails to meet that standard he takes it as a sign that he’s a bad person – but he’s so bad at being bad that it’s sweet. He’s so endearing here.
It’s also cool to see Siryn and Madrox. They’re both good characters. Neither of them have shown up for a while. This mini is the first real opportunity for either of them to get much characterization – Madrox was a very minor character in the Proteus Saga (and a couple issues before that), and Siryn’s barely been seen at all at this point.
The art is good. It’s a style that works well for the series. It’s just a little bit cartoonish, but not so much that it’s distracting. Warlock is done really well. He looks weird, and he shifts quite a bit. Sienkewicz is still the definitive Warlock artist, but Gammill does pretty well with him. He gives him some weird looks here and there, and has a little fun with him. The colours are also goo. They feel a bit flat in some panels, but most of the time, they give some vibrancy.
This issue’s good. The series as a whole will be awesome.