Fallen Angels #3 (1987, June)
We pick up where last issue left off, with Bobby, Warlock, Gomi (with Bill and Don) and some Madroxes going through a doorway, and finding themselves in the Beat St. Club, to meet Vanisher, Chance and Ariel. Ariel convinces Bobby to forgive Chance, and to stay, and she also convinces Madrox to stay. Gomi decides to make Bill and Don comfortable and finds out they’re hungry, so Vanisher sends Chance and Ariel to get some food.
Meanwhile, at the seafood restaurant, Siryn is pretty mad. And she’s actually pretty cute when she’s mad. She turns into a bit of a motormouth. While Jamie tries to calm her down, the maitre d’ is offering her a table and saying she’ll feel better after some scampi. Jamie decides they should take him up on that. He tells Siryn not to worry since he’s with the kids. He also says he’s luckier than the other dupes since he’s the one who gets to be with her. Jamie, you sweet-talker, you. Another Jamie – one we saw last issue – helps a woman get her stuff home. He’s not eager to rejoin the main Jamie, since being re-absorbed will be like dying.
Back at Beat St., the Jamies there decide to pull himself together. The girls get back with burgers, and Gomi telekinetically clears the table. Oh, yeah, he’s telekinetic. I don’t think that was established yet. He’s not a good telekinetic, though, as he just sends everything flying around the room. Vanisher starts yelling at him, so one of the lobsters pinches him. The lobsters don’t like it when Gomi gets picked on. Bobby admires their loyalty, and says he used to enjoy that sort of loyalty, until he threw it away. Bobby, you are the biggest dork. By the way, I love his line about Madrox here:
Melodramatic Bobby really is my favourite. Anyway, everyone starts eating, and Vanisher gets annoyed at Ariel stealing his seat, but she convinces him that he wanted her to have it. We also get Gomi’s (and Bill and Don’s) backstory. It’s . . . special.
Gomi’s cousin, and his cousin’s friend, are geniuses. According to Gomi, on a level with Reed Richards or Tony Stark. They hired Gomi on as an assistant (because he’d work for free). They even gave him his new name of Gomi, which a footnote helpfully points out is Japanese for “garbage,” which Gomi is unaware of, because the Internet didn’t exist yet. They were working on cybernetics, and used two lobsters as test subjects. They also became obsessed with Marvel Girl, and her telekinesis. They have a poster of her. Which is interesting. Do you think she ever actually posed for a poster? Or was a look-alike used? Maybe Xavier licensed all the X-Men for merchandising, and used the royalties to help pay for the school? I’ve decided to make that my head-canon. These are important questions we have to consider!
Anyway, eventually, Phoenix showed up, and the geniuses realized she was Marvel Girl, and they were upset. They felt she’d been ruined. Huh. It . . . it kinda feels like Duffy was commenting on something specific here. We know she was reading X-Men back then – she even had a letter published praising the book – so maybe she knew some guys in comic shops who complained about Marvel Girl becoming Phoenix? I don’t remember any letters complaining about it. But it sure seems like Duffy’s poking fun at actual complaints she heard. Makes me wish I could ask her about it. Oh well. Anyway, the guys develop a cybernetic device that can replicate telekinesis, and test it with Gomi, but it’s only good for brute force. Then they get a letter saying someone will be coming for an inspection of their results, and they have nothing to show, so they leave, leaving Gomi and the lobsters, to eventually be found by the Fallen Angels.
It’s a fun origin story, actually. Gomi paints everything in the most positive light imaginable, even though it clearly sucked, and I’m not sure if he’s just trying to talk himself up or if he’s deluded himself into thinking things were better than they were. Either way, it makes it a lot more fun.
We also get a quick explanation of Ariel’s door-opening thing. She calls it a trick from home. Vanisher suggests they use her trick so they can rescue Boom-Boom from X-Factor. Chance doesn’t want to get her, but Ariel reminds her of something important and changes her mind. In X-Factor HQ, Beast is having some problems with some calculations. This is really interesting. We actually haven’t seen anything in the main X-Factor title yet about Beast losing his intelligence, so this is actually the first indication we get of it, which is really weird. Neat, though. Boom-Boom goes into the lab to let Beast and Iceman know there’s something going on upstairs, and a footnote says to check out X-Factor #17, which I’ll do tomorrow. She also puts a timebomb in one of Beast’s beakers. Then she taunts them to catch her. Boom-Boom is The Best.
Ariel opens a door to let Boom-Boom through. Bobby and Warlock express interest in Ariel’s trick, but she tells them they’re not all that interested, and they agree. She then proves her mastery over her trick by opening the door normally. Right to Siryn and Jamie. Siryn storms in to yell at Bobby for making her chase him around. Ariel suggests they continue the conversation somewhere more comfortable, and brings them to some sort of meadow.
This issue’s pretty great. It’s clear there’s definitely something up with Ariel. People agree with her automatically. She also hints to Chance about something Important. And she evades a question about where she comes from. So, yeah, she’s definitely up to something, but it’ll be a few more issues before we find out what. Gomi’s backstory is great. It’s comic book ridiculousness, and really fun. And yay Boom-Boom! She doesn’t do a lot here, since she only comes in near the end, but she’s always great. I also like Siryn.
This issue does move more towards the ensemble, rather than focusing on just Bobby. Sadly, it does mean we get less of Melodramatic Bobby, but we get a bit of it, and it’s great.
The art is good. It’s a solid art style. Not a style I find particularly extraordinary. It doesn’t stand out from most artists of the time. But it’s done well. Very competent.
I’m finding it hard to do actual reviews of these early issues, because a lot of the awesomest stuff is actually still coming up. It’s not that these early issues of Fallen Angels aren’t great – they’re a lot of fun – it’s just that I know what’s coming, and my excitement for that kinda hampers my ability to talk about these issues. Just the same, these early issues of it are really good, and really fun.