Fallen Angels #8 (1987, November)
Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). We sadly reach the end of Fallen Angels, but it goes out on a high note. By Duffy, Staton, DeZuniga, Scotese and Oakley, “Grownups and Children.”
We start . . . with Bill. When the rest of the Fallen Angels were captured last issue, Bill remained free. And I have to post these two sets of panels:
Yes. This issue is Die Hard With A Lobster. Tragically, we then cut away to Bobby, who narrates the situation. The Fallen Angels are put into a cell, with Gomi put in a spinning cylinder so he can’t use his telekinetic blasts to free them. Ariel tries to apologize to everyone, but Chance tells her off. Boom-Boom is tossed into the cell, injured. Unipar explains they’re doing genetic and cellular examinations of them, to isolate what makes them evolve, so their own race can evolve. One of the Madroxes tries to fight back, but gets killed, which makes the other two pass out. Unipar threatens to kill Gomi if any of the others try anything.
The Madroxes, and Bobby, are led off. Warlock wonders why he still cares about Bobby when the power damping cell should turn off his compassion, and Siryn tells him it’s learned behaviour, and caring is just part of who he is now. Aw, that’s sweet.
Bobby apologizes to the surviving Madroxes for not trying to save the third one, but they both say it’s fine, and that being a hero when there’s no chance to help is just showing ego. And that going off on a big guilt trip for not helping is also showing ego. Bobby muses that, much as he thinks he was a bad hero, he’s realized he’d be an even worse villain. Finally! He finally figured out that he makes a terrible villain. Because Bobby, seriously, you are just the worst at being bad. Anyway, the Madroxes have a plan: They’re going to re-merge, to lessen the injuries.
Back in the cell, Chance wonders why she’s so mad at Ariel, since she’d been going along with Ariel’s plan the whole time, until learning she was a mutant, herself. And adds that everything Ariel said always sounded like a good idea until they got captured. Others muse about other things, until they hear screams. One of the guards is freaking out. It’s Bill! Kickin’ ass and not bothering with names! He frees Gomi, and Gomi says they need to free the others, too, though Bill’s not happy about it. Gomi says he can’t blame Don’s death on the Angels, as it was an accident. An accident that Don, himself, made inevitable by walking around underfoot all the time, when a goddamn dinosaur was around. He opens the cell for the others. Aw, Bill, you’re a good lobster.
But Ariel’s still captive in a force field. They all debate what to do about her, and Siryn, who notes she was always suspicious of Ariel, says she deserves a second chance. So they free her, and go looking for Bobby and Jamie. With fighting! Chance, Warlock and Boom-Boom find them, and while Warlock and Boom-Boom lead Jamie away, Bobby and Chance stay behind to hold off the guards, with Chance doubling Bobby’s strength.
Of course, they’re still surrounded an in danger. Until Ariel comes in, using her mind-manipulating power. Along with a nice demonstration from Devil Dinosaur. Who makes a strong point. Before they go, Bobby points out that, since Ariel is a mutant, it proves their race still has the ability to evolve and mutate, so their whole campaign was pointless.
They all head back to Beat Street, with Ariel going with them. Bobby decides to return to the New Mutants, though they do have one more adventure first (see below). Siryn and Jamie to stay with the Angels, to try to guide them to be more honest.
This is such a great finale to the series. The best issue of the whole series. Die Hard with a lobster, guys. And played totally straight, to make it even funnier! And then the emotional moment where he lets go of his grudge over Don’s death. It’s so ridiculous, but it works so well. Duffy makes you really feel the emotional struggle of a lobster. It’s great. Beyond that, though, this issue has a lot else to love. Bobby realizing he’s not a villain. Jamie talking about how needless sacrifice and massive guilt are both just showing off. The team forgiving Ariel for betraying them was really sweet. It was all really satisfying stuff.
It’s a shame that we never got a return of the Fallen Angels. Apparently, Jo Duffy planned a sequel series, to be drawn by Colleen Doran. Which would’ve been great. It would’ve dug a bit more into the Unification Church subplot from this series. Among other things, of course. As it is, that subplot unfortunately just disappeared. Also disappearing: Chance. Ariel appeared a little over 20 years later, in the Second Coming X-Over, where she seemingly died (though she did get brought back again after that; unfortunately, she hasn’t shown up in a couple years now, which is a shame, because she really is a fun character). But Chance never appeared again after this series. It’d be cool if she got brought back again, because she was neat.
The art on this issue was fine. Nothing wrong with it. But nothing particularly exceptional. We do finally see Ariel’s eyes, and . . . I feel like another artist would’ve made them look a lot cooler. Ah, well. The art may not do much to enhance the story, but it doesn’t drag the story down, either.
This was a really fun series. So good. Definitely worth reading.
I also need to talk about Power Pack #33, by Louise Simonson, Jon Bogdanove, Hilary Barta, Petra Scotese and Joe Rosen, because it features a cameo from Bobby and Warlock. In fact, it starts with the two of them walking the streets after having just left the Fallen Angels. Bobby still doesn’t feel heroic enough to rejoin the New Mutants. Vulture grabs some money from an armoured van, so Bobby and Warlock give chase. Bobby talks about the bad things he did, adding that he made himself and Warlock stay away from the school with mid-terms approaching. He thinks maybe they should stay away until after the mid-terms. Which is pretty funny. I love that he tries to rationalize avoiding tests.
Franklin Richards dreams about them, and mistakes their silhouette as they fly for a Snark ship. He sends his dream-self to tell the Power Pack. And I want to take a moment to mention that I really like Julie Power. In this issue, she’s reading a book on Adolescent Psychology. I kinda like that she’s a nerd. Anyway, Power Pack goes looking for the Snark ship, and they see Bobby and Warlock, sitting back-to-back, looking a bit like a Snark in the darkness. So, fight! In the midst of the fight, Warlock accidentally swallows Julie, and says he’ll let her go at the earliest opportunity. Is . . . is that a poop joke? Did Weezie just have Warlock imply he’s going to poop Julie out?
With the fight over, it’s time for bluster. Jack Power says Power Pack are strange beings from another planet, Bobby says he and Warlock are exiles from another dimension. It’s honestly really cute. Amusingly, both sides know who the other is, they just don’t want word of the fight getting back to the New Mutants. Regardless, a car breaks down with some gang nearby, so the heroes all go to scare off the gang. They change the car’s tire, and the car speeds off . . . immediately chased by a police car.
After the crooks are stopped, Bobby and Warlock fly off again, and see what they think is a cat burglar on a roof. To the attack! And it’s Spider-Man! Spider-Man does take it in stride. He’s used to this sort of thing. Still, Bobby’s more melodramatic than ever about not being a hero, and being an outcast. Julie thinks they need to do something to help out, referencing her book saying teens get low self-esteem. She comes up with a plan to pretend to be a supervillain, so that Bobby can “defeat” her and feel better about himself. Here’s what they come up with:
Katie and Franklin go get Bobby and Warlock. Warlock finds the whole thing weird, but Bobby goes on the attack. Julie, by going misty when Bobby attacks, avoids being hurt and makes it look like she’s dodging him.
In the end, he throws a staircase at her, and everyone thinks she’s dead. The kids start crying, until she reforms beside them. And now Bobby feels like an even bigger idiot than ever. He decides to go away forever and change his name. And then the impossible happens:
This is a really fun, cute issue. Simonson’s Power Pack was always so great. It was just this wonderful, positive series, with Important Lessons to be learned. It could get really frigging dark at times, but it could also get absolutely hilarious. Marvel Unlimited only has a random assortment of issues, unfortunately. They should really get the whole run on there. They can leave off the stuff written by Terry Austin, though. No one needs that. Still, if you can, I’d definitely recommend reading Simonson’s Power Pack.