Writer: Bryan Edward Hill
Art: Szymon Kudranski, Frank D’Armata, VC’s Joe Sabino, Tom Muller, and Ashley Witter
Release Date: November 27th, 2019
Cable does some digging while more of Kwannon’s past becomes the center of attention in this week’s all-new FALLEN ANGELS #2 by Bryan Edward Hill. Let’s dive into the issue and see if our unusual team can find it’s placed in the new mutant landscape.
Readers, this issue was intense and insanely graphic immediately from its conception. Bryan Edward Hill blew open the doors on this week’s installment and led fans through a backstory of Kwannon that was admittedly confusing yet intriguing and interesting as well. Similar to issue one, Hill cold opens with Kwannon’s prior life before Betsy/Psylocke and Kwannon were joined together. However, the issue tied together with the front of the story and wrapped the tale up nicely. This comic didn’t do as nice of a job as it’s predecessor BUT it still managed to captivate this reviewer’s attention.
Readers will learn some juicy details about Kwannon’s past while Hill continues to spend most of the page count dedicated to Kwannon and not mutantkind, Krakoa, the direction of Xavier’s mission, or even Apoth and who or what he/she is. This critic wasn’t really expecting a Dawn of X title to be so Psylocke/ Kwannon heavy. Last issue, Hill introduced the character, the team, and a purpose. However, this issue felt like it took a step back and developed Kwannon as a strong, aggressive, tactical leader. Now, this fan knows very little about Kwannon. That said, my main disappointment came in the lack of characterization in Cable and Laura as opposed to the magnifying impact of Kwannon to the narrative.
Cable appears to be lost, confused, unfocused, untrained, and unskilled. Yet, he mentions the wars he’s been in, as well as his experiences, and contributes those to his reasoning for being incapable of enjoying himself and relaxing. Similarly, Laura also appears lost and more wild than normal. It seems as though Hill isn’t using any of the prior storylines about these two characters that have occurred in the past two-plus years. Any reader that has followed Laura or Cable may feel like the characters have regressed at the expense of growing Kwannon’s character. My hope is that Hill can find a way to better balance the team dynamic and return Cable and Laura to who they were before the Dawn of X.
Now, one area that this book has been rock solid on for the second straight issue is with its art and illustrations. X-fans, this book is simply gorgeous. Szymon Kudranski and Frank D’Armata continue to find a way to create a darker tone yet somehow with crisp and bright colors throughout each panel. Kudranski art is exceptionally graphic at points but fits wonderfully with the style and tone Hill is pushing forth to his readers. Furthermore, this reviewer loves realistic art that’s three-dimensional and practically leaps off the page. This reader craves art that grabs my attention, zooms in on key areas in specific panels to amplify distinct moments, and relies heavily on the small details to drive home the character’s mood and plot twists. Kudranski’s art team does all of that and so much more. It’s truly a highlight of this issue.
As disappointed as this reader was in the over-development of Kwannon at the expense of Cable and Laura, the story was still very entertaining, action-packed, and charged with character aggression as well as the writer’s passion. Moreover, the art was fantastic and completely takes this series to an entirely new level. Fans, once this series hits its stride and focuses on the future, Apoth, and its connection to Xavier’s masterplan, this series will really begin to take off. Just wait for the next issue! Even though my score is lower than the last issue, this critic would still recommend holding strong to the series and snagging a copy of this week’s issue of FALLEN ANGELS #2.