Fallen Angels #3: Have We Hit Rock Bottom Yet?

Laura trying to flap her wings to fly

Only two short weeks after the last issue of Fallen Angels, and it’s time for another helping of this extremely dysfunctional and badly characterized X-team. So is Fallen Angels #3 better than the previous issues? No, not really. This book is a complete garbage fire, and with the announcement of Hellions it sure seems like its days are numbered. But we have a few more issues of this mess before it is put out of its misery, so let’s dig into exactly what was wrong with this issue.

Fallen Angels #3

Frank D’Armata (colors), Bryan Hill (writer), Szymon Kudranski (artist), Tom Muller (designer), VC’s Joe Sabino (letters), Ashley Witter (cover)
Marvel Comics
December 11, 2019

Psylocke looking over her shoulder at a geisha while pulling out a katanna Fallen Angels #3

Right off the bat and and the cover is off the mark again. This is the second cover of this series so far in which Kwannon looks remarkably white. The white person isn’t Psylocke anymore you guys, that’s supposedly a big theme of this book, so maybe work on that? It almost feels like this art direction is intentional, and it’s getting very frustrating. Editors, do your job and ask for corrections when skin tones of your characters are incorrect. Not doing so is a disservice to the readers picking your books up to see themselves on the page.

Speaking of the art, at least on the cover you can discern what’s going on. The coloring choice is questionable, but the image itself is readable. That’s more than I can say about the interior art. Kudranski’s style continues to be very dark, not just in terms of content, but in terms of saturation as well. The overuse of black makes the action and story very hard to follow. On top of the messiness of the art, it seems rushed as well, with continuity errors in the art from panel to panel. There’s a page where Laura pops her claws in the first panel, the second is a panel of her boots, the third and suddenly her claws are gone, and in the fourth she pops them again. I realize the X-line is super rushed right now, but take the time to make the books good and readable, and it will pay off. I promise, nobody really wants three issues of Fallen Angels in four weeks that badly. Let the artist have time to get things right, so your book doesn’t suffer because of it.

Kudranski also leans heavily into T&A in this issue, even more than he did in previous issues. There’s a panel that is focused heavily on Psylocke’s ass, with Laura in front of her in a pose that we can only describe as ‘kid trying to flap their wings to fly’. There’s also numerous broken back poses and weird anatomical errors. The art is so distractingly bad that it almost makes the writing of this book tolerable. Almost.

Laura leaping and popping her claws twice on one page - Fallen Angels #3
Too many claw pops!

Which brings us to Hill’s writing again. Hill continues to burn through the good will he earned from me for American Carnage, reminding me more of the man who wrote the horrendous Michael Cray mini-series. My biggest problem with Hill’s writing on this series continues to be his poor understanding of continuity and character development. Psylocke forgets her telepathy to ask Laura to translate. Psylocke complains about having the name Psylocke, as though two issues ago she didn’t make a point to keep the name to reclaim it. Laura continues to be tactically brain dead to suit the story that he wants to tell.

There is so much that could be done with this story, and with the characters as they have actually been developed, that its very disappointing that this is the direction they’ve decided to go. Oh and did I mention that we are now three issues into this story, and we’re three for three on issues that kill a child? To quote the issue, “Why is it always children?” It’s just getting very tiring.

So, as bad as the previous issues were, the angels were still not done falling. I sincerely hope that Fallen Angels #3 is the worst of the bunch and we start getting better issues soon, and I guess we’ll see next week when we move on to the next issue. Until then, if you want to read an X-book titled Fallen Angels, read the original.

Cori McCreery

Cori McCreery

Cori is a life long comic nerd residing in Northern California. A life long Supergirl and DC Comics fan, she is the DC Comics Beat Reporter for Women Write About Comics.

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