Fallen Angels #1 was a compelling start to the series as it captured a poetic nature to Psylocke’s current emotional and physical state. Betsy Braddock was finally removed from Psylocke’s body and Kwannon is back in control. An identity crisis is certainly a fair term to apply to the character who is now seeking a new path. It was made clear she may find it by teaming up with Laura AKA X-23 and Cable, who are both characters who relish a little war. Issue two establishes their next steps.
This issue picks up in London where a gangster type is seeking passage. He soon realizes he chose the wrong person to ask as he is met with great violence. Violence is a major theme in this issue as it plays with concepts like revenge, anger, and maybe even malice. Bryan Hill and artist Szymon Kudranski explore these emotions through Laura and Cable as we continue to see how they don’t fit in with the hopeful and happy Krakoa people. The data pages reinforce this with poetry and truisms that’ll make you think. That deeper concepts at work here are compelling as the themes continue to drive the characters and the narrative.
The art by Kudranski, with colors by Frank D’Armata, continue to play with light and shadow well. The opening action sequence is proof of that. Kudranski also features a double-page splash similar to one he used in Punisher that’s incredible as the action literally breaks the panel frame in a chaotic way. There are a lot of close-ups in this issue be it lips, eyes, and even teeth. They seem to capture a sense of feral or primal emotions that connects well with where these characters are in their lives.
Unfortunately, the thread of this plot is losing me here. Psylocke continues to ask Sinister for things and he smirks at her requests like an evil boogeyman. There’s a lot of melodrama in the way characters speak and at times it reads unnaturally. A good example of this is a scene with Dazzler that leads to a somewhat eye-rolling reply by Psylocke. I get the purpose and meaning here but it’s clunky in its delivery. I’m also kind of lost with the new focus on the mysterious woman who kills criminals. It seems like a misstep to move away from Psylocke and take away her focus. The book then ends in a rote and cliched way with our heroes facing a threat, but it’s a threat I could care less about. Not enough has been done to make Cable, Laura, and Psylocke a team. They have bonded over their desire to war, but only in passing and in no real way.
I wanted to like this series, but this second issue loses me. The dialogue can feel forced and clunky while the plotting is losing its focus too. The themes are so overtly written and on the surface, it doesn’t read like a compelling introspection of the characters, but instead a force-feeding of ideas that seem basic and surface-level at best.