Welcome back! Ah… to me. Originally I took off the month of November to write a novel, which I did. Visit my personal blog for updates on that. However, I then decided to wait until the new year to get back into the Retro Reviews. Yet here we are, it’s March. I realized that I kept putting off my reviews because I needed a spark. Having using Marie Kondo’s KonMari method and have been purging old comic books. With that, I’ve also been rediscovering treasures from my childhood. So today we are reading an actual physical comic book as we cover a miniseries most of you have never heard of, but one that had a huge impact on my life, Fallen Angels no. 1.
As a kid, I so loved the New Mutants, and the back issues were cheap so I read a lot of them. It broke my heart when they killed the book to create X-Force. I read X-Force for a few issues, but it just wasn’t the same. But that is putting the cart before the mutant horse.
Anyway, if New Mutants was cheap, Fallen Angels was cheaper. My comic book store, Superior Sports Cards, had frequent back issue sales where they’d put short boxes full of comics with colored stickers on them, green cost 50 cents and red cost only a quarter! After some digging I had all 12 issues of this mysterious minisies for only $2.00.
The comic comes from Jo Duffy and Kerry Gammill. Duffy also wrote a brilliant run on Power Man & Iron Fist in addition to some great later Star Wars Marvel comics and a handful issues of the last great anthology series, Dark Horse Presents. She even wrote the English version of Akira for Marvel under the Epic Comics banner. My dog is named after those comics!
Now let’s breakdown the comic book, and from here on out, spoilers ahead. The issue begins with Sunspot giving a bit of exposition and playing soccer with the rest of the New Mutants, during which they are NOT to use their powers. These were the first mutants I watched grow up in real time. Most became X-Force, other became members of X-Factor and some even became full fledged X-Men, and I grew up with them.
The beginning of the issue essentially brings us up to speed on the New Mutants of the time. That includes Magneto doing his best to stand in for Professor X. He seeks out help from Moira MacTaggert, who is also training some young mutants, Siryn and Multiple Man, who have a nice funny moment in an otherwise mostly “heavy” comic.
Returning to the soccer game, Sunspot gets mad and powers up, launching Cannonball into a tree. Not cool.
With Cannonball at the hospital (he’s okay), Magneto laments what to do. Sunspot himself debates what to do and considers what Captain America, Thor and Magnum PI would do in his shoes.
Having read his file, Sunspot feels he’s destined to be like his father, a villain, and is therefore not worthy of becoming an X-Men. He runs away (also, Warlock follows him, I should mention that as well). As a kid in the 80s being a runaway was kind of a fear of mine, which is weird, because there was no way I was going anywhere. I vividly remember a movie called The Children of Times Square, where runaways, well, they have a tough go of it.
We meet a street tough girl. She’s tough, but a good person. She plays the game, but tries to do so in a way that does the right thing. This instantly gets her into trouble, Sunspot steps in to help out. He once again powers up, but strangely his powers suddenly fade away…
We’ll see you next issue!