Fallen Angels was a 2019 comic book series, starring Kwannon (formerly known as Revanche) as the new Psylocke, alongside X-23, Kid Cable, Husk and Bling. The series was part of the Dawn of X relaunch, and was written by Bryan Hill (Detective Comics (Rebirth)) and drawn by Szymon Kudranski (The Punisher).
Psylocke finds herself in a new world of mutantkind, not sure of her place in it. When someone from her past is murdered, she joins two other individuals with a similar outlook to help her on a quest for Revenge, a quest that could jeopardize all of mutantkind!
Not all belong in paradise. Some become fallen angels.
Fallen Angels provides the following tropes:
- Anti-Hero Team: We have a ninja assassin who once served the Hand, a Tyke Bomb born and raised to be a killer, and a deadly mercenary who grew up in a Bad Future. These are the heroes of the story.
- And I Must Scream: Kwannon reveals that all the time Betsy was using her body, she was still there and conscious the entire time.
- Ascended Extra: Kwannon was always a very minor character in the X-Men mythos, as she hasn't even appeared in 40 issues since her 1993 debut.note Her body was well-known (as Betsy's) for the longest time, but she herself was not. Now, as the new Psylocke, Kwannon receives a massive upgrade in prominence, starting with the fact that she's the main character of her own comic series (which never would have happened before).
- Blood Knight: While Kwannon's investigation into her nightmares starts the mission, it is the trio's fatigue with a peaceful paradise and a need for conflict that led to the team's formation.
- Boobs-and-Butt Pose: Not for nothing is this known as the "Psylocke pose", as the cover of the first issue has her doing it; albeit in a little more realistic and natural compared to Betsy's abnormal spine-bending version.
- Butterfly of Death and Rebirth: Among the many things Kwannon inherits from Betsy is a butterfly motif. She discusses the symbolism in the second issue, representing how she is changing as a person. Although literal rebirth is not involved, Kwannon very obviously views the events of Dawn of X as a second chance at life.
- Character Shilling: Kwannon has been hit particularly hard with accusations of this, as she's being put forward as a mentor figure for the already considerably badass X-23 and Cable. While this iteration of Nathan is still a teenager, he's nonetheless a hardened combat veteran, while Laura is a grown woman who is just as experienced as Kwannon (allowing for the time Kwannon has spent either dead or trapped in in her own mind while Betsy was driving her body). Kwannon's dialogue comes across as patronizing at best, with both characters' extensive skills and experiences being subsumed to prop up Kwannon. This has not sit well with fans of either character.
- Child of Forbidden Love: It turns out Kwannon has a secret daughter. Back when she was in training as a Hand assassin, she was with a boy and got pregnant. This was forbidden by the Hand and they executed the boy and took her daughter away as a hostage.
- Could Say It, But...: As of the first issue, you have to obtain Magneto's permission before leaving the island in the wake of Charles Xavier's assassination. While he is disinclined to grant it, he may provide some ideas about how to get around that.Magneto: While you may not leave the island, you should go east from here. You'll find Sinister. Tell him of your visions. He may find them of interest.
Kwannon: You gave me a rule and now you're helping me break it.
Magneto: I have no idea what you mean. In my grief over Charles' death, I forget conversations. Officially.
Kwannon: Thank you.
Magneto: Don't thank me. I haven't done anything.
- Fantastic Drug: The arc is set up with some worldbuilding over a new drug on the market in the form of an electronic device that directly interfaces with the brain to do alter consciousness. This is noted to make overdose impossible, since chemicals aren't involved, but still runs the risk of directly inducing psychological damage.
- Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Inverted. The two girls have melee-oriented power sets, while the one guy is a cyborg gunman who mostly settles his problems at a distance.
- Hotter and Sexier: We once again have a Psylocke with the ninja bathing suit design, thong and all. Before, when Betsy returned to her original body, Psylocke had been heavily desexualized. Even before then, the sex appeal was played down, as she traded the thong for leggings. Either way, this is a definite step up in sexiness.
- Legacy Character: Kwannon is the new Psylocke, following Betsy Braddock moving to the Captain Britain identity and leading Excalibur. It's rather fitting, since her body was Psylocke for a long time, and is far and away the most famous version of it.
- Line in the Sand: In #5, X-23 is training Bling!, Husk, and Cable for the looming fight with Apoth. She pops a foot claw, draws one of these, and challenges them to try to land a hit on her. She takes them all on at once. They don't.
- No Place for Me There: The initial team members Kwannon, Laura and Cable have all fought for mutantkind, but find themselves uneasy living peacefully in the sanctuary of Krakoa and thus take the first clue they can to get away and keep fighting for other causes.
- Recycled Title: Fallen Angels was the title of a very different 1987 comic series featuring Sunspot, Warlock, and Boom Boom, of which this series has no connection to.
- Retcon: Two major ones for Kwannon:
- The first, is that while past stories clearly established that Kwannon's consciousness was dead while Betsy was inhabiting her body, whereas Fallen Angels instead states that she was aware and trapped the entire time.
- The butterfly motif was originally entirely Betsy's, originating in her original body and before she and Kwannon were swapped. At no point was it ever associated with Kwannon. Fallen Angels reverses this and reveals that butterflies were significant to her as well, under the premise that Kwannon takes it as a sign she and Betsy were always destined to be linked with one another.
- Sequel Hook: The ending of the first arc has Kwannon and Sinister agree that if he needs any help, he'll call her. This was after Hellions was announced to be starring the two, and even the last page, usually reserved for showing the cover of the next issue of the series in Dawn of X, instead showed the first cover for Hellions.
- Ship Sinking: The announcement of X-23 and Teen Cable being on a book together started more than a few comments about the daughter of Wolverine and son of Cyclops hooking up, which was further fueled by their interactions in #1. However Bryan Hill stated in no uncertain terms that such a thing would not be happening, and he had no qualms against giving that sort of spoiler.
- Took a Level in Badass: Inverted with Kwannon. She mentioned to Mr. Sinister that her powers aren't as strong with Betsy no longer a part of her and she asked Sinister if he could up her abilities. He declines.