Fallen Angels (1st series) #6

Issue Date: 
September 1987
Story Title: 
The Coconut Grove

Jo Duffy (writer), Joe Staton ( penciler), Val Mayerik (inker), Bill Oakley (letterer), Petra Scotese (colorist), Ann Nocenti (editor), Jim Shooter (editor-in-chief)
Created by Duffy & Gammill

Brief Description: 

Chaos reigns at the Fallen Angels HQ. Gomi is grieving over his lost lobster, Don. Some of the others like Siryn feel for him, while others like Chance and Ariel are cold, leading to an argument between Sunspot and Chance. Meanwhile, Bill, the remaining lobster, tries to take revenge against Moon Boy and Devil Dinosaur. Amongst all this, the members’ powers are acting up again, leading to the revelation that both the Madroxes are now equal and distinct Jamies. Suddenly, Warlock loses the effect of his own mutation for a while, making him as cold and pitiless as the rest of his race and leading to his almost killing Boom Boom. Ariel manages to convince the others that somebody is threatening them and brings them to what she suggests is the ideal refuge – her world, the Coconut Grove.

Full Summary: 

Gomi looks at a black-fringed snapshot of the dead lobster Don. It was a beautiful funeral, wasn’t it, Bill? he asks the other lobster. He tells Bill he mustn’t let grief make him bitter. No one could feel worse about what happened to Don than Devil Dinosaur does. His death was clearly and categorically an accident. Their fellow Fallen Angels are all they have now. Alienation from them would serve no purpose.

Sunspot and Warlock listen to the grieving Gomi. Sunspot fled from the New Mutants after accidentally hurting his best friend Cannonball, feeling he has no more right to call himself a hero. Yet, listening to Gomi, he wonders has he truly fled away from love and friendship or toward… toward what?

Warlock expresses his sympathy to Gomi and Bill, as does Bobby. If any of them can look forward to an afterlife, he tells Gomi, he knows that Don will be there too. The body dies, but the soul, even as small a soul as a mutant cyborg lobster may possess, is eternal.

Still, Bill, clearly angry walks off. Theresa remarks that she doesn’t know if her parish priest would endorse the unorthodox view of heaven he’s conjured but, as one Catholic to another, it’s a lovely Christian thing he’s trying to do, comforting Gomi. And he should be comforted, she tells Gomi as she puts her arm around his shoulder. After all, he still has Bill and he needs him. They need him. And Don always was such a reckless little thing, heading right into seafood restaurants and walking into the path of whoever had the biggest feet. If it hadn’t been Devil Dinosaur, someone else would have done him for. Gomi is clearly smitten by Siryn, then sobs in her embrace.

Moon Boy addresses Bobby, trying to show him something. Sunspot doesn’t understand but lets Moon Boy drag him to the others, Chance, Boom Boom, Madrox, Ariel and the Vanisher, who seem to be more interested in the food than anyone else. While Boom Boom desperately tries to flirt with Madrox, Ariel and Vanisher argue over the liverwurst.

Seeing Bobby and Moon Boy, Chance needles look who’s made friends. Don’t they look cute… two little apes together. Bobby retorts that if she thinks he resembles a creature whose most outstanding feature is his loyalty, he thanks her. For his part he prefers the company of Moon Boy and Devil Dinosaur to those of them who leave Bill and Gomi alone in their bereavement while they gorge on the funeral feast. Chance for a moment is silenced.

Moon Boy leads Bobby to the adjacent room they found, their fine new cave. Bobby, of course, doesn’t understand one word as Moon Boy continues that Devil has admired Bobby’s courage above that of all the others since they first met and he knows he wants Bobby’s fine counsel now. Devil munches his food and Moon Boy continues that Devil is sad because he inadvertently trod on the little blueclaw monster and they are both concerned lest the others fail to understand how mighty is their grief. Bobby must help them convince the little green claw and he-who-smites-without-moving of this. Bobby just hopes it isn’t a complaint about the food.

Sunspot begins that life is very strange sometimes. They are not so different, this dinosaur and he. Both of them hurt their comrades and though Devil inflicted the worse injury Bobby’s crime was the worse of the two for what Devil did was a true accident while Bobby followed the promptings of his temper. And he ran away while Devil Dinosaur came back here. He is Bobby’s superior in more than size, for he will take responsibility for what has he done and faces the consequences.

Unknown to him, Chance eavesdrops on this. Ariel joins her and asks what’s wrong. She seems rather down. She is down… on herself, Chance admits. Ariel tells her she just let Bobby get under her skin. It’s not like her to give in to her conscience. She’ll get over it. Losing the blue lobster like this has convinced her that they can’t afford to waste any more time. She came here to collect mutants, as Chance knows. And it’s only luck that one of these groups of professional mutant killers like X-Factor or the Marauders hasn’t found them so far. One of these days, they might notice the Angels and where are Ariel and Chance then? Without any mutants to deliver, the folks who sent her won’t pay anything…

Does Ariel never have doubts about their plans? Chance asks. She is in a mood, isn’t she? Ariel mocks. Or has she really gone soft? What’s got her down? Bobby daCosta’s Latin manners and pretty face? Does he mean more to her than the fortune he’s worth to her boss? She never thought she’d see the day when “double or nothing” Chance was afraid to gamble. She never said she was afraid, Chance replies more decisive. She just wanted to make sure Ariel was not.

Madrox leaves the others to see how his injured dupe is doing. The docs at the free clinic said he got some broken ribs and a concussion when that cyclist ran him down. How about it, “brother?” Jamie asks Madrox 2. Can he get himself something, a glass of water or something to eat. He feels too rotten to eat, the bandaged Madrox 2 replies. He knows, Madrox states. Of course he knows, his dupe replies. After all, they are the same person.

Yeah, Madrox agrees, and they both know that what they usually do when one is hurt is have all the duplicates merge, so that they divide the injury and share it. Only in his case he won’t even suggest it. Because for the first time one of his selves is scared to rejoin the rest of him… and he thinks it would be cruel to force him.

Does he have to be so nice Madrox 2 asks. He’s making him feel emotionally rotten too, like an ungrateful traitor. He can’t help it, Madrox replies. Doing something mean to him would be like hurting himself. The worst of it, he can’t even explain why he feels that way, Madrox 2 muses. The rest of him never has. Well, Madrox suggests, he got his power through a genetic mutation. Maybe 2 is the mutation of a muation.

Ariel whispers to Chance if she heard that, while Madrox tell 2 to get some rest. Later, he’ll calibrate his Cerebro unit and see if it detects any differences between the two of them.

He turns to Chance and Ariel, asking he’d like to see what readings he can get from them. But they aren’t mutants, Chance protests. Madrox replies he’s got reading from both of them that hint at some extra powers. She doesn’t want powers, Chance sulks. Being human is good enough for her. Ariel asks if he is sure the other Madrox will be okay. He hopes so, he replies.

Elsewhere, Siryn is still comforting the crying Gomi. Gomi begins to tell her that both he and Bill are grateful, but Warlock points out that Bill left in the direction of the main part of Beat Street some time past. Gomi exclaims “oh no,” realizing what Bill plans. He shouts that senseless violence is no solution.

Bill indeed is sneaking up on Devil Dinosaur, death on his mind. Moon Boy sees him. He gets up, intent on trying to show Bill they are sorry. Bill attacks his leg. Sunspot and Gomi shout at Bill to let go. Moon Boy cries to Devil Dinosaur for help and the Dinosaur gets angry. Knowing that he isn’t a match for an enraged dinosaur, Bobby still turns to his solarpowered form, intent on stopping Devil if he has to. He asks him to step back while Gomi still tries to pry Bill from Moon Boy.

Seeing them struggle, Theresa decides to try a sonic scream to bring them back to reason. She screams and the shock makes Bill let go of Moon Boy’s foot. The others come to look. When Boom Boom announces there are bodies everywhere the Vanisher disappears without even looking.

Moon Boy holds his foot and moans in pain while Gomi states he’ll live to play “this little piggy” another day thanks to Siryn’s quick thinking Looking at all the team members flattened by Terry’s scream, Madrox orders Boom Boom to hit him a few times, so he can help them all. Sure, she flirts and complies. The more of him, the better she likes it.

Warlock asks agitated if Moon Boy will recover full use of his pedal appendage. One Madrox, bandaging Moon Boy, replies that he doesn’t recommend Moon Boy run any marathons for the next few days, but he doesn’t see why not.

Another Madrox hands Bill, who was stunned, back to Gomi. Bill already looks angry again while Gomi defends him that he was just demented with grief. One Madrox tries to help up Bobby while two more try to help Devil Dinosaur.

Moon Boy thanks Devil for saving him and suggests Bill was reacting to the death of small blue claw. He’s sure it won’t happen again.

Terry asks Gomi how Bill is. Fine, he tells her and they owe it all to her. He looks at her smitten. One Madrox asks one of the others, he wonders if Siryn knows that the men in Gomi’s family have a fatal weakness for red-haired superheroines. Maybe someone ought to warn her.

Doesn’t look too good, does he? Chance remarks and suggests Gomi could write a book. “One hundred and one uses for a lobster.” She can think of one use, Ariel adds. Put him on the table and she’ll get some butter. Don’t be vulgar, Gomi tells them. Warlock interjects that serving as fodder for the victor is correct usage for fallen warriors. How can he says that? Bobby asks. He thought compassion was the mutation that set Warlock apart from his kind? Compassion is wasted on opponents, comes the uncharacteristic reply. The Madroxes don’t get it and try to remind him that a few minutes ago he… Then they both blink out,
Leaving the others puzzled and Terry and Boom Boom upset.

What are they all so worried about? Chance asks angrily. She’s sure there’ll be some softie left to baby them and kiss away their bruises, even if the rest of the Madroxes vanish. Gross! Boom Boom exclaims. What a cheap thing to say. How could she? Siryn too asks.

How could she, Bobby repeats. It’s easy for her. If there’s a cruel act that can be performed or a callous remark to make, you can always count one either Chance or Ariel to say it. Don’t they all see what’s happening to them? They are being separated into those who care about others… and those who do not… and for his part he’ll be happy to be grouped with the lobsters, dinosaurs and cave boys.

Boom Boom, in the meantime, sneaks off to create an energy bomb, intent on giving Chance a scare.

Now go ahead and laugh at me, Roberto tells Ariel, Chance and Warlock. He, a daCosta, gives his permission.

Siryn runs to the original Madrox and hugs him, asking him not to go any closer to where his other selves disappeared. She couldn’t bear to lose him. So hold her tight!

Vanisher reappears, asking if everything is okay. Naturally, Bobby replies, or he would not have returned.

That ,moment Boom Boom throws a timebomb toward Chance (and really, actually, toward all of them). The others scatter, waiting for an explosion that doesn’t happen.

Warlock suddenly becomes uncharacteristically furious, announcing he will terminate her. Boom Boom tries to hide behind the crates, claiming it was only a little one and it didn’t go off. She was aiming for Chance.

Siryn tells the others they have to stop Warlock. But Bobby and Madrox find their powers aren’t working. Kill! Warlock shouts as he closes in on Boom Boom. She asks Gomi to use his powers. They are from machine parts, not from a mutation. And indeed Gomi manages to telekinetically shove Warlock back.

Astonished, the young alien wonders what came over him. That shouldn’t have happened, Bobby muses. Warlock’s pacific disposition is the result of a genetic mutation of his organic circuitry. Ariel states that apparently everyone’s mutation got cancelled out there for a moment. Of course, not having any abilities that depend on mutation there was nothing for her to be scared of. Then why was she screaming? Chance insists. She believes she was afraid? Ariel asks. No, Chance mocks, she’s sure that yellow stripe on Ariel’s back was put there by her clothes designer. Ariel is at a loss for words.

That moment, Boom Boom’s bomb goes off. All of them begin to agree that they’d been acting foolishly. Madrox 2 asks Terry and his other self to join him. He’s been fiddling with Cerebro. What just went on drove the scanner crazy. One of the latent mutants was reading off the scale and the other one didn’t show up at all. But he still can’t figure out which is which.

Madrox asks him if he noticed. When all the other selves blipped out both of them stuck around. Terry takes 2’s hand while still holding on to 1. She’s glad for both of them.

Madrox 2 states that there is something else that is official. There are two of them now. Cerebro reads him slightly different than it does the other Madrox or his duplicates. Somehow when he split off from the other dupes he became a distinct and autonomous entity. But they are still linked, Madrox 1 replies. They feel the same about a lot of things, like about Siryn for example. And he’d felt when the other one got hurt. That’s okay, Madrox 2 smiles. He knows he always wanted a brother as much as he does.

Vanisher, in the meantime, believes that some enemy, some mutant hater like X-Factor or the Marauders is out to get them. And they nearly succeeded. That’s why everything went crazy. They are no longer safe here. It’s the only rational intelligent explanation. Than why did he think of it? Ariel retorts. What does he think they should do? Chance asks. He doesn’t know, he remarks.

Ariel suggests they get out of there before whoever it is comes back and the others find it only too easy to agree with her. They believe her? she asks surprised. Of course, Chance shrugs, why shouldn’t they? Surprised at her own success, Ariel agrees and lays it on even thicker about them being sitting ducks. She explains that her space-bending powers are scientific rather than mutant, so they should still be working. She suggests they all clear out of here to someplace safe. The others agree dumbly, praising her for her idea.

Ariel opens a door and they find themselves in what looks to be a crazy 80ies club with a stage. The people are dressed like eighties party people (all with sunglasses). It is Ariel’s home planet, the Coconut Grove. A small man in a checkered jacket demands a big hand from everyone for the Fallen Angels.

The Fallen Angels are greeted like stars but Warlock and Sunspot find that their way back to Beat Street is cut off…

Characters Involved: 

Ariel, Boom Boom, Chance, Gomi, Multiple Man 1, Multiple Man 2, Siryn, Sunspot, Vanisher, Warlock (all Fallen Angels)
Bill (Gomi’s lobster)
Moon Boy & Devil Dinosaur
Inhabitants of the Coconut Grove

Story Notes: 

Gomi’s cyborg telekinesis was designed by his cousin, Ramon Lipschitz, charter member of the Marvel Girl fan club.

Written By: