Fallen Angels (1st series) #8

Issue Date: 
November 1987
Story Title: 
Grownups and Children

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

Brief Description: 

The Angels, save for Bill, are captured. When Unipar intends to take one of the Madroxes for testing, the other Madroxes defend him. However, Unipar has one of the two reluctant dupes shot and the other two Madroxes and Sunspot have to come along anyway. With Unipar gone, Bill frees the others, all of whom decide to give Ariel another chance. Next, Sunspot talks the renegade dupe into rejoining the original Madrox, after which all the Angels together beat the Coconut Grove people. Afterward, as Chance finally accepts her own mutation, Sunspot points out to the Cononut Grove people their foolishness, as Ariel proves that their people can mutate. Nevertheless, Ariel returns with them. The crisis over, Sunspot decides to face his actions and return to the New Mutants with Warlock. Meanwhile, Siryn and Madox decide to stay with the Angels for a while longer to keep them on the straight and narrow.

Full Summary: 

His name is Bill. Hidden, the cyborg lobster sneaks out. He is a lobster with a mission. He’s got friends who’ve been betrayed. They need his help. He’s also got some friends who have died and Bill is looking for revenge. He’s just the lobster to get it.

Bill is a cyborg, part animal and part robot. In addition to increasing his intelligence and improving his ability to go without water, Bill’s machine parts have given him super-crustacean strength. This is one tough shellfish. And determined. True, the job he’s set himself could take him time, but Bill has time. And when he cuts lose, everyone on the Coconut Grove, this crazy, beautiful world where everyone’s a star and the party runs all night, and they smile as they knife you in the back, had better watch out…

The Fallen Angels have been taken prisoner by the Coconut Grove’s leader Unipar, who has dressed them in strange blue and green prison suits. Unipar orders his guards to move them into the cell and keep the disruptors trained on them until they activate the energy field that will dam the Angels’ mutant powers. He then orders the cyborg Gomi to stay blindfolded and be put in the inner revolving cell, since the dampening field won’t affect him.

At this point he turns to one of the prisoners, Ariel, and thanks her for bringing them such a collection. Half a dozen mutants from Earth and the little monkey boy and the dinosaur from the primitive world and Warlock from the robot world and, of course, she herself …if they ever find out what her mutation is, she will be a dear and tell them, won’t she?

And speaking of hidden talent, he hasn’t forgotten her space bending power. He tears off her sunglasses and shoves her into a force pillar cell without any doorway. Ariel’s eyes are revealed as strangely alien. Unipar leaves.

Warlock asks Sunspot what course of action is open to them. Bobby admits he doesn’t know. The dampening field works on all of them, including the three Madroxes and the whining Vanisher and Ariel.

Madrox 1 tells them Cerebro confirms what they already figured out by trying – no one in this room is showing any sign of mutant abilities.

Moon Boy admits to Devil Dinosaur that he is as puzzled as he. The language barrier between their friends and he remains as impenetrable as ever. He does not know what the people of this place want from them nor does he understand why they have put them in this bleak cave after giving them such a nice “partee” but they have made one thing clear: if Devil, Warlock or Gomi attempt to use their great might to free them, less mighty of their number shall suffer. Moon Boy wishes they had never left the Valley of the Flame.

Gomi, in the meantime, finds that, with the way the pillar is revolving if he tries to direct his telekinetic force blasts, odds are he will total at least one of them. However, all is not lost. They haven’t seen Boom Boom in some time. Perhaps she is free and formulating a plan. Bill too evaded capture.

Ariel begs the others to forgive her. The future of her people was at stake. She didn’t’ know what Unipar was planning to do to them. She means she didn’t know he planned to do it to her too, Chance retorts. She is not interested in anything Ariel has to say.

That moment, Unipar tosses in an exhausted Boom Boom. She moans that it was horrible. It hurt so much!

By what right does he do that and laugh in her face? Roberto asks agitated, Unipar replies that they are prisoners here and aliens with no civil rights. That, plus their need, gives them the right to do whatever they wish. Specifically, Unipar explains they are doing minute genetic and cellular examinations of each and every one of them mutants in the hope of isolating just what factor enables them to evolve. If need be, they’ll extract that factor from them, so that it can be donated to their worthy young native volunteers. Feel better for knowing? he asks with a grin.

Two of the Madroxes threaten that he won’t take anyone else out of the cell, not without going through them first. The original Madrox warns them off. When of them is grabbed, another Madrox jumps in between and the guards shoot him in spite of Unipar’s orders.

Shocked, the Angels look at their dead friend. Unipar warns them: if anyone else tries anything fancy, they can always kill Gomi as well. He’s no mutant, so they don’t really care where his power came from.

The strain of having one of their selves die has been too much for the surviving Madroxes and they faint. Unipar orders his men to bring the remaining Madroxes. When Sunspot tries to fight for them, he is ordered along, too.

Warlock interjects. Unipar warns them he is tired of this. He tells Warlock either Sunspot leaves this cell with them now quietly or he’s gonna be harmed by getting blown away, just like that third Madrox. Sunspot thanks Warlock for trying.

Warlock wonders why he cares what becomes of Bobby. Among his race, compassion and all generous emotions are aberrations. In a cell which nullifies the effects of mutation, he should be capable only of selfish thoughts and savage action.

Terry points out that loving, caring for others, all those are learned behaviors. He’s been caring for Bobby and his other friends almost since the day he was born. Genetics or not, she thinks maybe what’s life taught Warlock about love, has become second nature to him.

Sunspot and the two Madroxes, one helping the injured one, are led out of the cell. The one Madrox tells the other he still sees a way of evening the odds a little. The other remarks he doesn’t like it but understands.

They are led into a separate cell. Unipar tells them they will be back for them once they are finished with the third Madrox’s cadaver.

Sunspot apologizes for letting the third Madrox die without lifting a hand. They tell him there was nothing he could have done. He could have tried, Bobby replies. And died, like he did? they ask. There are times to be a hero, when you have a chance of maybe helping someone. If you try when there’s no chance, then you are just showing off and that kind of ego trip can be pretty expensive.

He didn’t lift a hand to help him, Bobby wallows. Neither did he, the injured Madrox replies… ad it was him he was trying to save. But he didn’t save him and he’s not going to go off on some big guilt trip because that would be showing off too.

Sunspot recalls that he and Warlock left the New Mutants and joined the Fallen Angels because, in a moment of anger, Bobby nearly killed his best friend Sam Guthrie. It was an accident, but it was not the act of a hero and he had always believed that the lot of an imperfect hero is to become a villain. Yet he has learned among the Angels that he would be an even worse villain than he has been a hero. Is that it then? To fail is not an excuse to give up but a reason to try all the harder!

He understands, he tells the Madroxes. Yet he sees no way of avenging their other self or of helping themselves. Their powers are still dampened. The healthy Madrox explains that they have to let them out of the cell sooner or later, if only to get them into their lab. If… when they do, the two of them are going to recombine.

Through the glasswall of their cell, they see how the Coconut Grove denizens begin examining the cadaver of the dead Madrox.

Sunspot suggests that as long as the Madroxes are separated the one with the broken ribs will be a sitting duck but why doesn’t the well Madrox duplicate himself twenty or so times before they merge? Then the injuries of one shall be divided among dozens of them when they recombine. Madrox 1 praises him for coming up with a new way of using his abilities.

Madrox 2 fears that the more of them he merges with, the less of him will be left in their collective mind. Madrox 1 still doesn’t understand his brother. A mutation of his mutation. All the rest of him have always welcomed rejoining.

Sunspot urges him that he must. He know it’s a sacrifice, but think of the sacrifice his other individualist brother made for his sake. Part of growing up is accepting that you can’t have things just as you would want them!

In the cell where the others are, they still try to figure out what to do. Siryn suggests Devil Dinosaur could grab Gomi’s revolving cell. He might have the strength to keep it from revolving.

Gomi points out that a too sudden stop could result in breaking his neck. Besides, who but Moon Boy could explain their plan to him? And none of them can communicate in any but the broadest gestures to Moon Boy. Moon Boy realizes they are talking about him and Devil Dinosaur, but of course doesn’t understand.

Chance wonders why she is being so rotten to Ariel. She went along with Ariel’s wishes till she found she was a mutant too. Somehow, until they were captured, everything Ariel suggested always sounded like such a good idea… to all of them.

Vanisher whines to himself that it was such a nice plan. Safe, harmless. Get a bunch of mutant kids to steal for him… just enough to buy a few luxuries. Set themselves up a nice place – Beat Street in Manhattan… no super enemies, no police even. How did it go so wrong?

Suddenly they hear a scream. It’s their guard, frightened by an angry Lobster – Bill, who has already taken out two of the guards. Bill clamps down on the guard’s leg and takes him out, even managing to shatter the glass of the cell. He asks for Gomi in his mentally projected pictogram language. Terry tells him Gomi’s fine and asks him to free them with the keys on the guard’s belt.

Bill complies and manages to free Gomi. Bill creates an exit pictogram. Gomi agrees, but tells him they must see that all their friends are released as well. Bill swears. Gomi assures him he sympathizes. He too mourns for Don but Bill cannot go on blaming their fellow Fallen Angels for his death. He must admit in the depths of his little armored heart that Don’s death was a catastrophic accident and nothing more. In fact, justice forces him to voice the unpalatable truth that Don’s recklessness in walking under Devil Dinosaur’s feet may have hastened his end. Don wouldn’t want Bill to hold a grudge. In fact, he’s certain Don would have sacrificed his life for any of them.

The other Angels urge Bill to do it. Grudgingly the lobster agrees. As they leave, Siryn tells them to wait: What about Ariel?

Gomi points out there doesn’t appear to be anything on the key ring that will open her cell. Boom Boom reminds the others that Ariel double-crossed them. It would serve her right to be left.

Vanisher wouldn’t mind helping her… unless it means being recaptured. Terry admits she’s always disliked Ariel more than any of they did… she knew her for a bad one from the start. But no one’s perfect. She’s sorry. She deserves another Chance.

Chance is willing to forgive her and if she takes a chance on her, so should the others. After all, Ariel betrayed her worse than them. Yeah right, Boom Boom scoffs. One traitor speaking for another.

Siryn tells Boom Boom that she’s never been perfect herself. What about Boom Boom? Has she never once her life needed forgiveness?

Shall they be democratic? Gomi asks. He says they help her. Warlock concurs. Yeah sure, let’s just hurry, Vanisher agrees nervously. Okay, Boom Boom agrees. Ariel cries as they all turn to her.

Gomi uses his force blast to shatter the pillar. Ariel thanks him and suggests finding a doorway, so they can get back to Beat Street. She never learns, does she? Chance replies angrily. No way!

Moon Boy asks about Bobby. Chance agrees. Bobby and Madrox are here somewhere and they aren’t leaving without them!

The Angels attack the Coconut Grove guards, Devil Dinosaur and Siryn at the front. Some of the guards are kept busy by the ever-teleporting Vanisher, while Siryn’s sonic scream also proves effective.

Chance orders Boom Boom and Warlock to grab Cerebro and take off with her. It’s up to them to find Bobby and Jamie. Boom Boom calibrates Cerebro to scan specifically for their powers. Warlock forms a transport for the two girls.

Boom Boom remarks that Chance’s double or nothing power is reading strongly right now, but she can’t tell if she’s cancelling powers right now or increasing them. Well, don’t look at her, Chance replies. She’s just found out she has it. She has not learned to control it.

Cerebro finds the missing members and Boom Boom tells Warlock to go west. They go where Cerebro leads them, only to find a locked door. Boom Boom creates a time bomb, which turns out to be a dud. She calls Chance a dope. She cancelled her power!

Well, Chance figures if that’s how it feel to cancel things, then the other strange feeling she sometimes gets, must be the one she uses to make things double strength. As if on cue the timebomb blows up, hard.

Coconut grove guards approach and Warlock takes them out, leaving the girls to find the Madroxes and Sunspot. Madrox orders Chance to hit him, so he can start duplicating himself. With the dampening field destroyed, their powers return once more.

Watching the ongoings, Unipar calls for the guards. Jamie now absorbs the ten dupes including the injured one to spread the injuries. The Madrox left is kind of woozy but he cancelled out most of the injury.

Chance orders Boom Boom to take the still woozy Madrox away. She will stay with Sunspot to take care of the guards. Sunspot is surprised she would do that. What are friends for? she replies before adding that alone he’d be cannon fodder. If his powers were to double, he might stand a chance. And if she cancels his powers by mistake? he asks. She was born to gamble, she replies. What does he really have to lose? If they are gonna go, let’s go out big time.

Sunspot is hesitant, but indeed finds his power has been doubled. He enjoys the kick as he tears out a wall to hold back the guards and buy his friends time.

Unipar warns them that none of them is invulnerable. And if they shoot Chance, their powers will be halved again.

Oh, he really doesn’t want to do that, Ariel suddenly announces. If he starts killing people, then he won’t have them around to experiment on anyway, which means his experiment has already failed. So, for once in his life why not do the decent thing and let them go? He’ll probably like it. She bets, deep down inside, he’s a decent kind of guy.

Sunspot finds it incredible. Ariel, their betrayer, risks her life to plead their cause, and the people are listening to her.

Ariel adds practically that, if Unipar does win, which is unlikely, it would probably cost him a lot more than he’s willing to pay.

Chance explains to the other Angels that it was their good example that set them straight and she figures that Ariel’s power is a kind of mind control… like super confidence games. So right now she is augmenting her as much as she can.

What threat could the Angels possibly hold over his head? Unipar asks. Ariel suggests he look up. Above them they see Devil Dinosaur, Moon Boy, Gomi and Bill. Devil roars at Unipar who quickly decides to surrender and wishes them a good trip home.

Sunspot tells the Coconut Grove people that they have not only been weak and evil but also fools. Ariel, a mutant, is a member of their race, hence they have not lost the ability to evolve at all; their crimes against the Angels were needless and pointless.

Unipar turns to Ariel, asking her not to hold that against them. She’ll stay and help the old Coconut Grove, won’t she? She’d like to help it into the middle of a black hole! she retorts She’s taking her friends home to Beat Street!

Place looks great! she announces happily a moment later, when they are back home. Dusty but great. She’s hungry, Theresa announces. Him too, Vanisher remarks and suggests somebody go steal some food. Chance suggests they be really radical for once. Let’s see if they can get up enough money to buy it.

Well, there are at least two dinners they won’t be paying for, Sunspot announces. He’s been thinking that it’s time that he and Warlock stopped running away from their lives and got on with living them. Shall they return to the New Mutants? he asks Warlock who happily gives his affirmation.

Siryn asks Sunspot to tell Magneto and Moira that she and Jamie will stay with the Angels for a while longer. They came here in search of Sunspot and Warlock but they really like this group. Besides they need someone to guide them back onto the straight and narrow. Please! Not too narrow! Vanisher begs.

Hey, Macho, come back anytime, Chance tells Bobby. Once you’re an Angel, you can never fall too far from them. Bobby thanks her and promises the Angels will hear from them.

The two New Mutants leave Beat Street. The world had better watch its step now that the Fallen Angels are back, he decides. What about them? Warlock asks. “What of us? Look out, life, because here we come!!”

Characters Involved: 

Ariel, Boom Boom, Chance, Gomi, Multiple Man 1, Multiple Man 2 &3, Siryn, Sunspot, Vanisher, Warlock (all Fallen Angels)
Bill (Gomi’s lobster)
Moon Boy & Devil Dinosaur
Inhabitants of the Coconut Grove

Story Notes: 

A sequel was being worked on by writer Jo Duffy and new artist Colleen Doran. In fact two issues had been completely drawn, when the series was axed. The story even had a published prequel in Marvel Fanfare (1st series) #38 and the character intended to be the main villain, the Broker, showed up in several Marvel books at the time. The story (which wouldn’t have featured Siryn) was about the Angels getting embroiled with abused runaway mutant Pan who was fleeing from the Broker, a sinister villain who has captured several mutant children. The subplot from the first series regarding chance and the Glorification Church would also have been addressed.

What happened to them afterwards:
Sunspot and Warlock returned to the New Mutants in New Mutants (1st series) #59.
Eventually Siryn and Multiple Man returned to Muir Isle. This particular Jamie Madrox was revealed to be a renegade dupe in X-Factor (1st series) #75.
Boom-Boom returned to X-Factor’s young charges (who later named themselves the X-Terminators) in X-Factor (1st series) #22.
Devil Dinosaur and Moon Boy eventually found their way to the Savage Land.
Ariel surprisingly made an appearance in X-Men Legacy #226.
Chance so far hasn’t appeared again.

Written By: