Listen to the episode here!
Since nobody seems to have weighed in already, I will say that the Korean cult stuff in Fallen Angels is a close riff on Sun Myung Moon and his Unification Church. Reading about the extent of his leverage in Washington DC will give any left-leaning person who likes secular government some heebie-jeebies.
I didn’t check out Fallen Angels until a few months ago and haven’t read any of the negative reviews, but I can imagine. The mini-series is essentially a throwback to Silver Age, Comics-Code-encumbered stories like the ones where Jimmy Olsen turns Superman into the King of the Ants or something.
It’s full of wacky ideas )”Oops, one of our sentient lobsters got squished by a T Rex!”), zany character choices, and generally low stakes. Characters in that era were very low in nuance. As such, this series becomes an odd fit for fully-orbed Claremont-derived characters like Sunspot. Warlock, on the other hand, is easily wacky enough for a Silver Age romp.
Do I want a Silver Age romp about Sunspot? Ehhh… Bobby and Warlock seemed to be there just to get New Mutants fan to try the series out, but Sunspot, despite being the POV character, did not have a meaningful character arc. As the podcast notes, Warlock’s most important character transformation happens between issues! That’s bad writing, like how Anakin goes from an innocent kid to an incredibly creepy teen between Episodes I and II for REASONS. Really, the character highlight was Madrox’s second self wanting his own life. Too bad it was played for laughs here; I would have loved to see Claremont do it for realsies.
The main artist was great, though how odd that the “artist” on a seven issue mini-series required three issues to be done by fill-ins. That throws a continuity wrench for me.
For an awesome take on Madrox’s dupes living their own lives and sometimes clashing with one another over it, I highly recommend Peter David’s Madrox: Multiple Choice miniseries and his 2005 X-Factor ongoing series that immediately followed it. So good!
One of the viewers asked about connections between Doom Patrol and X-Men. But the lineage goes back further. Remember, Superhero comics were on the outs at the time. DC had the Challengers of the Unknown having sciencey adventures fighting underground monsters and the like, wearing matching unitards, with the classic mix of team character archetypes: brain, brawn, hothead, girl sidekick. Marvel had their own in the FF, also in matching unitards. Then back at DC, Doom Patrol put a new spin on those archetypes, making them cursed heroes with problematic powers, including the fact that the brain was stuck in a wheelchair. Then Marvel run with X-Men, making them teenagers with cursed (or at least mixed blessing) powers. (DC already had debuted the superteen Legion back in 1958, and would chase the X-Men in 1973 with the Teen Titans.) The Marvel/DC production staff were very fluid, sometimes rooming together when not moving outright between the two competing companies, so cross-pollination was the order of the day.
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