ARCHANGEL: Phantom Wings (1996)

I’m not sure how this happened, but somehow–in the middle of probably the worst creative period in Marvel’s history–comes a black and white character piece about Angel.

He recently got his feather wings back, a gift from Apocalypse (the same guy who made them metal years ago). I had always thought he hated the razor feathers, but he’s struggling to come to terms with the restoration of his original birth mutation. While flying over New York City, distracted by his inner conflict, he gets captured by a woman who has an extreme bird phobia and thinks he’s out to get her. He helps her defeat the birds she believes are stalking her, and in the process she accepts him, so he accepts his own wings.

The punchline is that she was never really there (or she was a ghost).

It’s a pretty nice psychological device and an interesting way to weave an action story into a psychodrama.

I hadn’t realized this, but apparently Angel and Psylocke are an item now. There’s a subplot where Betsy tries to use her psychic powers to help Angel get past his wing-based turmoil, but she fails. Then, when an imaginary woman succeeds where she fails, Betsy is disturbed and humbled.

Very well done.

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