Rogue Angel is a paperback series of novels published bi-monthly since July 2006 by Harlequin Publishing's Gold Eagle division and written under the house name of Alex Archer. Actual authors are credited with small notes inside the books, but not on the front covers or spines. The main character is Annja Creed. Each novel offers an adventure based on history or mythology, with a heavy fantasy slant.
Although these books can be read individually as discrete adventures, when read in order some continuity of character development and sub-plots is apparent.
Typically, each volume is named for a historical or mythological artifact around which the plot revolves. The plot structure tends to be formulaic: The heroine discovers the item in question, only to have it stolen by, or be herself abducted by, the villain or a more nebulous third party, motivated by their believing that it holds some special power or significance. In the course of the story, the heroine and the reader often learn a little more about some historical period and the people who lived in it.
The series was first envisioned by Randall Toye, a Harlequin executive who fell in love with the history concerning Joan of Arc and wanted to develop the idea of a present-day Joan. Veteran action-adventure editors Feroze Mohammed and Nicole Brebner teamed up with Mel Odom to flesh out their series.
Rogue Angel's premise and execution displays similarities with earlier franchises such as the Witchblade comic book (published since 1995) and TV series (2001-02), Tomb Raider (1996-present), and Outlanders (1997–present).
Annja Creed is a world-traveling archaeologist with a penchant for adventure, lost cities, mysterious codes and puzzles, and shadowy history that was never recorded. Heir to Joan of Arc's mystic sword, Annja finds herself drawn into the webs of darkest villainy with lives on the line.
After growing up in an orphanage, where she developed a love of history—primarily because she didn't know her own history—as well as an interest in martial arts, Annja scored high enough to earn a full-ride college scholarship and studied diligently. She's achieved a Masters in Archeology, concentrating on medieval and renaissance time periods, and has specialized knowledge in anthropology, botany, art, and is perpetually a student of things that come her way. Her first major dig while in college was at Hadrian's Wall in England where the Romans battled the Picts.
Within days of the Letterman appearance, Annja was offered a job working as a host on Chasing History’s Monsters, a syndicated television show specializing in sensationalizing the stories of vampires, serial killers, mythic beasts, mass murderers, and pop culture legendary beings.
Although Annja tries to bring a certain amount of factual material to the episodes she hosts, she invariably gets remembered (if she gets remembered at all, since the other hostess of the show was hired for her generous figure) more for the unbelievable aspects of the show than for any concrete details she reveals. This frustrates her, but the salary and expense account involved allows her to travel a lot and ensures she has a high public profile that brings other jobs her way.
In addition to the field work and the television career, Annja also researches COAs (certificate of authenticity) for different museum pieces and items in private collections. She's written several articles and a few books.
Her current base of operations is in a loft in Brooklyn, New York.
When Joan of Arc was burned at the stake for heresy, her sword was shattered by an English soldier. Two men who were her body guards, were cursed to scour the ends of the earth to find the pieces and reassemble the sword. Joan was a Champion, one whose fate was tied closely to the struggle against the darkness that always lies in wait.
Annja was on hand when the final piece was found, and again when the pieces were all put together. At her touch, the Sword reformed and became magically tied to her. She has the ability to place the Sword in "otherwhere", where it cannot be seen or taken by others, and draw it out with just a moment's notice.
No one can take the Sword from Annja. Even when she throws the blade at a foe, she can call it back to her hand. Time and space mean nothing to the Sword. It serves Annja and may, although no one is certain yet, draw evil to Annja so that it can be destroyed. It enhances her ability to heal and improves her constitution.
Roux is an old man apparently in his sixties who has been alive even longer than the five hundred years he admits to. He loves golf and Texas Hold 'Em poker. He lives in a castle-like mansion outside of Paris, France. He has a mentor relationship with Annja, but draws the line at ever becoming a father figure. Although he will help Annja on occasion, he wants her to be strong, fierce, and independent. Annja just wants to interview him and see the things he’s seen. He's operating on his own agenda, tracking down various items purported to have magical powers, and sealing them away from the world. And if he has to entice Annja and lie to her about it, he'll do that. Roux's a man that will take care of his own needs first.
Garin Braden was Roux's apprentice five hundred years ago. A bastard child, he was ill-treated in his father's house by his father's wife. He was given by his father to Roux at an early age just to get him out of the house. Five hundred years later, he's rich, arrogant, and contemptuous of Roux. Over six foot tall, athletic and masculine, he sports a goatee and long black hair and dark eyes. He's afraid that the reassembly of the Sword has put an end to his longevity, and believes that if the Sword were destroyed again that he might live forever. However, where he was once Annja's bitterest rival for Roux's attention as well as wanting to destroy the Sword, he’s found himself respecting Annja Creed more and more.
Doug Morrell is Annja's producer at Chasing History's Monsters. He's 22, self-involved, and doesn't have a clue about history. Nor does he care. In television, as he often reminds Annja, it's all about the ratings. Although he has a good relationship with Annja and they are friends, he's not above guilting her to get her to do what he wants her to do.
- Renaissance (2008) collects
- Destiny (July 2006) (written by Mel Odom)
- Solomon's Jar (September 2006) (written by Victor Milán)
- The Spider Stone (November 2006) (written by Mel Odom)
- The Chosen (January 2007) (written by Victor Milán)
- Forbidden City (March 2007) (written by Mel Odom)
- The Lost Scrolls (May 2007) (written by Victor Milán)
- God of Thunder (July 2007) (written by Mel Odom)
- Secret of the Slaves (September 2007) (written by Victor Milán)
- Warrior Spirit (November 2007) (written by Jon F. Merz)
- Serpent's Kiss (January 2008) (written by Mel Odom)
- Provenance (March 2008) (written by Victor Milán)
- The Soul Stealer (May 2008) (written by Jon F. Merz)
- Gabriel's Horn (July 2008) (written by Mel Odom)
- The Golden Elephant (September 2008) (written by Victor Milán)
- Swordsman's Legacy (November 2008) (written by Michele Hauf)
- Polar Quest (January 2009) (written by Jon F. Merz)
- Eternal Journey (March 2009) (written by Jean Rabe)
- Sacrifice (May 2009) (written by Jon F. Merz)
- Seeker's Curse (July 2009) (written by Victor Milán)
- Footprints (September 2009) (written by Jon F. Merz)
- Paradox (November 2009) (written by Victor Milán)
- The Spirit Banner (January 2010) (written by Joseph Nassise)
- Sacred Ground (March 2010) (written by Jon F. Merz)
- The Bone Conjurer (May 2010) (written by Michele Hauf)
- Tribal Ways (July 2010) (written by Victor Milán)
- The Dragon's Mark (September 2010) (written by Joseph Nassise)
- Phantom Prospect (November 2010) (written by Jon F. Merz)
- Restless Soul (January 2011) (written by Jean Rabe)
- False Horizon (March 2011) (written by Jon F. Merz)
- The Other Crowd (May 2011) (written by Michele Hauf)
- Tear of the Gods (July 2011) (written by Joseph Nassise)
- The Oracle's Message (September 2011) (written by Jon F. Merz)
- Cradle of Solitude (November 2011) (written by Joseph Nassise)
- Labyrinth (January 2012) (written by Jon F. Merz)
- Fury's Goddess (March 2012) (written by Jon F. Merz)
- Magic Lantern (May 2012) (written by Mel Odom)
- Library of Gold (July 2012) (written by Joseph Nassise)
- The Matador's Crown (September 2012) (written by Michele Hauf)
- City of Swords (November 2012) (written by Jean Rabe)
- The Third Caliph (January 2013) (written by Mel Odom)
- The Staff of Judea (March 2013) (written by Joseph Nassise)
- The Vanishing Tribe (May 2013) (written by Joseph Nassise)
- Clockwork Doomsday (July 2013) (written by Mel Odom)
- The Babel Codex (Novella) (September 2013)
- Blood Cursed (September 2013) (written by Michele Hauf)
- Sunken Pyramid (November 2013) (written by Jean Rabe)
- Treasure of Lima (January 2014) (written by Joseph Nassise)
- River of Nightmares (March 2014) (written by Jean Rabe)
- Grendel's Curse (May 2014) (written by Steven Savile)
- The Devil's Chord (July 2014) (written by Michele Hauf)
- Celtic Fire (September 2014)
- Pretender's Gambit (November 2014)
- Deathmask (January 2015)
- Bathed in Blood (March 2015)
In January 2007, GraphicAudio began releasing the books in a dramatized audio format, starting at issue #1.
As of June 2014 they've produced the whole series up till Rogue Angel #46 "Treasure of Lima", which can be bought on the North American Continent. They continue to produce the series, it's unknown if worldwide will be forthcoming.
- http://www.comicbookbin.com/idwnews006.html 'Comicbook Bin' Jan 31 2008, Best-Selling Intelligent and Alluring Adventure Heroine Gets New Life in Comic Books