Textless cover of Guardians of the Galaxy #6 (September 2013).
Art by Sara Pichelli.
|Publisher||Image Comics (1993–2000)|
Marvel Comics (2013–present)
|First appearance||Image Comics: Spawn #9 (March 1993)|
Marvel Comics: Age of Ultron #10 (June 2013)
|Created by||Neil Gaiman|
|Alter ego||Aldrif Odinsdottir|
Angel (in Spawn)
|Place of origin||Asgard|
|Team affiliations||Guardians of the Galaxy|
Asgardians of the Galaxy
|Notable aliases||The Hunter, Queen of Hel|
Angela is a fictional superhero created by author Neil Gaiman and artist Todd McFarlane. She first appeared as a supporting antagonist in McFarlane's creator-owned series Spawn, making her debut in issue #9 in March 1993, and later starring in her own self-titled miniseries. She is an angel and a bounty hunter, working under the auspices of Heaven to oppose Spawn.
Angela was later the subject of a legal battle between McFarlane and Gaiman over the rights to the character, which Gaiman won. Gaiman later sold the rights to the character to Marvel Comics; she was integrated into the Marvel Universe in the 2013 story "Age of Ultron", and her character was expanded upon in the 2014 storyline "Original Sin", where she was established to be the lost sister of Thor.
In 1993 Todd McFarlane contracted Neil Gaiman, along with three other recognized authors, Alan Moore, Dave Sim, and Frank Miller, to write one issue of his creator-owned comics series Spawn, which was published by Image Comics. While doing so, Gaiman introduced the characters Angela, Cogliostro, and Medieval Spawn. All three characters were co-created and designed by McFarlane. Angela first appeared in issue #9, as an adversary. In 1994 and 1995, a three-issue Angela limited series was published, written by Gaiman and illustrated by Greg Capullo, in which Angela and Spawn were forced by circumstance to temporarily work together as allies. The series was later reprinted as a trade paperback titled Angela Trade Paperback, retitled as Spawn: Angela's Hunt in later printings and given a new cover design (ISBN 1-887279-09-1).
The monthly Spawn series continued to feature all of the characters Gaiman had created long after his direct involvement had ended. Some characters had tie-ins with McFarlane's toy company, and Cogliostro had a prominent role in the live-action movie in 1997. Angela would appear in Spawn #62, #89, and #96 through #100, and in a 1995, a one-shot. She was also featured featured in several crossovers. The Rage of Angels miniseries saw Angela meeting Glory in Angela and Glory (1996), and was continued in Youngblood #6 (1996) and Team Youngblood #21. There was also a crossover called Aria/Angela, in which she featured in the series Aria.
McFarlane had initially agreed that Gaiman retained creator rights to the characters, but later claimed that Gaiman's work had been work-for-hire and that McFarlane owned all of Gaiman's co-creations entirely, pointing to the legal indicia of Spawn #9 and the lack of legal contract stating otherwise. McFarlane had also refused to pay Gaiman for the volumes of Gaiman's work that McFarlane republished and kept in print. In 2002, Gaiman filed suit and won a sizable judgment against McFarlane and Image Comics for the rights due any creator. All three characters were then equally co-owned by both men. In 2012, McFarlane and Gaiman settled their dispute, and Gaiman was given full ownership of Angela.
Comic Book Resources confirmed on March 21, 2013 that Neil Gaiman was returning to Marvel Comics and would bring Angela with him. Joe Quesada was quoted as saying her first appearance as a proper Marvel character would happen at the finale of the "Age of Ultron" storyline.
Fictional character biography
Image Comics history
Angela is an angel and a bounty hunter, working under the auspices of Heaven to oppose Spawn. She attempted to kill Spawn upon their first meeting, but was defeated despite her significantly greater experience. Later, he came to her aid during her trial in Heaven, where he testified that she had permission to kill him. They were temporarily trapped in a pocket dimension when Spawn's cloak acted to protect him from her weapons. Spawn's restructuring of reality allowed them to return from the pocket dimension, and also erased Angela's 'permit' to use her weapons against him. While returning to Earth they started a romantic relationship. However, Angela was killed during the battle with Malebolgia. Spawn returned her body to the angels, who presumably brought her back to life.
Marvel Comics history
During the 2013 "Age of Ultron" storyline, Angela is revealed to be alive and has been pulled from Heaven as a result of Wolverine's damage to the Omniverse. In a combination of rage and confusion, she charges towards Earth from outer space, only to be intercepted by the Guardians of the Galaxy, leading to her joining the team.
During the Original Sin storyline, it is revealed that she is Aldrif, the daughter of Odin and Freyja, making her sister to Thor and Loki. She was "killed" as an infant during Asgard's war with the Angels of the Tenth Realm called "Heven." This crime resulted in Odin severing the Tenth Realm from the other nine as punishment for their attack. Thor learns of his sister's existence when he is exposed to the secrets of Uatu, the Watcher's eye, by the Orb. He returns to Asgard to confront his mother about his sister's existence, and subsequently travels to the Tenth Realm with Loki to learn more about his sister.
The Guardians of the Galaxy and Angela are attacked in warp space by a band of pirates, called Warpjackers. During the battle, Angela abandons the Guardians when the adult Loki telepathically tells her that the portal to Heven is open and that she can return home. As Thor battles Heven's guards, Angela appears having been guided to the doorway to Heven by Loki, and prepares to battle Thor. Angela defeats an exhausted Thor who had just fought off the army of Heven, and is then told by the Queen of Angels to bring Thor to her. The now-female Loki has aligned with the Angels, telling Thor that "being on the winning side seems just perfect."
While Loki leads an Angel fleet to Asgard, under the false pretense to help them destroy it, Thor escapes captivity and engages Angela in combat once again. The fight between Thor and Angela is interrupted when Odin (who Loki freed from his self-exile) arrives and recognizes Angela as his daughter, revealing Angela's true lineage as the long thought dead Aldrif. A long time ago, the Angel tasked to dispose of Aldrif's body found out the baby was alive and raised her as one of the Angels under the name of Angela. In light of this revelation, the Queen of Angels grants Angela her life, pardoning her for her service to the Angels, but exiles her from Heven due to her lineage. After leaving Heven, Odin tells Thor, Loki, and Angela that he still loves his children. Angela then decides to leave in order to explore the other realms.
Later, Angela and her lover Sera abduct the newborn daughter of Odin and Freyja. Unbeknownst to Odin, the baby is possessed by the spirit of Surtur and Odin orders Thor to hunt down the pair. Angela and Sera with help from the Guardians of the Galaxy, stay ahead of Thor and take the baby to Heven to be cleansed of Surtur's spirit. There, Angela throws the baby into the stalled engines of Heven. Surtur's fire is expelled from the baby and reignites the engines of Heven. For this action, Angela's debt to Heven is repaid and thus closes her last remaining connection to the realm.
After Angela returns the baby to Odin, she discovers that Sera is actually Malekith the Accursed and the real Sera, who was previously killed in battle, remains in Hel. Angela travels to Hel and petitions Hela to restore her love to life. When Hela refuses, Angela launches a campaign of conquest with the help of Sera and Hela's handmaiden, Leah, completing several trials to become the new Queen of Hel. When she succeeds, she frees the souls of the dead Angels enslaved by Hel, and restores Sera to life, only to abdicate and return to Earth with Sera and Leah, having no need for power.
Powers and abilities
In her current Marvel incarnation, Angela is a born god and heir to Asgardian throne. She has enormous amounts of super strength which enables her to fight opponents like Jane Foster (Thor), super speed where she moves faster than lightning and super durability where she can withstand attacks from the likes of Gamora, Drax and Thor. She also has the ability to fly.
Several alternate versions of Angela appeared in Marvel's 2015 "Secret Wars" storyline:
- In 1602: Witchhunter Angela, Angela appears as a hunter of witchbreed (mutants) in the 1602 universe.
- In MODOK: Assassin, an Angela appears as a member of the Thors, Battleworld's peacekeeping force, wielding a hammer called Demonslayer.
- A third appears as a resident of the domain Arcadia, home of the all women superhero team, A-Force.
In other media
Angela made her first Marvel Animated appearance in the Guardians of the Galaxy episode "We Are the World Tree", voiced by Nika Futterman. She accompanies Thor into attending a statue unveiling on Spartax that depicted the years of peace Spartax had with Asgard. Angela gets into a brief sword fight with Gamora. Later on, she faces Gamora again when the Guardians of the Galaxy end up in Asgard. In the episode "Asgard War Part One: Lightning Strikes", Angela accompanies Thor in the war against Spartax. In the episode "Asgard War Part Two: Rescue Me", Angela accompanies Thor and the Destroyer Armor into assisting the Guardians of the Galaxy into rescuing Star-Lord from Thanos.
- Angela appears in the mobile game Guardians of the Galaxy: The Universal Weapon.
- Angela appears in the Facebook game Marvel: Avengers Alliance.
- Angela is a playable character in the mobile game Marvel: Future Fight.
- Angela is a playable character in the mobile game Marvel: Contest of Champions.
- Angela is a playable character in Marvel Heroes. She is voiced by Laura Bailey.
- Angela is a playable character in the mobile game Marvel: Avengers Alliance 2.
- Angela was a recruitable character in Marvel Avengers Academy during its A-Force event, voiced by Natalie Van Sistine.
In 1995 and 1996, Angela was nominated for, but did not win, a number of Wizard Fan Awards: 1995 Favorite Villainess, 1995 Character Most Deserving of Own Ongoing Title, 1995 Favorite One-shot or Limited Series/Miniseries, and 1996 Favorite Heroine.
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Later this year, writer Neil Gaiman makes his return to Marvel Comics...Perhaps even more intriguing is the announcement that Gaiman plans to introduce Angela to the Marvel U.
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