Archangel (Gibson comic)

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William Gibson Archangel
Cover of the first issue of Archangel.
Publication information
Publisher IDW Publishing
Schedule Monthly
Format Limited series
Publication date May 2016 – August 2017
October 2017 (HC)
No. of issues 5
Main character(s) Naomi Givens
Vince Mathews
The Pilot
Junior Henderson
Creative team
Created by William Gibson
Michael St. John Smith
Written by William Gibson
Artist(s) Butch Guice
Inker(s) Tom Palmer
Letterer(s) Shawn Lee
Colorist(s) Diego Rodriguez
Collected editions
Hardcover ISBN 978-1631408755

Archangel, also written as William Gibson Archangel or William Gibson's Archangel, is a IDW Publishing five-issue limited series comic book written by William Gibson, created by William Gibson and Michael St. John Smith, with art by Butch Guice and story breakdown by Michael Benedetto. It is Gibson's first comicbook series. It tells the story of an alternative 2016, where the Vice President of America travels back in time to 1945 to secure power in the past.

Background[edit]

William Gibson and Michael St. John Smith (writer and TV/film actor[1]) originally pitched the idea for Archangel to a German television company[2] who declined it, so the pair developed the idea into a screenplay and briefly as a computer game.[3] When IDW approached Gibson about doing an adaptation of a novel, he immediately proposed developing Archangel into a comic book. The IDW team include art by Butch Guice, inking by Tom Palmer, colors by Diego Rodriguez, and letters by Shawn Lee.

Synopsis[edit]

In an alternative 2016, the US Vice President, Junior Henderson gets a facelift to look like his grandfather, and travels back in time to 1945 with six comrades using a device called the Splitter. When back in 1945 they kill Junior's grandfather, and Junior takes his place. Meanwhile, in 2016 a faction opposed to this plan take control of the Splitter, led by Major Torres, who want to prevent the potential problems that interference with the timeline might cause. Meanwhile, in 1945, RAF Officer, Agent Naomi Givens, is instructed to investigate the appearance of an unknown aircraft that crashed in Berlin, killing one of the two pilots of the craft. She contacts her ex-boyfriend, Vince Mathews, and together they investigate the circumstances of the crash, and attempt to obtain information from the surviving pilot who is revealing nothing.

The surviving pilot contacts Major Torres in the future and obtains a stealth suit that allows him to escape from prison. He contacts Naomi Givens who has discovered that some of the materials from the crash site are from the future. The pilot explains a little bit about the circumstances of his time travel to Naomi before Junior Henderson and Vince arrive to interview Naomi. Naomi claims she knows nothing about the pilot to Junior, and his treatment of her and his general behaviour causes Vince to realise that Junior is not what he seems to be, so Vince makes a break from Junior. Naomi goes to a nightclub to meet a Ukrainian contact who may have information about the crashed plane that landed in the Russian quadrant of Berlin. She is followed by the pilot who in turn is being followed separately by both Junior and Vince.

Characters[edit]

1945[edit]

  • Naomi Givens: An RAF Intelligence Officer, a materials scientist, and one of the main protagonists of the story.
  • Vince Mathews: A US Intelligence Officer, who is Naomi's ex-boyfriend, and one of the main protagonists of the story.
  • Fritz: Naomi's driver and black market expert.

2016[edit]

  • The Pilot: A tattooed Marine sent back to 1945, and one of the main protagonists of the story.
  • Junior Henderson: The Vice President of the US, who goes back in time to make sure his powerbase in entrenched in the past.
  • Major Torres: A scientist who is in control of the Splitter.

Critical reception[edit]

Critical reception has been positive, ArsTechnica.com states that Archangel has "hit a chord", and is "thought-provoking science fiction", and comments positively on the female characters with "strong wills and personalities". They also note that IDW sold out the initial run in just a few days, and announced it would print a second run.[4] Cory Doctorow reviewed issue #1 in BoingBoing.net and said it "fires on all cylinders" and that the "art and dialog work extra duty to convey a story that is native to the medium", he concludes that the comic is "spectacular".[5]

In other media[edit]

On July 25, 2016 at Comic-Con International in San Diego, William Gibson stated that Archangel has been optioned for television, which he later confirmed on Twitter.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]