‘ANGELA: ASGARD’S ASSASSIN’ CREATORS ON THE SCARIEST WOMAN IN THE GALAXY [INTERVIEW]
By Andy Khouri
Created in the early ’90s by Todd McFarlane and Neil Gaiman in the pages of Image Comics’ Spawn, Angela is a supremely violent immortal warrior/hunter/angel/naked woman, sent to Earth to slay Hellspawn as a soldier in the war between Heaven and Hell.
Or at least, she was. As a consequence of litigation whose transcript word counts are in excess of every Marvel comic ever published in history (not really), Angela is now something and and perhaps someone else. Who that is remains a question — an unexpectedly compelling question. Indeed, some longtime comics fans were bemused by Marvel’s heavily promoted induction of a character created not just with another comic book publisher, but by McFarlane himself, one of Marvel’s most famous creative “defectors.” Not to mention the fact that in the character’s entire history, she’d appeared in just a handful of comics, only four of which by written by Gaiman, and the last of those came out 20 years ago.
That readers were meant to accept the stated importance of Angela on little more than Marvel’s marketing say so seemed like a tough sell, but the twists kept coming. She became a surprisingly major part of Brian Michael Bendis’ Guardians of the Galaxy cast. A half-naked angel running around in space with a talking raccoon, yes, but somehow it worked. It was later revealed that Angela’s the daughter of Odin and sister to Thor, and was just heretofore unseen while she lived in a distant realm (that we like to call the McFarlaverse). And that works, too.
Now Marvel is committing fully to Angela with the character’s first ongoing series, Angela: Asgard’s Assassin, which comes with yet more surprises. It’s a solo title starring a female lead, which of course is still rare in American superhero comics, and it’s also drawn by Phil Jimenez, whose long association with certain amazon princesses and other distinctly powerful women characters sends a very loud and clear message about Marvel’s intentions for Angela.
Joining Jimenez is writer Kieron Gillen, himself one of Marvle’s most acclaimed Asgardian scholars, if you will, having done very well regarded runs on Journey Into Mystery and Thor. Also writing Angela is Marguerite Bennett, who’s penned numerous books for DC and other publishers, but who this year landed two ongoings in the form of Angela and the recently announced Sleepy Hollow. As part of the book’s unique “stories-within-stories” structure that you’ll read about below, Bennett will collaborate with noted cover artist and illustrator Stephanie Hans, who’s making a relatively rare visit to the realm of sequential storytelling to help make Angela that much more distinct.
ComicsAlliance spoke with all four creators and series editor Wil Moss about the endlessly impressive surprise that is Angela.