I think we can finally throw some dirt on the coffin of the Neil Gaiman – Todd McFarlane lawsuit. The New York Times has announced that Gaiman’s Angela character (created for Spawn with Todd McFarlane, back in 1992), one of the objects of dispute, has moved over to Marvel. Nothing says “the legal battle is over” like going back about your business — in this case, placing the character in a universe and making her active again.
According to the Times, Angela will make some sort of appearance at the end of Age of Ultron. This sounds like it’s probably the sequence Joe Quesada is drawing.
“We were looking for a good entry point to tease our fans and to let them know she was going to be a major player,” he said. “Age of Ultron,” an event storyline that involves many of Marvel’s top heroes, seemed like the perfect spot. With so many big stories spoiled by the media (with the willing cooperation of the comic book companies) lately, Axel Alonso, the editor in chief of Marvel Comics, insisted the revelation of Angela’s participation did not count as a spoiler. Her presence is a bonus, “like the post-credit scenes in one of our Marvel studio movies,” Mr. Alonso said. The character’s appearance in “Age of Ultron” is designed to whet the appetite of fans.
After that, Angela will be popping up in Guardians of the Galaxy #5. The bigger news being that Gaiman will be co-writing that issue with Brian Bendis. Marvel’s listing of this, doesn’t say if Angela is joining the Guardians or if Gaiman is writing more than one issue… but you’d think they’d tell you if Gaiman was going to be the regular co-writer. That’s bigger news than the Angela character turning up.
Marvel is spending a lot of time promoting the Guardians comic ahead of the film. Blade never got this kind of push. And speaking of that, the second GoG Infinity comic is up at Comixology. This one features Rocket Raccoon. There’s a little more going on in this one and it takes advantage of the Infinity format much better than the first installment did. It’s also free.
The other interesting thing is that Angela’s character, coming out of the Spawn universe, was very much an Angel. A bounty hunter for Heaven. Marvel has tended to shy away from Judeo-Christian characters, opting more for the likes of Thor and Hercules. It will be interesting to see how Angela’s origins are portrayed in this incarnation.
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.