Angela_hunterI 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.


  1. Didn’t Bendis write Miracleman into a Spawn comic for McFarlane a decade ago?
    Fun to see it come full circle.

  2. Sounds a lot like what happened when Death was written into a Superman comic a few years ago—Gaiman got credit for the dialogue in the creator captions.

  3. So, what does this mean? Is Gaiman now the sole owner of the Angela IP? Or, since Cogliostro, the other significant character Gaiman created for Spawn, is appearing in Spawn again, does that mean that Gaiman and MacFarlane horse-traded their 50% interests so that Neil owns Angela outright and Todd owns Cog outright?

  4. What I want to know is why is he using the character in a work for hire setting, unless he has sold his rights to Marvel.

  5. I’ll second Rob J.’s question. I didn’t follow the particulars of the lawsuit, but I thought the eventual conclusion was that Angela and the other disputed characters were co-owned 50/50 by Gaiman and McFarlane.

  6. There does seem to be some sort of triangle of interests here: Marvel Comics, Todd McFarlane, and Neil Gaiman, all tied together somehow by a triangle of characters: Spawn, Angela, and M/arvel/iracleman.

    I second the notion that Gaiman’s writing credit may well be the equivalent of an Executive Producer credit on a film. His name goes on in, but he didn’t do any of the actual heavy lifting.

    As regards the outcome of the most recent lawsuit between Gaiman and McFarlane, nobody knows what it was, as the outcome was not revealed. So, whereas the most likely conclusion is that they own Angela 50/50 between them, there’s absolutely no proof to back that up.

    Meanwhile, Bleeding Cool is reporting that Gaiman owns 100% of Angela, but I suppose we’ll have to wait to see the credits in the actual comics to be sure, as they’re not quoting any source for that, as is usual with them. Maybe Neil has swapped his share, whatsoever as it might turn out to be, for something that Marvel have that he might be interested in…

  7. Gaiman’s giving Marvel use of Angela does not require him to own 100% of the character (and I’m not saying he does or doesn’t, I’m not privvy to this deal). A shared copyright holder is legally free to license out what he owns, so long as he splits the proceeds with his co-holder.

Comments are closed.