FIRST LOOK: Neil Gaiman's avenging Angela will make Marvel history

Angela

Her name is Angela and she’s a bounty hunter on a mission from God — and heaven help any Marvel character who’s not on the side of the angels.

The image above, by fan-favorite artist Joe Quesada (who “moonlights” as Marvel Chief Creative Officer) is the first look at the scantily clad celestial agent who will make her Marvel debut in the 10th and final issue of Age of Ultron – but many longtime comics fans already know the name (and that barely-there outfit) from her past life beyond the Marvel multiverse.

Angela first appeared in 1993 in the pages of Todd MacFarlane’s Spawn where she was introduced by writer Neil Gaiman and artist Todd MacFarlane, two of the biggest names to emerge from the comics scene of the past three decades. The two creators were also the top names printed on a mountain of legal documents during their decade-long legal battle for control of Angela. That was resolved in early 2012 and Angela now gets her wings, so to speak, in a Marvel issue co-written by Gaiman and Brain Bendis.

Her background: She was a foe and then romantic interest to Spawn and a flip image of him in many ways – he represents a conflicted antihero fashioned by the fires of hell and while she is a strident soul and ferocious warrior that won’t be mistaken for a cherub anytime soon. Interestingly, the biggest change to the character visually would be the tweaking of the wings on her headgear, which were perhaps a bit too close to the feathered fashion of Thor’s crown.

Gaiman (whose new prose novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, arrives this summer) will also write an issue of Guardians of the Galaxy that will further weave Angela into the Marvel mainstream, where she will carry on as a story citizen after spending recent years in publishing purgatory.

Asked about the revival in a Thursday e-mail exchange, Gaiman sounded like he was in seventh heaven as a creator after watching Angela spend years in limbo.

NEXT: The lesson of Avengers No. 4

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