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

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“His body of work speaks for itself and he’s just a very kind and giving individual and a very giving collaborator and he was just very helpful in helping us construct a back-story for Angela,” Quesada said. “How do can you quantify the impact a guy like Neil has had on comics culture in general?”

Quesada took over as Marvel editor-in-chief in 2000 (a post he held through 2011) and one of his early aspirations was seeing Gaiman’s name on a major Marvel project that ventured out beyond the walls of the monthly Marvel adventures. That led to the eight-issue 2003 series Marvel 1602, which reimagined the company’s most famous characters over the Elizabethan era in an ambitious epic that, in sensibility, lived somewhere between Game of Thrones and Marvel’s Secret Wars.

The Marvel 1602 project set the stage for the next chapter in Gaiman’s Marvel adventure and sent resources to a second front in his legal conflicts with MacFarlane; a portion of the proceeds from the series went to Marvels and Miracles LLC, a company the author set up to “liberate” a character with far more history than Angela, namely Marvelman (a.k.a. Miracleman) whose publishing history is a knotty, contentious affair that dates back to 1954 and has included Gaiman since the mid-1980s when he inherited an ownership stake and the writing chores from Alan Moore, the mercurial mastermind behind Watchmen, V for Vendetta and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Marvel acquired the rights to the Marvelman character in 2009, published a primer in 2010 and by all indications is ramping toward a more substantial launch in the weeks and months ahead.When Marvelman arrives at Marvel it will be like in his own version of the Great Beyond — if so it’d be appropriate if he bumps into Angela somewhere inside the celestial terminal. After all, no two characters have arrived for their first Marvel flight with more baggage in tow.

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