Written By: Mark Henely
Angela is a character that has done a lot of things in her 22 years as a character. Originally created by Neil Gaiman and Todd McFarlane as a villain/love interest for Spawn at Image comics, she has, through a lengthy law legal battle between her creators,ended up at Marvel. Although she has only been there since 2013, she has already served as a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy, been revealed to be the long lost sister of Thor and Loki, and starred in a Secret Wars tie-in that saw her become a Witch Hunter in the year 1602. Now, she is Queen of Hel. Those are a lot of changes for a character to go through in two years and, while it doesn’t seem like Marvel has fully committed to what they want Angela to be, they have committed to the character in a big way. Will this be the ultimate direction that they take the character or is this just another subtitle or another mini-series?
The answer is: I don’t know. This is a very confusing comic. From page to page, I was very unsure of what was happening and when each thing was happening in the timeline of the story. There are parts of the story that take place after she has become Queen of Hel, some parts that take place before that, and others that seem to take place years before. This is further complicated by the fact that there are two different art teams that handle this book. Kim Jacinto and Israel Silva handle the main story and Stephanie Hans takes care of the flashback. Hans’ artwork is very beautiful and feels like something you would see in a fairytale, while Jacinto and Silva have a style that resembles the art style from the 90s Image Comics that created Angela. Personally, I greatly prefer the Stephanie Hans artwork. I hate the way that Jacinto and Silva render Angel’a new silver armored costume. It looks pointy in places that would poke into Angela’s skin and I don’t know why anyone would wear it. The pointy part on the bottom of her stomach plate seems like it would be especially uncomfortable because it looks like it would poke her in the stomach every time she bent over.
There are some moments in this comic that are very clear though. The one thing that is abundantly clear in this comic is that Angela’s relationship with her sidekick, Sera, is in fact a romantic one. This a big departure from the way the character was portrayed in Image comics where she was Spawn’s ex-girlfriend, but I think it is a good move for the character. The kiss itself was handled very tastefully (which is a big departure from the hyper-sexual way that Angela was utilized in Image Comics) and, in 2015, a character should be a able to kiss boys in one company and kiss girls in the other company if the writers want to tell the story that way. The one thing I don’t like is that, in Angela: Asgard’s Assassin, Sera was being impersonated by Malekith the Accursed. Angela and Sera’s physical relationship seems to have started before the events of Asgard’s Assassin and that makes the whole situation with Malekith pretending to be Sera very very icky.
If you are a comic book reader who is trying to find a way in and figure out what Angela is all about, this is not the comic book for you. This is a complicated character who has only become more esoteric and I would have been completely lost reading this if I hadn’t already researched this character earlier this year when I recorded a podcast for about her first appearance (Episode 10 of “Introducing…the First Appearance Podcast). If you want you want to read some good Marvel Angela stories, check out any of her previous stories (“Original Sin: Thor and Loki: The Tenth Realm”, “Angela: Asgard’s Assassin”, or “1602: Witch Hunter Angela”). This is only the first issue and the series could still turn around, but this is not an auspicious start.
*** If you want to hear that episode of Mark’s podcast that he referenced in his review, you can hear it at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/introducing…the-first-appearance/id993523477 It is the 10th episode and it is called Spawn #9: The First Appearace of Angela.***