With the Avengers NOW! publishing initiative, Marvel continues to display its almost relentless commitment to pushing new titles with a fresh creative team. At their Avengers NOW! panel during San Diego Comic-Con International (SDCC) two weeks ago, Marvel announced several new titles including Thor, Superior Iron Man and Captain America and the Mighty Avengers. The one title that caught my eye, however, featured Angela, the Neil Gaiman creation that Marvel recently bought the rights to.
Now, when we discussed the possible identity of the new Thor prior to SDCC, we mentioned that it could potentially be Angela. That likelihood has seemingly been dashed with the revelation that she will be starring in her own ongoing series entitled Angela: Asgard’s Assassin.
If Marvel announcing it’s NINTH title with a female lead wasn’t a big enough deal, then it’s the fact that its creative team consists of some of the most talented people in the industry today. We’re referring to Kieron Gillen, Marguerite Bennett, Phil Jimenez and Stephanie Hans. Find out what this means for Angela, under the cut.
Firstly, we’ll be a little biased and say main writer Kieron Gillen is one of our personal favourites, having written everything we love from Phonogram to Young Avengers (both titles with longterm collaborator Jamie McKelvie) not to mention also having written popular titles Uncanny X-Men and Iron Man. For Angela, Gillen is taking the lead role, but in an exclusive interview with Comic Book Resources he revealed that “for various reasons” (one of which presumably being that he is also the writer of newly announced series Star Wars: Darth Vader) he will be taking on a co-writer.
That co-writer is rising star Marguerite Bennett, who broke into the industry just last year with DC’s Batman Annual #2 and also filled in for writer Gail Simone on a couple of issues of Batgirl. Bennett had just completed a graduate degree from Sarah Lawrence College, where Batman writer Scott Snyder was one of her lecturers. As she tells it, Snyder had approached her himself to ask for help earlier last year. When former Batman editor Mike Marts moved back to Marvel this year, Bennett was one of the creators he brought along with him. For Marvel, Bennett has already written a backup story in the Amazing X-Men Annual, as well as the upcoming Death of Wolverine: The Logan Legacy issue featuring Lady Deathstrike. Angela: Asgard’s Assassin will be her first ongoing title.
Unlike Bennett, however, Phil Jimenez is a household name in the comic book industry and has proven himself many times as a writer/artist, beginning with his most well-known work on Wonder Woman till his two-part story in Savage Wolverine earlier this year. With his strikingly detailed art style, and passion for warrior women (he also redesigned Hippolyta’s costume in the dearly departed Fearless Defenders series) Jimenez is the perfect fit for Angela, and will be providing art for the book’s main storyline.
In a throwback of sorts to the “Tales of Asgard” backup feature that sometimes accompanied Thor and Journey Into Mystery between the 60’s and 90’s, Angela: Asgard’s Assassin will also feature “internal stories” in each issue, “mini tales that will heighten, reflect and tell individual stories about Angela and her legend”.
The “sense of myth, majesty and magic” required of these mini tales is perfect for amazingly talented artist Stephanie Hans, who comes highly recommended by Gillen after they worked together on Journey Into Mystery. While mainly a cover artist for Marvel, she nonetheless proved her storytelling ability by pencilling, inking and colouring Fearless Defenders #7, one of the most evocative, moving and ethereal stories I’ve ever been blessed to read. I have every confidence that her work will only serve to complement Jimenez’s.
The wonderful thing about Angela as a character is that though she was created by Gaiman almost two decades ago, her presence in the Marvel Universe is a relative blank slate. Gillen’s concept is that Angela will function in a manner similar to Black Widow or Winter Soldier – that is, a distinctly different perspective than what one would be used to from Thor and even Loki: Agent of Asgard. However, don’t be surprised if there are crossovers with these other two Asgard-centric titles – especially with the new Thor.
Angela: Asgard’s Assasin launches in November.