After a couple of acclaimed runs on ‘Journey Into Mystery’ and ‘Young Avengers’ featuring the (semi-reformed) mischievous trickster Loki, indie comic darling turned mainstream marvel Kieron Gillen will revisit the mystical realm of Asgard. This time the writer behind ‘The Wicked + The Divine’ will tackle Marvel Comics newcomer Angela, who first appeared for the House of Ideas in ‘Age of Ultron’ courtesy of Neil Gaiman after being established as a long-time ‘Spawn’ character. While the mysterious warrior has mostly been seen alongside the Guardians of the Galaxy, we’ll finally get to learn more about her past thanks to the new ongoing title ‘Angela: Asgard’s Assassin’.
Recently, as part of the current crossover event ‘Original Sin’, it was revealed that Angela is actually an Asgardian daughter of Odin instead of an angel from the tenth realm. Of course, this means that she’s sister to Thor and stepsister to Loki. But Gillen, who has also been tapped for ‘Star Wars: Darth Vader’, is teaming up with writer Marguerite Bennett and artists Stephanie Hans and Phil Jimenez to go above and beyond this revelation and explore Angela’s troubled past that pitted parts of herself against each other. In an interview with Newsarama after the series was announced at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, the two writers explain what we can expect from their upcoming series while comparing their leading lady to fan favorites Natasha Romanoff and Bucky Barnes:
Kieron Gillen: The book is about Angela – kind of an Asgardian “Black Widow” is the best way of putting it. She’s enormously trained, fights in very specific ways, and has a lot of red in the ledger.
What’s interesting about Angela is that she’s religiously devoted to the concept of debt on a deeper level than anyone we’ve seen. It’s unique and psychological to feel like we owe someone, or that someone owes us. For Angela, there’s a small series of weird oaths that runs her life. But the push and pull of trying to live up to those oaths, that code, might be contrary to how she feels. Her identity was made up of that code, but show she’s essentially been cut free and ends up having to question everything she’s lived for up to this point. Questioning doesn’t mean escaping that though, and the debts to her and her debts to Asgard are at the core of the series.
Marguerite Bennett: ‘Angela: Asgard’s Assassin’ will be about restoring balance—pathologically, terrifyingly—as Angela comes to terms with the truth of her birth and the deception of her loyalties. She must find a way to cancel the debts under which she’s suffering, and decide, for the first time, what she wants, what she is—and seize it.
The comic presents the story in a very unique way. Though all four members of the creative team collaborate on everything concerning this book, the plan is for Gillen and Jimenez to work on a main story while Bennett and Hans handle a second story in each issue that builds on the tale it accompanies. The writers discuss the structure of their book while speaking to Comic Book Resources:
Bennett: We’ve got Stephanie Hans doing the internal stories, which will be mini tales that will heighten, reflect and tell individual stories about Angela and her legend to characters in the Marvel Universe. They’re given an idea of what she’s been reported to be; the horror stories, cautionary tales and dire warnings, and what she’s meant to live up to. Then we confront those with who she is and what she actually wants. So I’m hoping just with Stephanie Hans’ extremely gorgeous art that people will really respond to them.
Gillen: They’re very much embedded stories in the narrative. Angela has a friend in the story named Sera and she’s Gabrielle to Angela’s Xena, which is an easy way to describe their relationship, though it’s not quite like that. Sera’s a bit more verbal, and these stories are embedded in the larger narrative, which gives you an interesting contrast between what Stephanie does and what Phil [Jimenez] does and what I do and Marguerite does, because I’m doing the main story and Marguerite is doing the kind of embedded story.
Gillen and Bennett certainly have big plans for Asgard’s angry angel and they definitely have a lot of room to play around since very little has been told about Angela in the Marvel Universe, but I think what I’m most intrigued about is the title. Does it refer to Angela becoming an Agent of Asgard like Loki and carrying out some more questionable missions? That’s one possibility, but it could also refer to Angela’s desire to take down her true realm. Neither writer was really clear about which one applies, but I think I’ll be picking up ‘Angela: Asgard’s Assassin’ to find out.
What do you think of a solo book for Angela from Kieron Gillen, Marguerite Bennett, Stephanie Hans, and Phil Jimenez as part of the upcoming Avengers NOW initiative? Will you be adding ‘Angela: Asgard’s Assassin’ to your pull list? Let us know in the comments.