Sunday, December 14, 2014

I Reads You Review: ANGELA: Asgard's Assassin #1


WRITERS: Kieron Gillen; Marguerite Bennett and Kieron Gillen
PENCILS: Phil Jimenez; Stephanie Hans
INKS: Tom Palmer; Stephanie Hans
COLORS: Romulo Fajardo; Stephanie Hans
LETTERS: VC's Clayton Cowles
COVER: Stephanie Hans
VARIANT COVERS: Phil Jimenez and Dan Green with Frank D'armata; Joe Quesada; Skottie Young
28pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (January 2015)

Rated “T+”

Angela created by Todd McFarlane and Neil Gaiman

Angela: Asgard's Assassin is a new comic book series launched as part of Marvel Comics' “Avengers NOW!” initiative.  The series features a character that was not originally a Marvel Comics character.

Angela is a comic book character created by writer Neil Gaiman and artist Todd McFarlane.  She first appeared in Spawn #9 (cover dated: March 1993) as a supporting character and adversary.  Published by Image Comics, Spawn was McFarlane's creator-owned series, and Angela was later the subject of a protracted legal battle between McFarlane and Gaiman.

Gaiman eventually won the rights to the character and transferred those rights to Marvel Comics.  Angela's Marvel debut was in the event miniseries, Age of Ultron (#10; cover dated: June 2013).  Angela's origin and purpose were changed from what they were in Spawn.  In the Marvel Universe, Angela was revealed to be Aldrif, the daughter of Odin (King of Asgard) and his wife, Frigga, which makes her the sister of Thor and Loki.  Once believed to have been murdered, Angela is now “the deadliest warrior in all the Ten Realms.”

Angela: Asgard's Assassin #1 finds Angela walking through the desert of Limbo, facing down hordes, and carrying... a baby?!  Plus, her partner, Sera, tells a tale of Angela's past.

Hmmm... Wow...  Over two decades later, Angela belongs to another publisher, yet the new publisher releases an Angela comic book that seems as if it were produced by the old publisher 20 years ago.  By that, I mean pretty art, underwhelming story.

Phil Jimenez and the great inker, Tom Palmer, deliver stellar art, creating a tale that looks like a bizarre melding of J.R.R. Tolkien and Robert E. Howard.  The gor-to-the-geous colors by Romulo Fajardo make the main story of Angela: Asgard's Assassin seem like a piece straight out of classic Heavy Metal.  However, the story does nothing for me, and I am not even interested in trying to talk about it.

The side story by writer Marguerite Bennett and artist Stephanie Hans is better.  It is a familiar story type, and with its pretty art, it also recalls Marvel's old Epic Magazine.  That said, I can't see myself reading future issues of Angela: Asgard's Assassin.

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

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