Angela is a fictional character in Todd McFarlane's Spawn comic book series. The character was created for the series by writer Neil Gaiman which led to a legal battle between McFarlane and Gaiman over the rights to the character.
Fictional character biographyEdit
In the comics, Angela is an angel who acts opposite Spawn as a bounty hunter working under the auspices of Heaven. She attempted to kill Spawn upon their first meeting, but he managed to defeat her despite her significantly greater experience. When he later came to her aid during her trial in Heaven - ironically, he was there to testify that she had permission to attempt to kill him - then they started a romantic relationship. Angela was killed during the battle with Malebolgia in Spawn #100.
Angela is a recurring adversary and ally of Spawn, and so is featured often in the series. Her debut was in issue Spawn #9, but she has since appeared in issues #62, #89, and #96 through #100.
In 1994 and 1995, a three-issue Angela limited series was published, written by Gaiman and illustrated by Greg Capullo. The series was later reprinted in a trade paperback titled Angela Trade Paperback (a.k.a. Spawn: Angela's Hunt where in later printings it was retitled as under a new cover design) (ISBN 1-887279-09-1), which, as of 2005, is out-of-print. There was also an Angela stand-alone comic (1995).
Angela has also been featured in several crossovers. The "Rage of Angels" miniseries saw Angela meeting Glory in Angela and Glory (1996), and was continued in Youngblood #6 (1996) and Team Youngblood #21. There was also a crossover Aria/Angela, featuring Angela in the Aria comic series.
In 1993 McFarlane contracted Neil Gaiman (as well as other recognized authors like Alan Moore, Dave Sim, and Frank Miller) to write one issue of Spawn. While doing so, Gaiman introduced the characters Angela, Cogliostro, and Medieval Spawn. All three characters continued to be featured prominently in the series after Gaiman's involvement, and had many tie-ins with McFarlane's toy company. Cogliostro had a prominent role in the live-action movie in 1997. McFarlane had initially agreed that Gaiman retained creator rights on the characters, but later claimed that Gaiman's work had been work-for-hire and that McFarlane owned all of Gaiman's creations entirely, pointing to the legal indicial in Spawn #9 and the lack of legal contract stating otherwise. (Some argued that this change of heart was motivated by his desire to gain full ownership of the characters by using Miracleman as a bargaining tool.) McFarlane had also refused to pay Gaiman for the volumes of Gaiman's work he republished and kept in print. In 2002, Gaiman filed suit and won a sizeable judgement against McFarlane and Image Comics for the rights due any creator. All three characters are currently co-owned 50/50 by both men.
Appearances in other mediaEdit
The character had a minor cameo appearance in the 1997 live action film Spawn; a tall, beautiful red-haired woman with the typical Spawn symbol on her earrings appeared in one scene, and it is hinted, although not specifically stated, that this is meant to be Angela. She also appeared in the animated HBO series Todd McFarlane's Spawn.
In 1995 and 1996, Angela was nominated for, but did not win, a number of Wizard Fan Awards: 1995 Favorite Villainess, 1995 Character Most Deserving of Own Ongoing Title, 1995 Favorite One-shot or Limited Series/Miniseries, and 1996 Favorite Heroine.
During Ken Kurosawa's travels in the manga Shadows of Spawn, he mistakes another Spawn-hunting angel, Mikaela, to be a normal human. Kurosawa saves her from the Violator, who wanted to eat her heart. Instead of being grateful, she despises Kurosawa for his act, proclaiming he stole her dignity. She decides to try to battle him, but Violator explains that he knows karate as his main fighting skill. She flies off into the night, wanting a rematch when she has learned the martial art.
She reappears to help Kurosawa later in the series, from the clutches of a monstrous phlebiac. The two double-team to defeat the monster, where she disappears shortly thereafter.