ANGELA: ASGARD’S ASSASSIN #1 Nails the Potential – Comic Review
As a character, Angela is not new to me. Created by Neil Gaiman and Todd McFarlane, she was a character with much potential, but forced into hiatus because of legal battles between the creators. When I heard Angela is part of the Marvel Universe, I was both shocked and confused. Plenty has happened in the last 18 months for Angela, and you know what? I’m happy to see this tough-as-nails character not fall completely into obscurity.
Angela: Asgard’s Assassin #1 is a good introduction to Angela but doesn’t offer much more than that placing itself shy of greatness. The narration of the first few pages are great to read and lay down who, and what, is Angela. As the story progresses, exposition is handled well, action looks good, and the cliffhanger seems like a big deal but a questionable choice. Kerion Gillen (The Wicked + The Divine) is pretty much masterful at giving you exactly what’s needed to keep you reading: the building of main characters, their relationships to each other, and the slow unraveling of the situation Angela is in.
The Phil Jimenez, Tom Palmer, Romulo Fajardo combination is beautiful. Fajardo’s colors in particular really stand out. In particular, the goblin-like characters and horse-mounted enemies wouldn’t look nearly as good without his touch. Jimenez’s action sequences are great. Panel layouts result in an interesting and easy to read natural flow. However, some panels are drawn better than others. I also have to mention Stephanie Han. Her cover is fantastic and her fully-illustrated interiors (five pages) are perfect for the flashback sequence. Her colors have an angelic touch perfect for the book. Hans would be a perfect backup colorist for this series if Fajardo ever needed someone to fill in.
Angela is not a complex character as of yet. She likes what she likes and does it very well–being a hunter, a warrior. If one of the goals of this series is to give the character depth and flesh out the world she comes from, Marvel picked the right team. Gillen and Marguerite Bennett even make a point to develop some of the “traditions” or philosophies of the angels in this issue. It’s an appreciated detail and helps make Angela appear as despicable and admirable at the same time. This totally works for me and keeps me interested in the character. Though, it’s difficult to accept why Angela, an independent headstrong character, has put herself in a situation that would force a particular group of people to seek her out for revenge. Is Angela completely devoid of letting go of her angelic upbringing? It raises quite a few questions, and I have my theories I’ll save for another time.
When I think of the new Thor or Spider-Gwen, Angela could definitely stand on her own. If creators are willing to throw her into interesting situations outside of Asgard stuff and Guardians of the Galaxy territory, she could be more than a cosmic amazon riding Asgardian coattails for plot progression. I like to believe Gillen and Bennett have big plans for her. The creative team in general is top-notch. Kieron Gillen as the main writer is worth the price of entry alone. Jimenez’s pencils and Fajardo’s colors are icing on the cake, while the sprinkles would be Bennett’s contributions and those wonderful Stephanie Hans covers. Angela’s journey to become an Avenger may hold some promise down the line, while sibling rivalries and guest appearances will be a sure thing. Now that I think of it, I would totally be down if Angela and Gamora decide to do some bounty hunting together. I hope it happens.
Have you read Angela: Asgard’s Assassin? What did you think about the first issue?
Angela: Asgard’s Assassin #1
Published by Marvel Comics
Written by Kieron Gillen & Marguerite Bennett
Pencils by Phil Jimenez
Inks by Tom Palmer
Colors by Romulo Fajardo
Cover & Additional Interiors by Stephanie Hans