Missed Todd McFarlane's New York Comic Con 2015 panel or simply couldn't go to the con? Truthful Comics' got your back!!! This video is almost an hour long and is the entire panel (except for a couple of minutes at the start that Todd was talking with fans in the front row). Enjoy!
Hello, everybody, and welcome to yet another instalment of "Let's Talk About....". Marvel Comics recently made a big reveal as part of their next major crossover, Original Sin. The text reads "Hell Hath no Fury like a Sister Scorned." Well, can hell have no fury like a creator scorned? Complicated is the life this girl of the moment has gone through, let's take a look.
In 1993, comic book giant Todd McFarlane, hot off a successful run at Marvel and selling millions of copies of his creator owned Spawn, decided to contract four big name writers to write an issue of Spawn each. The creators were Alan Moore, Dave Sim, Frank Miller, and Neil Gaiman. The latter wrote issue number nine of Spawn, that included three characters he co-created with McFarlane. Cogliostro, Medieval Spawn, and of course, Angela.
The characters were featured prominently in future McFalane projects. Cogliostro had a prominent role in the Spawn live action movie and Medieval Spawn was a big seller for his toy line, McFarlane Toys. But the breakout star from that trio was without a doubt Angela. She even spawned (no pun intended. OK, yeah, the pun was intended) a mini-series written by co-creator Neil Gaiman and pencilled by Greg Capullo, who had recently left Marvel and was recruited by McFarlane himself, having him as guest artist on a few issues of Spawn. It was all in the middle of the infamous "bad girl craze" of the nineties that saw characters as Lady Death become huge sellers.
What set Angela apart from other characters from the trend, however, was the fact of how unique and central she did become in the Spawn universe. She was not just fan service and eye-candy (though she had plenty of that as well), she was an angel that was a Spawn hunter, her task being killing any Spawn in an organization that sprawled over centuries doing that task. During the Gaiman penned mini-series, Spawn saves her and the begin a somewhat on and off again relationship until she was eventually killed of from the Spawn universe by one of the main villains, Malebogia. But the battle behind the scenes for this peculiar creation was bigger.
Allegedly upon creation, McFarlane had agreed that Gaiman had the rights to all three characters. But after the author's involvement, the artist continually used the characters in spin-offs, merchandise, and in other medias such as the aforementioned live-action movie and the hit HBO animated series. Trouble began when reprints containing Angela came out and no royalties were being paid to Gaiman. Later McFarlane claimed he was the 100% owner of Angela and the other two characters as well. So in 2002 Gaiman sued McFarlane for royalties owed and for the rights of the characters. It was a gruelling 10 year battle, that included a victory for Gaiman in terms of royalties earned, and finally ended in January of 2012. The two iconic creators resolved the dispute of the ownership of Angela with the terms undisclosed, but the rights of the character now belonged fully to Gaiman.
In 2013 Gaiman was set to return to Marvel Comics as a writer once more, but this time he wasn't alone. In March of 2013 the bombshell was dropped that Angela was now a part of the Marvel Universe at the end the company's crossover Age of Ultron. The surprise sent shock waves throughout the comics community. Fans were excited, fans were angry, and others were, well, confused. Marvel declined to comment at the time about the controversial news, but McFarlane did offer his thoughts.
"Neil Gaiman and I had a resolution in our legal dispute, and as part of that he ended up with the rights of Angela." "Whatever Neil chooses to do with something that he owns is at his complete and utter discretion."
"The health of the industry is based upon having good stories and good characters, and a wide customer base. If bringing some of these characters back to the fold in a meaningful way adds to that, then it just strengthens our industry."
"Good stories that entertain are something that we all should applaud on any level." "Whether we're doing it directly at Image Comics, or at our competition, it helps keep our industry that we love alive. I will sit back and be as interested as anyone else."- Todd McFarlane, source: Newsarama.
After an appearance in the new Guardian of the Galaxy series, now she finds herself in middle of another controversy: Angela has been announced to be Odin's daughter, making her Thor and Loki's sister.
Fan reaction has been more mixed that when Angela was first introduced into Marvel. Many are questioning Gaiman's decision to let Marvel handle the character, or if he did it just to put one over McFarlane, who has had a history of bad blood with his former home. Many wonder what will now become of Angela, a big part of the Spawn universe, and if she will now take a backseat as a mere secondary character to bigger names such as Thor the the popular Loki thanks in part to the live action Thor and Avengers movies.
The quality in the yearly mega-event Marvel has been doing for years now have been questionable at best, causing concern for fans of Angela, who now sports a design by Joe Quesada. How will all this play out? In the grand scheme of things, will it all make sense and make for a better story, or will this just be a money-grab attempt to squeeze money out of readers? At this point, everything is wait and see, but one thing is for certain, Angela sure knows how to still be the talk of the town. Thank you for reading.
-Alvaro "Lance Danger" Cortes Jr
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