I would have never guessed I would be so excited about an Angela action figure in 2017. Way back in 1993 I was up to my neck in all the new Image Comics titles. I loved them all, but I'll admit my least favorite was Spawn. I was very artist-focused and although McFarlane beat them all in terms of excessive details, flowing capes and flying chains, I really didn't like the way he drew faces. I still read Spawn for the first few years though and was eagerly awaiting the first appearance of Angela (who I think I saw teased in Wizard). She was created by McFarlane and Neil Gaiman. I was pretty young for Gaiman at the time and I was convinced reading Sandman would make me turn evil. But the issue finally came along and I was really disappointed. I loved the concept of her character, but her design was the epitome of everything I disliked about 90's heroines: domino mask eyepaint, "armor" with all the soft bits exposed, oversized weapons, and gravity-defying hair. I would have written her off as another tragic blip
in a very odd decade of comics. But clearly Gaiman saw her potential. There was a ten year legal dispute between McFarlane and Gaiman over the ownership rights of three co-created Spawn characters. The most notable result of the dispute was total ownership of Angela being awarded to Gaiman. It didn't take long for word to hit that he sold her rights to Marvel. She first appeared at the end of 2013's Age of Ultron storyline - and then I finally got the appeal. It's funny because her character is essentially the same. Everything is just tweaked slightly. And it doesn't hurt that most of her re-introduction appearances were drawn by the amazing Sara Pichelli. Everything she touches is gold, and it's interesting to see a female perspective on a costume born out of 1990's titillation extremes.
For the uninitiated, Angela was originally introduced as a bounty hunter from Heaven sent to kill Spawn (who had returned from Hell). In her Marvel incarnation, she is from the realm of Heven (presumably a counterpart to the Asgardian Hel) and was intercepted by the Guardians of the Galaxy as she stormed towards Earth in a rage. She was soon revealed to be Aldrif, the long-lost sister of Thor who was thought to be dead since she was an infant. So, essentially, she is the She-Ra of the Marvel Universe.
Angela comes with two awesome blades, a longsword, and the Right Leg of Titus.
True story; I got major judgement from the cashier at Target when I was buying this figure. I realize that at first glance, Angela looks like an intergalactic prostitute in the eyes of the elderly, but I got the full on bifocals slid down the nose, eyes on Angela, eyes on me, eyes on Angela, eyes on me... and then a silent checkout. She didn't even ask me if I would like to save 5% with a RedCard! It was very awkward. And of course I immediately had to message my only real-life collector friend to laugh about it.
All the pictures above are from the new Marvel version of Angela. And below are several pictures of the original Image version. Note how almost all the same costume elements are still present, but somehow the overall impact is very different.
Time for a Comparison Pic!