by Brett White
Marvel Comics announced some big news today via the New York Times, and it could potentially have ramifications when the Marvel Cinematic Universe takes to the stars in 2014's "Guardians of the Galaxy." It was revealed that author Neil Gaiman will tip-toeing back into the Marvel Universe, and he'll be bringing a character he created for Image Comics with him. Gaiman's first Marvel Comic since 2007's "Eternals" #7 will be the final chapter of "Age of Ultron," the event mini-series currently tearing through the Marvel Universe. In the "Age of Ultron" finale, Gaiman will introduce Angela, previously a supporting character in Image Comics' "Spawn," to the Marvel Universe. She'll then make an appearance in "Guardians of the Galaxy" #5, an issue co-written by Neil Gaiman and the series' regular writer, Brian Michael Bendis.
Does this mean that Angela, an angelic bounter hunter for Heaven (yep, Heaven) will join the Guardians of the Galaxy? And if so, could she have already been worked into the 2014 film?
Joe Quesada, chief creative officer of Marvel Entertainment, told the New York Times that Angela's journey to Marvel has "been in the works for quite some time." He later added that the secret had been kept in house for a while. That means that even though we're just now finding out that Angela and Spider-Man will soon be neighbors, the people in charge of crafting "Guardians" may have been privy to that info with enough time to work her into the film. Even if that isn't the case, they're still far enough out from shooting to work in a post-credits cameo if fans take to the character.
Angela's introduction as a Marvel Comics character comes at the tail end of one of the longest and most confusing legal cases in comic book history, involving Neil Gaiman, Todd McFarlane and, tangentially, Alan Moore. The case's byzantine history was summed up by Pádraig Ó Méalóid in one of the most accessible and entertaining summations of the case. But the New York Times provides a nice overview, simply stating, "Angela’s path from Image to Marvel was fraught with lawsuits that began in 2002 regarding ownership of a handful of characters that appeared in a 1992 'Spawn' story written by Mr. Gaiman. A federal jury in 2002 found that Mr. Gaiman and Mr. McFarlane jointly held the copyright on several characters, including Angela."
As a bounty hunter from Heaven, Angela makes more sense among the aliens and otherworldly adventures in "Guardians of the Galaxy" than she does in "Avengers." Marvel seems to agree with this, judging by her upcoming appearance in the "Guardians" comic.
Do you think Angela could be headed to the big screen in a Marvel film? Let us know in the comments below or hit us up on Twitter!