Warren Worthington III first appeared in Marvel comics as Angel in September, 1963 as one of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's comic book creations. Worthington was given a set of wings, the ability to fly and a Mutant X gene by his creators -- and unlike an Angel, Worthington's early appearances depicted him as a self-absorbed, arrogant playboy. However, this identity would not stick. The handsome, billionaire and heir to Worthington Industries wouldn't be an Angel forever.
When the 1980's rolled around and Marvel released X-FACTOR in 1984, Worthington would make an appearance in the book as a far darker, more brooding character than his original incarnation. After enduring an injury to his wings by the Marauders, Angel's adversary Cameron Hodge agrees to amputate them, ultimately hurling Angel into suicidal depression.
In issue #24 of X-Factor first published in January of 1988, Worthington made his very first appearance as his possessed alter-ego Archangel after he is rescued by Apocalypse and given a deal -- he would be given his wings back on the condition that he submit to being one of Apocalypse's Horsemen. Thus marked the beginning of Worthington's battle with good and bad, darkness and light -- and if you read UNCANNY X-FORCE, you know this battle does not end well.== TEASER ==
If you ask us, Uncanny X-Force was by far one of Marvel's most exciting and interesting series to be published by the "House of Ideas" in the last year. In fact, we have found that we can't say enough good things about it. The story not only managed to draw from the X-Men's rich history and one of their most riveting story-arcs, (Age of Apocalypse); it also contained an incredible amount of character development.
Of all the characters to get some TLC, Warren Worthington endured the most amount of development. Many of the scenes we saw in the first issue portrayed him working alongside Psylocke in an effort to contain his "dark side," something he has been struggling with since Worthington went under Apocalypse's control all those years ago. Throughout the entire series Worthington struggles with his dark side until it becomes to much for him, and unbeknownst even to himself, he falls prey to Apocalypse.
Even before the Dark Angel Saga story arc, Warren was gradually losing all control of his sanity and slowly succumbing to the darkness of Apocalypse. By the end, Warren had played the role of both leader and adversary to X-Force, and his split personality and inability to control his dark side made him a force to be reckoned with -- and he was. This story brought Warren to the forefront as a character, making him interesting and exciting -- something we hadn't seen in a long time.
In the final issue of X-Force, Archangel appears to have been killed with the Life Seed by his lover, Psylocke, who had at last found the strength in herself to terminate him. But what really happened? Is the Angel we knew really gone? Is he truly dead?
The end of Uncanny X-Force #18 and the throughout Uncanny X-Force #19 we see the re-birth of Angel, but it is not the Angel we knew previously. No longer does Angel have any recollection of who he is, where he came from. Over 35 years of character history lost to him. The love affair with Betsy, the destruction of his wings, the succumbing to Apocalypse, his role as one of the original X-Men -- all of this gone. In it's place is purity, like an Angel and his love of "all living things."
Yet, it is hard to believe that Angel, as we knew him, is truly gone when we have seen so much of this before. This would not be the first time that Angel has "left." Following Decimation, Angel took an extended leave of absence and instead of helping mutants fight the good fight, he withdrew and began doing charity work overseas. This isn't the first time we have seen Warren fluctuate from being Angel to Archangel either. Aside from when this first occurred during the 1980's, Warren has since struggled with the metal wings inside of him since his appearance in volume 3 of X-Force.
So is this really the end of the Archangel persona? After spending so much time developing his character, it's hard to believe that this is the last we have seen of Archangel's persona; and we wouldn't be surprised if he somehow found a way to return. What do you think is next for Warren? Do you think this is the last we have seen of Archangel, or do you feel he will return with a vengeance? What about the new Angel? Do you think he is as pure as he appears to be? Like Fantomex said, do you think Warren's chapter is really over? What would you like to see happen?