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SDCC 2014 Interview: Kieron Gillen and Marguerite Bennett on ANGELA: ASGARD'S ASSASSIN

Now that Angela's backstory has been fleshed out, it's time for her to get her own series.

This November, Angela the warrior is getting her own series. We saw her debut in the pages of SPAWN, courtesy of Neil Gaiman. As a result of AGE OF ULTRON, she found herself in the Marvel 616 universe. Then in the ORIGINAL SIN miniseries, THOR & LOKI: THE TENTH REALM, we discovered that Angela is actually Thor's sister.

Even though we've seen her in the pages of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, with this new revelation, what's next for Angela? She's getting her own series, written by Kieron Gillen and Marguerite Bennett. What's up with the title of being an assassin? We asked both writers some questions to find out more.

COMICVINE: What's it like to be involved fleshing out a character created by Neil Gaiman?

KIERON GILLEN: Pleasing. It's the odd sensation in working in mainstream comics is touching on characters who were invented by people who were part of your way into comics. I mean, I felt similarly dancing with Marvel Boy or Abigail Brand. It's an interesting sensation ... but it's not really about Gaiman. It's about the character. What's there? What can be done with them? How can you make them sing? It's about making the character yours for as long as you write them.

MARGUERITE BENNETT: Intimidating. Neil Gaiman was a huge part of my childhood and youth—I read SANDMAN when I was thirteen or fourteen, and American Gods was my favorite novel in high school. I felt some trepidation that Angela’s notoriety, in some ways, might’ve eclipsed her potential for a lot of people. But I agree with everything Kieron said. I’m so excited we’ll have the chance to bring her to you, in her new glory.

CV: Will it be an ongoing struggle to get over her hatred of Asgard and to accept her true heritage?

KG: Angela is nothing but an ongoing struggle. She's very much the Ronin at the start of the book. No-one really wants her and she doesn't really want anyone. But she still owes people, and Angela pays her debts in a way that would frighten even the Lannisters.

MB: She’s the balancing of the scales. Debt is life, to her. Balance is life. She delivers, perfectly, what is contracted and what is deserved—no room for judgment, no room for revenge, no room for mercy. She has so often been impersonal, a force of nature, but her struggle will reveal who she is an individual. Hurricanes and floods happen equally; people must choose.

CV: Will this series focus solely on Angela or will we see members of the Guardians of the Galaxy?

KG: The first arc takes us all over the Marvel Universe. We want to define the character, and the best way to do that is to show her in all the contexts that she operates. So here's Angela deep in the Nine Worlds. Here's Angela dealing with the wonder of Earth. Here's Angela dealing with her old team-mates, and first experience of this universe...

I don't want to say who'll be in it. But if you think they should be in it, they'll probably be in there.

MB: Whether they want to be or not, haha.

CV: Will she spend any time on Asgard or keep her distance?

KG: She certainly visits Asgard. Ahem.

MB: Loose lips sink helicarriers.

CV: What's with "Assassin" in the title? Who will Angela be assassinating?

KG: The easy one-line description of the book is “Asgardian Black Widow.” We could go as easily with “Asgardian Winter Soldier.” She's had a history of this. She's done this. She's someone who believes in the concept of “red in your ledger” in a literal religious fashion. The question of what would make her do it ever again is at the heart of the book, and why the hell she was doing it anyway.

MB: She’s her own worst enemy, in a lot of ways. Her ideology has allowed her escape certain responsibilities while also shackling her to put her code above her own desires. Her choices will only get harder.

CV: Can you tell us if the new Thor will appear at all? Regular Thor (former Thor, not sure what we're calling him now).

KG: I suspect we'll see the Odinson. It would make sense.

MB: You’ll also see a new character who is integral to Angela’s past, a character who is as lively and wily as Angela is formidable and daunting. The book is going to be fast, fierce, and fun, while exploring the meaning a person like Angela has to herself and to the MU. It’s gonna be so cool, you guys.

Make sure you check out ANGELA: ASGARD'S ASSASSIN when it debuts in November, 2014. Joining Gillen and Bennett is Phil Jimenez as the lead artist. Stephanie Hans will be doing a short story in each issue as well.

46 Comments
Posted by MannEffest

YES!!!

Posted by asjmooney

Bought!

Posted by Edstone1

Now bring Tod and Spawn over too!

Online
Posted by Perfect 10

ooh angela ongoing coming in november? AND phil jimenez (my favorite artist) is drawing it? thanks for the birthday present marvel. going to be awesome. curious as to why angela is still dressing like the angels since she is going find out she isnt one. im fine with her look, i love it but it only makes sense for her to get a new asgardian themed outfit. why continue to wear the colors of her kidnappers and enemies? hopefully this will be explained and not ignored

Posted by Fallschirmjager

Kieron is an excellent writer. Not interesting in the title but he will be awesome for those who are.

Edited by dreamfall31

This has me interested! So many damn books I want though! Hopefully it'll be something like Journey into Mystery was when Sif was the lead in it!

Posted by MarcosVergara14

I love Angela but Kieron Gillen as a writter is a downer for me hated his Youn Avengers run (it was really Style>Substance) he dragged along the story arc with the mother, and not a big fan of the retcon on his Iron Man run. I will wait to see the reviews if it's good i'll pick it up

Posted by SpitfirePanda

I think I'll check this out. I'm a little disappointed that she isn't the new Thor, since it would make sense and be fitting that the new Thor be a child of Odin. Still, this sounds like an interesting title.

Edited by Jonny_Anonymous

I love Angela but Kieron Gillen as a writter is a downer for me hated his Youn Avengers run (it was really Style>Substance) he dragged along the story arc with the mother, and not a big fan of the retcon on his Iron Man run. I will wait to see the reviews if it's good i'll pick it up

You need to read Journey into Mystery to realize why he's perfect for any book connected to Asgard.

Now see, this book is infinitely more interesting than new Fem-Thor.

Posted by lagozzino

" What's it like to be involved fleshing out a character created by Neil Gaiman?"

And here we see the only reason why Marvel bought Angela off Gaiman instead creating their own character; Now every new creative team gets to spend a sizable chunk of their interviews namedropping Gaiman and The Sandman :P

Posted by Catriona_Knightfall

I'm super excited for this book

Posted by GraniteSoldier

I probably won't get it, but I loved Angela back in the pages of Spawn so this is pretty cool.

Also, this means she won't be the new Thor, so that's good. She gets to be her own character instead of trying to live up to being someone else's.

Posted by ivar17

@jonny_anonymous: very very interesting, maybe i not over with marvel after all...

Asgard assassin with the Odinson apering, definitely picking it...

Random Chick with the Hammer please stay away of this book...

Posted by ivar17

@granitesoldier: you nailed it (She gets to be her own character instead of trying to live up to being someone else's), and would make more sense if she was the female Thor, i probably give it a pass, for the recent events in the tenth realm, and she is Asgardian.

Posted by dondave

Kieron is an excellent writer. Not interesting in the title but he will be awesome for those who are.

Posted by fsfaith
Posted by Spulk

I am not a fan of Kieron Gillen's work(Young Avengers,Uncanny X-men,Iron Man-neither of them my favorites when he wrote them)but I think sci-fi fits better in him so.....

Of course Angela she wouldn't be the new Thor because in the promo teaser she can't be in two places at once....I think new Thor will be either Jane Foster or Thor's granddauther(forgot her name right now...The blonde one of the three...)

Posted by ivar17

@spulk: Can You or someone else explain How it works Jane Foster as new female Thor.

Will Mjolnir give Jane Foster Strength, Speed, Durability stamina etc????

But what about the Fighting Skills ?, She is not a Warrior, she doesn't have battle experience, she knows what valhalla means???

Can she go into space??? Without Properly equipment like Asgardians???

This Female Thor is Crap either ways, but if she is not Asgardian, is an insult to Thor Fans, and what the character stands for...

Posted by micah

I probably won't get it, but I loved Angela back in the pages of Spawn so this is pretty cool.

Also, this means she won't be the new Thor, so that's good. She gets to be her own character instead of trying to live up to being someone else's.

Now her series just has to survive past 10 issues. And I'm serious when I say that.

Posted by Maddpanda531

@ivar17 said:

@spulk: Can You or someone else explain How it works Jane Foster as new female Thor.

Will Mjolnir give Jane Foster Strength, Speed, Durability stamina etc????

But what about the Fighting Skills ?, She is not a Warrior, she doesn't have battle experience, she knows what valhalla means???

Can she go into space??? Without Properly equipment like Asgardians???

This Female Thor is Crap either ways, but if she is not Asgardian, is an insult to Thor Fans, and what the character stands for...

It worked for Eric Masterson.

Posted by Maddpanda531

@micah said:

@granitesoldier said:

I probably won't get it, but I loved Angela back in the pages of Spawn so this is pretty cool.

Also, this means she won't be the new Thor, so that's good. She gets to be her own character instead of trying to live up to being someone else's.

Now her series just has to survive past 10 issues. And I'm serious when I say that.

I hate that this is a legitimate concern with Marvel Comics. I'd really like to see more series last longer.

Edited by micah

@maddpanda531 said:

@micah said:

@granitesoldier said:

I probably won't get it, but I loved Angela back in the pages of Spawn so this is pretty cool.

Also, this means she won't be the new Thor, so that's good. She gets to be her own character instead of trying to live up to being someone else's.

Now her series just has to survive past 10 issues. And I'm serious when I say that.

I hate that this is a legitimate concern with Marvel Comics. I'd really like to see more series last longer.

I know, it happens to both companies. OMAC lasted a dismal 8 issues, Justice League of America lasted 14 issues, and at the start of the New 52 most of the Wildstorm series that launched with it fell 2-3 months afterwards. Fearless Defenders ended too soon, and Ultimate FF only had 6 issues. I don't mean to sound pessimistic but its just that I've come to accept the fact that ongoings with lesser knows don't last long. That's why we end up with 12 different Batman books LOL.

Posted by ivar17

@maddpanda531: wasn't that Odin`s work? Different premiss from worthy Thor and random chick picks the Hammer?

Edited by Maddpanda531

@micah said:

@maddpanda531 said:

@micah said:

@granitesoldier said:

I probably won't get it, but I loved Angela back in the pages of Spawn so this is pretty cool.

Also, this means she won't be the new Thor, so that's good. She gets to be her own character instead of trying to live up to being someone else's.

Now her series just has to survive past 10 issues. And I'm serious when I say that.

I hate that this is a legitimate concern with Marvel Comics. I'd really like to see more series last longer.

I know, it happens to both companies. OMAC lasted a dismal 8 issues, Justice League of America lasted 14 issues, and at the start of the New 52 most of the Wildstorm series that launched with it fell 2-3 months afterwards. Fearless Defenders ended too soon, and Ultimate FF only had 6 issues. I don't mean to sound pessimistic but its just that I've come to accept the fact that ongoings with lesser knows don't last long. That's why we end up with 12 different Batman books LOL.

I know exactly what you mean. It's terrible. My favorite series in recent years (Avengers A.I.) was cancelled after 12 issues. It's like "No big name character in the title? I'll give it one year." We lose all these great series with tons of potential simply because they aren't recognizable enough to sell.

Edited by Jake Fury

Gillen should do really well with this.

Edited by micah

@maddpanda531 said:

@micah said:

@maddpanda531 said:

@micah said:

@granitesoldier said:

I probably won't get it, but I loved Angela back in the pages of Spawn so this is pretty cool.

Also, this means she won't be the new Thor, so that's good. She gets to be her own character instead of trying to live up to being someone else's.

Now her series just has to survive past 10 issues. And I'm serious when I say that.

I hate that this is a legitimate concern with Marvel Comics. I'd really like to see more series last longer.

I know, it happens to both companies. OMAC lasted a dismal 8 issues, Justice League of America lasted 14 issues, and at the start of the New 52 most of the Wildstorm series that launched with it fell 2-3 months afterwards. Fearless Defenders ended too soon, and Ultimate FF only had 6 issues. I don't mean to sound pessimistic but its just that I've come to accept the fact that ongoings with lesser knows don't last long. That's why we end up with 12 different Batman books LOL.

I know exactly what you mean. It's terrible. My favorite series in recent years (Avengers A.I.) was cancelled after 12 issues. It's like "No big name character in the title? I'll give it one year." We lose all these great series with tons of potential simply because they aren't recognizable enough to sell.

Exactly. I've read some non-mainstream books that you could argue have better quality content that the mainstream ones. But it just goes to show you the greatest superpower is popularity. Ultimate FF was just starting to pick up and find its footing. But alas we'll never know what else Failkov had planned. And Avengers A.I was a great series.

Posted by Maddpanda531

@ivar17 said:

@maddpanda531: wasn't that Odin`s work? Different premiss from worthy Thor and random chick picks the Hammer?

"Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor."

It's literally engraved on the hammer itself. Anyone deemed worthy can use Mjolnir and the powers that come with it. Eric Masterson, Beta Ray Bill, and even a frog all stand as examples. I don't see why this would be any different.

Posted by G_leno

Love Angela, I'll be getting this for sure. I hope they give her a new skimpier outfit and and have her smite some evildooers!

Posted by ivar17

@maddpanda531: You don't get it, Beta R B was already powerful before he had mjolnir, Eric Masterson was Odin work (Thor's form and powers after the original is sealed in Eric's mind)

(Anyone deemed worthy can use Mjolnir and the powers that come with it).

Also Fighting Skills ?

Posted by sagejonathan

I will probably be picking this up. Aside from Iron Man, Gillen is an awesome writer so I'm excited.

Edited by Lordhuck
Posted by ivar17

@lordhuck: We all know the power of mjolnir, my point is that Thor has birth powers (Asgardian) that mjolnir, will not give to who ever picks it.

Or if a human picks mjolnir becomes Asgardian?

Posted by Maddpanda531

@ivar17 said:

@maddpanda531: You don't get it, Beta R B was already powerful before he had mjolnir, Eric Masterson was Odin work (Thor's form and powers after the original is sealed in Eric's mind)

(Anyone deemed worthy can use Mjolnir and the powers that come with it).

Also Fighting Skills ?

No, I don't think you get it. If you wield Mjolnir, you have the powers of Thor. It's not hard to understand. What exactly said "powers" entail is left entirely up to the discretion of the writer. You're over complicating something simple and arguing for the sheer sake of arguing. Who ever the new Thor is, regardless of whether you like it or not, will have the powers of Thor and will likely be given a boost in all of your aforementioned criteria.

Posted by COBRAMORPH

Worst idea shoe-horning Angela into Asgard. Just makes her a second-fiddle to Thor. Keeping her as a Angel based on bible-myths would make her EQUAL to Thor & Herc.

Exellent job there Disney-Marvel. House of Ideas does NOT mean all ideas are good.

Edited by Ms-Lola

November is so far away. This book is almost enough for me to wish summer goes by quickly.

@ivar17 said:

@spulk: Can You or someone else explain How it works Jane Foster as new female Thor.

Will Mjolnir give Jane Foster Strength, Speed, Durability stamina etc????

But what about the Fighting Skills ?, She is not a Warrior, she doesn't have battle experience, she knows what valhalla means???

Can she go into space??? Without Properly equipment like Asgardians???

This Female Thor is Crap either ways, but if she is not Asgardian, is an insult to Thor Fans, and what the character stands for...

It's happened already in a '70's What If? issue:

Gillen should do really well with this.

Exactly what I think, too.

Edited by ivar17

@ms-lola: @maddpanda531:

Yeah the reason is on your side, understand your point.

I see Thor different from you guys, you only see a marvel character, who marvel can do what the want with it, (its True), and I would like to keep the core essentials elements of the Norse mythology, because the character was created there, not by marvel.

But i have a simple solution stop reading it....

Posted by Jake Fury

@ms-lola: :)

Posted by Winter_Kills

@marcosvergara14 said:

I love Angela but Kieron Gillen as a writter is a downer for me hated his Youn Avengers run (it was really Style>Substance) he dragged along the story arc with the mother, and not a big fan of the retcon on his Iron Man run. I will wait to see the reviews if it's good i'll pick it up

You need to read Journey into Mystery to realize why he's perfect for any book connected to Asgard.

Now see, this book is infinitely more interesting than new Fem-Thor.

Agreed. And his all-too brief Thor run as well was kick-ass. Latverian Prometheus, fighting the Doom-Destroyer, Thor fighting his way through Hell? The Disir? Awesome, underrated stuff. He wrote Thor like it was a heavy metal album, which is a great thing. And you're right- Gillen proved his skill at writing everything Asgardian with JIM. I HIGHLY recommend it to fans of Loki, anything Asgard, or mythological stories.

I totally agree- this book looks more interesting on infinite levels than the new Fem-Thor- which kinda sucks, Thor should be leader of the pack. But hopefully the wheel will turn around again. Still, book looks awesome. Gillen+Angela+Asgard=epic. Count me in. At least I'll get my Asgardian fix from somewhere while Thor is on the downward spiral, at least for the time being.

Online
Posted by Spulk

@ivar17: Eric Masterson wasn't a warrior either...But he became a perfect Thor/Thunderstrike hero....Let's not judge before we read the stories.I know you are a huge THOR fan and I would said the same if Marvel changes Hulk with someone else...But I like what Jason Aaron doing with the title and I have faith...

Posted by Antihero_Jaymok

I'm calling it right now: new "Thor" crosses Angela, and while "Thor" has all the powers of Thor, but none of his skill, Angela hands Thor her behind and says, "Power is nothing, without the skill to weild it!"

Posted by The Impersonator

Nice. Angelina Jolie is getting her own series.

Posted by ivar17

@spulk: I respect that who knows him only from marvel comics thinks he like other Marvel Characters (Hulk, Spider-Man) but Thor Mythology was created 1000 years before Marvel he is not like other Marvel characters.

The first time that i heard is story wasn't from a comic book, his Mythology is an important part of Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, history, when Marvel (Stan and Kirby) pick him from Norse Mythology and turn him into a Superhero with 90% of the core essentials elements of the Mythology story. i love it, now that Marvel is changing that core essentials elements, i think is a joke and a offense to Scandinavian Myths, and history itself...

Posted by Spulk

@ivar17: I agree with what you said from one part but from the other since Thor became also a part of Marvel modern mythology don't expect to follow the ancient books exactly chapter by chapter....I remember they said the same when Eric Masterson took Thor's place..And then he became part of Thor's mythos....I repeat again I HAVE FAITH IN JASON AARON!!!!I don't judge before I read the new title...If I will not be satisfied be sure(with all the other Thor fans)I will be the first to shout loud....

Posted by ivar17

@spulk: Understanding that Marvel can not follow the ancient books (Eddas) exactly chapter by chapter, because that's boring and not creative, and that i like female lead like Sif, i certainly will read all the issues in this new Angela run, character that we all know is Asgardian only in Marvel, and knowing Angela origins from image comics that's creative.

Jason Aaron was making history on his run on Thor, for me its only behind Dan Jurgens Run.

But as you mentioned and makes some sense judging by Thor God of Thunder last issue, if the new Thor Female is Jane its very very hard for me to call Thor to a character who doesn't know what Valhalla represents, but as Thor fan with low expectations I will read the first issue.

Posted by Spulk

@ivar17: I dare to say that Jason Aaron is a combination of Jurgens and Simonson altogether.He already also followed the path that Stan and Jack walked many years before.

I think also the new Thor will be Thor's granddaughter from the future....