Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Angela: Asgard's Assassin #2

Divine family disbutes, mood setting and oddly placed exposition make up this issue. Make sure an angel never picks up your ball kids.

Writer: Marguerite Bennet & Kieron Gillen
Artist: Stephanie Hans & Phil Jimenez
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Summary: Having kidnapped her little sister, who also happens to be the new born child of Odin and Freya, Angela is on the run from a who's who of pissed off asgardians who want to beat her face into the ground. Together with her friend Sera they flee all across creation and they'll beat up anybody who tries to stop them.

My thoughts: This comic is really trying to tell two stories for the price of one. And while both are fun or interesting I'm not sure that method used to tell them is the best way to do it.

The story that propells the narrative forward is Angela stealing Odin and Freya's new baby girl and the consequences of that action. It's a fun little story, the kind where pretty much everybody is showing off their worst side, for understandable reasons, and you just want to see everybody get smacked. There's also the why of Angela's action. It's still not known why she's taken the baby but she doesn't seem to hold any actual ill will towards the girl and isn't cruel. The action itself is horrible and exceedingly rude. But there's enough mystery in it for me to be intrigued and with these kinds of characters you should expect everybody to be a grand standing asshole, more or less.

The other story contained in this book concerns what Angela's been doing all these years that she's been missing. For those that don't know, Angela is a character that originally created by Neil Gaiman and Todd MacFarlane for comics produced by Image comics. They've been locked in a legal battle over who owns the right to the character and, to make a long story short, Gaiman won that battle a few years ago and brought Angela with him to Marvel. In the Marvel universe she's been introduced as the long lost sister of Thor and Loki who's been raised by angels that kidnapped her when she was young. So this portion of her book is dedicated to building her back story, where's been and what she's been doing and everything that's made her into what she is today.

There's lots of interesting stuff in that story for sure. Especially concerning the general outlook on life that has been instilled upon Angela during her time with the angels. In the Marvel Universe angels are dealmakers, they don't do anything without expecting something in return. If they save your life they more or less own you until some other deal has been made, at least according to their customs and they won't just step into a crisis to help you out. You have to haggle with them first. They have strict rules and ideas how things should be and Angela keeps to those rules and the angels' way of life. It's a different kind of character for the Marvel universe and I do look forward to her ways clashing with those of other heroes.

The problem this comic has is how this back story is presented. As Angela and her friend are escaping their asgardian pursuers they've taken a break in Central park and a little girl dropps her ball in front of them. Angela picks it up and ask for something in exchange. When the girl understandably gets huffy Sera launches into the five page long triade of how awesome Angela is because she keeps to the angel ways as well as giving the girl, and the readers, a five page long explanation about said angel ways. It kinda stops the story dead and it's an overall kinda awkward way to present this epic back story. I was actually annoyed with it at first, thinking that they should give the ball back and not be assholes.

So we've got two fun and interesting stories that actually fullfilling their purpose of integrating Angela into the Marvel universe. But the story telling method for the second story is still really freaking awkward.

Grade: Solid - 3

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