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Sunday, March 31, 2013 

What's the point of Neil Gaiman taking his Angela creation and adding her to the MCU?

It was recently announced that Neil Gaiman, who won back the rights to a character he created in Todd McFarlane's Spawn called Angela, is introducing her into Marvel via the Age of Ultron crossover (via Paste Magazine):
Preparing the way for Angela’s arrival has “been in the works for quite some time,” said Joe Quesada, chief creative officer of Marvel Entertainment. “We were looking for a good entry point to tease our fans and to let them know she was going to be a major player,” he said. “Age of Ultron,” an event storyline that involves many of Marvel’s top heroes, seemed like the perfect spot. With so many big stories spoiled by the media (with the willing cooperation of the comic book companies) lately, Axel Alonso, the editor in chief of Marvel Comics, insisted the revelation of Angela’s participation did not count as a spoiler. Her presence is a bonus, “like the post-credit scenes in one of our Marvel studio movies,” Mr. Alonso said. The character’s appearance in “Age of Ultron” is designed to whet the appetite of fans.
Which ones? The hardcore who'll buy the books no matter what, or everybody who lost interest because of the rising costs and falling story value? This Angela may be quite a babe, but that's still no guarantee the masses will come [back]. If it were in stand-alone story in one lone monthly title where she turned up, it might be worth it. But this is the age of publicity stunts and crossovers, so it's no good entry point at all.

The most baffling part is why Gaiman would go to all that trouble to sue McFarlane for rights to the character, and then, instead of making his own personal use of her in one of his very own books, he offers her to a bigger company to use, like anybody ever cared about Spawn-related items after all these years. Is he selling them the rights too? If that's what happens, it may be the first time Marvel ever did what DC did a few times in the past, buying the rights to properties like Fawcett and Charlton creations. Or maybe Gaiman's licensing the character to them, though that would probably complicate their ability to reprint Age of Ultron in trades without having to pay him royalties (at this point, I'm not sure they could do that easily), which is actually just as well. Whatever their reasons for doing this, it only makes clear this won't be accompanied by good storytelling.

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Frankly, I don't see the point of including her in the Marvel Universe. She'll probably wind up being killed off in the next major crossover, anyway. Given their track record, that would not surprise me at all.

It's like the 90s never ended at Marvel.

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