Remember that time when DC spoiled the outcome of Batman Incorporated #8 two days early? Today Marvel fired the latest shot in their eternal war of one-upmanship. They've partnered with the New York Times and revealed the big twist in the final issue of Age of Ultron that Brian Michael Bendis first teased several months ago. That's despite the fact that Age of Ultron #10 won't be shipping until June.
As expected, the twist involves the debut of an unexpected guest star in the Marvel Universe. Initially, the general assumption was that Marvel would be relying on Age of Ultron as a means of finally introducing Marvelman into the Marvel Universe, some four years after first announcing they had acquired the rights to the character. Others even speculated that the character featured on the cover to Age of Ultron #10.AI was Wally West, and that Marvel had somehow convinced DC to lend them a speedster. Hey, it's not like they're doing anything with Wally these days.
But the actual identity of the mystery character is one we can't imagine many readers guessed. Age of Ultron #10 will introduce the angelic warrior Angela into the Marvel Universe. Angela was created by writer Neil Gaiman and artist Todd McFarlane. She first debuted as an antagonist to Spawn in the pages of Spawn #9. Though she quickly developed a following, Angela eventually disappeared from the spotlight because of legal disputes between Gaiman and McFarlane. Essentially, Gaiman claimed creative ownership of Angela and other characters he created during his brief stint on Spawn, while McFarlane asserted that those comics had been written on a work-for-hire basis. Those legal disputes were finally sorted out recently, paving the way for Angela to appear wherever Gaiman wishes her to. And thus, she's making the jump from the Image Universe to the Marvel Universe.
Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada told the New York Times that Angela's return has been in the works for a long time. “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.” As revealed last week, Quesada will be illustrating the sequence in Age of Ultron #10 that first introduces Angela. However, those annoyed at Marvel spoiling this plot development so soon can rest easy knowing that her appearance is not a significant part of the climax of Age of Ultron. Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso compared her appearance to the post-credits sequences in the various Marvel Studios movies. Hopefully the finale issue will still have its fair share of surprises.
Bendis had previously teased that Guardians of the Galaxy would be significantly impacted by the fallout of Age of Ultron in its second story arc. That's because Angela will be joining the team beginning in July's issue #5. Perhaps even more significantly, Gaiman himself will begin co-writing the series alongside Bendis from that point. Between this and the upcoming Sandman Zero mini-series, Gaiman is returning to mainstream comics in a big way.
Of course, we have to wonder if all of this is still somehow building towards the eventual debut of Marvelman. Gaiman was writing the series for Eclipse Comics until the publisher folded and Marvelman's own legal troubles emerged. Is it possible that Gaiman has been tapped to continue that long dormant storyline or pen a new version of Marvelman at Marvel? We'll keep you updated on Angela's Marvel debut and the state of Marvelman as Marvel reveals more information.
*Thank you to IGN for this news, and article, This whole post was featured on IGN, and written by Jesse.