March 25, 2013
Neil Gaiman returns to Marvel
by Nick Davies
Neil Gaiman, who got his start writing comic books and made a name for himself with his acclaimed Sandman series of graphic novels, will return to his roots to work on two upcoming comics from Marvel, the first of which, Age of Ultron, will appear in June. It will be the last issue of that series, and George Gene Gustines reports for the New York Times’ Arts Beat blog that it will feature the character Angela, whom Gaiman helped create.
The Angela character (an angel, naturally) was actually the subject of a legal dispute for a decade. Gaiman created her along with illustrator Todd McFarlane for a Spawn comic; in 2002, a federal jury determined that Gaiman and McFarlane jointly owned the copyright to several characters, including Angela, but it wasn’t until 2012 that the two reached a confidential settlement regarding royalties over those characters.
After the conclusion of Age of Ultron, Angela will appear in Guardians of the Galaxy—a series featuring a team of alien superheroes whom I’ve previously discussed here—in a comic written by Gaiman and Brian Michael Bendis, whom Gustines describes as “one of Marvel’s most popular writers.” The Guardians are set to feature in a film in 2014, and Marvel editor-in-chief Alex Alonso says that putting two high-profile authors on their story is a conscious effort to spotlight the intergalactic team: “Marvel is really putting a huge concerted effort to show the cosmic universe and how it ties to the regular universe…It’s called the Marvel universe for a reason.”
And for those of you who can’t get enough Gaiman, a new installment in his beloved Sandman series is still due out from Marvel competitor DC Comics in the fall.
Nick Davies was a publicist at Melville House.