Thursday, November 6, 2014

Angela's Asses (Get it?)

So the cover for the new Marvel series Angela: Asgard's Assassin was revealed along with some teaser pages.

Let me begin by saying there have been some great leaps and bounds made by comics and by Marvel specifically in getting female-led superhero titles out there. The current runs of Ms Marvel, Captain Marvel, She-Hulk, Storm, and Black Widow, just to name a few, are by all accounts strong books with great stories. I haven't read all of them, but the ones I have read have been top-notch.

There are, on the horizon, a whole pile of titles coming next year that feature female leads as well. Spider-Gwen, Silk, and of course ANGELA: ASGARD'S ASSASIN.

I am happy that these books are out there and getting the attention they deserve. I've always had a tendency to like female heroes, and to see the direction that Marvel is going, well, I can't help but smile.

There was, of course the unfortunate alternate cover debacle for this month's Spiderwoman debut, but that doesn't mean the book won't be good. I feel like the fact that so many spoke out against it is a step in the right direction. The fans are not afraid to speak their mind, and it seems like the publishers are willing to take it to heart when they do.

That is why the new Angela title baffles me.

W--  Where are her pants?

Let's back up a bit.

I don't know Angela's origin as a character, except that she is an angel that was a foil for Image Comics's Spawn character. I do know that Image was founded in the 90's by a group of comics creators who thought comics were not EXTREME enough, and wanted to make the OMG MOST AWESUM COMICS EVAR, and that most of the original staple of SUPER EXTREME AWESUM X-men clones at Image are now gone. Image comics is now a place where creator-owned comics rule, and there are some fantastic titles in their current run. Back then, however, it was riddled with musclebound, foul-mouthed heroes and big chested, wasp-waisted spank-bank heroines. That is not to say that it was ALL bad, but there was a lot of bad. Even Marvel and DC were guilty of this at times.

Lobo doesn't count. He was satire.

Fast-forward to today, and the Angela character has somehow migrated over to Marvel. There is something to do with Neil Gaiman, who created Angela, taking his property from Image with him to Marvel, but I don't know, and I'm not going to find out because it's really not important. I guess someone somewhere liked Angela enough to want her integrated into Marvel continuity. I have no problem with that. I admittedly do not know the character at all, aside from her new Marvel persona's involvement with Thor (Spoiler: she's his long-lost sister or something).

The problem that I have is that it seems as though her costume has not changed since the OMG SO EXTREME 90s version.

Ok, she has fewer pouches.

I'm having a real problem with this decision. I mean, she came from another comics publisher altogether. Considering the way hero's costumes change over time within their own universes, I would think they could give Angela a little revamp. Look at what poor Psylocke used to look like:

I hope it's warm there...

And then look at Psylocke now:
How does she even move at all without her butt hanging out!?

Progress has been made, but why not for Angela? She's apparently supposed to be this angelic warrior with ribbon powers, I guess, but she's fighting people up close. With swords. She has this classic fantasy tropey armorkini along with big robust shoulder armor and gauntlets, and thigh-high armor boots. Then she has, like... a huge belt? That's all? Let's forget the possibility of accidentally cutting herself with her own sword, and imagine what area that her opponent would aim for in a fight. Probably the torso or face, right? I hope she doesn't have to fight any archers. At least her boobs will be safe.

It doesn't even bother me that she's as thin as a lingerie model. I prefer a little muscle on my warrior women, but that's not really the issue here. In a time when we're seeing less and less vacuum-sealed boob-women and bathing suit armor, how is Angela NOT getting some kind of revamped design?

They stare because she doesn't have any injuries at all.

Maybe she's nigh-invulnerable, and has no need for armor. I'm not sure. Still, being an angel, you would think she'd have some sense of practicality if not modesty.

She looks like a badass, and could even be a great character, but I can't get past that costume. It's ridiculous and outdated, and is basically the reason that I won't be reading Angela: Asgard's Assassin when it debuts this winter.

Bring on Spider-Gwen!

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