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Please note: This bio deals only with the version of the character as written by Neil Gaiman for his limited series 1602 and is not related to either the original or Ultimate versions of Angel. This version of Angel was confirmed gay in 1602 #6.

Angel first appears in issue #1 and is  seen suspended in the air with his arms and legs shackled. He is being held as a prisoner in the High Tower in the Palace of the Inquistion in Spain. He contemplates his fate, thinking back to the day before when the Inquisition burned a Jew for his faith and of a heretic dying while being tortured. His sin against God is being a Witchbreed (a mutant). His wings clearly mark him as such to the religious fanatics. We soon learn that the Grand Inquisitor (Magneto) will align himself with King James of Scotland, who has his eye on the English throne after Queen Elizabeth’s impending death. To seal the alliance, the Inquisitor proposes a scheme against the Witchbreed, led by Carlos Javier (Charles Xavier). The plot begins with burning the winged boy the next morning so he cannot join Javier’s band.

The next morning, guards bind Angel to a stake in the castle courtyard. As the fire is lit, two Witchbreed (counterparts to Cyclops and Iceman) break their disguises as monks to liberate the winged boy. Scotius (Cyclops) instructs him to fly to their ship waiting in the bay. The first issue ends with the Witchbreed ship sailing for English waters. Angel learns a little about his rescuers and is introduced to the red headed John Grey (Jean Grey) who serves as pilot (issue #1).

While Angel is seen among the Witchbreed at Javier’s estate, the next relevant scene takes place in issue #3. Early one morning John Grey is walking on the estate and finds Angel standing amongst the branches of a tree, admiring the early morning. He’s surprised and pleased when Grey levitates into the air so they can speak, finding a bit of a kindred spirit in the act. They share their hopes for the future in an intimate conversation until Scotius interrupts the pair to remind them of morning prayers.

In issue #5 the Witchbreed have become caught up in political intrigue, thanks to Sir Nicholas Fury, an agent of the Queen. They willingly surrender to Fury and leave Javier’s estate to be held in the Tower of London.  Scotius becomes angry again when Angel and Grey talk privately for a second time. They nearly come to blows, but are broken up by fellow Witchbreed McCoy (Beast). Javier proposes a plan to help Fury that at the same time will win freedom for him and his students. Javier offers to rescue the Fantasticks who are held captive by Otto Von Doom in Latveria in exchange for a safe haven for the Witchbreed. They all board a ship bound for Latveria that John Grey speeds along thanks to mental powers. (issue #5)

Angel enjoys momentary freedom soaring above the flying ship while also contemplating his situation and the nearing battle. Once back aboard the ship he finds Scotius is once again short-tempered with him. Puzzled, he asks Fury why Scotius hates him. Fury’s reply is that “[Scotius] is scared, and he’s jealous. He thinks she likes you, and that troubles him.” Angel is confused: “She? Who is she?” By saying so, he reveals that he had no idea John Grey was indeed a disguise girl named Jean. Fury is shocked at the implication of homosexual attraction.  At end of the issue (#6) the ship is within sight of Doom’s castle, and everyone prepares for battle.

During the battle Jean suffered greatly from the extreme stress and strain of her efforts to keep the ship aloft. Angel is concerned for her well being though he still does not realize that “John” is a disguise. He asks Scotius about “her” state. The strain of the matter is too much for Scotius and unequivocally shatters Angel’s illusion by declaring “Master Grey” to be “a joke that is no longer funny.” And then he confides, “Mistress Grey in unconscious. She is bleeding inside. Master Javier is attending her. He does not believe she will last the night.” Scotius is as nonplussed as Fury to learn of Angel’s belief in the disguise (issue #7).

Despite the death of Jean, the ship continues to its final destination: the colony of Roanoke in America, where the Witchbreed, Fury, and others may start life anew. There is a final, relevant conversation between Angel and Scotius after arriving in Roanoke. Scotius comes to apologize and make amends for his jealousy: “I thought you were in love with her. I was jealous of you and jealous of her…And all that time, you thought her a man. So I was a fool. A jealous, witless fool.” Angel replies from the heart; “I was truly deceived, and thought Jean Grey was a man. But I do believe I was in love with that young man.” With that revelation, Angel flies away to leave behind a truly dumbfounded Scotius.

1602 is a mini series that was written by Neil Gaiman and drawn by Andy Kubert. It ran for eight issues and was published in 2003 and 2004. Gaiman used some of Marvel’s original characters such as the X-Men, Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, and Dr. Strange and placed them in the England at the end of the Elizabethan Age and the beginning of it English exploration of America. It bears repeating: Angel as outlined here has no connection with the contemporary Marvel Angel of the 616 universe.

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