“Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Remember me to one who lives there
He once was a true love of mine
Tell him to make me a cambric shirt
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Without no seams nor needle work
Then he’ll be a true love of mine”
– Lyrics from Scraborough Fair
Angela belongs to a small group of characters which have crossed publishers and the legal fight between Neil Gaiman and Todd McFarlane which went on for years makes the character’s transition unique among that set of characters. However, this profile is based solely on Marvel Comics appearances.
Angela is revealed to be the first born child of Odin and Freyja; her birth name is Aldrif Odinsdottir. Millennia ago when the realms of Heven and Asgard battled, the Queen of Heven attempted to blackmail Odin into surrendering by kidnapping the baby girl. Odin refused and the Queen attempted to murder the baby as an act of spite. The Queen’s handmaiden, Loriel, discovered the infant was alive still and raised her in secresy. Presuming their child dead, Odin and Freyja went about the business of ruling Asgard but not without a major act of retribution. Odin used his powers to sunder the connections between the realm of Heven and the remaining Nine Realms and Yggdrasill.
The irony of Odin’s action is it kept any knowledge of their daughter hidden from them and so Loriel renamed the baby girl Angela. Angela was ridiculed as she grew up because she was physically different from other females. In Heven women are strong and make up the warrior class. They are also winged angels. Men are weak and wingless, and become priests, scribes, or similar positions. Her surrogate mother Loriel was a source of comfort in these situations until the woman mysteriously disappeared. Like many outsiders and people in minority communities, Angela worked even harder to fit into this society and became the Leader of the Hunt and was afforded the benefits, such as a private mansion, which accompany such a position. Even so, one suspects that due to Angela’s physical difference from other females in her society that she might be considered gender queer in that her body being wingless like the Anchorite males lies outside strict ideas of gender roles.
Angela’s outsider status may have made her empathetic to the plight of an Anchorite named Sera who also defied gender roles by defying tradition and fighting by Angela’s side when a great beast attacked the Anchorite temple complex. As repayment for the help, Angela helped Sera leave behind Heven and more importantly what had been life for Sera till then.
Angel or not, Angela is perhaps the fiercest fighter of all women who come from Heven with her strength matched by her determination. This is best shown in Marguerite Bennett’s solo writing effort in the Angela Queen of Hel series when Bennett sends Angela on a Hero’s Journey to Hel so that she can rescue Sera where Sera has been held captive thanks to the machinations of evil Makekith. As the title suggests, Angela travels to Hel and deposes its ruler Hela in order to win Sera’s freedom.
While Asgardian by nature, she has been at odds with her birth family after reuniting with them which has led to tense situations, distrust, and fighting, especially when Angela and Sera kidnaped Odin and Freyja’s infant daughter in an effort to cleanse the infant of the fire demon Surtur. The nurture of Heven meant that Angela grew to understand life through the process of bargaining and dealing and saw herself as a sort of celestial accountant focused on balancing ledgers. Even Sera’s gift of a flute was viewed in these terms, which was left unpaid when her lover disappeared. In Angela’s mind, this debt had to be repaid to balance the ledger, which worked out for Sera since this became Angela’s motivation for finding and rescuing Sera. She now considers herself to be a free agent and not tied to any of Heven’s influences.
As the series closed, Bennett wrote one last condensed adventure in Heven with Angela and Sera invading the realm and rallying the Anchorites to aid their fight against the Hierophant faction which was now in open rebellion to take over. Post victory, the couple affected a huge change in Heven by freeing the Anchorites and persuading the angels, albeit grudgingly at first, to accept the men.
Writers Kieron Gillen and Marguerite Bennett incorporated the centuries old ballad Scarborough Fair for its theme of accomplishing impossible acts to prove one’s love to another as a throughline in their stories by making it the first song Serah taught to Angela. “Nothing for nothing”. The notion that Angela and all of Heven’s angels are “celestial accountants” can be applied to Angela and Sera as a couple and how each of them has affected the other to make a well balanced couple.
Angela walks upon Bifrost, the Rainbow Bridge, which connect Asgard and Midgard.
Read Sera’s profile here.
Angela first appeared in Spawn #9. The character’s first appearance at Marvel is in Age of Ultron #10 (2013). There is not enough information to determine if Angela is lesbian, bisexual, or pansexual.
Angela created by Neil Gaiman and Todd McFarlane. Art by Stephanie Hans.
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