Story splash from Sub-Mariner Comics #1
Art by Paul Gustavson

The Angel (Thomas Halloway) is a fictional character, superhero in comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by writer-artist Paul Gustavson during the period comics fans and historians call the Golden Age of comic books, the Angel first appeared in Marvel Comics #1 (Oct. 1939), the first publication of Marvel predecessor Timely Comics.

The Angel, like Batman, is a non-superpowered detective who nonetheless wore a superhero costume. Gustavson cited Leslie Charteris' pulp-novel detective, Simon Templar, the "Saint," as a model for the Angel.Template:Fact

Publication history[edit | edit source]

The Angel was the next-most-popular Timely character after the "big three" of the Human Torch, the Sub-Mariner and Captain America, with more than 100 Golden Age appearances — starting in that initial Marvel title (which changed its name to Marvel Mystery Comics with issue #2), up through #79 (Dec. 1946); as the sole backup feature in Sub-Mariner Comics #1-21 (Spring 1941 - Fall 1946); and in occasional appearances in Mystic Comics and Daring Comics.

A simulacrum of the Angel was temporarily created from the mind of Rick Jones, along with those of the Blazing Skull, the Fin, the Patriot, and the Golden Age Vision, to aid the superhero team the Avengers during the Kree-Skrull War, in The Avengers vol. 1, #97 (March 1972).

The Angel is one of the central characters of the upcoming comic The Marvels Project by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting

Fictional character biography[edit | edit source]

A costumed detective with no superpowers, the Angel is among the few such heroes to wear no mask, and in his Golden Age appearances makes no effort to conceal his identity as independently wealthy Thomas Halloway, a former surgeon. He later acquires the "mystic cape of Mercury"[1], which allows him to fly, but he has used this ability only occasionally, as on his campaign against the foreign spy Cat's Paw.[2]

The Angel was already active by the time of the first Human Torch and Sub-Mariner adventures,[3] and active as far back as 1936.[4] He fights alongside Namor against World War II "Nazombies",[5] and was later retconned as a member of both the All-Winners Squad and the V-Battalion during the war.[6]

Holloway remains active as an older character who was revealed as the primary force behind the murderous vigilante group Scourges of the Underworld,[7] which has assassinated a large number of lesser supervillains and archcriminals. Confronted by USAgent, Angel was wounded during the battle and arrested for his part in the murders of the Scourge of the Underworld. However, due to lack of concrete evidence on USAgent's part, Angel was let go and resumed his normal life. [8] [9]

Alternate versions[edit | edit source]

An alternate version of the Angel, appears in X-Men Noir, investigating the death of Jean Grey. He is depicted as private investigator and the child of the warden of a prison called the Welfare Pen. Thomas' mother died in childbirth - consequently he was brought up in the prison where his father was a warden. There he was instructed by a number of experts, as well as a number of the inmates, which gave him a unique insight into the underworld. He earned his moniker when he saved one of these inmates from the chair. Though he wore a costume like a superhero, he wore no mask to conceal his identity.

In the final issue it is revealed that the Angel identity is shared by twins; the idealistic Tom Halloway and his more pragmatic and ruthless brother Robert. Robert sacrifices himself to stop Jean, revealed as having killed Anne-Marie Rankin and taken her place.

Due to continuity differences between Tom's appearance and a previous set of appearances, his brother has been retconned as one of two men who had assumed the identity of the Angel and substituted for his brother on numerous occasions including fighting Stinger. In modern times, he was living as a homeless man in and beneath Manhattan, where he was ambushed and murdered by the supervillain Zeitgeist.[10] He has also appeared in The Incredible Hulk vol. 2, #432-433 (Aug.-Sept. 1995) and in Marvel Super-Heroes vol. 3, #7 (Oct. 1991). It is unknown what occurred between the brothers and why Tom's brother ended up homeless.

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

Golden Age[edit | edit source]

  • All-Winners Comics #1 (Summer 1941)
  • The Human Torch #5[a] (Summer 1941)
  • Marvel Comics #1 (Oct. 1939)
  • Marvel Mystery Comics #2-79 (Dec. 1939 - Dec. 1946)
  • Sub-Mariner vol. 1, #1-21 (Spring 1941 - Fall 1946)
  • Mystic Comics vol. 2, #1-3 (Oct.-Winter 1944)
  • Daring Comics #10 (Winter 1944-45)

Modern Age[edit | edit source]

  • Captain America vol. 1, #442
  • Citizen V & the V Battalion: The Everlasting #1-2 (March-May 2002)
  • Marvel Knights Spider-Man #9
  • Marvels #1
  • Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Golden Age
  • USAgent #1-4 (June-Sept. 1993)
  • The Tweleve # 1 (January. 2007)
  • X-Men: Noir #1-4 (December-March 2008-09)

Reprints[edit | edit source]

  • Marvel Masterworks: The Golden Age Human Torch (Marvel, 2005)
"Blitzkrieg of the Living Dead", generally but unconfirmably credited to Bill Everett: The Human Torch #5[a] (Summer 1941)
  • Marvel Mystery Comics #1 (Dec. 1999)
"And the Case of the Armless Tiger Man", by Paul Gustavson and Allen Bellman: Marvel Mystery Comics #26 (Dec. 1941)
  • The Golden Age of Marvel Comics (Marvel, 1997) ISBN 0-7851-0564-6
"Quarantine for Murder", by Ron Garn and Gustav "Gus" Schrotter: Marvel Mystery Comics #42 (April 1943)

References[edit | edit source]

  • Marvel Mystery Comics vol. 1 #11
  • Marvel Mystery Comics #20 (June 1941)
  • Marvel Comics #1
  • Daredevil Vol. 2, #66
  • The Human Torch #5[a] (Summer 1941)
  • Citizen V & the V-Battalion: The Everlasting #1 (March 2002)
  • USAgent vol. 1, #3 (Aug. 1993)
  • USAgent vol. 1, #4 (Sept. 1993)
  • Captain America #442
  • Mark Gruenwald (w), Dave Hoover & Sandu Florea (p), Dan Bulanadi (i). "Broad Stripes And White Stars" Captain America, volume 1 442 (August 1995), Marvel Comics
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