Divine Retribution: Edginton talks "Angelus: Pilot Season"#1

Mon, November 26th, 2007 at 12:00am PST

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Emmett Furey, Staff Writer

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"Angelus: Pilot Season" #1 on sale in December
Top Cow's Pilot Season initiative consists of five one-shots pairing top comics industry creators with beloved but under-utilized Top Cow characters. When all is said and done, fans will have the opportunity to vote on which character(s) they'd like to see get their own ongoing series. For the latest part of our Pilot Season coverage, CBR News caught up with writer Ian Edginton to talk about "Angelus: Pilot Season" #1.

The Angelus is the champion of light, the counterpart and longtime foil to the Darkness power wielded by Jackie Estacado. The character plays a major role in Top Cow's "First Born" event, and "Angelus: Pilot Season" #1 picks up where that story leaves off. "She's old time, fire and brimstone religion," Ian Edginton told CBR News. "She's a creature of terrible single purpose. She's a thing of absolutes: black and white, not a shred of grey anywhere. She's cut from the same cloth as those old testament angels armed with flaming swords who would raze cities to the ground." In short, the Angelus is "an instrument of divine retribution."

Like The Darkness, The Angelus requires a human host to manifest itself on Earth. Her most recent shell is a murderess called Celestine, and the dichotomy between the Angelus power and its latest host is the core of the book. Up until now, Celestine's possession by the Angelus has manifested itself as a form of bipolar disorder by which the human Celestine felt compelled to balance Angelus' good deeds with acts of criminality. In order to make Celestine a more suitable host, the Angelus cures its host of her bipolar disorder.

Pages from "Angelus: Pilot Season" #1
"[In so doing, Angelus is forced to] immerse herself in the emotional landfill that is the human condition," said Edington. "She learns what it means to be human, and whether she likes it or not, it changes her."

Angelus is by nature aggressively self-assured and single-minded in the pursuit of her goal to rid the world of evil, but becoming more incorporated with her human host has burdened Angelus with, said Edington, "feelings and dilemmas that she's never had to contend with before." This new perspective forces Angelus to acknowledge that she may be more than just a vehicle of divine retribution. "She starts to question the nature of who and what she is."

Celestine, too, will be going through a great deal of self-discovery and reflection. Now that the burden of Celestine's mental condition has been lifted and she has her life back, the question becomes, what is she going to do with it? "Both women are now more than the sum of their parts and on the whole it's for the better but it's also left them feeling adrift and directionless," Edginton said.

Page from "Angelus: Pilot Season" #1
Despite the fact that Celestine's bipolar disorder is a thing of the past, the one-time criminal is still not inclined to submit fully to the power she plays host to. "The pair of them are facing an uncertain future which has prompted Celestine to go off and get lost in America," Edginton said. "She's gone off the map in order to find herself." And along with her newfound sanity comes a rush of formerly suppressed memories from a life she'd long forgotten. "The Family, creepy figures from Celestine's cryptic past, have tracked her down, eager to draw her back to their bosom."

Though Edginton is well-versed in Angelus' back-story, he has endeavored, for the purposes of the Pilot Season one-shot, to keep the story as new-reader friendly as possible and not bogged down in continuity. To that end, her nemesis Jackie Estacado does not factor into the story for "Angelus: Pilot Season" #1. "But if the book gets picked up, I've got an arc in mind where Jackie's a major player," Edginton teased.

This is not Edginton's first foray into the Top Cow universe. The writer penned a few fill-in issues of "Witchblade" before Ron Marz took over the title. "It was an enjoyable aside, dipping my toes in the 'Witchblade' world," Edginton said. "And I asked to be kept in mind if anything else should crop up later on." As such, when Top Cow's top brass asked Edginton to take part in Pilot Season, it was an offer he couldn't refuse.

Pages from "Angelus: Pilot Season" #1
Edginton characterizes his collaboration with artist Stjepan Sejic as two ships passing in the night. "We've not been in touch directly," Edginton said. "But Rob Levin's given me his feedback on the script and judging by the amazing art work that Rob's been forwarding to me, Stjepan's clearly enjoying himself! Some of the pages are jaw-droppingly good. This book is going to be a gem!"

In addition to his installment for Pilot Season, Edginton is writing BOOM! Studios' "Warhammer" and "Warhammer 40K" with Dan Abnett; a weekly series for the UK Sci-Fi Anthology "2000 AD;" and an as yet unannounced Wildstorm title. "And I'm about to embark on a 120 page Picture of Dorian Grey graphic novel," the writer added. Not to mention Edginton's most important project: Raising his newborn son.

Look for "Angelus: Pilot Season" #1 to hit stands in December from Top Cow.

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