Angel from Marvel Project #4. Art by Steve Epting
|Publisher||Timely Comics (Marvel Comics)|
|First appearance||Marvel Comics #1 (Oct. 1939)|
|Created by||Paul Gustavson (artist)|
|Alter ego||Thomas Halloway|
|Team affiliations||All-Winners Squad|
Scourges of the Underworld
|Abilities||Excellent acrobat and hand to hand combatant|
Accomplished disguise artist, occult scholar and pilot
Flight via mystic cape
Use of knives and other weapons
The Angel (Thomas Halloway, often shortened to Tom Halloway) is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by artist Paul Gustavson and an unconfirmed writer during the Golden Age of Comic Books, the Angel first appeared in Marvel Comics #1 (Oct. 1939), the first publication of Marvel Comics' predecessor, Timely Comics.
The Angel is a non-superpowered detective who nonetheless wore a superhero costume.
Created by artist Paul Gustavson and written either by him or by Ray Gill or another writer, the Angel debuted in Timely Comics' Marvel Comics #1 (Oct. 1939). The Angel was among the more popular Timely character after the "big three" of the Human Torch, the Sub-Mariner and Captain America. The Angel had over 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 All Winners Comics (#1, Summer 1941), The Human Torch (#5[a], Summer 1941), Mystic Comics (vol. 2, #1-3, Oct.-Winter 1944), Daring Comics (#10, Winter 1944-45).
In Superhero Comics of the Golden Age, Mike Benton writes: "The Angel, like some of the other features that Gustavon drew and wrote, owed a heavy debt to the pulp magazine heroes and detectives. Like the Shadow and the Spider, the Angel had few compunctions about operating outside the law and using severe measures -- especially if it meant scaring the hell out of criminals."
Decades later the character was briefly revived when 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. These Golden Age revivals were summoned to aid the superhero team the Avengers during the Kree-Skrull War, in The Avengers #97 (March 1972).
Fictional character biography
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. 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. He later acquires the Cape of Mercury, which allows him to fly, but he has used this ability only occasionally, as on his campaign against the foreign spy Cat's Paw.
The Angel was already active by the time of the first Human Torch and Sub-Mariner adventures, and active as far back as 1936. He fights alongside Namor against World War II "Nazombies", and was later retconned as a member of both the All-Winners Squad and the V-Battalion after the war. The Angel was also possibly a Secret Service agent for a brief period of time.
According to Jess Nevins' Encyclopedia of Golden Age Superheroes, the Angel "fights everything from gangsters to Brains in a Jar to crazed pygmies, including Armless Tiger Man, Count Lust, the Epicure of Crime, the Gargoyle, the Wolfman, and Dr. Hyde, who steals the eyes from victims and ransoms them back for $100,000."
Halloway remained active as an older character in 1990s comics, and was revealed as the primary force behind the murderous vigilante group Scourges of the Underworld, which assassinated a large number of lesser supervillains and archcriminals. Confronted by U.S. Agent, 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 U.S. Agent's part, Angel was let go and resumed his normal life.
Halloway's grandson, Jason Halloway, is given his grandfather's mask and weapons at the end of The Marvels Project #8 (July 2010).
Angel (Simon Halloway)
|First appearance||Captain America #442 (August 1995)|
|Alter ego||Simon Halloway|
An elderly homeless man said to have once been the Angel appeared in Marvel Super-Heroes vol. 3, #7 (Oct. 1991) and in The Incredible Hulk vol. 2, #432-433 (Aug.-Sept. 1995). This was originally intended to have been Thomas Halloway, but due to it conflicting with established continuity these appearances were retconned to have been Simon Halloway, Thomas' brother who had also assumed the identity of the Angel and substituted for his brother on numerous occasions. In the 1990s, Simon was living as a homeless man in and beneath Manhattan, where he was ambushed and murdered by the supervillain Zeitgeist. It is unknown what occurred between the brothers and why Tom's brother ended up homeless.
Powers and abilities
Thomas Halloway had no superpowers but he was an excellent acrobat and hand-to-hand combatant, an accomplished disguise artist, occult scholar and pilot and a skilled detective. He also wore the Cape of Mercury, which granted him the ability to fly, and used knives and other weapons.
An alternate version of the Angel appears in X-Men Noir investigating the death of Jean Grey. This Angel, Thomas Halloway, 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. The final issue reveals that the Angel identity is shared by twins: the idealistic Tom Halloway and his ruthless brother Robert Halloway. Robert sacrifices himself to stop Jean, revealed as having killed Anne-Marie Rankin and taken her place.
- The Angel (Marvel Comics, 1939) at Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on April 4, 2012. "The character was created by cartoonist Paul Gustavson, who wrote and drew his first adventure as well as many later ones."
- Marvel Comics #1 at the Grand Comics Database.
- Benton, Mike (1992). Superhero Comics of the Golden Age: The Illustrated History. Dallas: Taylor Publishing Company. pp. 66–67. ISBN 0-87833-808-X. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
- Marvel Mystery Comics #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)
- Sub-Mariner Comics #5 (Apr. 1942)
- Nevins, Jess (2013). Encyclopedia of Golden Age Superheroes. High Rock Press. p. 11. ISBN 978-1-61318-023-5.
- U.S. Agent #3 (Aug. 1993)
- U.S. Agent #4 (Sept. 1993)
- Captain America #442
- Mark Gruenwald (w), Dave Hoover & Sandu Florea (p), Dan Bulanadi (i). "Broad Stripes And White Stars" Captain America 442 (August 1995), Marvel Comics
- The Angel at International Hero