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Superhero Origins: Angel

VO: Dan Paradis
Warren Worthington III was born into a life of wealth and comfort, but terrified his parents with his recklessness and disregard for his own safety. At boarding school he earned a reputation as a show-off and egotist. However, strange changes soon took place in his body as he grew a pair of wings. While he tried to keep a low profile, a fire at the dormitories led him to use costume pieces from the drama club to disguise himself as an angel to save the other students. Warren liked the taste of heroics and soon created a costume for himself and began looking for opportunities to catch criminals. Join WatchMojo.com as we explore the comic book origins of Warren Worthington III, also known as Angel. Special thanks to our user freethinker600 for submitting the idea on our WatchMojo.comsuggest page!
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*Written by Craig Butler

Superhero Origins: Angel


Some people might call him a featherweight, but this is a hero whose career really took flight - literally. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we will explore the comic book origins of Warren Worthington III, also known as Angel.

As with most comic book characters, there are often re-imaginations and different versions to a character’s past. We have chosen primarily to follow the storyline which unfolded in 1969's Uncanny X-Men #54-56, which was expanded upon in 2008's Angel: Revelations #1-5.

Angel, debuted in the very first issue of Uncanny X-Men in 1963. However, readers didn't get the lowdown on his backstory until six years later when a three-part back-up story chronicled the genesis of Angel.

Warren Worthington III was born into a life of wealth and comfort, but young Warren terrified his parents with his recklessness and disregard for his own safety. He was sent to an exclusive boarding school to learn discipline. Once there, he excelled at all things, whether academic or physical – earning a reputation as a show-off and egotist.

While at school, Warren became aware of strange changes taking place in his body: his shoulder blades were growing abnormally large; before long, a pair of wings sprouted from them. Warren responded by making himself vilely disliked by other students – allowing him the privacy he needed to hide the wings as they grew.

One night, a fire broke out in the dormitories; Warren flew to safety, then used costume pieces from the drama club to disguise himself as an angel and save the other students. Warren liked the taste of heroics and soon created a costume for himself and began looking for opportunities to catch criminals.

Professor X, leader of the X-Men, became aware of Angel and sent Cyclops and Iceman to recruit him. They encountered Angel just after he had retrieved a vial that crooks had stolen from the Atomic Institute. Professor X realized that Angel's mutant body had activated the vial, making it a bomb about to explode. Iceman and Cyclops tried to capture Angel to secure the vial, initially leading to a fight. But when Professor X was able to explain what had happened to the vial, Angel heroically flew high into the atmosphere. This put his own life in danger, but it effectively neutralized the bomb. His wings frozen, Angel fell toward Earth but was guided to safety by Professor X's telepathic encouragement. And soon the X-Men gained a new member.

Over the years, Angel went through several changes, becoming the character known as Archangel along the way, after an unfortunate run in with Apocalypse.

In 2008, Angels' origin was retold in the Angel: Revelations mini-series. Once again, Warren was a wealthy high school student who began sprouting wings; however, in the re-telling, he made an enemy of Brandon Hardy, a student who bullied Warren's best friend, Andrew. He also infuriated his girlfriend Amanda Cobb when he broke up with her when his wings began emerging. Warren then found himself being hunted down by a lunatic who believed mutants like Warren were an abomination; when the villain set fire to the school, Warren rescued Brandon, Amanda and Andrew, and all three agreed to keep secret the fact that he has wings.

Angel has appeared in numerous episodes of various animated Marvel TV series, including "X-Men: Evolution" and "Wolverine and the X-Men", as well as in the film "X-Men: The Last Stand". Undoubtedly he will continue to wing his way into various media in coming years.

Are you a fan of Angel? For more comic book origins, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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