Following last week's news that former Spawn character Angela is now a full-fledged part of the Marvel Universe, Newsarama reached Todd McFarlane for comment on the situation.
"Neil Gaiman and I had a resolution in our legal dispute, and as part of that he ended up with the rights of Angela," the Spawn creator told Newsarama. "Whatever Neil chooses to do with something that he owns is at his complete and utter discretion."
Angela debuted in 1993's Spawn #9, written by Gaiman and illustrated by McFarlane. The character became entangled in a 10-year-long legal battle between the two creators, which was resolved with undisclosed terms in January 2012.
"The health of the industry is based upon having good stories and good characters, and a wide customer base," McFarlane said to Newsarama. "If bringing some of these characters back to the fold in a meaningful way adds to that, then it just strengthens our industry."
Cogliostro and Medieval Spawn also debuted in Spawn #9, and were also part of the dispute. Though no details have specifically been announced on the current status of those characters, Cogliostro appeared in Spawn #225, published in November 2012.
"Good stories that entertain are something that we all should applaud on any level," McFarlane said. "Whether we're doing it directly at Image Comics, or at our competition, it helps keep our industry that we love alive. I will sit back and be as interested as anyone else."
Angela is slated to make her Marvel debut in the closing pages of June's Age of Ultron #10, written by Brian Michael Bendis and illustrated by Marvel chief creative officer Joe Quesada. For months, Marvel had been promoting that Age of Ultron contained an "unguessable" surprise ending.
The character's next appearance is scheduled for Guardians of the Galaxy #5, expected for July, to be co-written by Bendis and Gaiman. Marvel declined comment on this story.