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Heven: Marvel's Forgotten Tenth Realm, Explained

Although it's a relatively new corner of the Marvel Universe, Heven is the home of the Angels. It has one of the most complex real-world introductions into modern Marvel continuity and has played a strange but distinct role in the Marvel Universe. It's also helped bring Angela, a former Spawn character into the Marvel Universe, where she's upended Thor's corner of the Marvel Universe and become an exciting member of the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Now, CBR is looking back at the history of Heven and its Angels, their role in the Marvel Universe and their most famous member, Angela.

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WHAT IS MARVEL'S HEVEN?

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Angela (and the angels) were created by Neil Gaiman and Todd McFarlane for the pages of Spawn, where Angela first appeared as an angelic assassin and occasional enemy to Spawn. After a decade-long legal battle broke out between the two creators over the full rights of the characters, Gaiman won the legal challenge and sold the rights to the character to Marvel Comics. Angela was promptly brought into the Marvel Universe in the wake Age of Ultron,with that story's damage to the universe briefly ripping the galaxy open long enough for Angela to make it to the main reality.

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The new history of Heven was established to fit in the Marvel Universe. It were actually the Tenth Realm of the cosmos and an ancient enemy of Asgard. The Angels waged a war on Asgard, long before the birth of Thor or Loki. The Angels captured the firstborn of Odin and Freyja, Aldrif. Intending to force a surrender, the Queen of the Angels seemingly killed the child when he refused. In his rage, Odin used his powers to literally rip the Tenth Realm from the roots of the World Tree, pushing the world to the edge of existence. But the child actually lived, and was taken in by the Angels. She was renamed Angela, and became their greatest warrior.

HOW HEVEN RETURNED TO THE MARVEL UNIVERSE

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During the events of the crossover Original Sin, Thor was hit with the revelation that Angela was alive. Learning the history of the realm from Freyja, Thor teamed up with Loki to try and find the realm and their sibling. The pair found themselves in the Tenth Realm, breaking the curse Odin had set on the world. But in a cruel twist, the act led to all peoples learning about Angela's true heritage, which got her exiled from her adopted home. However, the residents of Heven had adapted to the Odin power trapping them and used their isolation to fuel themselves. With the curse lifted, the realm risked losing all the power that kept it alive and actually turning into a black hole that could destroy the realm.

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Following the birth of Angela's sister Laussa, Angela realized that the infant was possessed by Surtur, so she stole the child from Odin and Freyja with the angel Sara, her magic-wielding best friend and lover. Using the Furnace of Heven, Angela was  able to siphon the demonic and firey powers from the child. Doing so also gives Heven a new source of power, which saved the kingdom too. Angela is forgiven by the Angels and restored to health by Odin and Freyja.

WHERE IS ANGELA NOW?

Angela has a surprising number of connections around the Marvel Universe. Not long after arriving in the modern Marvel Universe, she befriended the Guardians of the Galaxy and even joined their team for a period. She found a kindred soul in Gamora. becoming fast friends with Thanos' daughter. She also formed a strained relationship with Thor and Loki, seeing them as her estranged family. She even served as her brother Loki's bodyguard during his run for the American presidency, but she eventually turned on him and kept him from earning that level of power.

Shortly before Secret Wars, "Sara" is revealed to be Malekith, it's revealed that the Angels were cursed even beyond what Angela ever knew. It turns out that the millennia ago when Odin banished Heven, Freyja cursed the race to serve Hela whenever they died - including the deceased Sara.

Deciding that she had one more debt to fulfill, Angela went to Hel and waged war against Hela herself. Angela managed to do the impossible and bring down the Queen of the Dead. She used her new throne to release the souls of the Angels. She also restored Sara to life, before abdicating her throne to return to Earth alongside Sara. But in current continuity, Sara has gone missing (again), leading to Angela's ongoing membership in Asgardians of the Galaxy, where she's trying to find her.

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