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Our Angels Are Different

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They sparkled like topaz, and all four looked alike. Each appeared to be made like a wheel intersecting a wheel ... Their rims were high and awesome, and all four rims were full of eyes all around.Ezekiel 1:15
Dean: I thought angels were supposed to be guardians. Fluffy wings, halos — you know, Michael Landon. Not dicks.
Castiel: Read the Bible. Angels are warriors of God. I'm a soldier.

Lots of works include angels, but not always the same kind of angels. Often, a creator will try to put a unique spin on their angels.

Angels in fiction tend, by default, to be of a vaguely Abrahamic nature and may or may not have big fluffy feathery wings or Holy Halos. They generally are found doing God's will as part of some sort of grand plan, helping mortals (sometimes incognito), or otherwise staying aligned with Good.

Angelic names, by the way, traditionally end in "-el" (meaning "of God"), such as in the Archangels Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Uriel, though this is by no means guaranteed (Lailah, Sandalphon, Metatron).

The prospective angel has many options available for customization:

  • What is their morality? The most common way of varying things. Angels may be always good-aligned, with demons as their Evil Counterpart Race, or they may be divided into good angels and evil angels, often indicated by wing color. If they are portrayed negatively they most often fall into the Knight Templar trope. Given that angels are usually messengers or servants of God (the word "angel" comes from the Greek word for "messenger"), God Is Good / God Is Evil tends to come into full play here; if an angel can ask Have You Seen My God? or is part of a Council of Angels, expect confusion over what is and isn't in His best interests. In a similar tangent; do angels have Free Will? Other than turning Fallen Angel; often Angels have such absolute behavioral fixations that simply considering options is physically painful. Often humans will get angels upset with them with inappropriate questions or observations because the angel can't think that way without going insane. In this way, they can be as alien as The Fair Folk.
  • Are they Winged Humanoids? Although now standard, this depiction is actually a relatively recent idea. In their earliest appearances in Jewish and Christian art and literature, angels either appear fully human or else they look like some sort of Eldritch Abominationsix wings, four faces, a wheel of fire with eyes lining the rim — you name it. Benevolent or not, these angels were the stuff of nightmares. They didn't traditionally introduce themselves with "Fear not!" for nothing. Those that were winged tended to stay in heaven, or looked... different.
  • Is there one kind, or many? Many works treat angels as just one type of being, but Biblical scriptures and the writings of later theologians describe several kinds and some works follow suit. Often, these types — often called "choirs" — are organized into a specific hierarchy, with different roles and ranks. The original sources are kind of light on details, but the most common kinds seen in modern fiction are the Seraphim, six-winged and highest-ranking; the Cherubim, which nowadays can range from many-faced warriors to cherubic winged children; and the Ophanim, the ones with the wheels and the eyes and such. Winged humanoid angels also feature in these systems, usually as the lowest-ranking angels and/or as the ones intended to interact with humans directly.
  • Are they actually supernatural? Sometimes, in a Sci-Fi, atheist setting, or a Fantasy Kitchen Sink, angels are not actually supernatural, merely confused for such; whether this is intentional on their part feeds into Morality, above, and whether they are Jerks.
  • Are they jerks? Regardless of whether they're supernatural or moral, sometimes angels are portrayed as jerks, to keep with a Crapsack World setting. It may occasionally overlap with Light Is Not Good, but often most people take a direct Dark Is Evil approach at describing evil angels. Fallen Angels, if portrayed as good, are always within the Dark Is Not Evil realm.
  • How 'human' are they? If the author is trying to make a subtle point or wants to go in for a Cosmic Horror Story, they can make the angels, regardless of what they look like, be in some way fundamentally inhuman in their thinking.
  • Can they fall from grace? And if so, do they become Demons, Fallen Angels, or can they become human? If a central character is an angel, expect an answer to this one; otherwise, tends to be left vague. May be able to fall in love with a mortal and give up their angelic nature.
  • Can humans become angels? Most religions that believe in angels regard them as an entirely different species from humanity. (A notable exception is Mormonism.note ) But it's a very common folk belief that humans become angels when they die, though they might have to earn their wings.
  • How powerful are they? Winged Humanoids and angels are sometimes weak or at least easily damaged when their supernatural aspect is missing or not played up. More often, however, they are portrayed as divinely powerful badasses. They do go toe to toe with demons, after all, and are canonically more powerful than human beings. When The Gods Must Be Lazy is in play, the rarity of angels can combine with Conservation of Ninjutsu to make them rare but powerful compared to the common and expendable hordes of Hell. Maybe they're downright martially inclined and form The Armies of Heaven.

Sub Tropes include: Shinigami ("death angels"), Fallen Angel, Guardian Angel, Celestial Paragons and Archangels (the ones in charge), and Angelic Abomination. Not to be confused with Lovely Angels (which are just adventuresome women), or One-Winged Angel (which is a completely different trope). See also Winged Humanoid.

Compare Our Archons Are Different, Our Fairies Are Different and Pegasus. Contrast Our Demons Are Different. For angel feathers or wings used for symbolism, see Feather Motif.

Example Subpages:

Other Examples:

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  • Angel Soft toilet paper angels look like putti in hard hats.
  • Victoria's Secret had the Victoria's Secret Angels, who wore wings in their ads and on the runways.
  • Philadelphia cream cheese used to have ads featuring angels in Fluffy Cloud Heaven enjoying bagels with cream cheese.
  • DevaCurl, a line of hair products specifically for curly hair, has a lightweight styling gel called Arc-Angell, as well as a deep-conditioner called Heaven in Hair.

  • The Fallen Angel: Alexandre Cabanel's variety of angels is that of young men with feathery, bird-like wings, no halo, and, most often than not, reddish brown hair. If the angel is still divine, he's robed with white, light blue, or light pink clothes. If the angel has fallen, he retains his human-like shape but is naked and his wings start to darken.
  • Two panels in The Ghent Altarpiece depict music-making, robed angels — one group singing, the other playing instruments. Oddly, especially for the work's early 15th-century date, they appear quite human, with no obvious angelic features — they lack wings and are not idealised in appearance, though they are sexless. They are identified as angels by their position in the composition and by the inscriptions attached to them.
  • Michelangelo Buonarroti:
    • Michelangelo's angels tend to be hyper-masculine nudes constantly in Flight. They're seen lifting holy relics like the Cross and victory laurels into Heaven in The Last Judgement and they're also flanking around Jesus like an army in The Conversion of Saul.
    • In the Basilica of Saint Dominic, Michelangelo has a traditional sculpture of an angel that looks like a young boy except for his fluffy marble-white wings.
  • The angels from Raphael Sanzio's Disputation of the Holy Sacrament are blonde infants with tiny white/gold wings. Their role appears to be holding up the clouds of the Fluffy Cloud Heaven to keep the saints afloat and hoisting The Four Gospels above the Eucharist at all times.
  • Angels are different even within the bounds of the Sistine Chapel. While The Temptations of Christ shows us typical Winged Humanoid angels, Michelangelo's The Last Judgement make angels ultra-muscular trumpeters who beat sinners down into Hell.
  • Many of the "accessory characters" present in Naudline Pierre's work are Winged Humanoids who look like traditional depictions of Harpies, though she herself says that they are unambiguously benevolent.

    Comic Books 
  • Angels in the comic book Afterlife Inc are soulless, artificial beings created to ensure the healthy operation of the Empyrean, the afterlife of the title. As a rule, they lack both halos and wings, and can pretty much look like anything. Souls are also clearly overrated, as angels, generally, live full and varied in 'lives' in this new, corporate afterlife - despite some prejudice from humans.
    • The archangels, the seven former rulers of the afterlife, are a more powerful variant of angel. Following the Calamity, Anahel, ruler of the third heaven, Shehaqim, is the only known surviving archangel.
  • Black Moon Chronicles: They're giant winged humanoids serving God who, unlike the demons, only rarely intervene in the world, most notably when the Knights of Justice summon Gabriel to ask him to make the Knights of Light see the true way after being led astray by its corrupt leadership.
  • In the vampire comic book Crimson, angels are invisible but tangible winged humanoids with odd tattoos. People with special goggles can kill them so they can eat them, as angel blood gives a narcotic effect. If an angel disobeys orders, they're demoted into a mortal, but if they live out a good human life they can ascend to being an angel again after death. The archangel Michael thinks he's in charge of them all, but he and the other archangels aside from Satan are total assholes, and God is really pulling all their strings for benevolent reasons. Satan is the only one who realizes this and seems content at the situation.
  • The Darkness has "The Legion of the Cherub Hostile." Another example of Light Is Not Good in the series, they're a horde of childlike angels who wield little bows and flaming swords. And are intent on purging all life.
  • There seem to be three kinds of angel in The DCU:
    • Standard angels. Zauriel from JLA (1997) is one of these (and so, according to the most generally accepted of his four origin stories, was The Phantom Stranger). Wings, flaming sword, humanoid but inhuman looking. Divided into four "hosts": Man, Bull, Eagle, and Lion. Zauriel of the Eagle Host was technically a fallen angel during his time with the League (he was a guardian angel who cared too much about the woman he was guarding), but not as fallen as his arch-enemy Azmodel of the Bull Host, who was working with Neron.
    • Earth-born angels. Earth-born angels are formed when someone sacrifices themselves to save someone without hope, causing the two to merge together. There are three Earth-born angels; the Angel of Fire, the Angel of Love and the Angel of Light. During the run of the Peter David Supergirl title the Angel of Fire was Supergirl (who manifested flaming wings and enhanced heat vision), the Angel of Love was Comet (who had icy wings and emotion manipulation) and the Angel of Light was Blythe (who had glowing wings and could project light and was working for a demon called the Carnivore).
    • The Spectre. The personification of God's Wrath is often referred to as an angel, but it's not clear where he fits in. One interpretation (based on Neil Gaiman's original The Books of Magic mini) is that he's one of the original archangels who made a really stupid, not necessarily evil, mistake when the world was young and God wants him to work it off. Current continuity has him as an aspect of God-given independent existence, outside of the standard angelic hierarchy, with his fellow aspects of God (like the Radiant) as peers.
    • And then there's Azrael. While he's not a real angel, his appearance, for whatever unfathomable reason, immediately just shouts "angel" in the minds of any DCU citizens he comes across.
    • Hawkman eventually reveals that the original incarnation of Hawkgirl/Hawkwoman goes past Princess Chay-Ara, to an angel named Shhra, who was cursed alongside Ktar Deathbringer (the original incarnation of Hawkman) with the task of saving as many lives as Ktar had ended while a Deathbringer. This is because Shhra intervened and helped Ktar stop the Deathbringers, so God bound them together until the task is done. We don't see Shhra as having any unique powers or job, besides maybe the ability to appear to Ktar and basically haunt him.
  • Divangelic from Empowered is a pair of Conjoined Twins — her left half, Charity, is an angel, but her right half, Vanity, is a devil. The mind boggles...
  • Both Cupids and Cubi in Fine Print are races of lesser-gods descended from Eros, their purpose to cultivate certain emotions (love and lust respectively) and use it to grow Eternal Ambrosia, allowing the gods to remain immortal in an era devoid of worship. While there is some Fantastic Racism between them, it's portrayed more as a form of Interservice Rivalry and interracial relationships tend to happen.
  • Godzilla in Hell features angels flying on the wings of Mothra, who herself is a benevolent entity associated with death and rebirth and symbolized by a shining cross.
  • Hellboy: Two classes of angel are shown, neither of which really fits the well-known winged humanoid archetype. The Grigori, or Watchers, look more or less like human skeletons on fire. The Seraphim resemble giant grubs with black mask-like faces and wings made from flayed human skin. One scientist goes mad from isolation and opens a portal to what he thinks are angels, who look like nothing seen on Earth.
  • Johnny the Homicidal Maniac has a few weird ones, ranging from vaguely humanoid things with no ears & goggles built into their heads to angel bunny things that are less beings in their own right & more part of the scenery of Heaven. Also features a Throne that trades the flaming wheel look for that of a spindly technorganic monster... with a recliner on his back.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • Angela is an Asgardian (daughter of Odin and Frigga, sister to The Mighty Thor) who is raised by Angels, a deity race who are in war with Asgardians. They're a race of winged humanoids, who are ruthless and ruthlessly effective mercenaries. Their whole culture is materialistic and cut-throat, where fighting for ideals is seen as weakness and only the strong and savvy survive.
    • Ghost Rider:
      • Nobel Kale becomes an angel when he's in hell! (On Earth, he's just a spirit who possesses people.)
      • The Johnny Blaze version of the Ghost Rider later rewrote the evil demon trapped inside Johnny into a misunderstood angel that had basically snuck in when he sold his soul. Also, there are evil angels, particularly, you know, Zadkiel.
      • When first introduced into the universe, Angels tended to look like energy beings. Dem Bones was the closest they got to looking like people (looking like more advanced/powerful version of Ghost Rider, before the above retcon strangely enough). They've mostly appeared as winged humanoids since the 2000s.
    • The Mind Screwy Warren Ellis Hellstorm series introduced the Asura, a.k.a. the Assassins of Heaven, typical Winged Humanoid angels who prove that Light Is Not Good by fanatically trying to stamp out free will, believing it to be the source of evil. They later get retconned as a race of bird-people (of which several exist in the Marvel Universe) altered by magic, rather than actual angels, and the "God" they follow as the arch-demon Chthon trying to eliminate the competition or something. Asuras were introduced again as the guardians of heaven's gates. Mainly so Zadkiel would have more targets.
    • Angel, of X-Men, is explicitly stated from the beginning to be a mutant who just happens to have various flying mutations including big white fluffy wings. Except, of course, later developments made him a descendant of the Cheyarafim, along with Icarus (Joshua Guthrie), and added healing blood to his powers.
  • Preacher: Fitting right in with the comic's views on religion, angels are not shown in a very flattering light. Two variants are shown: The Seraphi, warrior angels who stand at the right side of God (one of which was compelled to have sex with a succubus, creating Genesis), and the Adephi, who stand at the left side of God and are more scientifically minded (they were the ones holding Genesis once it was created). Two Adephi, in particular, are singled out as being ineffectual middle management types and chinless wonders. When one of them tries to dazzle Jesse Custer with the glory of the Heavenly Host, he is immediately told to "cut the shit."
  • Bill, the Angel of the Lord in Proposition Player, looks less like an angel and more like a freakishly muscled mafia legbreaker, who tries to scare the protagonist into giving up his attempts to get into the soul business and who generally abuses his position as a henchman in the most powerful religion for petty reasons like sex. (He apparently sent a guy to hell just so he could take his girl, and tries to force a minor goddess into having sex with her.) His boss Michael furthers the mafia stereotype; he arranges for the casino to explode and kill many of the people who sold their souls and tortures the protagonist's girlfriend. He even delivers a short lecture on certain aspects of torture at one point. And he wears barbed wire under his clothes.
  • The angels in The Sandman (1989) (and Lucifer) are mainly warriors. The exception is cherubim which are balls of light that communicate in emotions. To elaborate, Remiel and Duma (angel of silence) are shown as two blonde, half-naked, winged pretty-boys whose feet "never touch the impure ground". They ended up ruling in hell, with... mixed results, to say the least.
  • Spawn trots out a variety of angels over the years, almost all of them falling into the broad Light Is Not Good category and employing an "Ends justify the means" rationale in the war against Hell.

    Fairy Tales 

    Fan Works 
  • Thirty Hs: No angels actually appear, but the story features Harry Potter wielding a super-guitar "laced with vessels that pulsed with angels' menstrual blood."
  • Angel of the Bat: The Elite Mooks and the leader of the Church of the Voice of God dress like angels based on a combination of Old Testament writings, the apocryphal book of Enoch and the writings of Robert Kelley. Their features include multiple sets of wings, animal masks and their leader the Seraphim has a strong association with fire. Cassandra Cain, who operates as the Angel of the Bat, also doesn't have a whole lot angelic to her costume, mostly just its use of white and a cross through the middle of her Bat symbol.
  • Blood Bond, Blood Omen Series: Kim and Ron merge to form a four-eyed, six-winged creature that Wordof God says is a seraph.
  • The Discworld Tarot portrays the angel Sandalfoot, Guardian Of The High and Most Mystic Arcanum of the Caroc Cards, as a harassed junior bureaucrat tasked with keeping the costs down — especially the wages bill — by issuing redundancy notices to six out of the eight Virtues. Who, being strong-minded attitudinal ladies, give him a really hard time.
  • Domoverse: From "For Master (Part 1)": The protagonist's idea of angels involve wings:
    [The Monster] took precious moments to turn its enormous body. Using that time to create angelic wings I took off, trying to stay ahead of the creature that clawed through the nothingness.
  • Earth-27:
    • The Archangels were the seven original angels, directly created by the Presence and whose form the Void attempts to emulate with the creation of the lesser angels. These beings are remarkably resilient and are believed to be truly immortal. It is said that they are even beyond the reach of Death herself.
    • The Thrones are usually considered to be the most powerful angels beneath the archangels. There are only four Thrones, each sitting at the head of a wing of the Pax Dei.
    • The Principalities are another powerful class of angel. They are far more numerous than Archangels and Thrones, numbering into the thousands. Principalities are also known as the Lords of Heaven, Dominions, or Divine Princes.
    • The Virtues number in the tens of thousands. They are the more experienced and capable angels of heaven, serving as trusty lieutenants to Thrones and Principalities, agents of the Metatron, or sentinels of the Silver City.
    • The Seraphim are fiery angels are the frontline soldiers of the Pax Dei. They are the most powerful of the three basic breeds of angels, but also the most emotional and dim-witted.
    • The Arie make for quiet guides, muses, and guardian angels. They are the most human in their mentality and usually prefer to spend most of their time outside of Heaven.
    • The Cherubim are the lowliest angels. They resemble recently hatched angels of other classes, but usually never seem to reach maturity.
  • A History of Magic: Two types of angels appear:
    • The "A" class of Incubators had appeared of these in ancient times to manipulate men and tempt young girls into becoming Puella Magi (namely, they contracted Eve, whose wish doomed mankind to be targeted by the Incubators in the first place, and Hagar). Eventually, when a line about Satan appearing as an angel of light made it into the Bible, the A class were phased out and replaced by the "B" class that Kyubey comes from.
    • Witches that somehow retained memories of their humanity were also called angels. The witch Gabriel (the witch form of Aisha) was one of these, as was Pandora of Greek mythology. Homura somehow becomes one of these as well, despite Madoka's wish to erase witches before they were born.
  • Hogwarts School of Prayer and Miracles: Angels are "beautiful people" with wings, yellow halos and white robes. And they deliver mail to Hogwarts.
  • Holo-Chronicles has angels be canonically one of the most mysterious races in the setting, but some stuff is known about them. They seem to primarily appear as traditional feathery Winged Humanoids (or at least Kanata does), have such ridiculous mana supplies that only a mana supply monster like Rushia has more, and are masters of light magic and astral energy manipulation (though they appear to be a potayto-potahto situation). They're basically the same in both Earth and Fantasia, and both worlds' native angels generally live on floating islands in the sky. Angels also all possess the Heaven Trait.
  • The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World: One of the Power Groups is the Angels. Some are winged humanoids, but most are people who have one or another way to fly. They are Knights Templar, notoriously Lawful Stupid, and thoroughly unpleasant to be around. While much of their time is spent healing people during battles and rescuing civilians, they are quite ready to mix it up with evil, particularly the Animals (another PG). They are led by Trelayna of the Rock, a woman merged with a rock who has enormous telepathic powers. She also is batshit insane and demands incredibly strict behavior from her followers, staying in their minds to ensure that they meet her standards—which is why nearly all of them are artificial intelligences. Trelayna badly wants the winged John, the very visual epitome of an angel, to join—but there's about as much a chance of that happening as there is that the Actual Pacifist four will suddenly start killing things.
  • Nobody Dies:
    • The fic takes Eva's Angels up to eleven. In this story, the Angels appear to be more or less immortal (though not invincible), can spawn life in their own image (though they need to combine with Adam to do this across the whole Earth), and their physical bodies appear to be only part of the creature, with their minds a separate and eternal form on another plane of reality. In addition, several "orders" of Angels have been identified: the canon Angels appear to be the Archangels, other than them, we also have the Cherubim, Dominions (only one has appeared), Thrones (only one has appeared), Grigori, and Seraphim (Leliel, the Dirac Sea). Each order is equally as alien as the main set but differ in their goals and power levels to some extent. Angel/human hybrids are termed Nephilem.
    • There's also the bizarre hybrid of Lilim, Grigori, and Archangel known as 02EfA9iel, created by one of Kei's mindbabies taking a prototype Grigori-based Eva way beyond its operational limits in Six AI's, One Continent. Finally, Rei appears to be something like the Lilith-based version of an Angel.
  • Pokémon: Gospel Version has the Christian character's Pokémon be called "angels". On the flip side, the Pokémon of non-Christians are caled "demons"
  • Pokémon Uranium:
    • Dunseraph, a fan evolution of Dunsparce, is a reptilian being with white feathered wings, winglike "eyebrows", and "Seraph" as a part of its name, referencing the occasional interpretation of the Seraphim as serpentine or draconic beings.
    • The Legendary Pokémon Aotius is also reminescent of the Seraphim. Like them, it is a multi-winged celestial being that uses one of its pairs of wings to cover its face. Additionally, the hebrew "saraph" is often translated as "serpent", particularly in reference to the "fiery flying serpents" mentioned in Isaiah — and, similarly, Aotius is a Flying/Fire-type serpent.
  • Pony POV Series: Angels are described as being mortals who earned their wings with good works, mortals who took a burden after their death, or spirits made to serve as messengers between Concepts and mortals. Only one angel has been seen so far in the series, and that's Starlight, an Angel of Death, which seems to be of the second type. Considering Saint is shown to be a title given to mortals who did great things in life, it's possible that Sweet Heart and Dark World!Applebloom may qualify as well. Given Half-Light Noon's statement, they're apparently respected quite a bit. We also later see the Scootaloo Army of Awesome, Scootaloos from hundreds of thousands of timelines where their reality was destroyed... who become the personal army of Alicorn Rainbow Dash. While the ones who were once mortals look like ponies, the ones made by the deities can be much more abstract in nature. It turns out the Blank Wolf is one.
  • The Shape of the Nightmare to Come: While the Gods of Chaos are served by Daemons, the Star Father, a God of Order, is served by the Angyls, androgynous, faceless, glowing humanoids with dozens of razor-feathered wings who seek to create a universe of perfect, self-defeating order.
  • Sonic X: Dark Chaos: Angels are Human Aliens who were originally slaves to the Demon Empire before they launched a massive rebellion and gained their independence. Humans themselves are descended from them. Their close ethnic counterparts, the Jews and the Muslims, are also Human Aliens.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Prince of Egypt has The Angel of Death. This is perhaps one of the few Western Animation examples of an angel that is far away from the Winged Humanoid stereotype; it appears as a glowing smoke Eldritch Abomination that descends from the sky from what appears to be a interdimensional hole. This, as well as its job (to kill every firstborn in Egypt that isn't a Hebrew), can easily be seen as a reason why the movie sticks to biblical tradition.
  • The Secret of the Hunchback: Angels resemble disfigured humans, and the young ones, yet to become full-on angels, have large blood-filled sacks on their back where their wings are growing.
  • Time Masters has angels created by an evil god. The ones seen on screen are formerly human (being astronauts converted and purified by said deity), so they resemble stereotypical humanoid angels with feathered wings, though their faces are blank. Due to the nature of their creation, they can probably also be considered both aliens and zombies, albeit with divine magic.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Adjustment Bureau: The angels are "more like case officers who live a lot longer than humans."
  • Angels in the Outfield: The angels fit the standard good-guys-with-wings image, as befits a feel-good kids' movie. They are repelled by foul language, being pure and ethical in all respects except, it seems, for cheating at sports, which is perfectly okay if they're the ones doing it.
  • Barbarella: A Winged Humanoid character claims to be an angel and is apparently innocence embodied, yet displays no supernatural powers and doesn't appear to be associated with any religion.
  • Casper: Amelia Harvey became an angel after death, as opposed to having Unfinished Business that would make her a ghost. Interestingly, said example is dressed in red rather than the traditional white. Also, no wings.
  • City of Angels: The angel protagonist falls in love with a human woman and decides to become human to be with her after hearing the story of a former angel who's now a happily married mortal. Then she dies, and he either commits suicide or becomes an angel again, depending on your interpretation of the ending. Both in this and the original Der Himmel uber Berlin (Wings of Desire) angels are trenchcoat-wearing, normal-looking humans with the twist that the protagonists usually can't see them. They are implied to have worn armour in the past though (the main character pawns his to buy warmer clothes when he becomes human).
  • Constantine (2005) uses the Winged Humanoid variety with the Archangel Gabriel, who turns out to be quite the jerk. However, Gabriel is not an angel in the purest sense; since Angels and Demons of the purest degree are not permitted on Earth, the angels seen in the film are deceased mortals imbued with Divinity as a reward for good works during life. So, the Gabriel in this movie isn't the famous archangel. Just a dead Christian woman, who happened to be named Gabriel.
  • The Dark Crystal: The urSkeks were luminous beings of light that got cast out of their home and ended up on Thra, where they taught the local races many sciences (much like the Grigori in Apocrypha). In a hasty attempt to get back home by purifying themselves, they instead divided themselves into two types of Fallen Angel: the light Mystics and the dark Skeksis, both mortal and aging. If one of either dies, so does its light/dark counterpart. They are refused into urSkeks at the end and go back to Heaven.
  • Dogma: If they have their wings cut off, it transforms them into humans (which apparently doesn't work for demons or fallen angels), and they can't drink alcohol (although that was mainly a restriction put on them after one angel had a few too many and insulted The Big Man). Metatron is said to have 36 wings with eyes and mouths all over his body, each mouth said to speak a different language, but in the movie, he only had 2 wings, even though he did first manifest as a torrent of flame. The other two angels of the film, although disgraced, seem to have powers retaining to their old posts, with Bartleby, a Grigori, knowing everyone's personal history by looking at them, and Loki, the angel of death, mentioned to be able to "rain sulfur" (although he doesn't seem to enjoy doing so). When in battle, both are (nearly) invulnerable to our mortal protagonists.
    Also, angels are as anatomically impaired as a Ken doll, which appears to be a mistake at first, as according to Genesis angels are very capable of doing the deed and making Half Human Hybrids, but It makes sense in the context of the movie. After all, much of the plot is based on how God can Retcon new rules for angels whenever S/He likes, as with the ban on alcohol after Loki's little tantrum. It would make perfect sense that God would castrate the angels to stop more Nephilim from being born.
  • Don't Kill It: Beings of light comparable to angels apparently exist here, but they never show up onscreen and all we know is that they can breed with humans.
  • Hellboy II: The Golden Army: The Angel of Death. Or possibly AN Angel of Death, as she specifically states that she's "Hellboy's Death." To say that this angel is very weird is a massive understatement. Guillermo del Toro apparently based "her" on Mexican angel paintings which depict them as having eyes on the wings (maybe the biblical weird looking angels weren't forgotten after all…). Also doubles as a Dark Is Not Evil example as being at worst neutral and by having the wings colored black.
  • Here Comes Mr. Jordan and A Matter of Life and Death feature heavenly messengers (angels by another name ) who are really, really, really bad (like Misfile level bad!) at picking souls up from the earth at their time of death. In the former, they are too early and the latter too late.
  • Ice Angel: They're bureaucrats, shuffling people off to Heaven with as little fuss as possible.
  • It's a Wonderful Life: Follows the "good humans become angels when they die" pattern. However, said humans have to work their way up through the ranks. Rookie angels don't have wings and must earn them by helping people. When they do, a bell somewhere on Earth rings; the movie originated the whole "every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings" concept. Earning their wings seems to grant angels additional powers, including the ability to see into the past and future with concentration. In the most dramatic demonstration of angelic power, we see angels can change the course of history (temporarily) to make a point. The appearance of angels varies: one angel we see on Earth appears perfectly human (the missing wings help), but an earlier scene depicted him and his superiors as celestial bodies, e.g. stars and galaxies. (Though it's possible this is just a visual metaphor.)
  • Knowing: It's not clear whether the "whisperer people"are angels, aliens or both. They have spaceships like aliens, and in one scene the wispy light around their bodies looks like wings, like angels. (Also the movie hints the final event is the second coming of Christ.) Whatever they are, they act creepy, mysterious, and threatening. They speak in whispers as their name implies, shoot light out of their mouths and tell of future events.
  • Legion has Paul Bettany as a gun-toting, ass-kicking rebel angel trying to keep the rest of the angelic host from exterminating humanity. Most of the angels aside from Gabriel and Michael are different — they possess humans and basically use them as shock troops in an attempt to kill a baby who's hinted to be Jesus 2.0. Also, Gabriel slices things up with his wings, which is a pretty neat effect, though getting eviscerated by razor-edged angel-wings would not be the most fun way in the world to go.
  • Michael: One of the protagonists' original complaints about the titular character is that they "thought they were cleaner." Michael, being an archangel (and one of God's Storm Troopers), cheerfully indicates that he's "not that kind of angel." He also smoked heavily and used his angelic powers to seduce women, but did have big fluffy wings (although the feathers fell out as he neared the end of his time on Earth). As the Tagline said, "He's an Angel, not a Saint."
  • The 1950s had a strange opinion on angels, as fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000 fans are aware, often portrayed as middle management and salesmen. See: Once Upon a Honeymoon (1956), Out of This World (1954), and so on.
  • A New York Christmas Wedding: They're apparently former humans (or at least some are) and hang out on Earth doing ordinary things some of the time. While they can be affected by physical things, they're also unharmed. They also look just like regular humans, but have an ability to transport anyone instantly across space and time. At least some are also guardian angels watching over specific humans. Granted, this is based on a single example.
  • In Noah, they all start out as glowy wispy beings literally made of light, but the ones we see were encased in stone as punishment for helping humanity by teaching them technology and other things they were not ready to know yet and were supposed to discover on their own. They pretty much became six-armed rock people that look nothing like angels.
  • Really messed around in substantial ways in the trilogy of films commencing with The Prophecy:
    • Written/directed by Gregory Widen and starring Christopher Walken as a very disenchanted Archangel Gabriel, it suggests that whilst Lucifer (Viggo Mortensen no less!) rebelled because he didn't like God, another portion of angels rebelled because they didn't like the idea of man being more important than angels and that the war between the loyal angels of God and the rebels has kept heaven's gates closed against even the souls of men getting there. The angels' attitude towards humans are made clear by multiple angels dismissing them as "talking monkeys" and by Gabriel's diatribe to Thomas.
      Gabriel: I'm an angel. I kill firstborns while their mamas watch. I turn cities into salt. I even, when I feel like it, rip the souls from little girls, and from now till kingdom come, the only thing you can count on in your existence is never understanding why.
    • Angels have Super-Strength, agility, and Super-Speed that borders on teleportation. They have wings but can hide them under clothes. The only way to kill an angel is to rip out or stake their hearts. Gabriel specifically is shown to be able to make people fall asleep just by telling them to, set things on fire by muttering a few phrases and bring back people who have committed suicide and make them immortal and invulnerable.
  • In Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Anakin asks if Padmé's an angel, having heard that they were beautiful creatures from the moons of Iego. He eventually visits Iego and meets one in Star Wars: The Clone Wars; they're winged and very glowy, and one of the game sourcebooks gives the race's actual name as the Diathim.
  • The Ten Commandments (1956) depicted the angel of death as a sinister green mist that descends from the sky and then spreads over Egypt.
  • In Time Bandits, the greedy, clumsy, quarrelsome dwarves are God's servants. However, it's never stated that they are actually angels.
  • In the Wishmaster movies, they're locked in an eternal war with the demonic Djinn, with the Djinn noting that he's trampled their wings beneath his feet in his conquests. They can manifest themselves by possessing a human, have healing hands, and swords that can kill the otherwise immortal Djinn. Their morality varies, as some like Michael are undeniably good, while others are very much in Knight Templar territory in their quest to defeat the Djinn.
  • Wristcutters: A Love Story has Kneller, a Cloudcuckoolander Hidden Badass who runs a commune in a purgatory reserved for suicides. He works within the bureaucratic machine to bring the protagonist back to life at the end.

  • The girl in Ed Sheeran's music video for "Give Me Love". She appears to be a human who inexplicably grows a pair of wings, gains a magical bow and arrow and becomes a Cupid. Initially played for tragedy since she makes so many others fall in love it seems she is doomed to remain alone forever. Until she stabs herself with one of her own arrows and shares a moment with a paramedic trying to revive her.
  • The song The Marching of the Fey by the German gothic metal band Atargatis describes the descending of the angels from Heaven to destroy the Humanity for its sins.
  • "Holding Out for a Hero" by Bonnie Tyler: These female wingless angels wear gold and white in the music video, and they invoke a choir of angelic singing for a cowboy hero to show up.

    Myths & Religion 
  • As a general rule, the Abrahamic religions view angels as supernatural beings created by God as servants, messengers and attendants; while respected, they are very emphatically not to be worshipped. They are understood to serve a number of purposes in Creation, ranging from battling demons to watching over mortals. While holy and pure, they are also understood as not being as important, cosmically speaking, as humanity, since free-willed mortals are the ones about whom the story of the world ultimately centers. Everything else beyond that — appearance, powers, ranks — varies wildly between religions and denominations.
  • Angelic hierarchies are a recurring subject, and a number have been devised by religious scholars. Orders within them are often, albeit not universally, referred to as choirs.
    • The most widely known one today, and the one considered canonical by Catholicism, was created by the theologian and neoplatonic philosopher Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite sometime in the 5th or 6th centuries in a book called De Coelesti Hierarchia. Top to bottom, it counts the Seraphim, Cherubim, Ophanim, Dominions, Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Archangels, and Angels.
    • The Jewish scholar Maimonides authored one in the 1100s that, highest to lowest, ranked the angels as the Chayot Ha Kodesh, Ophanim, Erelim, Hashmallim, Seraphim, Malakim, Elohim, Bene Elohim, Cherubim, and Ishim.
    • Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, an influential Muslim theologian who lived in the late 1100s, described eight groups of angels: the Hamalat al-'Arsh, who carry the throne of God; the Muqarrabun, who surround the throne and praise God's name; the archangels, including named figures such as Jibrail, Mikhail, Israfil, and Azrail; the angels who guard the gates of Heaven; the angels that torment the wicked in Hell; guardian angels assigned to protecting individuals; the angels who record the good and bad deeds of people; and the angels who oversee natural processes.
    • The Zohar, a Jewish religious text that first emerged around the 1200s, lists the ranks as Malakim, Erelim, Seraphim, Chayot, Ophanim, Hashmallim, Elim, Elohim, Bene Elohim, and Ishim.
  • Jewish scriptures mainly depict angels as bodiless, spiritual beings who serve God as messengers. On occasion, God will speak directly to mortals; most commonly, however, He sends an angel to deliver a warning, command or promise. Angels are also not considered to have free will; each has some specific task to do, and that's that. In Hebrew, they are usually referred to as some variant of malakim ("messengers") or bene Elohim ("sons of God").
    • One scholarly Jew, Maimonides, proposed that the amber light coming from God's fire cloud and shining on the angels Ezekiel described was itself an angel of the hashmallim choir. The Dominions of Christian tradition are watered-down versions of the same concept.
    • Samael is different enough in Jewish folklore already, his being both evil and good at the same time and being so big it would take five hundred years of traveling before someone covered a distance equal to his height (and being covered in eyes). In some Gnostic sects, Samael was equated with Yaltabaoth, a lion-headed serpent that ruled over at least 365 pseudo-angelic archons.
    • In Zechariah 5:9, there is a passage mentioning two women with stork-like wings bringing a woman representing Wickedness out of Israel to Babylon. These two are probably the closest thing the Bible has to the common concept of winged humanoids associated with angels.
  • Christianity views angels in broadly the same light as Judaism — that is, messengers of God, spiritual and non-material, pure but inferior to humanity in God's design. In a notable contrast to Jewish and Muslim views on the matter, angels are considered to have free will — at least, enough so as to rebel against God in the earliest days of creation. There was considerable debate in the early Church over whether they have physical bodies or not, eventually settling on the orthodoxy that no, they do not. They are considered to be far more knowledgeable than humans but not omniscient, and have no knowledge of the future outside of what God sees fit to tell them.
    • Since angels are spiritual beings, they do not strictly have physical appearances. The image of the winged humanoid in robes emerged during the early Middle Ages as an artistic convention to identify angels when they appeared in religious art.
    • An important concept in Christian angelology is that of the guardian angel, a being created to watch over a single human soul from life to death and give them guidance and protection.
    • Mormonism views angels as being the spirits of deceased humans or of ones who are not yet born. Consequently, a number of Biblical figures are believed to have become notable angels.
  • According to Islam, angels are spirits that can take on a human form and were created as a Servant Race to Allah. In art, they are usually depicted as humans with colorful wings. One heavily contested aspect among Islamic scholars is whether or not angels are capable of sinning. Some point to verses saying that they do not disobey God, others point to ones where He tests them as proof they do have free will, but choose to obey Him due to their insights into God's nature. Some traditions regarding the Battle of Badr, where the Muslims defeated an army three times their number, tell that angels actually fought alongside the Muslims in battle.
    • Some angels are delegated tasks pertaining to humans. There is Gabriel the messenger, but there are also a pair of angels who sit on humans' shoulders and record their deeds, another pair of angels who question human souls upon their entry to Barzakh, and angels who guard the gates of Heaven and Hell. Yes, Hell is guarded by an angel (although he is a very scary one).
    • When Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was visited by Angel Gabriel to convey the message of God, he was extremely terrified to the point of trembling and seeking for the comfort of his wife (Khadijah), who wrapped him in his cloak. Later on, he sighted the Angel Gabriel as a massive human eclipsing the horizon, something which scared him even more. Anyone would probably shit their pants if they were tasked with such an enormous task in that situation, so this is justified.
  • The Archons from gnostic works are heavenly regents created by Yaldabaoth (supposed to be the Judeo-Christian Yahweh but also borrows from the platonic demiurge), and the top ones, the Hebdomad, are basically planetary archangels. However, they are at best oppressive and at worst outright hostile, devouring the souls of the dead. To drive the point home, many are equated with actual Hebrew angels. Though the "real" Hebrew angels are occasionally seen in gnostic traditions and are independent, benevolent beings. It's complicated.
  • Yazatas served a similar role as Angels in Indo-Persian Zoroastrian mythology, with Amesha Spentas being similar to Archangels. Scripture calls them beings worthy of worship or worthy of veneration. At the time Persians and Hebrews got along very well, which lead to several Yazatas and the Amesha Spentas coming to be viewed as angels. One example is the Yazata Sraosha, which became equated with the Angel Surush.
  • Dakas (male) and Dakinis (female) are protective benevolent spirits in Buddhism very similar to the Norse Valkiries, however they are created by the minds of the Buddhas and thus not fully individual beings. Some people have equated also the Buddhist concept of the Devas as the equivalent of the Buddhist angels as Devas are seen as beautiful spirits living in heaven-like realms, and some of them are protectors of humans. However this is more of a New Age interpretation as Buddhist scripture see Devas more as just another life form alongside humans and animals.
  • Angels also play a role in many New Age beliefs, being generally seen as the most common pop cultural representations of benevolent good winged humanoid. Similar to other traits from different spiritualities (like karma, chakras or cristals), this is re-interpreted in a more post-modern way with little to no connection with the original biblical conception of angels (who serve chiefly as God's messengers and agents of judgement). Entire seminars are often offered to teach how to contact angels, get their help, use them in spells, and so on, which orthodox Jewish, Christian or Muslim theologians would find toe-curlingly bizarre at best.
  • Angels also play a role in Western Esotericism and Occultism. This is kind of complex but most of it comes from the Esoteric concept of Theurgy that might originate in some Gnostic and Platonic magical practices of the Classical Age later Christianized. Theurgy consists in invoking the "powers of heavens" and generally working with heavently beings (originally gods, later angels), the opposite of Goetia which is working with demons. This was also a way to rationalize the practice of magic for many Christian esotericists despite the fact that the Bible forbids it. Their argument is that what the Bible forbids is dealing with demons, not magic per se (and indeed many important Western esotericists and ceremonial magicians were devote Christians like Jhon Dee, Eliphas Levi, Michel de Nostradamus and Paracelso, much to both fundamentalist Christians' and modern neo-Pagans/Occult enthusiasts' surprise today). The use of angels in Esoteric work is common in many systems. One of the most famous is the Enochian System developed by John Dee and Edward Kelly in Elizabethan times, later spread in many circles, most notably the Golden Dawn. Similarly angels are also mentioned as part of the divine hierarchy in Theosophy and use in books of many modern Occult writers including the likes of Ben Woodcroft, Damon Brand and Henry Archer, sometimes alongside Goetic demons. Although the exact definition of their nature is often matter of debate, angels (and demons) are seen as powerful otherwordly spirits that can be summoned for help.
  • The Wandjina deities of the Western Australian "Wandjina-Wungurr" cultural complex resemble Abrahamic angels in a myriad of ways, being luminous beings of light that dwell in the heavens and even have halos (which, also like the halos of Abrahamic angels, tend to get swept into patchwork Ancient Astronauts narratives by conspiracy theorists eager to attribute everything to alien visitors; in this case, the haloes tend to be seen as "obviously" having been inspired by helmet-wearing figures). Like biblical angels they are also unapologetically weird, being among other things also embodiments of the land, spirit ancestors and unborn souls. Many modern Aborigines equate them with Christian angels for good measure.
  • In Norse Mythology, Valkyries perform many of the same functions as Abrahamic angels, acting as messengers of Odin and gatherers of dead souls. They aren't winged but their horses are. Oh, and they rode wolves before horses. The war god they served was not viewed as a well-intentioned figure in their earlier tales and even after Odin became popular they were still usually the cause of death for the souls they took away. Similar to angels, they were pretty frightening but became associated with beautiful people and such later.
  • While having a completely different function, the Anemoi (wind gods) of Greek mythology were depicted as angels are today, being, in fact, the origin of their modern winged humanoid appearance. Somewhat closer in the role and also depicted as winged humanoids were Eros, Thanatos, and Hypnos.
  • Putti, who were profane in Hellenistic culture, were adopted as Christian symbols of God's omnipresence later in Italy.
  • Supernatural creatures that were not outright gods or monsters were called daemones. Good ones were Eudaemones and, when Christianity became the official religion in the Roman Empire, the righteous dead (saints) and angels became eudaemones... partly why people erroneously think of them as the same thing.
  • The word tenshi (lit. servants of heaven) is currently the Japanese word for angel. Originally, it referred to a kind of kami whose actual role and form were lost to time. This may have to do with the influence of Buddhism that gave rise to the concept of tennin, Heavenly People, that serve a similar purpose which may explain why they were used as a loan word for Abrahamic angesl.
  • Certain types of Dragons in Chinese Mythology serve the same purpose to Abrahamic angels, bearing messages from heaven and back and so forth.
  • The Persian Mythology has the Peris, whom similar to the usual depiction of angels, are beautiful human-like spirits with bird-like wings. However, unlike angels, Peris are initially describe as mischievous beings (not unlike The Fair Folk or Djinns) that were denied entry to paradise until they could complete their penance for atonement. Under Islamic influence, the Peris started being depicted as more benevolent spirits.

  • The angels in The Account, a podcast audio drama, haven't shown much of themselves, but they're universally acknowledged as bad news in the Midlands, where the story takes place. Earth, which is separate from the Midlands, seems to be the only place they have very good PR.
  • The angels of Welcome to Night Vale are... interesting. They're probably humanoid; hard to tell in a radio-show format. They like to hang around Old Woman Josie's house, helping her with everyday tasks, and go bowling. They're all called Erika (with a K) and are mostly nude. They are all roughly ten feet tall, have permanent, unsettling smiles, and glow black. All evidence points to them being forces for good since they occasionally protect the town. However, the Sheriff's Secret Police would like to remind you that angels, in fact, do NOT exist, and neither do their hierarchy which you're not allowed to know anything about.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • In the 1940s and 50s, angel gimmicks were common in North American wrestling. These tended to be very muscular short men with an abnormal feature of some kind who could rend er opponents unconscious with a palm strike, a trend started by "The World's Ugliest Man" The French Angel, who had migrated to Boston Massachusetts when France fell to the Nazis. His distinct appearance was the result of acromegaly.
  • Christopher Daniels' primary Red Baron is "The Fallen Angel." He lacks the halo or wings, but he flies just fine without them.
  • Manami Toyota's Red Baroness was "The Japanese Flying Angel."
  • Molly Holly posed as a traditional white-winged version in the 2002 WWE Divas magazine.
  • Justin Gabriel was known in WWE's developmental program as Justin Angel. The same attributes mentioned for Daniels above also apply to him.
  • Ángel del Mal and In Memoriam, Los Angeles del Inframundo, before the later lost his mask and became Jocker in CMLL anyway.

  • Old Harry's Game:
    • Two angels appear in the first episode of Season 7 as moronic middle-management types who have been assigned to oversee the Earth because God's grown bored with it. They're terribly pleased with their positions (and name badges!) but much to Satan's frustration, don't actually have the authority to decide anything, and won't pass messages on because God asked not to be disturbed. Satan relocates their name badges somewhere they'd be difficult to read.
    • Later episodes feature Gabriel, slightly higher up the chain-of-command, but just as powerless, and a bit of a crawler. God leaves him in Hell in the final episode.
    • Previously in Season 3, we met three angels including a different Gabriel (his name was actually Graham, but it got mistranscribed). They were very excited about God's new punishment which was even worse than Hell and looked forward to finding a reason to put Satan there. Graham was also responsible for the Fall, having asked Satan to have a word with God. They abandoned this plan, when Scumspawn said that he would be sure to say at the trial how assiduously they had investigated Hell, spending hours watching the demonic orgies. Angels don't have sex, but apparently, they can wish they did.


  • I Married an Angel.
  • Angels in America.
  • In John Milton's Comus, the secret to Virgin Power.
    So dear to Heaven is saintly chastity
    That, when a soul is found sincerely so,
    A thousand liveried angels lackey her,
    Driving far off each thing of sin and guilt,
    And in clear dream and solemn vision
    Tell her of things that no gross ear can hear;

    Visual Novels 

  • Sable's Grimoire: Raphael, Amadronia Academy's nurse, claims to be an angel. She certainly looks and acts the part, being a blonde-haired, blue-eyed Winged Humanoid who dresses all in white, but several characters are skeptical of her claims. In Eris's route, Sable learns the truth: Raphael is a white vulture, a type of demihuman with an innate mastery of spiritual magic and the power to feed on people's negative emotions. White vultures are no more divine than any other demihuman, but they masquerade as biblical angels to make it easier to approach—and feed on—the dying and the bereaved.

    Web Animation 
  • Angels in Death's Curtain episodes 1 and 2 are hive-minded, parasitic abominations that enter human hosts whenever they participate in religious rituals. Their goal is to find the link to the soul that all humans share in order to destroy it. They're capable of possessing their hosts and leaving acts of carnage in their wake For the Evulz, and are apparently at war with the Goetic spirits, who want to protect humanity for reasons unknown.
  • DSBT InsaniT: Angel isn't divine in any sense, has butterfly wings, and looks more like a Christmas ornament more than anything. She can also bring back the dead.
  • Chris Kyle from Monster Lab (2021) is referred to as "God's Holiest Angel" (even by God himself). He's almost all humanoid, and despite his angelic status, he has many of the qualities of a demon.
  • Murder Drones: The titular Disassembly Drones are essentially robotic destroyer angels. Resembling the Worker Drones except with wings that have feather-like struts, they've been sent from the heavens by the Worker Drones' displeased makers to enact said makers' judgment upon them in the form of total destruction.
  • Bobby Sykes from Porkchop 'n Flatscreen! is the one angel seen so far. He lacks the halo and his wings can change shape to shield him in combat. He seems to be trying to hide his nature from most people, a fact that Mai exploits in Episode 2.

  • Afraid of Monsters (Ozkosar): Angels are albino humanoids with one to three pairs of wings, and a third eye at the end of a tail. They appear to cry blood and have soothing auras around humans. They have powers based on Biblical references like miracles and plagues according to Word of God.
  • Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth: Angels are the souls of the virtuous gone to heaven (and act like real people, believe me). Heaven accepts souls from every planet in the universe, so angels are mostly aliens united only in ownership of wings and a halo. They can be temporarily banished for committing crimes against Heaven (fallen angels), or leave entirely and become known as devils. There are also cherubim, which are native to heaven, have no souls, and were created by Mikael as Cannon Fodder.
  • Beyond the End: While the angels are mostly humanoid, they lack human organs, except for other they personaly elect to have. They instead have a halo core that connects them to the Metatron, and a soul core that is their vital point. Angel wings may start off the classic fluffy kind, but they'll form with the angel's personality and take on what their ideal shape is; End, for example, has dragon-like wings patterned with the night sky. They also have clawed hands and hooves for feet - though this may vary between angels.
  • Blip: The Heavenly hosts include white-robed Winged Humanoid chibis, white-robed Winged Humanoid Bishōnen, some Children of the Corn, and at least one former human who's still wearing his street clothes. There's also the Adversary, who may or may not count as an angel, and wears a tuxedo and a White Mask of Doom. Angels serve the will of God and are pretty big assholes. Their asshole qualities are justifiable. In the story, God has a plan for everything in the universe, except for K (the main character). K screws up The Plan. Just the suggestion of anything in the plan is enough to send angels into BSOD mode.)
  • Catena (see by DeBray and Tracy Baily have angels. They're cats.
  • Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures: Angels are simply another race of Creatures in Furrae. They have feathered wings and a proficiency with light magic as opposed to the Demons' bat wings and talent for dark magic. Angels aren't a strictly "good" race either; they value power and influence as much as the greediest demon (though there are undoubtedly individual exceptions). Oh, and they're also slowly dying out for some reason.
  • Darwin Carmichael Is Going to Hell: There's a trio of angels that are, basically, stereotypical stoners, who spend 99% of their time either getting high or trying to figure out how to get high. The other 1% they turn into dead serious, no-nonsense, crazy prophetic guys.
  • Daughter of the Lilies: When Thistle saves Brent from the drath, he sees a glowing golden being, with six arms, wings of flame, and halo-like horns studded with eyes, who appears behind her, burns away the drath, and tells him to fear not and that the servants of the One-Who-Is-Three watch over him. When he asks Thistle about it later, she says that while she's seen a vision of such a being as well she has no idea what they could be beyond hypothesizing them to be enemies of the drath, as she's been unable to find anything said or written about them.
  • Erstwhile: Snow White and Rose Red are protected in the Ghibli Hills by an angel that keeps them from falling over a cliff.
  • Homestuck:
    • The Trolls' session had angels in Eridan's world and in the post-scratch human session after Aranea "heals" Jake's soul causing a massive explosion of light, which are more creature-y than humanoid. In the former setting, Eridan immediately starts shooting them upon arrival, and they are hostile to everyone for the rest of the game. He's justified in trying to kill them, though: Troll mythology describes angels as demons with feathery wings and bringers of the apocalypse.
    • Then again, due to being manipulated by Doc Scratch, Troll civilization is completely based on values Humans would consider (kind of) evil, and has an inverted worldview (especially when it comes to light/dark symbolism), it would make sense that what Humans see as the archetype of good, Trolls would see as evil.
    • Under this definition Jack Noir can be considered an angel, too. This is part of Eridan's rationale when he loses hope and decides to join Jack: after all, if just killing regular angels is so hard what chance does he have against a lord of angels?
    • The story later introduces Cherubim, which are a type of alien species that grow large wings in adulthood. They are extreme loners, often never meeting another of their kind except to mate, and their idea of romantic attraction is Belligerent Sexual Tension. The Big Bad is one of them, which would explain the role of angels in troll mythology — the Big Bad influenced the troll's concept of The Grim Reaper. We've met only two Cherubim in the story and had a brief exposition covering two more (their parents). Two are extremely kind and gentle, the other two... Not so much. This is because their species naturally leans towards either being benevolent or malevolent, which is indicated by their blood color.
    • It's hinted that Angels actually serve Paradox Space (Fate).
  • Kill Six Billion Demons: Angels, usually called "Aeons" amongst themselves, are one of the four principal forms of life created by the Gods (the other three being Devils, Servants and Humans).
    • They are made of the Cold White Flame Immortal, and are eternal Energy Beings who naturally dwell in the Void Between the Worlds. In order to enter the physical realm they require a shell forged of ash, which the angel wears as Containment Clothing — should the shell be breached, the Angel will be banished back to the Void in a highly volatile way. Angels all have a piece of the Gods' Old Law hammered into them, and are named after passages from said Old Law. This leads them to have long and very esoteric names that hint at the angels' personality, such as "82 White Chain Returns From The Void To Subdue Evil" note  or "10 Vigilant Gaze Pierces The Horizon" note . The number in front of their name indicates how many times they have reincarnated. The angel's true form in the Void can be highly variable and only sometimes humanoid, always including numerous wings and eyes in odd places. At least one angel is a free-floating Euclidean solid with a halo.
    • In general, angels are sterile, unchanging and sexless beings. They do not change or beget and view things like fertility, mutability, and gender as mortal failings. (In theory. In practice, a lot of angels openly refer to themselves and each other with male pronouns). Angels like 82 White Chain who spend extended periods in contact with — and caring about — humanity are known to become more humanlike, which includes developing gender (in 82's case, she's becoming female). This is not portrayed as necessarily a bad thing.
    • Also, angels were created specifically to be Heaven's law enforcement. No Divine Intervention here: to subdue evildoers, angels employ Supernatural Martial Arts honed by uncounted eons' worth of experience.
  • Lotus Cobra Is Evil: Winged Humanoid-type with Holy Halo. One is named as an angel in "Angel Beats", but the halo differences between types of angels are noted in "Induce Despair".
  • Marble Gate Dungeon: Angels are the servants of Solus, the Highfather, and can apparently appear in a wide variety of forms depending on rank and mission. So far we've seen an angel resembling a four-headed humanoid with six wings and some extra eyes which appeared to Colleen when she was first blessed with the ability to channel the Highfather's power, and a celestial ram which Colleen can summon to fight for her.
  • Misfile:
    • Regular angels seem to be relatively normal people, if immortal and supernaturally empowered. The series has so far given us two Pointy-Haired Boss angels, plus one atoning for the (unauthorized) destruction of a city, one whose behavior is more representative of a succubus, and a total drunk who got kicked out of heaven for being stoned. Former associates of the atoner are either worse or much, much worse. It's no wonder God has abandoned them. They are all of the Winged Humanoid variety but can hide their wings to blend in with humans. They also have pointy ears like those of an elf, but people usually can't see them. They're also all white-haired. We also find out how angels come to exist.
    • Later comics introduced a Cherubim ("Always plural... they're gestalt beings with four aspects."), which apparently did not go along with the plan to turn Heaven into a Celestial Bureaucracy and got exiled for it. Rumisiel describes them as pure, raw power times four, and the one we've seen perpetually had a cat on his shoulder while pretending to be human, then when revealing his true nature, an eagle and an ox appeared as well, all apparently part of the same being (a reference to the Biblical description of what are believed to be Cherubim given in the Book of Ezekiel, as beings with four faces: a man's, a lion's, an eagle's, and an ox's).
    • Seraphim have also been mentioned, though none have appeared in the story. Rumisiel describes them as beings of pure flame with six wings, and even more powerful than a Cherubim. When he talked to Vashiel about a Cherubim appearing on Earth, the one thing they instantly agreed on was "Could be worse. Could be a Seraph."
  • After Dave of Narbonic "repairs" a microwave, it opens a portal to Heaven. Out come your bog-standard Cherubim with lots of wings and eyeballs and all that (see page quote - angels are not fluffy).
  • The Order of the Stick shows us two angel characters during Roy's stint in the afterlife, both based on D&D celestials. The bureaucratic deva is a green-skinned traditional angel, but solely interested in filling out the paperwork necessary to process souls to their final rest. The aptly-named Roy's Archon is a tiny ball of glowing light provided to Roy as a guide during his stay.
  • Perfection Engine revolves around an angelic race called Eidolons that live in a society run by their perfect morals and order. Additionally, all of them appear to have a halo above their head, and wings are prevalent symbols in their society.
  • Reliquary: The one angel resembles a skeletal corpse with flamelike wings and huge, black claws.
  • Rusty and Co.:
  • The Senkari: Angels are either apathetic or jerks.
    Angel: Well well, if it isn't the mortal playthings. How does it feel to be mere shadows of the real host?
  • Sinfest: Two angels appear, primarily as winged humanoids who don't look any older than twelve. They occasionally dress up as a pair of possibly-Jehova's-Witnesses. Very prone to Trolling the Devil. The extent of Lil' E's Amnesiac Dissonance? He goes trick-or-treating as an angel
  • Skin Deep has the angel Gabe who is genderless, believes in all religions at once (somehow), drinks and smokes, has an instinct to help others and (allegedly) has no free will.
  • Slightly Damned: Angels are white-haired humanoids who serve a benevolent god and are said to be inherently good. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen, and though the two main angelic characters are both definitely heroes there are suggestions that angelic society is imperfect. They have classical Elemental Powers, wear color-coded uniforms, and have been at war against demons for centuries.
  • Sombulus: The Kanites are all feathery-winged people and are supposedly representatives of the God Madir, but their morals seem questionable at times.
  • Sorcery 101: Mages get angels to guide them when demon hunting. There are all sorts of rules governing the angels' behavior. For example, they can't ask for help from "creatures of darkness" (or anyone connected to such beings). Angels are sexless, featureless, glowing humanoids with wings and a thin layer of paint/glamour that makes their skin, clothes, and feathers. Damage will strip this layer and it takes a couple of seconds for it to regenerate.

    Web Original 
  • Angelarium by Peter Mohrbacher leans into this trope. Azrael is, for example, depicted with more than a dozen wings, seven arms and tentacles crawling up his throat. He is one of the less weird Angels.
  • Codex Inversus: The Angels are the inhabitants of the Angelic Unison and one of the dominant species in the setting. In ancient times, they were appointed by the Demiurge to be arbiters of cosmic order; the wake of the Collapse and the end of immortality, they formed into a theocratic nation and remained at odds with the Infernal Empire of the Devils.
  • In the short story Requiem Aeternam, angels are hungry.
  • Played for humor in It could use a spaceship, said the angel.
  • In The Antithesis, angels are a species classified as 'Archaeans' (winged, humanoids residing on a planet called The Atrium) and are ruled by Commander Yahweh Telei, who is surprisingly an adolescent prodigy and genetic engineer, suffering from cognitive disorders closely resembling O.C.D. and Asperger's. Angelic society revolves around high science and technology.
  • In Hitherby Dragons, angels are gods (supernatural beings) that answer emptiness with hope and wear jackets with holes cut out for their wings. They have various powers and are often the result of a person making a promise an ordinary human can't fulfill. Evasive A can grant wishes if the person catches her (but she's uncatchable), Magic A has a non-zero chance of accomplishing anything, Realistic A can provide a pragmatic assessment of the situation and it's best not to think about Forbidden A.
  • The angels of Kumiko The Demon Girl are fairly standard except that they're explicitly stated to originate from ghosts who performed significant good deeds. Demons have the same origin.
  • The Lay of Paul Twister:
    • Paul Twister meets an angel in the first chapter. She looks like a standard Winged Humanoid, but she's able to break iron chains, summon up a flaming sword out of nowhere, and teleport away seemingly at will. Her body shines, how brightly seems to depend on how much she's using her power. She's later described as being a few inches above six feet and incredibly beautiful, although that's apparently rather petite for a Celestial. She's noticeably less snarky than most of the other characters, and she has some unspecified healing powers. She works as a Celestial Paladin, which is apparently more of a cop or agent of some sort than the D&D idea of paladin-as-holy-knight, though she does have a Celestial horse. (Who does not have Pegasus-wings, much to Paul's surprise.) Paul thinks she's the most beautiful woman she's ever met, though he tries hard to keep his lust for her from showing because he knows they really aren't very compatible, personality-wise, what with her being a Lawful Good paladin and him being a magic-breaking thief-for-hire.
    • Once the ice between them begins to thaw a little, they both begin to talk a bit more freely to each other. She seems to be rather sensitive about her wings, because physics aren't on her side and the local ambient magic isn't strong enough for her to fly without a great deal of difficulty, and they make her feel clumsy and unbalanced. When she complains that they're more of a bother than they're worth at times, Paul responds predictably, followed immediately by a classic Did I Just Say That Out Loud? moment.
  • Considering that the premise of The Salvation War is essentially a Rage Against the Heavens (and Hell in the first book), angels are the official enemies of humans in that universe. They fit the classic Winged Humanoid model and serve Yahweh, who's shown to be a colossal and self-conceited Jerkass. It's implied that they use the humans in Heaven as power leechers or something similar and that their power is dependent on organized singing in some way. Of particular note is Michael, the military commander who has his own ulterior motives regarding the war against humanity, and Uriel, a powerful angel who has the ability to induce living creatures to simply drop dead (though his effectiveness on humans has diminished noticeably over time). Oh, and angels aren't invulnerable; they can be gunned down or blown up for a veritable shower of white and silver blood. Six-winged Seraphim appear, although they turn out not to be actual Angels. They were one of the many species Yahweh has conquered, kept around essentially as songbirds.
  • SCP Foundation: Several possible angels of varying stripes are cataloged by the foundation.
    • Dr. Clef's proposal for SCP-001 is a titanic, fiery, glowing figure with a variable number of wings (ranging from 2 to 108) apparently guarding a gate and will destroy anything that approaches with his sword, including an ICBM; it is clearly meant to be a bona fide Judeo-Christian angel as they were originally conceptualized. It's implied that it's specifically the angel which guards the gate back into Eden. According to what might have been a message from the future, it will eventually destroy the world. It actually has a name, too. Courtesy of the Other Wiki, meet Archangel Jophiel. That also makes him one of the Cherubim chiefs.
    • SCP-469 is a large humanoid figure with countless white-feathered wings sprouting from its back which spends its time curled up in a fetal position on the floor, resembling a huge pile of feathers. Any form of sound causes it to grow more wings and feathers and it agonizingly kills any living creature that touches it to feed off their screaming. Oh, and in a macabre Shout-Out to It's a Wonderful Life, ringing a bell within earshot of it will cause it to wake up and do something unspecified but presumably horrific.
    • SCP-861 is a large, elastic ball of "pseudorganic matter" capable of manifesting numerous different organs and appendages, ranging from feathered wings to shark fins. Anyone who comes near it has a chant foretelling the end of the world projected into their head in Biblical Hebrew, driving anyone who understands it insane.
    • SCP-7964 is a woman with six wings, birdlike bones, and a broken halo. She claims to be the Archangel Uriel, cut off from God and forced into a body of flesh by unknown causes, and finds her new condition to be horrifying and alien. According to her, angels are pure extensions of God's will and are not meant to exist in the natural world or to have thoughts and feelings of their own; physical sensations are horrifying to her, and she is wracked with confusion, guilt and fear over both her previous actions as an unthinking agent of divinity and by the oncoming end of the world, which she regards with hopelessness and dread.
  • WHAT COLOR ARE YOU?: One appears to the player near the end of their journey during the game segment to try and guide them back to God's path for them, looking like a giant eyeball with four wings. They become enraged when the player refuses to follow them, declaring that they must be lost and deluded to think that they know better. They eventually become so enraged that they explode in a burst of divine light and white feathers, leaving behind only their eye.

    Web Videos 
  • The Nostalgia Critic Christmas Special: Orlando the guardian angel is pretty much like the one in It's a Wonderful Life, except that he can feel pain, get hurt and, apparently, get killed by a gun. Also he tries to kill his charge on realizing how much better things would be for everyone including himself if the Critic wasn't around.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: Finn is once rescued from danger by a guardian angel... who then tries to eat him. Whether this means she was lying about being an angel is unknown.
  • Angelmouse is about an angel, who is also a mouse. He has wings and a halo, which he calls his "thingimagig", and is given missions to do good deeds by "You Know Who". If he neglects these missions, his halo wobbles and shrinks.
  • Angels of Jarm: The eponymous angels wear normal human clothing as opposed to the usual white robes; the fact that they look exactly like humans is pointed out in the end credits song. They also wear mechanical packs on their backs with retractable wings instead of having wings as part of their bodies.
  • Futurama: Played rather bizarrely in the second movie "Beast With A Billion Backs," where what appear to be Angels turn out to be mindless birds. That look exactly like Winged Humanoids wearing robes. And live on the back of a sentient planet that inspired Fluffy Cloud Heaven, and pick parasites off its skin.
  • Bill Plympton's feature Idiots and Angels is about a Jerkass who grows a pair of wings that forces him to be nice against his will.
  • South Park: In "Best Friends Forever" several angels appear, with some of them having a high resemblance to the characters from The Lord of the Rings movies.
  • Todd McFarlane's Spawn: Angels generally appear as badass Amazon-style bounty hunters who come to earth to kick demon ass. While God and Heaven are necessarily remote elements in the story, it seems that Light Is Not Good is the rule in this show since, as one character puts it, Heaven is more interested in winning the war than in playing nice while doing it.


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While still a member of the Third Sphere, Applauds are one step above Affinities, and thus known as Archangels. Occupying the eighth position within the nine-level Angelic Hierarchy, Archangels are still considered close to the physical world, and often come into contact with human kind. It is said that devoted prayer on the part of believers can call upon a flock of angels to come to one's aid.

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Main / OurAngelsAreDifferent

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