FreakAngels promo ad, artist Paul Duffield
Author(s) Warren Ellis (writer)
Paul Duffield (artist)
Current status / schedule concluded
Launch date 2008-02-15
End date 2011-08-05
Publisher(s) Avatar Press
Genre(s) steampunk

FreakAngels is a Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction webcomic created in 2008 by Eagle Award-winning writer Warren Ellis and artist Paul Duffield, and published in book format by Avatar Press. The plot focuses on twelve 23-year-old psychics living in Whitechapel six years after civilization in Great Britain is destroyed. The webcomic has received various awards and have been collected in a series of six volumes.

Publication history

Warren Ellis announced the project at the 2007 San Diego Comic-Con with the statement: "I've written two hundred pages and I still have no idea what it's about… it's retro-punk, it's near future steampunk"[1] It was launched on February 15, 2008. New installments were released in six full-colour page episodes every week,[2][3] a schedule that allows the story the chance to grow naturally.[4]

The story grew out of Ellis' question as to what would have happened if the Midwich Cuckoos had survived and grown to "disaffected and confused twenty-one-year-olds." The story builds on the legacy of John Wyndham's style of disaster fiction.[5]

The series ran for 144 episodes, completing on Friday, August 5, 2011. Duffield eventually moved on to his own webcomic project, The Firelight Isle.[6]


Ellis' synopsis of the plot involves characters "living in a post-flood London that they might possibly have had something to do with."[1] The so-called FreakAngels, who possess telepathy and many other "special" abilities, such as space-time manipulation/distortion, and pyrokinesis, live in Whitechapel.[3]

As the story progresses, eleven of the FreakAngels are introduced and their role in the community is expanded. For the most part cooperatively they have created a small community of roughly three hundred people with fresh water, watch towers, markets, home-grown vegetables and a medical clinic. Their society is threatened, however, externally from refugee attacks and internally from personal conflicts and crime.


Brian Warmoth of MTV News stated that FreakAngels works well because of the combination of the steampunk-styled imaginative prop design and the bleak, post-apocalyptic setting, as well as a well thought-out underlying mystery. However, Warmoth noted the ongoing nature of the comic being detrimental, as the big reveals hadn't happened yet during the review in 2009.[7]

Larry Cruz from Comix Talk praised FreakAngels' "subversive style of grittiness" and described the comic's dialogue as "a cut above prose you’d find in most novels." Characterizing the webcomic as "anti-steampunk", Cruz argued that went against steampunk tropes by setting the story in a post-apocalyptic setting rather than in an "age of science." Cruz stated that Ellis' high reputation as a writer is well deserved, as he "pours his heart and soul into FreakAngels".[8]


FreakAngels has won various awards:

Collected editions

The series has been collected into trade paperbacks:


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