Why Not Sif?
There hasn’t been much effort in the way of solo Sif stories, which is surprising to me because she seems to be a character rife with possibility. (To be fair, we could say this about Thor’s entire supporting cast, which is arguably the richest supporting cast next to Batman, in terms of being able to stand on their own without the lead character. Not much effort has been made to do much with them.) But last year, Kathryn Immonen, Valerio Schiti, and Jordi Bellaire used her for a short run to end the Journey Into Mystery series. And they knocked it out of the park.
Starting with the premise that Sif wants to be a better warrior, we follow Asgard’s premiere fighter as she gets cursed with a spell that triggers her berserker rage. Hooking up with a bunch of other warriors who all fell for the same curse millennia ago, Sif has to save the Earth from a bunch of monsters. Along the way, she gets to show off her fighting skills.
She also gets hit on by the Superior Spider-Man, which is how I realized how buried in Marvel’s lineup this run was. I was buying Superior Spider-Man at the time and still wasn’t aware of this appearance until almost a year after it happened.
Here’s a cute Easter egg. Spot the South Park residents!
Schiti really took it to a whole new level in the next storyline, “Seeds of Destruction,” in which Sif teams up with Beta Ray Bill to save Gaea and Bill’s girlfriend, Ti Asha Ra. He pulls off a neat trick here with polyptychs that give a sense of movement throughout the page while being able to zoom in on Sif’s expressions.
And look at that color palette too. Just vibrant and bold color choices by Jordie Bellaire throughout the entire run.
This run was cancelled after “Seeds of Destruction,” and giving Sif more chances seems to be an issue of marketability. It’s not really a cool name. I know “Thor” is just a name, but there’s an oomph factor to it that “Sif” doesn’t have. It’s kind of like how in basketball, the best guys always have cool names. The number 1 pick in the 1996 NBA draft was Allen Iverson, a guy who had many shoes, a rap album, and changed NBA culture as we know it. The number pick in the 1995 NBA draft was a dude named Joe Smith. Names have power.
But wait, you say. Loki has his own series, and Angela will soon as well. They both have subtitles: “Agent of Asgard” and “Asgard’s Assassin,” respectively. Why not give Sif a new title? I don’t know what it would be, but now would be the time to do it. We’ve got an actress in Jaimie Alexander that loves playing the character (her guest shot on Agents of SHIELD was the best part of an otherwise mediocre season). The multimedia profile of the character will likely never be higher than this. So as a company overall, why not push Sif along with everyone else?
Is money really a reason? Can we really say Angela is going to absolutely make more money as a lead? Maybe before the movies, sure, but now I don’t think you can make that claim. The Immonen/Schiti/Bellaire Sif comics were as good as any superhero comics in existence, and proves that the character is rife with possibility. In Marvel’s entire catalogue, it seems like a shame to overlook her.
You can get the two Sif books (very affordable) here: