Lady Sif: One Of The Most Underrated Ladies In Comics

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Posted by No_Name_ (16193 posts) - - Show Bio

One series that we probably don't talk enough about (but that has been consistently good) has been JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY. For a while, this series had followed the adventures of young Loki but has since shifted it's premise starting with the release of issue #646. It is there that we saw the introduction of Lady Sif's adventures, something that has certainly been a great deal of fun to read. And although Lady Sif doesn't have her very own self-titled series, it has been a pleasure seeing her take over JOURNEY throughout the course of the last few months in a stellar story written by writer Kathryn Immonen. Reading this most recent arc really got us thinking: Sif is a pretty fantastic character, but does she get the recognition she deserves? Does Lady Sif deserve (and demand!) more respect? We definitely think so. In fact, in a fight, we bet she could kick just about anyone's butt. Probably.

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Lady Sif The Fearsome Fighter

Sif was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and made her very first appearance in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #102, which is why seeing her take over the current series in Immonen's fun-filled story makes so much sense -- it is, after all, the volume where she first got her start. The Marvel heroine was based on the Nordic character of the same name, and was initially written pretty one dimensionally: her primary purpose was to act as the love interest for Thor, even after Thor had very obviously moved on to other ladies (Jane Foster, for example).

THOR #136
THOR #136

Although Lady Sif may have started off as a lady solely after the "God Of Thunder's" heart, she certainly evolved over the years. The character has since grown to be more than just the girl Thor occasionally has the hots for, she is her own woman and a warrior in her own right. In her youth, Lady Sif would often accompany Thor, Balder and Loki on adventures to defeat Surtur, Mangog, Wrecker and many more. As a child, Sif was sent away by her family to join the Asgardian Shield Maidens; a group of women who dedicated their lives to being warriors. She learned how to fight and to do battle, and although there have been many instances where she has proven herself to be this great warrior, it wasn't until the most recent JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY series that we saw just how fearsome a warrior she really is.

JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #646
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #646

In JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #648 we see the motivation behind Lady Sif's character: the only thing she wants is to protect Asgard. She notes that fighting a battle for Asgard and to protect Asgard isn't really winning; it isn't a victory, not if you have to continue to fight over and over again. This realization leads her to visit the Witch Aerndis, and in this scene that follows Sif gets more than she originally bargained for.

JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #648
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #648

JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #648 demonstrates Sif's capabilities as a fearsome warrior. In a very graphic scene, we witness Sif succumb to a "berserker rage" where the character is driven mad with fury in the heat of battle. It is a great scene because it emphasizes her capabilities as a warrior; not only is she powerful, but she can be ruthless if necessary. Later, in issue #650 of the series in question, Sif begs the question of whether or not it was really her that was that powerful, or whether it was some magic trick.

JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #650
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #650

Aerndis replies to this by saying, "Enchantments are most often for the weak-hearted and the simple minded. The only thing I gave you was permission." Meaning that the strength Sif found was always inside of her, Aerndis simply unlocked her already inherent abilities.

The Capable Leader

JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #650
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #650

Sif has also demonstrated her abilities as a leader in the current JOURNEY series. Up until issue #650 of the comic Sif was leading a trio of three Asgardian warriors: Einhar, Bodvar and Svip. Here she deals with what happens when they don't obey her and respect her as a leader, and she demonstrates exactly how to deal with those that refuse to fall into the line of her command. It's a great moment that really showcases her abilities not only as a fighter, but as a leader who refuses to back down.

The Compassionate Warrior

As mentioned above, Sif has a clear and distinct vision for the kind of warrior she is and what goals she has in mind. In the above scene from JOURNEY #646, Sif wonders whether the continuous fighting and winning of battles are actual victories for Asgard if there continue to be more fights in the end. She asks "can we [Asgard] not be stronger still to prevent the fight in the first place?" It's a logical question and one that demonstrates her clear vision for the kind of place she wants Asgard to be. Every great leader needs a vision, after all, an end game if you will; and it is clear that Sif has that.

JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #646
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #646

However, her goals are ultimately not those of a person lacking character: her goals are a hope for a better home. She demonstrates compassion by expressing her desire not only to end the battles in Asgard, but also when she shields a young boy from the violence all around him (JOURNEY #646), ultimately conserving his innocence. Lady Sif the protector of the innocent is the very first image of her that we see when this story arc was launched, and that speaks volumes. Her compassion is clearly at the very core of this series and is one reason why she stands out as a character.

Sif is a unique character who started as a love interest for Thor and has, since the Silver Age, grown into a beautifully compassionate warrior and a character we don't see enough of. You can see her kicking all kinds of major butt in the current JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY series. What do you think of Sif?

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#1 Posted by Mucklefluga (2653 posts) - - Show Bio

Great article Sara, it's nice to read about a character/comic that doesn't get as much attention as it looks like it should.

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#2 Edited by Akindoodle (1050 posts) - - Show Bio

The new JiM is kicking it with Sif as leading Lady. It's got amazing art too. But in terms of leadership, didn't she already lead Asgard when Thor went after his father's spirit once? I remember hearing that somewhere

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#3 Posted by AlForeigner (83 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree with you, she is a highly underrated character, she is easily one of my favourite Marvel females.

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#4 Edited by lykopis (10868 posts) - - Show Bio

I adore Sif.

Everything about her is stellar and when I heard she was going to take over the Journey Into Mystery title, I was almost too afraid to be excited about it. Your article laid out precisely how Immonen has done good by this Asgardian Warrior Goddess and this series has become my favourite out of all the Marvel books out now.

Thank you for putting some well deserved attention on Sif -- every word you wrote was followed by a "RIGHT ON" as I read them which is so rare for me lately when it comes to what's going on in the Marvel world lately.

I really enjoyed this - thank you.

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#5 Posted by Teerack (10673 posts) - - Show Bio

Sif is so cool and has the most adorable personality ever. Not trying to put her down because she really is a bad ass, but I've always loved tough girls :3

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#6 Posted by Walzo (4365 posts) - - Show Bio

The new JiM is extremely underrated, It's one of the best books coming out of Marvel NOW and it sells like crap :(

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#7 Posted by Trevel8182 (755 posts) - - Show Bio

Sif to me has always been the better Wonder Woman.

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#8 Posted by Overlander (618 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree Sif is truly underrated. When written well, she is a deep, strong person with abilities enough to defend her realms.

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#9 Posted by SC (17374 posts) - - Show Bio

Thank you for this article Babs, its a great write up on Sif, and hopefully will encourage more people to pick up Journey Into Mystery!

Sif to me has always been the better Wonder Woman.

Its a bit funny how you say that, since Jaimie Alexander who plays Sif has been asked supposedly behind the scenes if she would be interested in being/auditioning as Wonder Woman but she always rejects the notion. Is probably more to do with some Marvel movie contract thing, since would be pretty crazy for an actor to turn down such a big gig but at the same time its cool imagining such loyalty to Sif over a more popular name like Wonder Woman. Mind you I like both characters.

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#10 Posted by chowy (68 posts) - - Show Bio

She should become more important to the whole Marvel Universe, perhaps even become the main female character of Marvel.

They are lacking (save for the X-Men) a strong female pressence in the main Avengers titles. She could easily be WW´s counter part.

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#11 Edited by FoxxFireArt (3641 posts) - - Show Bio

Huh, I was just wondering when we'd see a new editorial from Sara.

I love those panels of her hacking away at that beast. She only stops long enough to clean her face, then starts back up again. That was funny.

Lady Sif does deserve more respect, but so does Captain Marvel. We all know where that issue still is. Short answer is more often publishers or writers don't give them the attention they deserve. Sure, Captain Marvel got a promotion, but when do you ever really see Marvel promoting that character?

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#12 Posted by animehunter (6084 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree with you, she is a highly underrated character, she is easily one of my favourite Marvel females.

@lykopis said:

I adore Sif.

Everything about her is stellar and when I heard she was going to take over the Journey Into Mystery title, I was almost too afraid to be excited about it. Your article laid out precisely how Immonen has done good by this Asgardian Warrior Goddess and this series has become my favourite out of all the Marvel books out now.

Thank you for putting some well deserved attention on Sif -- every word you wrote was followed by a "RIGHT ON" as I read them which is so rare for me lately when it comes to what's going on in the Marvel world lately.

I really enjoyed this - thank you.

Agree 100%

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#13 Posted by DeadpoolTattooGuy (38 posts) - - Show Bio

Sif should be an Avenger, she is a way better character than Valkyrie.

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#14 Posted by Twentyfive (3057 posts) - - Show Bio

Sif is awesome. I made a note to myself since Marvel NOW began to make this comic top priority.

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#15 Posted by millennium (214 posts) - - Show Bio

sorry but i just dont see it every thing that you just listed off although good for the development for her character from a one dimensional character to a some what ok character but lady sif is still just a supporting character

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#16 Edited by BlueLantern1995 (3237 posts) - - Show Bio

Great article Sara, it's nice to read about a character/comic that doesn't get as much attention as it looks like it should.

This. I personally love her character. Hope she is a big focus in Thor: Dark World.

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#17 Posted by Mercy_ (94657 posts) - - Show Bio

Perfect article is perfect.

Sif is one of the most badass females in comics. So glad she's taken the lead in JIM.

@mucklefluga said:

Great article Sara, it's nice to read about a character/comic that doesn't get as much attention as it looks like it should.

This. I personally love her character. Hope she is a big focus in Thor: Dark World.

Me too!

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#18 Posted by Veitha (4154 posts) - - Show Bio

Wonderful article! I love Lady Sif and I've loved Journey Into Mistery So Far!

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#19 Posted by GreenLanternGasm (8 posts) - - Show Bio

sorry but i just dont see it every thing that you just listed off although good for the development for her character from a one dimensional character to a some what ok character but lady sif is still just a supporting character

the whole point is that she shouldn't be. I'd say Sif and Wonder Woman are about tied for me, in terms of favorite woman warrior characters . I think Sif has the potential to be every bit as popular as WW if Marvel plays their cards right. They need to jump on this opportunity now.

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#20 Posted by dondave (41521 posts) - - Show Bio

Good Article

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#21 Edited by New_World_Order (14895 posts) - - Show Bio

Badass. It would be awesome if she joined one of Marvel's teams.

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#22 Posted by 123cgm (62 posts) - - Show Bio

sif is all that.

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#23 Edited by dreamfall31 (611 posts) - - Show Bio

I'd love to get Journey into Mystery, but I can't afford it! Maybe in the summer when I work more hours!

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#24 Posted by yo_yo_fun (654 posts) - - Show Bio

A very interesting article.

I'll probably check out Journey Into Mystery now.

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#25 Edited by kcvic (50 posts) - - Show Bio

After batman vs the universe can we have a lady sif vs the female universe her vs wonder woman ,storm ,lady shiva, batwoman, super girl.... etc?

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#26 Posted by Blood1991 (8115 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm not very immersed in Thor's mythos, but Lady Sif in Journey into Mystery has been one of my favorite reads every month. She is this incredibly bad ass woman struggling to find her place in her new home and her interactions with the people around her are just amazing. She has such a wide spectrum of different reactions and emotions and none of it feels forced, and that makes an incredible amount of depth in my opinion.

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#27 Edited by queenfrost_ (2613 posts) - - Show Bio

Forget being one of the most 'underrated ladies' she is one of the most underrated characters, period.

ETA: Also, thank god Marvel are now getting women to write women! Who'd have thought that would might actually work...?

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#28 Posted by laflux (23872 posts) - - Show Bio

I good article as expected, and I do think she is underrated. Personally I prefer Val in all honesty, but I think its horses for courses :p

ETA: Also, thank god Marvel are now getting women to write women! Who'd have thought that would might actually work...?

That just might be crazy enough to work :)

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#29 Posted by cameron83 (8544 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree,she is greatly underrrated.But I love what MARVEL is doing with their characters.I just want her to get more attention,like in the Movies.Her comic is already popular,but she just needs her own great movies and stuff like that or her own place in the movies.

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#30 Posted by BritishMonkey (358 posts) - - Show Bio

She could whoop Wonder Woman, that's for sure.

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#31 Posted by MrShway88 (721 posts) - - Show Bio

So will Sif continue to be the start in Journey into Mystery even thought her arc is finished with issue 450#? The only reason I picked up that series was to understand Sif as a character better.

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#32 Posted by YourNeighborhoodComicGeek (21616 posts) - - Show Bio

Never got into her character but based on this article she seems fairly interesting. I do agree she is underrated though.

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#33 Edited by MadeinBangladesh (12472 posts) - - Show Bio

sif is a badass

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#34 Edited by 2chimcha3 (2303 posts) - - Show Bio

We don't see Sif enough but she is awesome. JIM has been pretty good too.

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#35 Edited by Jake Fury (21941 posts) - - Show Bio
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#36 Posted by Miss_Garrick (1763 posts) - - Show Bio

Yeah, Sif can be pretty cool, but I've always liked Valkyrie more. Go figure.

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#37 Posted by fps_dean (279 posts) - - Show Bio

I really loved Journey Into Mystery when it was Loki's series, and while I'm behind a bit now, I did enjoy the first few issues after it became Sif's series, and I do plan on catching up on the series soon.

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#38 Posted by ULTRAstarkiller (9121 posts) - - Show Bio

How strong is she?

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#39 Posted by Perfect 10 (1655 posts) - - Show Bio
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#40 Posted by Perfect 10 (1655 posts) - - Show Bio

thanks for the article. better late then never. with the thor movie and this series i hope marvel keeps sif where she belongs: in the spotlight

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#41 Edited by Krakoa (816 posts) - - Show Bio

Fantastic article! It convinced me that I character I really enjoy reading about should get more of my attention.

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#42 Posted by evilvegeta74 (4673 posts) - - Show Bio

Sif could kick a lot of a** in the marvel universe male or female, I'm confidant of this!

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#43 Posted by Darkmount1 (1532 posts) - - Show Bio

If they ever do another Thor animated DTV, I picture Emilia Clarke voicing Sif.

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#44 Posted by Yung ANcient One (5306 posts) - - Show Bio

In fact, in a fight, we bet she could kick just about anyone's butt. Probably.

HAhahaha

*sigh*

Good one

What do you think of Sif?

Is that you Wonder Woman?

( + )

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#45 Posted by Joygirl (21036 posts) - - Show Bio

50 bucks says that the banner image for this article involved an artist tracing from pornography.

Any takers?

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#46 Posted by evilvegeta74 (4673 posts) - - Show Bio

@babs: I'm glad you finally did an article on this character, I wished you would have touch a bit more on her past. I understand there's only so much you can say. The article was excellent , and the character is more than deserving. Great work and keep it up.

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#47 Edited by queenfrost_ (2613 posts) - - Show Bio

@ultrastarkiller: Minimum she is Thor strength. But we don't know the full extent considering her vast training.

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#48 Posted by StMichalofWilson (5545 posts) - - Show Bio

Great article Sara, it's nice to read about a character/comic that doesn't get as much attention as it looks like it should.

Here, here!

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#49 Posted by kid Apollo (961 posts) - - Show Bio

while i dont care for the current arc shes in in Journey, i think shes totally underrated. shes a shield maiden, not an easy accomplishment. if shes goin to become a background character in the future she should at least be training one of the junior squads. have her and Gauntlet training the next gen of heroes and they'll be set up well

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#50 Edited by Botiste (51 posts) - - Show Bio

Great post Sara. I feel that Sif is Marvel's Wonder Women. Proudly written and beautifully drawn. However I don't feel that she is the most underrated woman in comics. I feel that the strongest females character are not just the ones that could stand on there own as the simple warriors with class, but are the ones that hold multiple titles. I look at my wife and I find that her best characteristic and traits will never reach comics because there just not popular. She is the strong leader and CEO of her company, and awesome and supportive wife, an encouraging and proactive mother to our children, a great friend to those around her, a caring daughter to her parents, she has her own relationship and views about God, she is beautiful and inspiring to be around. She is by far stronger then I am, and she doesn't have to beat me at arm wrestling to prove it. Women are so underwritten in comics that we often categorize and compare their strength to that men to prove their worth, when women are so much more beautifully complex. No I don't think that Sif is as strong as Thor. Thor is the cosmic god of thunder, Sif is an Asgardian warrior. I don't she her taking on the Hulk, Thanos or the Silver Surfer and wining. That does not make Sif any less of a warrior because she is or is not as strong as Thor. I do however feel that she is MORE skillfully trained then Thor in the killing arts. While being a fearless fighter and compassionate warrior are great traits to have, we see this of many female characters in comics. Storm in her early years, Red Sonya, Captain Marvel, Valkyrie, Black Canary, the list goes on. I guess it's just me, but I want to see more. Sif is a great character, but I think that she has a greater story to tell the fearless warrior bit. The most underrated women in comics are not the slim sexy warriors, but the little thicker yet still beautiful mothers, the single parent women, the minority women, the married women, the single yet holding her own women, the pregnant women, and the older women (God forbid we should show that, right) how about just the well written no matter the race or nationality women to name a few. Sorry for the rant, I hope that I didn't offend anyone. Great Job Sara.

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