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Sif #1

Posted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010
By: Shawn Hill

Kelly Sue DeConnick
Ryan Stegman (p), Tom Palmer (i)
Marvel Comics
Editor's Note: Sif #1 arrives in stores tomorrow, April 21.

Plot: Sif's mad as hell, and she's not going to take it anymore. Loki has that effect on people.

Comments: Sif is a character that has been underserved by Marvel History. Always a striking visual presence (the 60s one must have been played by Ava Gardner, at least in dreams), her unrequited love for Thor somewhat took the focus off her warrior goddess capabilities. No more, even if to get there she had to suffer through a cruel violation by Loki.

He used her body as his "party frock" when he turned female after the most recent Ragnarok, and Thor barely succeeded in getting her soul back together with her Asgardian body before both died. This chain of events has not made her a happy camper, but it has had the advantage of placing Sif in that position so often required of Marvel heroes in their new solo books: she's simultaneously disaffected, abused, a little depressed, somewhat directionless and has something to prove.

Sif has not re-ascended to New Asgard (I don't know if anyone can or not at this point, as I didn't pay much attention to Siege); she's instead living among mortals in Oklahoma, despite her god-like gifts (you know how things go for gods in the Marvel universe; they're all inter-changeable with aliens in a kind of uber-being from the future sort of way). And she's jumping at shadows and getting rowdy with stupid locals, so when Beta Ray Bill comes calling for a little help, it's an opportunity and she knows it.

The Beta Ray Bill plot is a nice nod to Sif's and Thor's history, and of course works perfectly in the Marvel scheme of things as Thor's "oath brother" actually is a god-like alien, with a sentient space-ship to prove it. Only Scuttlebutt has been taken over by some sort of hive-mind infection, other aliens that Sif offers to take care of. DeConnick pulls a lot of strings to make Sif's presence necessary (since Bill is already her equal, and seemingly could take care of the problem himself in normal circumstances), but it works as a way to show what Sif can do. That the alien "possession" reminds her a little too much of what Loki did to her is too bad for the aliens, really.

This issue is a good introduction to a character that has often lacked a spotlight. It's a one-off story, though, and doesn't really let us know where she's going next. Not to Thor, and Loki better watch his back, but we're going to need more of a story to keep things interesting. We won't need new artists, however, as the team makes Sif look formidable whether in human gear or Asgardian armor, and they keep the action moving believably from her drab motel room to a colorful bar to the bio-organic corridors of the alien ship.

What she's going to need is a foe, but I'm guessing it won't be a generic hive mind or Loki himself quite yet, either.







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