Sif: Where Do I Start?

2898016-jim650varIt’s hard to make an impression when you’re often found sharing the stage with the Norse god Thor, but Sif does it defiantly.

Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and based on the Norse goddess of the same name, Marvel’s Sif (sometimes called Lady Sif) is Asgard’s fiercest female warrior, able to stand toe-to-toe and side-by-side with the likes of Thor, the Warriors Three, Loki and others. When she first appeared in 1964’s Journey Into Mystery #102, she was the hometown heartthrob for Thor until he met the earth woman Jane Foster. Since then she’s vied for Thor’s affection, but grown to be more than just the “girl in waiting” and become a warrior, a villain, and even the ruler of Asgard for a time. Although her series Journey Into Mystery was recently cancelled by Marvel, that doesn’t mean Sif isn’t great — if you know where to look.

Names like Kirby, Lee, Simonson, Straczynski, DeConnick and Immonen have contributed to building up the legacy of Sif, and in this week’s Where Do I Start? we pinpoint five key texts to see the best of what the Norse goddess can do.

SifSif #1: This 2010 one-shot by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Ryan Stegman shows Sif dealing with the repercussions of Loki possessing her body during the “Dark Reign” era at Marvel, coming to terms with her loss of control and how it forges a new kind of passion in this warrior woman.  DeConnick writes Sif as a person with something to prove while the Asgardian climbs from the lows of an Oklahoma dive bar and back into the mists of battle alongside her one-time beau, Beta Ray Bill.  This one-shot is collected in both Mighty Marvel: Women of Marvel and Thor: Latverian Prometheus, but is an easy find in back issue bins or digitally.

Journey Into Mystery Featuring Sif, Vol. 1: Stronger Than Monsters: Where once Sif premiered as a forlorn lover back in 1964, she returned to the series in 2012 and took charge as it’s new star. This softcover collection has the fist five issues of  Kathryn Immonen and Valerio Schiti’s run on the book after the departure of Kid Loki, and the duo strike hard and fast at the idea of Sif as something other than an warrior woman. Cursed (and sometimes blessed) with a Berserker spell, she takes on the role of hero with fervent aplomb and finds an outlet for years of pent up aggression. Told from the point of view of a pair of ravens and a wolf, the book is more than a female counterpoint to Thor (and the excellent Thor: God of Thunder series) but a great look at how a normal Asgardian lives when their name isn’t Thor.

127290-16555-sifEssential Thor, Vol. 4: I have a real soft spot for this early 70s arc of Thor by Lee and John Buscema; it has Loki leading a resistance against Odin and his government leading to Loki sitting in the throne akin to the movie. Although the story generally focuses primarily on Thor, Sif does have some pivotal moments here and Buscema and Lee make those count. This is the first time I really stood up and took notice of Sif, and I’m glad I did.

Thor Visionaries: Walter Simonson, Vol. 2: Walter Simonson made his name on showing there’s more to Asgard than just Thor — even in his own title — and from issues #349 to 359 he shows Sif pairing up with Beta Ray Bill during the war against Surtur, and having a little bit of a love connection on the battlefield. After Thor throws a drug-induced strike against Sif, she and Beta Ray Bill are off to Earth for some quality time that expands on Sif as more than just Thor’s on-again off-again girlfriend.

Thor: Son of Asgard, Vol. 1: The Warriors Teen: If you like the teen Thor appearing currently in Thor: God of Thunder or those early scenes in the first Thor movie, then this early 2000s series is for you. Written by Akira Yoshida and drawn by Greg Tocchini, the series shows a teenage Thor, Sif and Balder full of rollicking spirit and exploding emotions, all over Asgard. This is one of the only places you’ll see the early days of Sif, including the time Loki cut her hair and replaced with dwarf hair…. ok, you have to be there to understand that last line. So buy this book!



  1. I am disappointed that Journey Into Mystery was cancelled. The Sif storyline was quite fun.

  2. Yeah, I just started reading Stronger Than Monsters last night and just heard about the cancellation. That’s disappointing.

    These are all good recommendations.

  3. More praise for what Immonen and Schiti has been doing with Sif and JiM. It’s been quite cool.

  4. I’m really disappointed to hear that Sif’s run in Journey into Mystery is ending; when is the last issue? I think that it is one of the most underrated Big 2 titles out there right now, an excellent combination of character, action & whimsy. Plus, the art’s been lovely too. We need more books like this with strong female leads. I hope that Immonen and Schiti have something else coming out in the near future . . .

    Oh, yeah, and I’ll need to check out some of those books listed above (read the Simonson already).

  5. Agreed, this has been a great book. Sad to hear about the cancellation.

  6. Really, they are cancelling this? First Red She Hulk, now JiM. Maybe they could just change the titles to The Avengers Chase Red She Hulk and Journey into Mystery with the Avengers and bump the price a buck and give us ‘free’ digital copies (Oh wait they tried that with Fraction’s Defenders and that got the axe as well). This is so ridiculous and is not meant as a slight to Hickman, Remender, or Gillen (all writing fine Avengers books), but these are good books with great teams working on them, with Strong Female Heroes in the lead, just no movie deal They were always on the top of my stack. Its funny, the 2.99 books are always last on my list to be cut, now that choice is being taken away from me. I guess the Marvel Universe has enough strong women in it, they just bought Angela, they don’t need to do the hard work of sticking with a book and keeping great talent like Jeff Parker and Kathryn Immonen moving forward doing something new exciting. Its a good thing for Kelly Sue’s Captain Marvel (another awesome 2.99 book) has the Avengers tie to it and that she is able to do the crossover thing with Avenger’s Assemble or that would be next I am certain.

    Conor, Josh, or Paul care to comment or even discuss it on the podcast?