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January 30, 2009



Well, even as a pre-adolescent kid,
I remember Jack's* interpretation of the Enchantress, in her curve-accentuating
green and black outfit, as being very...noticeable. (Sexy would have been the word if I had known what it meant at the time-this was 1964, I was 11. (sigh) Things were different then.)

I think the Asgard guys generally liked girls--they were, after all, Norse, not Greek!

* drawing sexy women was not Kirby's forte.
See: Don heck, John Romita, Sr. from same era.

Ian B

Well, cheesecake never was one of Jack's strong points. If John Romita had been drawing her, she'd have been a knockout :)

Groovy Agent

You wouldn't believe the size of the scar "Squiggy as Sif" has left on my psyche...

Pat Curley

There's an even more obvious problem with the "What about Sif?" defense offered there. She had not even debuted when Krauss wrote his letter. There was always a three-issue lag between an issue and the letters to the editor about that issue for the Marvel Mags, so the last issue that Krauss had read was #135 when he wrote the letter. Guess when Sif first appeared? In #136.

Mark Engblom

Hey, great catch, Pat! Thanks, fellow Silver Age nut! That went right past me!

ShadowWing Tronix

How many females were there in the original myths? Not that ol' Stan exactly followed the source that faithfully.


How many originally? The Norse pantheon has about as many dudettes as dudes.

Freya, goddess of beauty & love, and her daughter, Noss
Frigg, Odin's wife, and her ladies-in-waiting: Fulla, Lin, & Gna
Gerd, wife of the fertility god Frey
Grid, the giantess who loaned weapons to Thor
Idunn, keeper of the apples of youth
Nanna, wife of Balder
Angrboda, Loki's consort, mother of monsters, and Loki's Asgardian wife, Sigyn
Eir, the goddess of healing
Skade, goddess of skiing
Var, goddess of fidelity
Volva, the oracle
the three Norns: Urd, Verdande, and Skuld
and at least a dozen Valkyries

Sif, incidentally, was better known for having golden hair. Like, forged from gold.

Kirby's representation looks more like Danae, the little girl in Non Sequitur.



I knew there was a punchline at the end as I scrolled down -- and there it was!!! LOL!!!

Thanks -- yet AGAIN -- Mark for the great laughs!!!

Pat Curley

It was something I only learned a few months ago myself, as it happens. When I started reading comics, Sif was Thor's girlfriend, but in the reprints that were going on, it was Jane Foster, so I was always curious when the changeover occurred. It turned out that it all happened in #136. Jane failed her initiation test into godhood, Odin sent her packing, and a couple pages later Thor notices sweet little Sif has grown up.


- Pat
To be fair to The Man, Sif had appeared once before in the "Tales of Asgard" part of Journey Into Mystery #102.

- Grumpy
Well, in pure numbers you may be correct (although I have to point out that Angrboda as well as Grid was a giantess and thus not an Asgardian and Volva was human). But one has to not that most of the Germanic goddesses tended to be rather ill-defined; even the two arguably most important ones, Freya and Frigga, tended to blend into each other. Some apparently were mainly personifications, including Sif (whose name means "family" or "kin") and Fulla (plenty). (BTW, Var must be extremely obscure, she's not even mentioned in two lexicons of mythology I own).

Also, in the myths most goddesses tend to be subordinate figures, many seemed to exist so that male gods could have children or someone to pursue romantically (e.g. Gerd). And the Valkyries could be said to have been Odin's flunkies, and in the myths they only really become interesting when they are stripped of their godhood (Brunhilda).

As for Sif, in the actual myths apart from being the mother of Thor's daughter Thrud and stepson Ullr, her function seems only to be a victim or potential victim. In one story the giant Hrungnir threatens to abduct Freya and Sif, in another Loki falsely bragged that she had cheated on Thor with him, and the most interesting story involving her was really about Loki - how he cut her bald and was forced by Thor to make amends by having the dwarfs make new golden hair for her.


The story Menshevik relates is apparently echoed eventually in Marvel continuity, with a change - her new dwarven-crafted hair is jet-black.

I happen to be reading the Marvel Masterworks with Sif's introduction now, and they haven't mentioned it, so I imagine it's a latter-day retcon to explain why she isn't a blonde in the comics. (I encountered this version of the tale of Sif's hair myself in the Marvel Ultimate Alliance video game.)


Great post and great blog.

If you do not mind, i'll borrow the image of the letter for a post, quoting the source of course.

Mark Engblom

Sure, go ahead and use the image. Thanks for asking!

Pat Curley

Good catch, Menshevik. I see that in that Tales of Asgaard feature she was a blonde (and looked noticeably less Squiggy-ish.


Done. Thx again.



Kirby could draw fight scenes like nobody's business, and he was a dab hand at "hideous freak" (Thing, Hulk, Darkseid, DeSaad), and he could handle your strong-jawed resolute hero-types (Thor, Cap, Mr Fantastic), but he had some truly strange notions in re: how to draw women.

It's not that he COULDN'T; he drew some decent-looking women in romance comics, but somehow when he put together "female" and "superhero" what you got was, essentially, what you see in that last panel: Hulk's foe the Leader wearing lipstick and mascara.

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