We already know that actress Jaimie Alexander is a true warrior, having bounced back from a horrific injury she suffered on the set of "Thor: The Dark World." But what about her character, Lady Sif? What makes this Asgardian battle-maiden such a formidable foe to the forces of evil, and a valued ally to the God of Thunder?
This week in Galaxy Guide, we're going to take a look at the life and times of Thor's on-again, off-again love interest, who is a match for him not only in romance, but on the battlefield as well.
Based on the legends of the Norse goddess, Marvel Comics' version of Sif made her first appearance in 1964's "Journey Into Mystery" #102, by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, in the back-up "Tales of Asgard" feature. The sister of Heimdall, guardian of Asgard, the tale is told of how Thor as a teenager rescued Sif from the realm of Hela, goddess of death, and proved himself worthy to bear the hammer Mjolnir. Sif made her present-day debut in 1967's "Thor" #136, where through the intervention of Odin, Thor comes to realize that his romance with the mortal Jane Foster cannot endure; they are from two different worlds, literally. Enter Sif, who aids Thor in battle against the menace of the monstrous Unknown, proving herself an equal to the Thunder God and rekindling their adolescent attraction.
Although in Norse legend, Sif eventually marries Thor, Thor's love life in the comics is not quite so simple, and his feelings for Jane Foster in particular were not so easily put aside. In 1974's "Thor" #231, by Gerry Conway and John Buscema, when Jane Foster's life hung in the balance after her attempted suicide caused by the manipulations of the entity known as the Dweller-in-Darkness, Thor rushed to her bedside. Witnessing his love for Foster, Sif determined to do whatever she could to save Foster's life, and using a powerful mystical item known as the Runestaff, she seemingly sacrificed her life to save Foster's own. Eventually, however, it was revealed that the two had in fact bonded and now shared a form in a manner similar to how Thor shared forms with mortals in the past. When Sif and Jane Foster were once again separated, Jane Foster returned to the man she had come to love since breaking up with Thor, Dr. Keith Kincaid, leaving Sif and Thor to continue their relationship.
Sif has on occasion gotten involved with other men, but they usually tend to bear a resemblance to her beloved Thor, as with her dalliance with the alien Beta Ray Bill during Walt Simonson's run, or the mortal Eric Masterson, whom Sif allied with to rescue Thor after the God of Thunder was banished from Asgard by the evil Loki, in 1991's "Thor" #432. Thor had the opportunity to return the favor when, in the wake of the Asgardian rebirth, Loki possesses Sif's form, and she is cast into the body of a dying elderly woman, as told in 2009's "Thor" #601-603 by J. Michael Straczynski and Marko Djurdjevic. With the aid of Jane Foster, Thor is able to rescue Sif before her mortal form dies, cementing the bond between the two immortal lovers.
Most recently, Sif has taken a starring role in "Journey Into Mystery" at the hands of writer Kathryn Immonen and artist Valerio Schiti, where in the wake of the Asgardians' near annihilation at the hands of the fire demon Surtur, Sif goes searching for a way to increase her power in order to better defend her homeland, with unexpected consequences. With "Thor: The Dark World" on the way, Sif's popularity among fandom is on the rise, and her ongoing struggle to balance her responsibilities as a warrior with her love for the God of Thunder will surely continue to provide drama both on-screen and in the pages of the comics.
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