Marvel May 2010: Sif, Thor & the Warriors Four 2, Her-Oes 2, Enter the Heroic Age

Sif #1

Sif #1
written by Kelly Sue DeConnick; art by Ryan Stegman and Tom Palmer with Victor Olazaba; $3.99

I’m very much enjoying getting to know more about the many female heroes of the Marvel universe that I haven’t seen before, but I’m left wondering, after I enjoy a story like this one, where I should read next. Will I see any more stories of Sif in the near future? Will she appear in a team title, or cameo in a guy’s book? Will I have to read about a bunch of guy characters I care little about in order to seize at crumbs of her appearances? Does she have any classic past collections I can sample? I don’t know, and no information is provided here. We are given her past, an introductory text page that was very helpful in bringing me up to date with her recent struggles.

This one-shot is a redemption story, in which Sif helps out friend Beta Ray Bill and his new main squeeze while battling her internal demons resulting from having been held captive and impersonated. That’s after they come find her because they’re really looking for Thor, and they don’t seem to realize that she’s just as capable until she confronts them with it.

There were some bits of art that I didn’t quite comprehend during the scenes in the possessed alien spaceship, but I was ok with that, since it kept me feeling off-balance, in keeping with the scene. The rest of it flowed well, I thought, and I like Sif’s powerful image.

Thor and the Warriors Four #2
story by Alex Zalben; art by Gurihiru; $2.99

The goofy humor is best summed up by the exchange on the first page between Thor and Beta Ray Bill, when I realized that they were quoting lines of “I Will Survive” to each other. The main story has the Power Pack visiting Asgard in order to obtain magical apples to help their sick grandmother, which leads to lots of action and a teamup. Eventually, the kids face a reversal, as Thor and Beta Ray get magically turned into infants (adorable in the case of Beta Ray), and the Power Pack will have to be the responsible ones.

Also of note, Colleen Coover is writing and drawing a backup featuring Hercules babysitting the pack and telling them the tales of his 12 labors. Always good to see more of her work, especially with such odd, funny topics.

Marvel Her-Oes #2

Marvel Her-Oes #2
written by Grace Randolph; art by Craig Rousseau; $2.99

A misguided effort to warp Marvel’s existing properties into focusing on a new audience (instead of creating new stories and characters aimed at what young girls might actually want to read). The Wasp, She-Hulk, and Namora are in high school together, facing a warped idea of “typical teen concerns”.

The biggest problem with this story is the concept. The characters aren’t fully examined, so they only make sense if you already know them as their adult superhero versions. If you don’t, they’re not really sketched out. But if you do know them as superheroes, then this all seems like spinning wheels and wasting time. We also don’t know what kind of Marvel universe this is — are their powers exceptional? normal? tolerated? to be hidden?

I do enjoy Rousseau’s art, as always, but the attempt here, to reuse established trademarks for a new audience, is ultimately unsatisfying to every possible audience. It ends up disappointing both those who know the characters, which here aren’t “right”, and those new to them, who find them incomplete. The title’s stupidity kind of says it all, plus, that’s a dippy cover.

Enter the Heroic Age #1

Thor #610

Didn’t read the comic, but wanted to know why an issue that came out in May 2010 proudly sports an ad for Skaar Son of Hulk with the prominent date of June 2008 blazoned on it? Book coming out, maybe, and someone forgot to wipe the dateline? Dunno, but it gave me a giggle.

Enter the Heroic Age #1
by Various; $3.99

This sampler anthology gives me hope for my comic reading, because I’m interested in reading more about almost all of these concepts: Avengers Academy, Atlas, Thunderbolts (actually, I’m surprised that many of the Marvel team titles look like they might work for me, but this one, where villains get a second chance, is most hopeful), and most of all, the couple of Hawkeye & Mockingbird.

I just don’t know why I had to pay $4 to read teasers that all say “follow more in (another title)” at the end. Good for them for clearly telling me where to go next; bad for trying to wring every penny out of readers already jaded and feeling abused. But yay for fun, exciting, optimistic comics again!

7 Responses to “Marvel May 2010: Sif, Thor & the Warriors Four 2, Her-Oes 2, Enter the Heroic Age”

  1. Caroline Says:

    Good points about the ‘Sif’ and other one-shots. I think the answer is that the info isn’t in there b/c they have NO CLUE what’s happening next with these characters, but at least a back page of info about who the characters are and where you can find other stories with them

    With Her-oes, personally I thought all the information was on the page and it didn’t require any other knowledge of the characters or universe (and in fact the characterizations are completely distinct from any way that I’ve ever seen these characters written, particularly Wasp, who in my experience has always been presented in a way that relies on her current or past relationship to Hank Pym), and I know people who don’t know Marvel at all who are digging it. YMMV, of course, but the ‘every possible audience’ generalization doesn’t match my experience.

  2. Johanna Says:

    With Her-Oes, I was thinking primarily of She-Hulk/Jennifer. Anyone who knows the name is spending an issue and a half waiting around for her to go green, while anyone who doesn’t isn’t given much of an explanation behind her transformation.

    Even though I found it shallow, I’m glad to hear your friends are liking it. And thanks for recommending the Avengers titles to me — I’m curious to see where those go.

  3. Bill Beechler Says:

    Kelly Sue DeConnick is Matt Fraction’s wife and they are the writers on an upcoming run of Thor…I expect to see Sif featured in that title once that happens.

  4. Hooper Triplett Says:

    My 9-year daughter has embraced Her-oes as “her” comic. While she’s an avid reader and loves Smile, Amulet, Bone, etc., she’s been itching to find a superhero title of her own. What is simple to the experienced Marvel reader is entry-level to the newbie. If she continues to enjoy Her-oes, this will likely be her gateway superhero comic. The bigger question is what’s next for her to read?

  5. Johanna Says:

    How cute! That is the difficult question, always — I’m not sure what ongoing Marvel title I would recommend to a young girl. I certainly can’t think of anything with the flavor of Her-Oes. Maybe the Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane digests?

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