WTF, DC? Icemaiden (Sigrid Nansen)

When Icemaiden first appeared in-continuity as a member of the Global Guardians in the pages of Infinity Inc. she looked like this:

When Keith Giffen decided to add Icemaiden and Green Flame to the Justice League, Icemaiden looked like this. Gone was the blue skin, feathered hair, and Golden Glider-like costume. Icemaiden (soon to drop the “maiden” from her name) was now white and some sort of Norwegian goddess. A continuity glitch eventually forced DC writers to consider the Infinity Inc. version and the Justice League version two separate characters: Sigrid Nansen and Tora Olafsdotter.

Shortly after Tora’s poorly-conceived death at the hands of the Overmaster, Sigrid Nansen was re-introduced in a Justice League America storyline, wishing to take Ice’s place in the League, an idea Fire took to with the unhinged fervour of a borderline psychotic:

The trouble with Sigrid Nansen as a character wasn’t just that she was vaguely unlikable and a poor substitute for a stupidly-killed-off audience favourite; she was also manipulative and slightly evil. Here’s a sequence in which she decides the best way to counsel a grief-stricken friend is to dress up as their deceased loved one and offer to take their loved one’s place. Also, to execute this plan with as creepy a sexual undertone as possible:

In the following issue, Sigrid’s morally-questionable, explicitly horny armchair-psychotherapist routine continues for several more pages:

“That’s exactly what I hoped you’d say!” Sigrid announces when her discomfiting plan reaches its least-unsettling conclusion, though you get the impression she wouldn’t have minded if things had gone the other way.

Another thing about Sigrid: she’s bisexual. In case her previous none-too-subtle exchanges with Fire somehow went over readers’ heads, writer Gerard Jones has Icemaiden explain her orientation as though she were an experimental college freshman:

After Justice League America was cancelled in 1996 and relaunched as JLA the following year, Sigrid spent nearly a decade in comics limbo before surfacing in the pages of JSA Classified in 2007. She was re-introduced to audiences as a comatose body floating in a tank at S.T.A.R. labs. A comatose body missing its skin:

Sure, Sigrid needed to be rendered inactive in order to clear the path for Tora’s eventual return, but being the victim of an organ-harvesting supervillian was a hell of a way for her to go. The fun doesn’t stop there, however. The following issue of JSA Classified showcases the before-and-after of Sigrid’s mutilation:

Ick. An unceremonious send-off, to say the least. Also a giant continuity error, since Sigrid’s most defining characteristic is her blue skin. While many readers were happy to see her go, they probably would’ve preferred a more tasteful dispatch than this.

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2 Responses to WTF, DC? Icemaiden (Sigrid Nansen)

  1. This blog is great! A really nice reading. Already waiting for the next post.
    Keep it up.

  2. CMJ says:

    I really liked Sigrid Nansen. Not from JL but from Global Guardians in Infinity Inc. She was a wonderful heroine, see her fight with Fury?. I also don’t mind that Princess Tora Olasdottir and her exist…much like Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks fight for fashion space as the ONLY black model in fashion silliness…who says Norway can only have 1 ice heroine in a DC Universe while there are so many super strong characters including the glorious Paradise Island full of Amazons that can jump 30 feet and hurl a few tonnes while blocking bullets with bracelets…it’s PERSONALITY that makes characters. Hrr run in JL was wank bank material for dirty little boys for sure. I hope that she returns. They both exist in my idea of the DC universe. I have her pages of origin where her mother creates her for Norway as Icemaiden an.imitation of the legendary Ice people….that in itself is awesome plot line…how do the ice people think of her? This abomination with slightly different powers.
    I also love love love Killerfrost who’s a heat vampire. Celsius from India- immortal with fire and ice powers taught by Himalayan priests not unlike Dr Strange, Yuki Ona the Snow Woman…a Japanese Geisha with magic cold as seen fighting in DC presents vs Superman & Rising Sun and Tundra from Russia with super strength and waves of cold…all different. They all need a strange combine story.

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