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The Abandoned An’ Forsaked – So HOW Many Ice Maidens Are There?

Every week, we will be examining comic book stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent). Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of The Abandoned An’ Forsaked. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.

Today (based on suggestions from commenters John Trumbull and Fraser), we take a look at the strange history of Icemaiden (both of them!).

Icemaiden debuted in 1977’s Super Friends #9…

Note her name – Sigrid Nansen.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Brian, you stupid asshole, Super Friends is out of continuity! It doesn’t matter!” Ah, but check this out, my foul-mouthed friend, DC’s Who’s Who #9 from 1985 featured the Global Guardians (Icemaiden’s name is Sigrid Nansen)….

Then in 1987, Infinity Inc. #32 gave us Icemaiden’s first in continuity appearance and Roy Thomas specifically refers readers to the above Who’s Who entry, which notes that Icemaiden’s name is Sigrid Nansen.

(As an aside, boy, that Tasmanian Devil dialogue…that’s something, huh?)

In 1988’s Justice League International, with the International Justice League now rendering the Global Guardians obsolete, Green Flame and Icemaiden are looking for new jobs…

As you no doubt note, Icemaiden looks nothing like she used to.

In Justice League International #14, they join the League…

Later in 1988, Icemaiden’s origin is given. Do note that the origin by Gerry Jones establishes that this is the first Norwegian hero on the team…

We also get her name for the first time…

And here she is, joining the Global Guardians. It sure does appear as though Jones has now abandoned the Sigrid stuff and established Tora as the new origin for Icemaiden.

Justice League International #24 addresses Ice’s new origin (they had slowly begun to call them Fire and Ice before the names became official five or so issues later)….

So anyhow, Ice eventually dies, so after her death, in Justice League America #97, Gerry Jones reveals that, nope, there were TWO Icemaidens!

She joins the league soon after…

By “greatest hero,” she of course meant “very unmemorable.”

Anyhow, it is an interesting transition. First, Sigrid is abandoned forsaked and then the forsaked story is, itself, abandoned and forsaked. Or “unforsaked”?

Eventually Tora returned from the dead and reclaimed her place as Ice. She was herself a subject of an Abandoned an’ Forsaked where they decided to mess with her ice goddess origin. Check it out here.

The second/first Icemaiden (the blue one) had some memorable stories in Justice League. Not necessarily in a good way. I am going to be featuring them in an I Love Ya But You’re Strange in the near future, so please hold off your thoughts on the Sigrid Justice League America stories until then! Thanks!


Good Lord — did Valentino depict every female character with that butt-half-out shot? Can’t IMAGINE why comics got the reputation they did…

The storie is very complicated and convoluted..and becomes even more convoluted…once tora is brought back, and then take the place of sigrid (or vice- versa) …..

@becca… never understood what people saw in Valentino … never found his Guardians of the galaxy to be that good, and never bee a fan of his art ( images above are more Barreto than Valentino)


Ah, the Super Friends comic. Never in continuity… except when it is. And I love that Green Arrow references the Monty Python Dead Parrot sketch. “Norwegian Blue”!

“Norwegian Blue?”

So Ice isn’t really dead, she’s just pining for the fjords.

Sigrid started off with such a respectable costume. And then when they reintroduced her, they could have brought it back. But no, they made it even flimsier… *sigh*

i LOL’d at the ‘my foul-mouthed friend’ bit

My friends and I always wondered about how Valentino was so popular back in the 90s. I think he was just part of an era where speculators were always so Marvel-crazy and looking for the next big thing at Marvel that any new series that superficially looked kewl in any shape or form could make someone a star. I remember Guardians of the Galaxy somehow being a very huge seller. Wasn’t it the top selling non-X and non-Spidey book for a while. I think it may even have outsold some Spider-Man titles.

God, that “Portugese” [sic] with inverted exclamation point hurt badly. That is Spanish grammar. Even Bea’s name is more Spanish-like than real Brazilian (nobody puts daCosta together in here. It should be Beatriz da Costa).

I really enjoyed the Global Guardians. A shame the Giffen-era League reduced them to a joke.

Man, no one else can write dialogue like Roy Thomas.

Thank god for that.

interesting always wondered why ice maiden started out as sigrid then later its olga and she not only lost the blue mask and stuff but looked younger. plus dieing . and now its because the ole there are two of them. even though the original started out on the comic based on the old super friends cartoon. wonder which ice maiden exists now in the new dcu

If the temperature is absolute zero, how are any of them *but* Ice Maiden surviving long enough to fight those monsters? Robin especially should be dead in seconds.

Ricardo, for the no-prize–time-travelling supervillains affected the development of Indo-European languages so Fire speaks Sportuglish, a combination of multiple languages from our world. (I bet that’s not as convoluted as what DC would really say.)

And now Tora is back or something. At least, till 52.

There’s another source that connects Super Friends to DC continuity. In an issue of Super Friends (IIRC, the same storyline that introducued Ice Maiden and the Global Guardians), Red Tornado spins really really super duper fast and breaks the time barrier. (Really!) Later in an issue of Justice League of America, Red Tornado is using his…tornado to stop a volcando and he thinks, “Only time I moved faster than this was when I broke the time barrier.*” And that little asterix leads us to an editor’s note from Julie Schwartz himself referencing that issue of Super Friends. I was a much much young Dave El but even my mind was blown: “WTF? Super Friends is in continuity?”

There was also a tabloid-sized special involving the Fortress of Solitude which shows us an alien creature from one issue of Super-Friends was now in the Interplanetary Zoo. Also I believe TNT and Dyna-Mite (who made their first post-Golden Age appearance in Super-Friends) showed up in Superman Family in a follow-up to that appearance.

“If the temperature is absolute zero, how are any of them *but* Ice Maiden surviving long enough to fight those monsters? Robin especially should be dead in seconds.”

I think the temperature is near absolute zero (can’t get down to zero thanks to quantum effects) in the area right around the bomb, and is warmer in the area the Superfriends and the monsters are fighting. But I agree with you that Robin should have some serious frostbite.

Yeah, the original stance on Super Friends was that it somehow WAS in continuity, even as Bridwell conceded that not many people saw it as such.

And then there was Justice League: Generation Lost, where Judd Winick gave Tora a new emo origin in which her “godhood” was wiped out in favor of a story involving an abusive parent and some other weird stuff. The book’s editor also made some comments in which he clearly didn’t seem to understand that there had been two Icemaidens before. The whole thing left me shaking my head and wondering if Winick can ever write a female hero without a tragic origin story…

I don’t think anybody actually liked Valentino that well, other than the other Image artists.

But if I understand this correctly, Beatriz completely forgot that she had worked with two Ice (Maiden)s and that one just flat out quit?

Certainly the Super Friends comic referenced regular DCU continuity often enough, even if it wasn’t usually a two-way street. I remember a Halloween issue that referred back to events in old Jimmy Olsen comics (turning into a werewolf, knowing Batman’s secret identity, etc.).

Re: “absolute zero” – that is 273 degrees celsius below zero.

Even in the poles it will be hard to find natural temperatures anywhere near that, to say nothing of monsters (alien or otherwise) that can actually survive and even fight _without raising the temperature_. ENB obviously did not want to give the matter too much attention. I figure he was handwaving a reason to call a new hero instead of having GL step in.

RE: Green Flame – did anyone else notice that Ice calls her “Lucy” in the hotel scene?

Re: Barreto’s art (and it is quite recognizably Eduardo Barreto; Jim Valentino’s participation is obviously minimal) – it is the only one that doesn’t hurt the eyes in this whole article. Are you people really complaining about it?

Re: Super Friends and continuity – it certainly took an effort to acknowledge the official continuity, even if it was hardly ever reciprocated. It even featured the erstwhile “Steve Howard” identity for Steve Trevor, despite it only barely making it to Wonder Woman’s own book.

Luis: Ice calls her Lucy because she’s making a joke about “I Love Lucy.” “Fred and Ethel” are the neighbors on that show.

The Crazed Spruce

August 26, 2012 at 11:48 pm

“Re: Barreto’s art (and it is quite recognizably Eduardo Barreto; Jim Valentino’s participation is obviously minimal) – it is the only one that doesn’t hurt the eyes in this whole article. Are you people really complaining about it?”

I thought the Kevin Maguire pages were pretty good. (But yeah, the Steve Leialoha JLI page and the early Todd MacFarlane artwork from Infinity Inc are pretty harsh. The later Justice League pages ain’t exactly fine art, either. And that buh tugly Wonder Woman costume? Yeesh!)

I’d like to speak up and say that I am a proud fan of Valentino’s art, thank you very much. Shadowhawk was my favorite of the original Image books, and GotG I got in a special pack at the local WalMart that had issues…14-21, or something, and I loves me some future superheroes. normalman is great stuff, and in general I like Valentino. A Touch of Silver is pretty cool too.

Also, if you’re a fan of Image as it is now, I think Valentino (and maybe Larry Marder) is a big reason for that, since Valentino came out of the indie scene himself, and turned around and seems to be the one that pushed to expand Image to be a home for cool indie books.

There’s an issue of GotG, maybe 23, with Valentino inked by Tex, and my lordy, as a GR fan as well, that tickled my art geek somethin’ fierce.

There’s a comment about Valentino and GotG that I think could qualify as a Legend, maybe. I’ll send ya an email in a bit, Brian.

Yeah, I like Valentino’s art, as well, although I do agree that the Icemaiden story looks more like Barreto than Valentino. I can’t believe Barreto passed away. He was a fine artist.

Super-Friends author E. Nelson Bridwell was a world-class geek about stuff, including comics continuity, mythology, pulp fiction etc. So it’s not surprising he’d throw in obscure bits of continuity (like establishing Wonder Woman’s old, hooded, time-traveling one-shot foe Time Master was the same guy as the Time Trapper) along with things like the religious and folklore backgrounds for Seraph and Jack O’Lantern in the Global Guardians.
Luis, I think it’s fairly obvious Grax created the absolute zero zone to protect the bomb–it’s not natural. Given this is the DCU I don’t see having aliens that live at that level and can fight terribly implausible (though Grax more likely grew them in his lab, I would think).

Foul-mouthed friend? I only thought it, I didn’t say it. I promise

Foul-minded, then. ;)

Knut Robert Knutsen

August 27, 2012 at 6:52 am

I really liked Ice, thought she was an interesting character, but her Secret Origin made me retch. Seriously.

I suppose it’s nothing new, every “foreign” character probably has something in their characterization that people actually from that country find … inauthentic.

It’s of course interesting to me as a Norwegian to have norwegian characters in my favourite comics, but so far I think the least unappealing one has been James Bartholomew Olsen III (who according to some sources is norwegian-american, although that probably goes back a few generations).

Of course, it is real hard to make a true ethnic character without resorting to stereotypes.

Almost by definition, a person whose main attribute is his nationality must be unappealing.

The last I knew, poor Sigrid had been skinned, and was floating in a vat somewhere. Is that still in continuity?

I doubt she is in continuity period.

I know Stephane already mentioned it above, but it is pretty amazing to watch both Fire and Ice’s costumes get sluttier and sluttier, until eventually we have Plunging-Neck-Line-Swimsuit Ice and um… Naked Fire.

“I think the temperature is near absolute zero (can’t get down to zero thanks to quantum effects) in the area right around the bomb”

You can think whatever you want, but the line she says is pretty clear:
“If anything raises the temperature even a fraction of a degree above absolute zero– BOOM!”

So the bomb is rigged in such a way that it will blow off if it is ever allowed to get above a purely theoretical temperature that doesn’t exist on Earth. Great plan, guys!

The best part is, once the bomb is activated, any motion at all anywhere in its vicinity would set it off, because the kinetic energy from the motion would have some value greater than absolute zero.

Grax is certainly capable of setting up an absolute zero field if he wishes– who are we to pit our knowledge of physics against a twentieth-level intellect? An overly complicated booby-trap but that’s what supervillains do, after all.

Ok this is wild…the whole different Ice stories….. Brian I’d wish you’d do the 5 Years Later LSH as an abandoned and forsaked storyline . And that is a big one.

Can’t wait for your lesbian Icemaiden column!

It is pretty darn ridiculous.

I don’t have the specific issues at my disposal at the moment, but Sigrid made another appearance pre-NU52, in a JSA Classified story featuring Doctor Midnight. She was the victim of a plastic surgeon who stole from heroes, and in this instance he removed her skin from from her entire body, which was the source of her power. I’m sorry I can’t be more help…

With regards to the Tasmanian Devil’s over the top “Australian” speech, I seem to remember that he was called out on it at some point (I think right at the end of Infinity Inc. arc – as that’s the only time I remember reading them) by one of his team-mates just as they are leaving after their part in the adventure comes to an end.
The team-mate asks why he’s affecting such a stereotypical speech pattern, since he doesn’t normally talk that way. TD replies that it’s all for the show: people expect Australians to speak that way, so he overdoes it so they’re not disappointed (or something like that). I suspect that the ‘Australian’ speech was probably purposely overplayed throughout that appearance (with constant footnotes to translate “Australian” to “English”) in order to set up that little point at the end.

No one has answered the most important question. Did Fire ever get a C.D. player?

Is that Zan to the left of Marvin, 6 panels from the top? Did they have a sidekick team up in “Super Friends”? I don’t remember it….

Skippy: Yep, this is where the hand-off from one group of sidekicks to the other happened in the comic. The Wonder Twins show up at the beginning of this story, and Wendy and Marvin go off to college at the end.

Remembering this column, I was surprised to see the following editor’s note in Secret Origins #46, by Mark Waid:

“Hi. Before we get rolling this month, many of you may remember that, back in SECRET ORIGINS #38, I admitted that we’d published Icemaiden’s real name as both Sigrid Nansent (in WHO’S WHO) and Tora Olafsdotter (in SECRET ORIGINS #33), and that there was a real good reason why we did that, and it had to be for a far more clever reason than just because it was a mistake, and that maybe some of you out there could be bribed into gently reminding me, oh, exactly what that ridiculously clever reason might be, as I had, of forgotten it.”

He goes on to explain how popular the contest was and how many people had various motivations for why Icemaiden went by both names, before finally revealing the “winning” answer:

“Our winner, though, is Erich Mees of Atlanta, Georgia, who put forth that Icemaiden got tired of being badgered about her personal life by WHO’S WHO writer Peter Sanderson and gave him a fake name just to get rid of him.

The judge’s decision is final.”

They BOTH fit into the DCU.
Ice is a Princess and Icemaiden is a product of her Govt.
They have distinct personalities and different powers even.
I like it.
There are so many cool ice weilding powers all over the DCU:
KillerFrost (USA Villain)
Polar Boy (Future)
Celsius (Doom Patrol-India)
Yukki Ona (DC Presents-Japan)
That sexy frost bisexual elf from young heroes in love (Canada)
Tundra (Global Guardians-Russia)

Frostbite is the Canadian bi guy with ice powers

And that’s not even getting into Icicle, the other Icicle, Captain Cold, Mr. Freeze, the Snowman, Blue Snowman, Minister Blizzard, the Cryonic Man, Zan, and Elijah Snow.

And at least three Chillblaines.

I prefer Sigrid Nansen.


A reply, two years late:
“The team-mate asks why he’s affecting such a stereotypical speech pattern, since he doesn’t normally talk that way. TD replies that it’s all for the show: people expect Australians to speak that way, so he overdoes it”

I did once find myself saying ‘G’day’ a lot while in the ‘States; I almost never use it here (uh, I’m in Australia, in case that’s not obvious).
It wasn’t just because people expect it, but a defence mechanism – holding on to my national identity.

(Some of the phrases TD used above – larrikin? – I NEVER hear here.)

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