THOR's Sif Embarks On Her Own JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY
Newsarama: Kathryn, though clearly your Journey Into Mystery is different than what's come before — new creative team, new main character — there are still some clear ties, from the Asgardian focus down to the continuation of the numbering of the series. What type of subtle similarities do you see between what you're doing with the book, and what Kieron Gillen did for the past couple of years? Thematically, do you see a connection?
Kathryn Immonen: I think we're both interested in a kind of meta-textual approach to storytelling… at least on this title. And, additionally, I'm hoping that I can balance out the scenery chewing as well as he did.
Nrama: Sif has been in Marvel Comics for nearly 50 years and depicted in a popular live-action movie, but is still very new as a main character and a solo star. What qualities attracted you to the character? What makes Sif unique?
Immonen: Lauren calling and asking me if I was interested in Journey Into Mystery, and also by the way Sif, were the qualities that initially attracted me to the character.
And then! I had really enjoyed writing her when I did the Thor origin story last year. But even as I was wading my way through the material for that, it was abundantly clear that there really wasn't a whole lot there. But Kelly Sue DeConnick did that really lovely one-shot and that certainly helped to establish some actual dimension.
Nrama: In that same line of thought, though Sif has been around for quite some time, she definitely doesn't have the same amount of history as many other Marvel characters of the same age. Because of that, has it been easier to take Sif in new directions than other Marvel heroes? And how much potential have you found in adding new layers to Sif, as opposed to other characters who are more clearly defined?
Immonen: Sif's kind of an unusual bird this way because while it's true the narrative is not dense for her, the character seems incredibly stable and developed in terms of her core values and behaviors and reactions. She standing on a very rich base and so it's been a real joy to just write outward from there.
Immonen: The Asgardians are certainly different in that they don't have costumes. There's a certain kind of useful 'dialogue' that can happen when you've got Tony Stark Iron Man. Sif is only ever who she is, she never takes it off and part of that's the god part but then it's also just her particular nature. She's the ultimate straight woman and commands huge respect for it. So, there are lots of places for playfulness as a part of general contrast or just life, generally… but it is never going to be at her expense.
Nrama: In upcoming issues, it looks like Sif will be interacting with more Marvel heroes, including the Superior Spider-Man (whoever that might be). How important is it to you for the series to integrate with the broader Marvel Universe? And given that Sif has been so clearly associated with Thor's world, are you eager to see her dynamic with other Marvel characters?
Nrama: You've now been working with series artist Valerio Schiti for a few months now. From your perspective as collaborator, what makes him uniquely suited for this book?
Immonen: Valerio is just a complete and total gift to this project. He's got great story telling and an amazing talent for character design. His ability to create expression on non-human faces is really stunning and because I do love me a talking monster, the floodgates are open.
Nrama: You've done quite a bit of Marvel work over the years, including many major miniseries, specials and a stint on , but this is unique in that it's you coming on board an ongoing series with a fresh start, and the potential for a long run. How significant is this type of opportunity for you in your career? Do you see Journey Into Mystery as a distinctly different type of project for you?
Immonen: Man, any job in this market is a significant opportunity. But as far as the long run? I honestly can't, and don't, think of it in those terms. I'm just taking it one arc at a time.
Nrama: With Amazing Spider-Man ending in December with issue #700, Journey Into Mystery will soon be the highest-numbered comic at Marvel. What (if anything) does that kind of benchmark mean to you? Is there a sense of pride, perhaps, attached to it, or would you rather have started your run with a new #1? Or does the number of book not matter to you?
Immonen: I'm not unaware of how numbering (or renumbering) can affect a title, of course. I think it's quite great that JIM's current issue number speaks directly to its longevity. And I do feel like I'm adding links to the chain of a title, which is enormously gratifying.
But ultimately, does the actual number of a book matter to me? Not really, and not least of which because it's part of a set of decisions that really doesn't directly affect what I put on the page. But that's maybe a little easy for me to say because I've been given a pretty great opportunity to blast off in a new direction.Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's FACEBOOK and TWITTER!