Comic Vine News

112 Comments

Should 'Valkyrie' Get Her Own Ongoing Title?

By taking matters into her own hands in 'Fear Itself: The Fearless,' she's proving she has guts; so does she deserve her own ongoing book?

If you read Fear Itself then you know that many of the heroes of the Marvel Universe recently endured some devastating losses. The eight mystical "war hammers" that altered so many of the heroes and threatened to destroy the earth are still out there, and Valkyrie has taken it upon herself in Marvel's new twelve issue series to retrieve them all; even if that means doing so behind the backs of her teammates and Captain America. First off -- can we just say how happy we are that one of Marvel's premiere female characters is finally getting some more time in the spotlight?

Valkyrie from 'Fear Itself: The Fearless' #2

The new series focuses on one of the few Asgardian female warriors and is bringing one of Marvel's female characters to the forefront -- and its about time. If you read a lot of comics each month you may have noticed that the number of female ongoing titles coming out of Marvel Comics is pretty thin. Aside from books like X-23 which has seen a lot of success, there aren't very many Marvel ongoing titles centered around female characters. In fact, most of the books that start out as ongoings, are short lived and get canceled pretty early on.

An example of this is Spider-Woman which was supposed to launch out of Secret Invasion (2008) as an ongoing series, but was soon canceled following the release of the 7th issue in May of 2010. Why is that exactly? Marvel has plenty of ladies in their character gallery, so why don't more of their women have ongoing books?

== TEASER ==
Ms. Marvel

It's not that they are weak or feeble female characters, either. I mean, look at Ms. Marvel? She's probably strong enough to beat up Captain America or Thor, and she had a pretty successful ongoing title which managed to reach issue #50 before being canceled in April, 2010, but it was still canceled. What is it about these characters that are preventing Marvel from continuing to release their ongoing books? They are perfectly capable of enthralling and enchanting both male and female readers alike, so why don't we have more Marvel ongoing series centered around the women of Marvel?

Art Adams 'Fear Itself: The Fearless' cover

Marvel's new twelve issue series 'Fear Itself: The Fearless' which will spotlight Valkyrie might have a better chance at being successful. First, the title of the series is clearly tied to the last major Marvel story-arc, Fear Itself. If you didn't know it was a book about Valkyrie, you might just pick it up based on the book's title, it relates to the last major Marvel event.

By tying Valkyrie to this series the writers will be able to not only explore the continuation of the 'Fear Itself' story, but they will inevitably explore her character and reveal how she operates independently of her Asgardian brothers and sisters as well as her Avengers teammates.

This will be the perfect way to reach audiences who are unfamiliar with her character, and might make even the non-believer a fan. Who knows? Maybe you'll start thinking she deserves her own ongoing title? I mean it's not as though she isn't fully capable; just take a look at some of her stats:

  • She's one of Asgards most powerful warriors meaning she's physically very strong
  • She has led the Valkyrior who are responsible for bringing fallen soldiers to Valhalla, demonstrating that she is compassionate
  • She's been around since 1970, when she first made her appearance in issue #83 of 'The Avengers'
  • She was named the "Defender of Earth" by Odin and has been tasked with protecting both Earth and Asgard.
  • She has guts; she's even stood up to Odin, and more recently, she went behind Captain America's back by setting out on a journey to independently retrieve the "war hammers."

Clearly, she's capable of being kind of a badass. Based on the first look we got at the second issue of Marvel's 'Fear Itself: The Fearless' earlier today, Valkyrie has no problem taking down bad guys on her own. From what we can tell, Valkyrie is "fearless" and strong, taking on demons and continuing her search for the "war hammers" independently. Perhaps Valkyrie will get her very own ongoing title following her search for the "war hammers" in 'Fear Itself: The Fearless.' What do you think? Do you think that Valkyrie would be able to headline her own ongoing series? Do you like the character? Do you think that Marvel has enough female ongoing books, or would you like to see more?

For a full preview of 'Fear Itself: The Fearless' check out the pages here.

112 Comments
  • 112 results
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Posted by Baddamdog

YES, YES AND YES

Posted by B'Town

Oh, YES! I would love this.

Posted by Baddamdog

And unfortunately Spider-Woman was cancelled because Maleev couldn't keep up with the schedule of drawing an ongoing whilst it was being turned into a motion comics....well apparently that's why!

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Love the character I must say and can totally see her being in her own ongoing. As for whether more female ongoing books should be there..for me its not a question of gender but about which characters are the best and most popular. Long as that character generates a generous fan base of support, I think that should be enough to warrant an ongoing series.

Posted by Gambit1024

I'd read a mini series. An ongoing would be a stretch for me.

Posted by moviegeek17

i'd buy a valkyrie series, as long as they put the right writer behind it who really wants to write the character.

Posted by jrock85

I love Val, but very few characters are going to have a successful solo title these days.

Posted by King Quisling

maybe a mini, yes.

Posted by NyxEquitis

Yes.

Posted by NightwalkerRevan

I think test the waters with a mini, and if the reception is good, then certainly. There are a number of interesting characters from the Asgardian ranks that could be brought out and explored more (I really liked Kelda, even if she probably wasn't fully the material of a bad-ass super-hero), perhaps they could look at exploring Sif more as a character independent of Thor.

Posted by spaceboy

Do you think that Valkyrie would be able to headline her own ongoing series?

  Yes

Do you like the character?

  No.
Posted by Skaddix

Most characters cannot keep solos afloat its not about launching whoever looks cool its about picking winners.

Posted by SC

Sort of, but people have to support it. Like no, seriously her one shot a few months ago was great. I brought three friggen copies and yet it still sold under the unofficial cancelation threshold Marvel unofficially has. Good book regardless of the fact she was a female character? Do I think all the people who claim they support good books, especially if they are female characters or those who claim they buy a good quality book, no matter the gender, brought it? I mean, I hope so, but book didn't make money. Now with more exposure, advertising, promotion, and possibly by dragging in a bunch of Thor fans and exploiting that connection things would be different sales wise, quality of book hopefully as consistent, but to me, the question will always be more, directed at readers. Why aren't you reading Valkyries book? What would make you read Valkyries book? Creative team matters to, and here's the other thing, Marvel and DC can make any book about any character succeed if they put certain creative teams on it, but its still a fans thing in the sense that that creative team might be able to milk more money elsewhere. Then the creators themselves actually have to want the project. Character deserves it, her fans do, we just need more casual fans to be more willing to step outside their comfort zone and a creative team willing to work hard to present the character as well as any of their peers that sell more each month gender not withstanding. 

Moderator
Posted by Larkin1388

@NightwalkerRevan said:

I think test the waters with a mini, and if the reception is good, then certainly. There are a number of interesting characters from the Asgardian ranks that could be brought out and explored more (I really liked Kelda, even if she probably wasn't fully the material of a bad-ass super-hero), perhaps they could look at exploring Sif more as a character independent of Thor.

Posted by jrock85

If she did get an ongoing, who would you want to write it, Babs?

Posted by Wattup

They should do a daddy/daughter series of Taskmaster and Finesse!

Posted by homeslice

Valkyrie is awesome its about time she got her own book. I'm glad she's become a regular in various avengers titles.

Posted by Darwolf

I would love to see Valkyrie get her own ongoing title.

Posted by SC

Oh, and even though I like nice, healthy, athletic looking legs, even in comic form, lol, I love Val's new pants look, she looks so badass and sleek and professional. Like sort of shows she is trying to fit in not to conform, but I mean, just because adaptability is power. 

Moderator
Posted by fps_dean

I've seen Valkyrie give Thor a fight before. She's no pushover and one of Marvel's most badass women. I have been waiting for her to get her own series, and another Ms. Marvel series. And I was so bummed that they cancelled Spider Woman's series, while short it was a great read.

But I'm not sure that while I would pick up a Valkyrie series, how many others would but I'm sure a lot of Thor fans who are really familiar with the character would...

Posted by Ultimate_MiracleMan

Don't know if i'd commit to it, but i'd certainly give it a try.

Posted by Owie

Val is cool, she'd be good for an ongoing. I got Fearless 1 mostly because of her, but honestly I think I am just so sick of the Fear-Itself fallout that I won't get the rest. So in the meantime I am looking around for old Defenders issues instead.

Posted by gravitypress

Heck Yes!

Posted by daredevil21134

maybe

Posted by ImperiousRix

I would love for Valkyrie to be an ongoing. Not only does Marvel need more female leads for books, but Valkyrie is a ridiculously underrated character and (as the article has said) she's been a leading character in Fear Itself.

Give her one!

Posted by xkoenig

Yes, yes and yes. Did I say yes? Great article.

Posted by PowerHerc

Sure.

She's established enough and has the potential to carry a title, so I say she should get a shot at one.

Posted by JonesDeini

Nope, not when Liu's awesome Widow run was cancelled. I suppose she could be written as a strong enough character to support an ongoing, but I've yet to see it done.

Posted by Fantasgasmic

It doesn't matter to me so much if it's a strong or weak character in terms of powers, i think Marvel has a hard time writing female characters as interesting. When I think of solo heronie books I'd read, I think Catwoman, Wonder Woman, Batwoman, Atom Eve, all interesting. Marvel women, hmmmm… Phoenix/Jean Grey (dead) Domino (maybe when Cable is back or if she was in X-Force still) Psylocke (already in 2 team books), oh and Ultimate Kitty Pryde. In the 90s there was Elektra and She-Hulk, but neither character seems relevant to today's comic environment. Valkyrie doesn't seem interesting to me, at least at first blush. Maybe with the right story, and for me that story would stay as far away from Earth as possible. A nice dark fantasy/fairy tale vibe, the minute you set a non-Thor Asgardian story on earth , I walk.

Posted by kingoftheworld

Id love to see it. Im a huge fan of Val. But its not gonna happen. And if it does it wont make it to issue #12.

Posted by AlKusanagi

No. There's dozens of characters I'd rather see in a title than this Z-lister. Unless they put the old school Defenders back together.

Posted by Cafeterialoca

YES! Marvel has only 2 Female solos right now, X-23 and Ghost Rider, with a few team ensembles. Another Marvel female title is needed!

...just not Spider-Woman. I hate her.

Posted by Xenozoic Shaman

I'd buy it, provided the art looked good, and premise sounded good.  Thanks for bringing it up.
 
This makes me wonder.  Have there been any well-done comics about Valkyrie before?  (Not the character, but The Valkyrie in general, and not necessarily in the Marvel universe.)
 
Guess it's time to play some Valkyrie Profile or Odin Sphere again.

Posted by ArtisticNeedham

I hope so, ever since you guys mentioned how DC doesn't have a Wonder Woman type I have been thinking that they need one. With Storm on the Avengers I was thinking she might gain popularity and become that. Maybe Valkyrie can. The one problem with some of the female characters are their costumes. I can see parents not letting their children get a comic because of their costumes. I can see my sister laughing about Valkyrie's costume like she did with Spider-Woman's. I don't know why more Marvel woman don't get solo's or keep them, but hopefully they will start soon.

Marvel also had She-Hulk in her own series for a while, I heard it was good.

Posted by The Stegman

well i know NOTHING about Valkyrie, so i say yes, an ongoing would be a great way to introduce new fans (like myself) to the character as well as give current fans a treat

Posted by TheHT

Her boobs... are encased in metal. Or are they made of metal? :O

Posted by JonesDeini

@AlKusanagi said:

No. There's dozens of characters I'd rather see in a title than this Z-lister. Unless they put the old school Defenders back together.

I would read a book with the REAL Defenders in a heart beat, folk. With Loki headlining Journey and Gillen writing the hell out of it, I get all the Asgardian action I need a month.

Posted by grkpektis

I think shes an under rated character so I say yes as long as they get a good writer

Posted by Cafeterialoca

Also, Songbird REALLY needs more exposure! You want an interesting female hero to base a series around? Give it to Songbird! There's SO much potential as she's just as good a rising star as Nova or Iron Fist!

Posted by Pbott

@JonesDeini said:

Nope, not when Liu's awesome Widow run was cancelled. I suppose she could be written as a strong enough character to support an ongoing, but I've yet to see it done.

hate to say it but you are right, X-23 is still awesome though

Edited by fodigg

I vote no. She breaks one of my "Marvel's Wonder Woman" rules: she's a gender-swap of a male character, Thor. Basically, Marvel has no female superhero that's well known, not a gender-swap, has carried a solo title, and isn't just someone else's love interest.

Elaboration (from thread: "Off My Mind: Why Marvel Needs a Wonder Woman":

@fodigg said:

This is a good topic and I'm glad it got bumped. It's a question I've asked myself before. Does Marvel have any female character who meets the following requirements?

  1. Has (relatively) broad name recognition?
  2. Is not a gender-swap for an existing male character?
  3. Is known for her solo books and not just as a part of a team?
  4. Is not predominantly just a love interest of a male character?
  5. Is an actual superhero?

1. Name recognition

Now, the 1st point isn't really as important as one might think, because all Marvel needs to do is pick someone—anyone—and make a movie for her and it'll fulfill point 1. I mean, the only female Marvel character to ever have her own film is Elektra. It was a terrible spin-off of a disappointing film but oddly enough people remember it.

2. Standalone

The following female characters are just gender-swaps of male characters:

3. Solo power

For point three, it's not necessarily to show that she's sold as a solo comic, but rather that she has the chops to hold up a story on her own. A character who hasn't had a very long solo title but could have would qualify, but it's easier to just look at who's had solo runs. When I think Marvel ladies who have had successful solo titles (or multiple mini-runs), I think:

That's it. And you'll note that most of those were ruled out by point 2 (italics). I mean, really, is Mystique Marvel's leading lady? I sure hope not. Is Black Widow? Then why is she being treated as just another love interest for Tony Stark in the films? I guess at least she's in the films, but come on now.

4. No second fiddle

This fourth point might seem trivial but it really does block out some of the female characters with the best name recognition at Marvel:

Oh wait I guess just those two. Then again between points 3 & 4 you could easily rule out characters like Wasp. Even Elektra becomes questionable. Could Marvel reboot the Elektra film franchise without first doing a Daredevil? I'm not sure.

5. Super

Basically just not Red Sonja or something, which was a Marvel title for a while.

---

You'll notice a lot of well-known female characters just don't make the cut from this. No Rogue. No Invisible Woman. No Namora. These characters just aren't built for or haven't been used for solo treatment.

Conclusion:

Marvel has no leading lady. That sucks. They need to make a solo female movie pronto. Heck, they need to make more than one. Superheroes are not just for boys and haven't been for a long time. I don't care who they pick, just pick somebody.

Posted by The Impersonator
  • She's one of Asgards most powerful warriors meaning she's physically very strong
  • She has led the Valkyrior who are responsible for bringing fallen soldiers to Valhalla, demonstrating that she is compassionate
  • She's been around since 1970, when she first made her appearance in issue #83 of 'The Avengers'
  • She was named the "Defender of Earth" by Odin and has been tasked with protecting both Earth and Asgard.
  • She has guts; she's even stood up to Odin, and more recently, she went behind Captain America's back by setting out on a journey to independently retrieve the "war hammers."
  • She has great steel plates. :P
Edited by SuperXAsh

Well most fans have known that she kicks some royal ass... just that she never got much of a chance to shine in Marvel till now. She went through a phase where she was seen simply as "Female Thor", (and being stuck in the Defenders didn't exactly help matters) and was (for some reason) overlooked by fans. Hell Wonder Woman's been having trouble and she's WONDER WOMAN. The recent Ms. Marvel series was awesome, like REALLY awesome, but fan interest seemed to suddenly fizzle out after a while.

I'd chance a guess that one of the reasons could be tie-ins to big crossovers, where their main narratives have to be either completely changed or put on sudden hold to make way for huge changes in the overall Marvel universe. Because She-Hulk's recent series have been fun and cool... but seemed to fizzle out after big-ass crossovers.

Posted by lykopis

This idea of Valkyrie embarking on retrieving the War Hammers is a great idea, and a mini-series focusing on that would get my money. I don't have much confidence in an on-going being successful - been done before with equally if not more interesting characters, and failed.

Yes, Marvel is WAY behind DC in regards to books featuring female characters.

Posted by SirSparkington

My heart says yes but my brain tells me no. I doubt Marvel would have enough faith in her to sell a solo title. Which is a shame.

As an aside, I miss Ms.Marvel's solo book.

Posted by daredeville

Thanks for writing this Babs!

I think Marvel does seem to be positioning her for more exposure. I had barely read her at all until the past couple years. Valkyrie is now a member of the Secret Avengers, her old teammates are back together with the Defenders starting up (where I am sure she will at least make a guest appearance), and she is being featured in a lot of the Fear Itself tie-ins and now is the star of this new run, Fearless. She is also appearing in more tie-ins, as she has been in Super Hero Squad, (and Avengers Earths Mightiest Heroes... i think), and she was also released as a playable character in Super Hero Squad Online around the release of the Thor film... the sequel to which she could very well appear in. If she does show up in Thor 2, she could be a candidate for an Avengers sequel, and Marvel is all about seeding storylines and characters (remember Black Widow's introduction in Iron Man 2..?).

With all that cross-promotion, I think it would be great idea to feature Valkyrie more prominently. It will get more people rallying behind the character and looking for her more often. Marvel has attempted to launch solo books featuring their female heroes in the past, as you point out, but they seem not to taper of because they either don't sell that well, don't meet deadlines, or simply don't have enough interest behind them. I think the number one candidate for a solo series is Black Widow, and I've bought ever mini- and long-running- series she has had. The Marjorie Liu and Daniel Acuña one was truly excellent and was one of my favorite books at the time, making my "if I had to drop most of my books, which would I keep buying" mental list. The two of them told a very tight, espionage-filled, beautifully produced story. But once that story was over, they were gone. I kept buying it, but it lead into the "Widowmaker" story and then didn't come back.

What a Marvel female hero needs is a great creative team that is committed for the long term. The way we have Ed Brubaker on Captain America and planning out long, epic storylines. Or Matt Fraction on Iron Man, evolving the character, pulling skeletons from his closet and testing him. I hear Liu is doing an excellent job on X-23, and I don't doubt it, but have stayed away due to Wolverine fatigue (there is the gender-switch issue's influence right there).

The thing with the Brubaker's, the Fraction's is that they have a passion for their character and personal connections, and they really want to tell these characters' stories, and that passion comes through in the quality. The Marvel women need that kind of desire from their writers. Right now, as far as I am aware I only know of one such project featuring a woman: Cloak and Dagger. Although it is a duo book, Dagger has always shined in that duo, and the dynamic between them hasn't been this well-written in years. Nick Spencer and Emma Rios have a passion for these characters and have plans for a larger story for them too. I know it's not a solo book, but it is very female-heavy and is an excellent book that if it sells better could lead to Marvel attempting more female books.

I think they do try, but they need creative teams with that kind of passion for the characters, not just looking to expand the market. Readers know when you are just attempting to do that over telling a good story.

Posted by infonation

I think so, Thor isn't the ONLY Asgardian who can handle his own solo comic!

Posted by DMC

As much as I would LOVE to read stories starring Valkyrie, I passed this time out of fear that this story would be just as bad as Fear Itself was.

Posted by daredeville

@fodigg said:

I vote no. She breaks one of my "Marvel's Wonder Woman" rules: she's a gender-swap of a male character, Thor. Basically, Marvel has no female superhero that's well known, not a gender-swap, has carried a solo title, and isn't just someone else's love interest.

Elaboration (from thread: "Off My Mind: Why Marvel Needs a Wonder Woman":

@fodigg said:

This is a good topic and I'm glad it got bumped. It's a question I've asked myself before. Does Marvel have any female character who meets the following requirements?

  1. Has (relatively) broad name recognition?
  2. Is not a gender-swap for an existing male character?
  3. Is known for her solo books and not just as a part of a team?
  4. Is not predominantly just a love interest of a male character?
  5. Is an actual superhero?

1. Name recognition

Now, the 1st point isn't really as important as one might think, because all Marvel needs to do is pick someone—anyone—and make a movie for her and it'll fulfill point 1. I mean, the only female Marvel character to ever have her own film is Elektra. It was a terrible spin-off of a disappointing film but oddly enough people remember it.

2. Standalone

The following female characters are just gender-swaps of male characters:

3. Solo power

For point three, it's not necessarily to show that she's sold as a solo comic, but rather that she has the chops to hold up a story on her own. A character who hasn't had a very long solo title but could have would qualify, but it's easier to just look at who's had solo runs. When I think Marvel ladies who have had successful solo titles (or multiple mini-runs), I think:

That's it. And you'll note that most of those were ruled out by point 2 (italics). I mean, really, is Mystique Marvel's leading lady? I sure hope not. Is Black Widow? Then why is she being treated as just another love interest for Tony Stark in the films? I guess at least she's in the films, but come on now.

4. No second fiddle

This fourth point might seem trivial but it really does block out some of the female characters with the best name recognition at Marvel:

Oh wait I guess just those two. Then again between points 3 & 4 you could easily rule out characters like Wasp. Even Elektra becomes questionable. Could Marvel reboot the Elektra film franchise without first doing a Daredevil? I'm not sure.

5. Super

Basically just not Red Sonja or something, which was a Marvel title for a while.

---

You'll notice a lot of well-known female characters just don't make the cut from this. No Rogue. No Invisible Woman. No Namora. These characters just aren't built for or haven't been used for solo treatment.

Conclusion:

Marvel has no leading lady. That sucks. They need to make a solo female movie pronto. Heck, they need to make more than one. Superheroes are not just for boys and haven't been for a long time. I don't care who they pick, just pick somebody.

This is really interesting argument. For me, however a lot of those Marvel "gender-switch" characters stand out as completely different and separate. I read mostly X-Men books in the 90's, moved to Marvel Knights and Stracynzki's Spider-Man, then started reading the Mightiest Heroes in New Avengers and expanded from there. So I haven't read Captain Marvel or some of the male versions of these female heroes, nor their beginnings when they were perhaps simply written as gender-swaps. I see Valkyrie as totally different than Thor, only having similarities in that they both hail from Asgard, and are no more similar than a male and female from a given country. Not to mention, Valkyrie has her own distinct roots and function in Norse mythology that are completely different than Thor's. So maybe I haven't read a lot of where she is similar, or maybe I am still new to her, but she is pretty independent to me. Same with Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew), completely different than Spider-Man. Different personality, different look, different power-set, different background... and although Bendis is a little hit-and-miss for me, he has done a great job of bringing her more to the forefront in the Marvel U. Same with Ms. Marvel (although his writing of her is a little more off-base than Jessica). His writing of Jessica Drew has also served to further separate her from any similarities to Spider-Man, as we see more of her triple-agent past, roots in HYDRA, etc. Besides the name and association to spiders, the characters are like night-and-day.

I think that is the path to making these female characters separate from the male versions and elevating them into their own books and mythos: build them history that is different and interesting than other characters. A solo book should fit a niche in one's reading that isn't served elsewhere in another comic. Captain America is the man-out-of time soldier idealist. Iron Man is the recovering alcoholic playboy millionaire hero with questionable morals. Thor is rooted in the fantastic, he has a Shakespearean conflict with his father and brother, and he does stuff that you may never see in real life. Spider-Man is the everyman. Hulk is the Jekyl/Hyde loner. Daredevil is a walking contradiction and about balance and public life vs. private life.

Black Widow is espionage, the shadows, disguises... she is like a female James Bond with more realism (relatively).

So even though Valkyrie is a different person and has her own history compared to Thor, if her book were to sit apart as an ongoing it either has to have its own unique identity or a different and distinct take on the Asgardian story. Really, right now is the time she should be taking over Mighty Thor as the lead, the way Bucky stepped in as Cap, or Hercules took over the Incredible Hulk for a while, or Daredevil's departure launched Black Panther's current book. I'd be way more excited to read a Valkyrie-centric story in Mighty Thor at least until The Thunder God inevitably comes back, rather than this "new thunder god" guy...

Posted by obscurefan

I absolutely agree that Valkyrie should have her own series, along with several other female characters. Marvel and DC both desperately need a larger focus on their female characters. I recently was at Comiccon and asked Joe Quesada if they had thought of doing some kind of a push to put out more female characters and creators, and he said that things like that never work, anytime you try to force out there a focus on new series around a theme it just doesn't work. He explained it very well and I bought it, but before I even got back to my seat I went "Wait a second, that's exactly what DC just did and it worked like gang busters. That's what they did years ago with marvel knights or with the ultimate universe, and they worked great too." So yes, I say put out there Valkyrie, She-Hulk, Black Widow, Mockingbird, Ms Marvel, and tons of other characters.

  • 112 results
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3