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Remember to Forget – The Strange Sexual Journey of Ice Maiden

by  in Comic News Comment

In this series we spotlight comic book stories that are best left forgotten. Here is an archive of past installments.

So a couple of weeks ago, I told you all about Sigrid Nansen, the first Ice Maiden, who joined the Justice League after her replacement, Ice, was killed. At the time, I told you that I’d spotlight the bizarre series of stories Sigrid starred in once she was on the team. This is that feature!

Right off the bat, there was some weird stuff going on with Sigrid and Beatriz Da Costa, the heroine known as Fire (Ice’s best friend). In Justice League America #97 (by Gerard Jones and artists Randy Green and Andrew Pepoy), Sigrid meets Fire…


and the issue ends in an odd cliffhanger…


Fire is weird.

In the following issue, Fire reacts rationally to concerns from the other Leaguers (the art is by the then-regular artists on the title, Chuck Wojtkiewicz and inker Bob Dvorak).


By the end of the issue, Bea had calmed down and Sigrid was a member of the team.

Okay, so this began this odd series of little vignettes over the next few issues where it seemed like Bea and Sigrid had some sort of bizarre flirtation thing going on (bizarre because it was not REALLY like flirtation, but it was like Bea was kind of obsessed with her and Sigrid was digging the interest). This led to a rather ridiculous sequence in Justice League America #103 (by Wotjkiewicz and inker Drew Geraci)…



And then the reveal…


“Oh, you thought she was a lesbian? How could you think that? We never said that!” Lordy, I remember the reactions to these issues on the early days of usenet. Many optical injuries from the eye rolling over how this was handled.

The whole weird situation continues in the next issue (by artists Scott Kolins and Ken Branch)…



Again, they clearly are milking the sexual undertones for all they’re worth before giving the twist…


Yes, this was all a strange plot by Ice Maiden to get Fire over Ice’s death. I love Ice Maiden’s “Yeah, I wanted it to go down this way. Yep, this was all how I planned it. I did not want to make out. No sirree.”

Jones had adopted a very soap operatic feel to the Justice League during this run on the book, with romantic entanglements being a major focus of the series. In a subplot with Obsidian, he helped bring Obsidian basically to the point of coming out as gay (“Why must there be labels?” was the closest he came).

I presume that there was editorial pressure, because otherwise, these stories read like a whole lot of teasing about how something MIGHT happen but then nothing ever did. It was like Jones wanted to break some ground in exploring homosexuality among superheroes, but was not sure how far he was allowed to go. The negative way of looking at it was that he was going as far as he could without actually going “over the line” so that he could draw in attention with the “Maybe they will!” aspect of it before pulling back. I tend to believe that Jones honestly just wanted to explore the issues and was constrained by the mid-90s sensibilities of mainstream comics.

Finally, though, in Justice League America #110, a “shocker”…


This led to a bit in the next issue where she basically explains what bi-sexuality is to a moronic Nuklon…


Oh, Nuklon. It is like the John Mulaney bit about how Ice T’s role on Law and Order: SVU is to basically be ignorant about EVERYthing so that someone can explain it to him (and thus, the viewers – in this case, the readers). “Yo, you’re telling me this guy gets off on little girls with pigtails?” Here, Nuklon is basically, “Yo, so you’re telling me you like guys AND girls?”

Sigrid’s journey ended with her dating Olivia Reynolds, Hal Jordan’s old girlfriend (who Jones had brought back during his run on Green Lantern) but then she more or less entered limbo until 2010 or so when she was basically skinned by some psychotic bad guy.

You should have stayed away, Sigrid!

Thanks to WTF? DC for the scans. It saved me a whole lot of time trying to figure out which issue had which scene in it. I like their take on Sigrid’s behavior with Fire as “morally-questionable, explicitly horny armchair-psychotherapist routine.” Hilarious!