Welcome to blustery, wintry and frigid …
FARGO (Valkyrie, Aragorn)
Thanks to Thor’s region-wide influence, one of his associates, Valkyrie, has stationed herself in Fargo, North Dakota. There, she spends many wintry days and nights patrolling the city, the state and into South Dakota as well. With her trusty steed Aragorn, she’s commonly seen bolting off to one problem after another as she juggles her superhero life with that of Samantha Pennington, a traveling veternarian. That work allows her to account for long absences from her duties as she works to keep the Gateway to the West clear of crime. But why should the Guardian of the Dead want to protect life? That is indeed a paradox that she is only now exploring. The citizens of North Dakota have embraced their state’s superhero with vigor — and it’s not uncommon for residents to ask for an autograph or picture whenever they meet her. Likewise, hers is a favorite costume for young girls at Halloween. Valkyrie also serves as a member of the Defenders, the Washington based super team. However, even beyond ocassional appearances of the Defenders in North Dakota, residents know things have really gotten serious when Valkyrie summons her sisters from Asgard — and there’s nothing more impressive than a wave of Valkyries washing across the Northen sky in a charge to their next battle.
Notes: Val is one of my favorite superheroines in Marvel. Aside from the fact that she’s a true warrior woman, she’s got a unique look too. I also have thought that the idea of a sword (and spear) wielding superhero is one of the most logical of all of the archetypes out there, and she’s one of my favorites in that category too. In fact, at a comic book convention a few years ago, I picked up a beautiful sketch of her. It’s not sexy or anything like that, she’s just got a total bad-ass look on her face that I love.
As you read this and many upcoming entries, you’ll soon notice that this section of the country is absolutely peppered with Asgardians. Yes, I mean that to happen because I think the effect of a “god” on Earth is going to bring a lot of hangers-on, admirers and even some worshippers too. Aside from those peons, I think that Thor would soon convince others of his ilk of the benefits of earthly life. that effect brings lots of Asgardians to Earth, and the U.S. in particular.
By the way, here’s a cool Valkyrie custom action figure!
BISMARK (Beta Ray Bill)
There’s hardly a more noble creature on Earth than Beta Ray Bill, and his role in Bismark is a sacrifice indeed. Knowing that he was among the most powerful beings on the planet, he stationed himself in North Dakota to serve as a protector to the entire plains region. See, he knew that few heroes populated these wide expanses, and came here knowing the plains needed protecting too. Since then, more heroes have moved in, and Bill has reigned in his duties. Like Valkyrie, he patrols both the Dakotas for trouble, knowing that he’s among the few that can weather its thankless winters and bring safety to its citizens. Additionally, Thor knows his student is nearby and ready to be called up for duty whenever he’s needed. With Valkyrie residing in Fargo, many have urged Bill to relocate, but in truth he sticks to North Dakota because he has an unspoken love for her. In fact, he often specifically seeks her out for mission assistance, hoping that she too might see a spark between the two.
Notes: Ah, a love story! Yes, Bill’s big heart may not win over Valkyrie, but he certain might be able to win the hearts of a few more fans. Whether or not Bill’s love is ever realized doesn’t matter. He’s an awesome character who, in my opinion, is actually more interesting than Thor himself.
What’s “Relocating the Marvel Universe,” anyway? Well, check out the series hub, which includes a complete list of states, here.